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Fall armyworm on maize

Spodoptera frugiperda Fall armyworm
  • Avoid late or off-season planting and avoid planting new crop near infested fields
  • Ensure optimum use of fertilizer for strong maize plants able to compensate for damage done and apply at the right time
  • Keep the surrounding of the plot free of grass weeds
  • Conserve shelters and flowering plants on the edges for beneficial insects such as ground beetles and parasitoids
  • Intercrop maize with less susceptible crops such as legumes
  • Avoid spraying broad spectrum insecticides which might kill beneficial enemies
  • Do not move infested maize materials from one area to another; instead feed to livestock
  • Start monitoring for the pest one week after germination, continue weekly or every second week.
  • Monitor 10 consecutive plants in 10 locations of the field
  • Look for creamy/grey egg masses covered in silk located on the underside or top of the leaves and on the stems
  • Look for light green/dark brown caterpillars with longitudinal stripes, dark head with an upside down pate Y-shaped. The second-to-last body segment has 4 dark spots forming a square. Do so in early morning or evening hours
  • Look for light coloured patches (“window panes”) to large ragged and elongated holes in the leaves emerging from the whorl
  • Look for caterpillars and accumulation of frass in the whorl or burrowed into the side of the cobs
  • At early whorl stage, take action if >20% of plants are damaged or infested with larvae. At late whorl stage, if small larvae can be found then take action if >40% of whorls are damaged. At tassel and silk stage, do not spray anymore
  • On small-scale farms, handpick and destroy the egg masses and larvae
  • If available, spray young caterpillars with neem-based products before they enter the ears or whorl
  • Insecticides are most effective on young larvae and before they enter the funnel and ears. Spray early morning or late afternoon when larvae are active.
  • Spray only according to needs identified by monitoring (including decision for a second application)
  • Minimise usage of WHO class II chemicals for own safety and protection of natural enemies which will help in pest control. Always check label for details and wear appropriate PPE
  • If you use chemical pesticides, use a different sort each time to avoid pesticide resistance.
  • Indoxacarb; oxadiazine
  • WHO Class II (moderately hazardous). REI: 1 day. PHI: 21 days (grazing 42 days). Do not apply more than three applications in one growing season. Toxic to beneficial organisms.
AUTHOR(S): CABI, edited by Department of Agricultural Research Services, Malawi

PRODUCED BY: Plantwise

©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.