( Source Kuensel May 22, 2013)
Several days ago my mother came home from a walk and described a patch of sidewalk that was covered in black worms that appeared to be falling down the side of hill. You couldn't avoid stepping on them she said, the sidewalk was just teeming with them. Several days later we heard of someone's garden being overrun by these worms, nothing was left after they had munched their way through the garden. Horrifying but now we had a name for these worms-- army worms. The news started to cover the infestation, this Kuensel article describes the slow western crawl of these hungry critters as they eat their way across the country, very much like an invading army. And my twitter feed started to fill up with remedies and comments from bemoaning inadvertently killing them to using kerosene and vinegar to deter them.
And then this morning they were at our actual doorstep, eating our grass and headed straight for MadHatter's flower garden. My parents vegetable garden, full of just sprouting goodies, is next. We are trying a water and lemongrass spray but are all also making peace with the fact that our garden might only feed these little guys this year and not us.