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http://www.theorganicfarmer.org/Articles/how-control-fall-armyworms-using-organic-methods

The fall armyworm is a heavy feeder that quickly destroys the maize crop. It can destroy an entire crop if it is not controlled on time. It can spread fast, and can fly over 30 kilometres in one night assisted by the wind.

The fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) derives the name from its’ feeding habits whereby they eat everything in an area until it is over and the entire "army" then moves to the next available food source. This invasive pest is native to North and South America and Argentina. The fall armyworm larval stage burrows into crops, destroys and eventually kills the plants. Recently, it was identified for the first time in West Africa before extensively spreading to Southern Africa. The fall armyworm has also been reported in parts of Togo, Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe where the pest has already destroyed thousands of hectares of crops. The emergence of the fall armyworm in Uganda was reported last month and it may probably have spread to some areas of Western Kenya.

The fall armyworm is a heavy feeder that quickly destroys the maize crop. It can destroy an entire crop if it is not controlled on time. It can spread fast, and can fly over 30 kilometres in one night assisted by the wind.

The fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) derives the name from its’ feeding habits whereby they eat everything in an area until it is over and the entire "army" then moves to the next available food source. This invasive pest is native to North and South America and Argentina. The fall armyworm larval stage burrows into crops, destroys and eventually kills the plants. Recently, it was identified for the first time in West Africa before extensively spreading to Southern Africa. The fall armyworm has also been reported in parts of Togo, Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe where the pest has already destroyed thousands of hectares of crops. The emergence of the fall armyworm in Uganda was reported last month and it may probably have spread to some areas of Western Kenya.

How to identify it

To differentiate this larva from other armyworm species, one needs to look at the head of the insect. The fall armyworm's head has a predominantly white, inverted Y-shaped suture between the eyes. Young larvae are greenish or brownish in colour and smooth-skinned.

Mature larvae vary from light tan or green to nearly black. They have three yellow-white hairlines down their backs. On each side and next to the yellow lines is a wider dark stripe. The moths have a wingspan of 32 to 40 mm. They have dark grey, mottled (coloured spots) on the forewings with light and dark splotches (marks), and a noticeable white spot near the extreme end of the worm.


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