Ruapehu-Whanganui News & Events

Checked your crops for Fall Armyworm?

Checked your crops for Fall Armyworm?

Strong surveillance will help stop Fall Armyworm spread

The insect pest, fall armyworm has been reported in the North and South Islands, and with further spread likely, knowing how to identify and manage this pest can do a lot to help protect our industry.

The fall armyworm is not a worm but a highly invasive moth that can threaten crops in its larvae stage.

The larvae may do the damage, but the adult moths ensure the rapid spread of the pest. If pushed by winds, moths can fly up to 100km a day. 

The fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) arrived in New Zealand around February 2022, it is thought to have come from Australia. The moth is found around the world and is present in the Americas, Africa and Asia, and more recently has been found in Papua New Guinea, parts of Australia and now New Zealand.

When checking your crops for fall armyworm:

  1. Know how to identify fall armyworm
  2. If you find eggs, moth or larvae, take a photo and:
  3. There are approved pesticides to manage fall armyworm which you can ask your agrichemical agent about.

Read the latest updates on fall armyworm from the Foundation for Arable Research.

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