9 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Armyworms [Homemade Army Worm Spray]

Armyworms are a type of caterpillar that are born from moths. These are several types of armyworms that are born from different types of the same genus of moths. These larvae are invasive and can destroy lawns and crops.

These insects mainly cause damage to different types of grasses including, wheat, corn, barley, and oats. It is important to get rid of these insects from your garden as soon as possible, otherwise, they can completely destroy a whole garden in a week.

Thankfully, there are several natural methods you can use for getting rid of as well as preventing these insects. In this article, we will discuss some of the natural methods of getting rid of Armyworms. 

How To Get Rid of Armyworms Naturally?

Below are 9 effective natural ways to get rid of armyworms without chemicals in garden, lawn, and home.

These methods include natural armyworms repellents, homemade army worm spray, homemade army worm repellents, and several other natural methods and home remedies to get rid of army worms.

1. Homemade Army Worm Spray Using Neem oil

Neem oil is a natural organic pesticide, that is great for getting rid of armyworms. Neem oil keeps these insects from chewing on your plants, and when the insects come in contact with the oil, it eventually kills them.

You can buy commercial neem oil products, or make your own at home using neem oil. This is also a great way to prevent these worms in a long term. This method is ideal for farms and large-scale army worm control. 

Required Items:

  • Neem oil
  • Dish soap 
  • Water 
  • Spray bottle 

Step by Step Process:

  • To a gallon of water, add 1 tablespoon of neem oil along with 1 teaspoon of dish soap. 
  • Mix the ingredients thoroughly until it becomes foamy. Pour it in a spray bottle. 
  • Spray the mixture directly on the affected plants. Concentrate the mixture around the areas that have recently been damaged by the armyworms. 
  • If you are trying to control armyworms in your lawn, spray directly on the lawn, focussing on the areas that have recently been affected by the worms. 
  • Do not water your plants for at least 2 days after the application. 
  • Most armyworms should die after the application, but if you continue seeing any damage, you can repeat the spraying process about a week later. 


Neem oil can also kill beneficial insects such as bees, and ladybugs, so use it sparingly and carefully. 

2. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a great way to get rid of armyworms because it is completely safe. This powder can pierce through any soft-bodied insect and kill them by drying them out.

Always make sure to use food-grade diatomaceous earth powder, as it is the most effective. It is an easy yet effective solution against these nasty pests. However, keep in mind that this method works best on young armyworms. 

Required Items:

Step by Step Process:

  • Sprinkle the Diatomaceous earth powder directly on the affected plants. 
  • If the worms are affecting your lawn, sprinkle directly onto the grass. Especially in the freshly affected areas. The grass should not be wet when you apply the powder. 
  • When the worms walk over this powder, their body will be pierced with thousands of microscopic shards, which will eventually dry them out. 
  • Do not water your lawn or plants for at least 2 days after the application. If the plants get wet, then you must re-apply the powder. 


Diatomaceous Earth powder can also kill beneficial earthworms in the ground, so do not use it throughout your lawn. Use it only in the most affected areas. 

3. Spinosad

Spinosad is an insecticide that is produced by a type of bacteria. This is an organic and safe insecticide that works fast and effectively against armyworms.

This organic insecticide needs to be applied directly to the area that is being affected by the worms. When the worms eat the leaves with spinosad, they will die within a day or two. This is a great solution for farms as well as for gardens. 

Required Items:

Step by Step Process:

  • For every gallon of water, add 1/4th cup of spinosad. Put this mixture into a spraying can. 
  • Mix it thoroughly before using the insecticide. 
  • Spray directly onto the plants that have been affected. You can also apply the mixture to all the plants as a precaution. 
  • When the armyworms chew on the leaves, they will be poisoned and within a day or two, they will die. 
  • If you continue seeing damage after a week, then you can re-apply the mixture once again, but try not to re-apply too many times. 


