Army worms invading North Texas

army worms
Photo credit Getty Images

MANSFIELD (1080 KRLD) - An army is marching into North Texas, but this isn't one that's welcomed by patriotic citizens.

Cities throughout North Texas are bracing for an infestation of army worms, which can be devastating to lawns and athletic fields.

"They can literally destroy a home lawn within just a few short days," says Brian Coatney, the parks service supervisor for the City of Mansfield.

Army worms are not uncommon in North Texas.

"You have army worms every year," says Coatney, "but they don't always grow into an infestation where they can do considerable damage to your turf."

Army worms can destroy an entire football field in just two days, which illustrates how devastating they can be to residential yards.

Coatney says crews go out at night after the parks close and apply insecticide, so that the lawns and fields can be used by walkers and joggers the following morning. Once the insecticide dries, the army worms will stop eating the grass and will go away. Andrew Greenstein, TSN News.>

Coatney says the City of Mansfield has been busy treating the grassy areas in city parks.

"What that requires is us to come in at night after the parks are closed, (and) we apply the insecticide," says Coatney. "And by the morning when walkers and joggers like to come out, it's already done its job and it's perfectly safe to return."

Once the army worms consume the treated grass, they will stop feeding, which will in turn make them go away.

Coatney says homeowners also need to be especially vigilant, since army worms can destroy a residential lawn in no time.

"A good rule of thumb is if you see five to 10 worms in one square foot, that's when you want to begin treatment," Coatney says, "because they can spread quickly and they can devastate turf in just in a few days."

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images