Sunday, July 22, 2012

Army Worm Attack

Just a few days after posting pictures of my plants in pots, I went out for the morning watering and found devastation.  Some time in the past 24 hours, all of the plants in one pot had suffered damage and a few were completely defoliated.

What was earlier a healthy Liatris leaf is now just a dried twig.  Just a speck of green left on this leaf and a tad more on the plant in the background.  I’m not sure that’s enough to keep them going.

The best of the young Prairie Dock had already produced three true leaves.  Now it’s nothing but stems.

No leaves were left untouched.  I checked periodically throughout the day, but found nothing disturbing the plants.  I already had a good idea of what creature had done the damage and was sure the assailant wouldn’t return until dark.

I checked the plants shortly after full dark and found a Yellow-striped Armyworm munching away.  As with so many other animals, the Armyworm prefers my pampered pot plants to anything else around.

This is a common find in many crop fields and vegetable gardens where this species can occur in enormous numbers.  It only took one night and one Armyworm to lay waste to my seedlings.  I guess I’ll have to add caterpillar fence to my arsenal of potted plant defenses.


  1. He looks like our catalpa worms. Probably the same, just enjoying a different flavor plant!

  2. Hi Lois. Not the same, but they have a similar appearance and can both strip a plant clean of leaves.

    Hi Pat. They certainly can be destructive.