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.
Treating Fall Armyworms
- There are an abundance of insecticides available on the market that treat armyworm infestations. Many of our stores carry products (please call ahead to confirm we have them in stock.)
- Treat more than once - Just because the armyworms have gone to pupae stage does not mean they are gone. They will mature, lay eggs, hatch, and infest your yard again. Be vigilant and treat multiple times according to the insecticide instructions in order to break the armyworm life cycle.
- Timing of treatments is important - Early morning or late afternoon is the best time because the armyworms are active. If applied mid-day and the armyworms may be below the surface of the new turf and the application will not be as effective.
- If you live in an area prone to infestation, stock up on insecticide and be prepared to defend your yard with treatment when necessary.
- Make sure to read all insecticide instructions carefully and apply at the application rate recommended on the product label for the pest you are targeting.
Mark from Acworth purchased 2 pallets of TifGrand 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!)”