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Armyworms invade yards across the Tennessee Valley

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - By her own admission, Donna High-Logan is not an outdoorsy person.  “I don't do worms, I don't do bugs," she says.

So when she saw literally thousands of these small slithering worms chowing down on her yard, she contacted WHNT News 19.

They're so small you can barely see them when you hold them up, but experts say they earn their name, armyworms, because they'll march across your yard and eat anything green in sight. So we brought out a lawn care expert to take a look.

“People think the turf is stressed from heat and lack of rain but it's actually these armyworms by the thousands eating the turf," says Brian Richey of Soft-N-Green Lawn Care Service.

Donna thinks the infestation may have come from new sod just added across the street at Sonnie Hereford Elementary, but Brian says that may be hard to prove.  "It's everywhere, all parts of the city,"says Richey.

Thankfully, there is a way to get rid of the worrisome worms.  "Get an over the counter insecticide that you can either get in a granule form or liquid form. The big thing right now is make sure you read the label and make sure it's labeled for armyworms," he says.

Richey says you need to act sooner rather than later.  “Treat them as soon as you see them, because it will just spread. It may show up as just a small spot and then the next day you may wake up and it be half the front yard and the next day it be the whole front yard," Brian says.

The worms pose no threat to humans or animals but will deplete the grass.  “I'm on a very tight budget, so this is not in our budget to try to fix," says Donna.

So at least for now, these armyworms will remain well fed in Donna's yard.

Brian believes the mild winters and hot summers have made the formula just right for bad outbreaks of the armyworms. He says this is the most amount of armyworm cases he's ever worked in his entire career in lawn care.