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Armyworms return to parts of East Texas

Armyworms are only a couple of inches long, but for farmers, if they aren't taken care of quickly, they can be devastating.

ANDERSON COUNTY, Texas — Armyworms are only a couple of inches long, but for farmers, if they aren't taken care of quickly, they can be devastating.

They have recently been spotted in some East Texas counties.

"They're typically kind of a tan or brown color with two dark stripes going down both sides of their body, the most distinguishing physical characteristic is a white inverted "Y" on their head," Forage Extension Specialist Vanessa Corriher-Olson said.

Armyworms are a yearly occurrence for East Texas farmers, but they're still a nuisance.  

Richard Saunders, a fifth-generation farmer, says nearly every year they get armyworms. Even though he hasn't seen any on his property yet, he says they're close by.

"We're close to Frankston and I know that about six miles west of here, the man that bales my hay, he said he saw some in the pasture where he was cutting last week," Saunders said.

Olson says this year, she's received reports of armyworms in Houston, Anderson and Panola counties.

"We do tend to have greater populations in the fall, especially when we have been very dry during the summer, especially in you know, June, July and August," Olson said.

If you ever do run into armyworms, there's no reason to worry. They pose no threat to people. 

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