The enemy of my enemy is my friend. That saying holds true for us at the insect level as well. Cool, wet spring conditions may have impacted some of the traditional parasites that prey on our enemy the true armyworm. Those parasites usually keep the true armyworm population under control, but less than ideal spring conditions are putting farmers at risk for the pest.
As usual, the first line of defines remains scouting. Scouting when it comes to the true armyworm however, can be fairly tricky. The pest feeds in the dark, and populations can take hold quickly and do tremendous damage quickly. During the day you can look for them under crop residue and soil clods. You should pick at least five different locations around your field.
Tracey Baute is a Field Crop Entomologist with OMAFRA. She also blogs at Bautebugblog.com. I spoke with her on the phone recently about the threat that the true armyworm poses in Ontario and how you scout for it, whats the economic threshold and how do you control it.
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