Soap Flush Test for Pests

A soap flush is a mixture of 3 tablespoons of liquid dish soap with 1 gallon of water. We find that lemon-scented dish soap is the most effective. Pour the mixture into a 3' x 3' area and watch the action. The soap will agitate the caterpillars' skin and they will come to the surface - you can see them and then you will know to treat for them immediately.

We recommend scouting for fall armyworms from July until the first good frost.

This test also works for many other destructive insects.

If you have fall armyworms, read our article focusing on what to do about them: Fall Armyworms in Lawns

Case Study

Mark in Georgia purchased 2 pallets of Bermuda on August 17th. On September 12th we discovered Mark had fall armyworms. To confirm that was the problem, he performed the Soap Flush Test we recommend. The test was positive, he applied armyworm insecticide, and this is what it looks like now! Mark stated that “Your tip on the army worms was a lifesaver! I showed the pics to several people and they also never knew about those armyworms (and how to test for them!)”



Damage caused by fall armyworms.
Damage caused by fall armyworms.



shows full recovery of Bermudagrass after fall armyworm infestation
Full recovery after treating for fall armyworms


Topics: fall armyworms, Insects, problem management

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