Biology Question #505

TJ, a 7 year old female from Thunder Bay asks on January 4, 2002,

Last spring and summer there were millions of army worms creeping all over everything. Maybe worse this year. Why do they creep around on the ground? On the plants and trees? Why do they not like pine trees or needles? What can I do to keep them out of my garden and grass?

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The answer

Peter Belton answered on January 6, 2002

Armyworms hatch out from eggs laid by Armyworm moths. The worms like to eat most of the plants in your garden but they don't like evergreen (conifer) trees. The only way they can get around is by creeping. They don't like walking over wood ash or diatom dust, or you could try making collars of tin cans or squares of tarpaper with a cross cut in the centre to protect, for example, prize tomato plants. There may not be so many next year, but it helps to clean up and recycle all the dead plants from your garden in the fall.

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