Armyworms Continue WNY "Invasion" | News
CLARENCE, N.Y. - Homeowners are next on the armyworm warpath. On Wednesday 2 On Your Side reported on the armyworm, and a number of crops that have been destroyed in the Towns of Akron and Marilla.
The armyworms, which are actually caterpillars that hatch from moths, have made their way onto driveways and lawns of homes not far from farms.
"We had just a little bit of burnout [dead grass] just a few feet on one side and it has - oh my gosh - quadrupled since Sunday," said Noreen Gaske of Clarence. "I'm calling someone tomorrow. There's so many you can't get around them. It's just gross."
Gaske's driveway, front lawn, garage door and backyard were all taken over by the invasive species. Gaske has lived in Clarence for more than 17 years and says the armyworms are an inconvenience that she's never had to deal with before.
Homeowners in the Town of Akron have also reported lawn damage and spotting the species. Many will have to reseed their lawns and farms.
"We didn't think anything of it at first - and the next day on Tuesday we saw more," said Chad Comeau of Akron. "It just started to get worse and worse."
Farmers and other experts say the most effective method for killing them is paying a licensed expert to spray a powerful insecticide.
2 On Your Side also spoke with the Mike Stanyard of Cornell Cooperative Extension, who suggested a few ways to exterminate the armyworms without using a controlled substance.
Stanyard suggested homeowners try less-powerful insecticides sold at home and garden stores, and to try spraying the armyworms with soapy water. He added that once the invasion ends in a few weeks, lawns should be able to bounce back from the damage sustained from them.
An armyworm expert told 2 On Your Side, the reason why these pests are flourishing is because as they migrated north they left behind their natural enemy which is a type of wasp.
This problem is expected to last in Western New York another two or three more weeks. The next cycle of army worms is expected to hatch within the next 30 days.
"I want to live in Clarence," said Gaske. "I don't want to have to live with the army worms."