Do not use this pesticide excessively, as it can negatively affect beneficial insects in your garden as well. 

4. BT powder

BT or Bacillus thuringiensis is a type of soil-dwelling bacteria that works as a biological control for armyworms. This is one of the best ways to get rid of armyworms because it does not pose a threat to any other beneficial insects or humans.

It is completely safe for use in agricultural fields as well as in gardens. The best time to use BT is when the insects are still small in size and haven’t caused massive damage yet. 

Required Items:

Step by Step Process:

  • If you have a small garden, then the BT powder is easier and more effective to use. However, for a larger area such as a field of maize or corn, use the liquid form. 
  • For the powder, simply sprinkle it onto the affected areas, including your lawn. You can also sprinkle it onto any worms that you can see. 
  • When using the liquid, follow the directions on your packing and mix it up with the appropriate amount of water in your spraying can. 
  • Spray the liquid directly onto your corn ears, or maize stalks, or any other plant that may be affected. You do not need to spray the whole plant, only the areas that are usually affected. 
  • Within a week or so, the worms will die. Re-application is unnecessary. 


Make sure to apply the powder or the liquid to every affected spot, otherwise, some of these worms may escape and continue causing damage. 

5. Beneficial nematodes

Beneficial nematodes are a type of parasite that can kill armyworms very quickly and efficiently. This is a great way to get rid of these invasive insects because it is safe and completely natural.

You can easily buy beneficial nematodes from your local garden center and simply follow the instructions to apply it to your plants. This method is great for both gardens and agricultural plants. 

Required Items:

Step by Step Process:

  • Follow the instructions on the packing of your beneficial nematodes. The amount of water that you need to add, depends on the number of nematodes in the package. 
  • Let the nematodes soak in the water for a few minutes and then mix it all up to make sure that there are no lumps. 
  • Transfer the mixture into a spray can and you are ready to use it. 
  • Always do this in the late afternoon when the sun has gone down. This way you can make sure that the nematodes do not die immediately. 
  • Spray along the soil where the most damage is seen. Spray directly on the affected plants. 
  • Within a few days, the armyworms will die. If you have applied the right concentration of nematodes, a re-application is not needed. 


Always follow the direction on the packaging so that you apply the right concentration of nematodes. If you apply too little, it will not be effective. 

6. Soap Water

Soap water is a commonly used pesticide. In the case of armyworms, the best way to use soapy water is to handpick the worms and drown them in soapy water. This not only makes sure that you have gotten all the worms, but the soapy water ensures that the worms are dead.

This is a very safe method as you are not having to spray anything directly onto the plants. The downside to this method is that you will have to spend hours picking each individual worm from your plants. 

Required Items:

Step by Step Process:

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of dish soap in a gallon of water, and put this mixture into the bucket. Mix thoroughly to foam it up. 
  • Wear gardening gloves before you start picking the armyworms from your plants. 
  • Check each plant from the bottom to the top to check for the worms. If you find one, then pick it up and drop it in the bucket of soapy water. 
  • The worms will die in soapy water. Discard them into a compost pit afterward. 
  • Do this for a few days in a row to get rid of all the worms from your land or garden. 


You must keep picking the insects for a few days in a row to get rid of all of them, otherwise, there is a chance that they will continue damaging your plants. 

7. Ash, Tobacco, and Pepper mixture

Pepper is known to be a natural insect repellent. The strong burning sensation can keep many insects away.

Farmers have noticed that when applied along with ash and tobacco, the resulting paste can effectively keep armyworms away from maize and corn plants. The nicotine in tobacco also works as a natural pesticide that can kill armyworms. 

Required Items:

  • Wood ash 
  • Tobacco 
  • Pepper powder 

Step by Step Process:

  • Make a mixture with ½ cup of wood ash, ½ cup of tobacco, and ½ cup of pepper powder. This will become a sandy mixture. 
  • Sprinkle this mixture over all your corn and maize plants. It should stick to the plants quite well. 
  • Any armyworms that eat this mixture along with the leaves will die soon afterward. 


