Why it’s hard to control the Fall armyworm in Southern Africa

The native range of the Fall armyworm – Spodoptera frugiperda – is in South and North America. But it’s rapidly spreading across southern Africa. This follows the first reports of its arrival on the African continent in Nigeria in January 2016. Within a year it spread, reaching South Africa by January 2017.
Understanding how armyworms breed, travel, and feed is critical to managing the devastation they can cause. They have a number of characteristics that make them particularly hard to control. This includes the fact that the moths are strong flyers, the fact that they breed at an astonishingly high rate and that their larvae can feed on a particularly wide range of host plants. In addition, they tend to develop resistance to pesticides. Read more…
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