"Army Worms" Invade Valley Neighborhood

Tulare, CA, USA Pesticides might be useful in a south valley subdivision where a worm invasion is really bugging neighbors. Hundreds of thousands of "Army Worms" have taken over their streets on Sunset Avenue near Aronian right next to the Tulare Veterans Memorial Building.

This alfalfa field is infested with hundreds of thousands of worms. But they aren't staying over here ... since Monday, they've been quickly traveling across the street to these houses ... and the people who live here say the worms are taking over their houses.

Creepy ... crawly ... however you want to describe them, these army worms have marched in and have laid siege to this Tulare neighborhood.

Debbie Vasconcellos: "They're everywhere! They're in our pool they're eating my grass, all my plants

From sweeping ... to spraying water ... spraying water even using a flame thrower ...

The little black caterpillars won't go away and have completely clustered in this block-long drainage ditch. They even traveled into Debbie Vasconcellos' pool. Vasconcellos tried to spray them with pesticide but as she puts it, the worms are "unphased."

Vasconcellos: "They're crawling on my house they rein my garage on the porch, everywhere! Look out the window and they're crawling up the screens."

Bobbie Wilson, Tulare: "They're coming into the garage and the patio just giving us the heebie jeebies."

Leonard Barnes: "It's terrible, ate my tomatoes up"

Neighbors believe the grower of this alfalfa field didn't properly put pesticide on his crop, causing the infestation. Biologists with the Ag commissioner's office say the alfalfa plant has turned brown where the armyworms have eaten.

Dennis Haines, Ag Commis: once they start to eat up the host plant that they're living on then they head for the nearest places where they can get some kind of shelter and they just like us they're looking for cooler temperatures

Unfortunately-that means the shade and moist comfort of these people's properties. The Ag commissioner's office says there's nothing they can do to rid the problem except ask the grower who lives nearby to spray pesticide on the land. But for now residents are having to deal with the problem themselves.

Bobbie Wilson: "Certainly its going to inflate our water bill with what we've had to use to try and get rid of the mess."


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