This is not the most effective method, so use some other methods along with it. 

8. Parasitic Wasps

Parasitic wasps are great for getting rid of armyworms because they work by preventing the larvae from being born at all. These wasps lay their eggs inside the egg of the armyworms, thus killing the armyworm eggs.

These wasps can be bought at any garden supply store and they will stop these worms from growing for the season. 

Required Items:

  • Parasitic Wasps

Step by Step Process:

  • You should start this process as soon as you start seeing the moths in your garden or field. This way the parasitic wasps can lay their eggs inside the moth eggs early on. 
  • Release a colony of wasps in your garden or field from late April to early May. The wasps should start laying their eggs in the armyworm eggs. 
  • By the end of the season, you’ll see a number of parasitic wasps have emerged from the eggs, but the number of armyworms will be much less. 
  • Additionally, any armyworm that may be born will be eaten up by these wasps as their food. 


Do not use any other pesticide or harmful chemicals in your garden or field if you release these wasps, otherwise, they may also die due to the pesticide.  

9.  Attract birds

Birds are natural predators of armyworms, so if they see one they will eat it. This method is best used in your garden to get rid of armyworms without chemicals.

To attract birds you can place a bird feeder in your garden, or you can install a birdbath. Although to some people birds are annoying, they are a great natural control method for invasive insects such as army worms. 

Required Items:

  • Bird feeder 
  • Birdbath 

Step by Step Process:

  • Install a bird feeder in your garden. Regularly add seeds into the feeder to attract birds to your garden. 
  • A birdbath can also attract birds to your garden. Regularly fill it up with water, so that the birds come near it. 
  • If your garden is filled with birds, they will also automatically attack and eat any armyworms they find. This will greatly reduce the population of armyworms in your garden. 


This method is best used in areas that do not have any other attractions for birds such as fruits, nuts, or grains. 

How to Keep Army worms Away?

Below are 4 natural ways and home remedies to keep army worms away from home, garden and lawn.

1. Check for eggs

Armyworms usually hatches during May and early June. So start to regularly check for armyworm eggs during early May. You can spot the eggs if you follow the female moths in your garden or field.

If you find the eggs, start smashing them by simply squishing them between your fingers. You can wear a pair of gloves for this activity if you are squeamish. Do this regularly for a few days, and you can effectively prevent armyworms for the season.

2. Ladybugs and Lacewings

Ladybugs and Lacewings are considered beneficial insects. These insects will feed on armyworm eggs, which helps prevent them.

Release ladybugs and lacewings early in May or even before that, and they will effectively control the armyworm population in your garden for that season.

You may have to re-introduce more ladybugs and lacewings the next year. This is a great way to prevent these worms as it is completely safe and natural. 

3. Mow your lawn regularly

One of the most common areas that are affected by armyworms is the lawn. They feed on the grass, which can cause parts of your lawn to become dry and yellow.

To make sure that these worms do not affect the grass in your garden, you should mow your lawn regularly. The short length of the grass will discourage the worms from munching on your grass. 

4. Turn your soil

Whenever possible, make sure to turn your soil, so that the worms are exposed to the outside. This way, birds and other natural predators will be able to eat them and thus prevent them from growing in large numbers. 

Top 5 Natural Repellents to Get rid of Armyworms

If you are looking for readily available natural repellents to get rid of armyworms, check below listed best Natural and Organic Army worm Repellents.

Final Words:

Armyworms are invasive and they can cause massive damage in no time. They can completely destroy crop fields and gardens within a matter of weeks. This is why it is very important to get rid of them at the first chance.

The best time to attack these insects is when they are small, but even if they are fully grown, there are ways to kill them and prevent them from doing any further damage.

We hope that the natural ways to get rid of armyworms are useful to you and you can quickly get rid of these pests from your garden.