Perhaps you’re here because you’ve heard all the hubbub about the Fall Armyworm and Beet Army Worm infestation. Despite being called ‘Armyworms’, these are actually caterpillars. Here at All About Worms, we think caterpillars are generally cute and lovable, but we know some of their feeding behaviors can be rather destructive and, well, unlovable. Plenty of people view caterpillars solely as pests since they can destroy the foliage of plants and trees in a matter of days if enough of them inhabit one crop. In other words, they can be a real headache for farmers and gardeners. While plants and trees can sometimes withstand the damage and easily bounce back to good health, the caterpillars can cause irreversible harm. Currently, there are two caterpillars species that are causing havoc around the world.
Like the Fall Armyworm, the Beet Armyworm population is also suspected to explode soon. Beet Armyworms, which primarily eat scallion and onion crops, are originally native to Asia, but have spread worldwide and are now found in most places where crops are present. In parts of England, agricultural experts are convinced that there is about to be an intense Beet Armyworm infestation. Farmers have been encouraged to monitor their fields carefully, checking for egg sacks and larvae every three days. As in Africa with the Fall Armyworm, a Beet Armyworm infestation in England will lead to crop damage and significant economic loss.
In conclusion, the “wanted dead or alive” outlaws of the worm world are currently two caterpillars that are causing some serious issues around the world. The Fall Armyworm has eaten its way through Africa and is now spreading through Asia, destroying maize crops and leaving farmers in economic distress. The Beet Armyworm population is predicted to spike in England, causing similar issues for onion and scallion crop farmers there.