Invasion of the armyworms leaves Brisbane lawns in ruin

 

SQUADRONS of vicious armyworms are ravaging gardens across the southeast following recent rains, with a prominent park now a battlefield.

Residents have been warned to be on the lookout for small purple and red flies, with an expert saying just one insect could lay enough eggs to finish off an entire lawn.

The invasion has led panicking locals to clear shelves of product used to combat armyworms at some hardware and garden stores.

Dean Tunley, who runs Dean's Garden and Lawn Care, said the outbreak was the worst since Cyclone Debbie, since the grubs struggle to gain a foothold in drier weather.

Army worms are invading backyards across southeast Queensland. Picture: File.
Army worms are invading backyards across southeast Queensland. Picture: File.

"It's the wet weather," Mr Tunley said. "Normally, the ground is too hard because it's Australia."

"It's just ideal conditions for long grub (armyworm) at the moment," he said.

"I've been spraying it left, right and centre."

Mr Tunley said areas of Logan, Coomera, Pimpama, Helensvale, Pacific Pines and Ripley had been worst affected.

"It usually starts from one area and works its way down," he said.

It comes as one recently rejuvenated park in Brisbane's inner north has been ravaged by the pest.

Army worms on the march through the New Park at Ascot, which was only opened last year. Picture: Thomas Morgan.
Army worms on the march through the New Park at Ascot, which was only opened last year. Picture: Thomas Morgan.

Parts of the New Park for Ascot, which opened along Lancaster Rd in October last year, have turned brown, with Brisbane City Council admitting they've gone into battle against army worms.

"Council became aware of potential armyworms at Ascot Park in 2019 and treatment was undertaken," a council spokesman said.

"The site continues to be monitored."

The surge in cases has caused a run on grub-killer at hardware stores.

"These products have seen an increase in popularity following the recent rain in Queensland, which is common following wet weather conditions," Bunnings garden care buyer David Woodford said.


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