The Armyworm Invasion

Armyworms have been causing a lot of damage in our area this season, here’s what you need to know:

The fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) problem is widespread across several states including Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Kentucky. All lawn care companies and some farmers growing grains are affected by this pest. Armyworms are not a worm, but the larval stage of a type of moth. They are called armyworms, because of the way they move across fields in an army-like fashion. Chemical applications must target the larval stage, if the population is in the pupal or adult stage, it is not effective to spray.

A fall armyworm

Armyworm pressure is high this year because of the weather. The moths migrate north every year and usually do not reach the Mid-Atlantic until later in September. They arrived early this year because of the number of southern storms that followed a path from southwest to northeast. The moths are caught up in upper-level winds and deposited as the storms move. The adult moth’s mate and lay eggs. The larva feed in a pattern and literally strip the green parts of the turf.

While it might seem like we are in a lull right now, it is expected that there will be another generation toward the end of September. However, if we have fall-like weather, the lawns will grow vigorously and more than likely recover and be able to grow out of the damage. Please be encouraged to be patient as we have already started to experience the turf coming back in many lawns. While we can’t promise full recovery, the likelihood of that happening is very good. This year is a good year for aeration and overseeding and we encourage you to take advantage of this time in fall to seed and aerate the lawn. We also have service calls available for lawns that are unable to out-grow the second generation.

If possible, we recommend watering damaged areas in the heat of the day to keep the crowns cooled down and hydrated.  This should be kept up until a visible green cover returns to shade the crowns. Home lawn recovery also involves fall fertilizer applications to support the regrowth of the blades.  Fortunately, the first fall fertilizer application can be made right now. With this in mind, we have started our fall applications early this year. In fact, you may have already had your first fall fertilizer. The second will be done in 8-10 weeks, before December 1.

If you’re worried about these pests ruining your lawn and wasting your investment, please consider the many benefits of our services besides the lush top foliage of the tall fescue/bluegrass blend. Our weed controls continue to control weeds. Things like fertilizer, Mirimichi Green Soil Enhancer, and lime are still reacting with the soil helping to create an environment where the lawn can recover. Topsoil, compost, tilling, and seeding are all beneficial service that you have not lost the benefits of. As always, our service will work to help the lawn recover from stresses like this and our usual summer stress as the temperatures cool down and the lawn starts to grow. Please have patience and work with us to get your lawn to fully recover

In closing, environmental stress and pest problems always offer us the opportunity to adapt. The early summer application has been enough to take care of our surface feeding insects until now. We will once again evolve and offer you a solution to this difficult problem.

Nutsedge News

Nutsedge: The Superweed


The best way to describe nutsedge is “superweed.” Unlike other broadleaf weeds, this sedge has a robust root system made of nut-like tubers called nutlets. The nutlet stores a high amount of energy for the nutsedge to use in its lifecycle. With their grass-like leaves, sedges can be difficult to distinguish within the lawn at the beginning of the growing season. In the hot, humid, sunny days of summer, however, it grows faster than most grasses and even begins to flower. It is easy to distinguish only a few days after mowing by the lighter green leaves shooting up quicker and taller than the grass surrounding it.



The weather man is calling for BEAUTIFUL WEATHER! over the next several days. Sunny skies with no rain in sight for the near future. While you are making your plans to take advantage of the sunny skies, don’t forget to give the lawn some attention. It will need some water from you. Go to our website and review how to best take care of the lawn as the soil water bank starts to dry up. (more…)

MRW Lawns Earns Esteemed 2015 Angie’s List Super Service Award

MRW Lawns has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2015.

“We couldn’t be happier about receiving this award. It is one more way we can guarantee our customers are getting the best service!” said MRW Lawns.

Just in Time for Christmas! MRW Lawns Gift Cards Available!

When your friends and family ask you what you want for Christmas, tell them to buy you the Gift of GREEN this holiday season! MRW Lawns, Inc. is now offering gift cards. With an MRW Lawns, Inc. gift Heart of Grasscard, you can purchase valuable services like lawn fertilization, weed control and pest control for the outside of your home. This gift card can be used for existing services as well as new services. Regular treatments are a sure way to create a beautiful usable outside space for entertaining friends and family on those long holiday weekends or anytime. They help create a safe environment for the kids and the family pets, free of weeds and harmful insects. (more…)

It’s a Beautiful Day!

It’s a beautiful day here at MRW Lawns, Inc. The low humidity and nice temperatures allow for some good drying after the torrential storms on Saturday. Enjoy it while it lasts, and be sure not to let the lawn get too tall. Now, it is important not to mow when the soil saturated, but try not to let it get too tall, and mow it twice if you have to to remove excess growth (for example; the lawn gets to 7″ and you want to mow it to 3″). (more…)

How to Manage Your Lawn During Hot Summer Weather

Manage Mowing Height with a Mower MeasureIf there is one thing we can count on here in Washington DC, it is the hot summer weather periods we experience every year in summer. Don’t let it get the better of your lawn. Go to our website today at and read our Summertime Tips under the Seasonal Tips menu. This will guide you to do the right things during the tough times this summer. As always, feel free to call if you have questions or need assistance.