It’s that time of year when all kinds of insect pests are moving, especially caterpillars. Armyworms have been present but sporadic in hay fields, cotton and peanuts the past couple weeks across the Panhandle. Rome Ethridge, the Ag Agent in Seminole Co. Georgia, has reported seeing all kinds of different caterpillars this week. See his post on Seminole Crop E-News. Many times, cow birds are a dead give away of their presence.
Seeing only a few caterpillars does not usually warrant an insecticide treatment for armyworms. This is because peanuts can withstand quite a bit of defoliation without it affecting yield. The treatment threshold for armyworms in peanuts is 3-4 caterpillars per foot of row before vines have lapped. After lapping, the threshold moves to 5 – 6 caterpillars per foot of row. For insecticide options, see Peanut Insect Control.