Caterpillars Take Over Crops

June 8, 2012 Updated Jun 8, 2012 at 4:54 PM EDT

By WKBW News

June 8, 2012 Updated Jun 8, 2012 at 4:54 PM EDT

Akron, N.Y. (WKBW) - Small creatures, only about an inch long, are taking over crops across Western New York.

"It is a silent killer, and you don't know that they're there until it's too late," farmer Brian Frey said.

Brian Frey and his family own a farm in the Newstead-Akron area.

"These "Army Worms" hatch in such full force that they go from one field to another," Frey said.

Frey said because of these worms, they had to do things a bit different this season.

"We stopped planting our corn and soy beans and moved to hay before its too late," Frey said.

He explains how these seemingly harmless creatures go for the kill.

"This is what we are dealing with, these worms eat the head off the Timothy stalk. It keeps eating and all we're left with is an empty stalk," Frey said.

They need the hay to feed their more than 40 cattle. Frey said these worms not only hurt the farmers financially, but ultimately the consumer.

"If we can feed our cows and sell our cows at the appropriate time, the average person is going to see the changes at the supermarket," Frey said.

This is the worst problem people have seen in a while.

"There have been isolated instances but nothing like this," Frey said.

They plan to spray to kill the worms within the next month, and the Frey family hopes they can get back on track before the summer is over.