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East Texas farmers lose thousands of dollars to armyworms

Armyworms are taking over the lands of many farmers across East Texas. These pests are eating the grass needed to make bales of hay for the winter. 

"It's very concerning because they can wipe you out," Malcolm Williams, owner of Superior Hay and Feed says.  

Armyworms can devour an entire hay meadow overnight. This can cause thousands of dollars in losses for farmers. Staff at Rozell Sprayer and Manufacturing say they get dozens of calls each day during the summer about these pests. 

"A customer came in the other day and told me he had checked his 60 acre hay meadow on a Thursday," Darren Rozell with Rozell Sprayer and Manufacturing says. "He went back Saturday night, and it was gone."

That man lost 15,000 dollars. Experts suggest farmers should walk their hay meadows every morning looking for these worms. 

"When there is a dew, you'll see the little lime green ones, and they are not doing damage yet, but it doesn't take them long to become adult worms," Rozell says.

There are insecticides available that can kill these worms. Some do not require an Applicator License.

Experts also suggest to be look out this fall, because armyworms also thrive in cooler and wetter conditions. 


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