Armyworms—Mythimna unipuncta (formerly Pseudaletia unipuncta)

Armyworms get their name from their behavior of moving across fields in an army-like fashion. As larvae consume available food sources, they migrate as an army to new host plants. Though they feed primarily on grasses (oats, wheat, fall rye, corn, barley, and forage grasses), they can be a pest of some vegetables (bean, cabbage, carrot, onion, pea, pepper, radish and sweet potato).

armyworm moth larva
Armyworm larvae vary in color from dark greenish-brown to black. On each side, there are long, pale white, orange, and dark brown stripes along the length of the abdomen. Mature larvae are approximately 1½ inches long.

armyworm moth larva
The armyworm moth, approximately an inch long with a 1½ inch wingspan, is tan to light brown, with a tiny white spot centered on each forewing.

armyworm moth adult

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Identification and Control Information

[Photos, left to right: Frank Peairs, Colorado State University,; North Carolina Forest Service Archive,; Natasha Wright, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services,]