A Lagarta do Funil do Milho

1. What is the fall armyworm (FAW)?

1. What is the fall armyworm (FAW)?

The fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) is an insect pest that feeds on more than 80 plant species, damaging economically important cultivated cereals such as maize, sorghum, millet and wheat, plus vegetable crops and cotton. FAW is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas, but is spreading widely around the world. FAW reproduces at a rate of several generations per year, and the moth can fly up to 100 km per night.

2. Can FAW be eradicated?

2. Can FAW be eradicated?

Unfortunately, no. The FAW adult female moth is a strong flyer and has rapidly spread across Africa, into the Near East and Asia, where it is infesting crops, particularly maize. FAW has likely infested millions of hectares of crops and is far too widespread and numerous to be eliminated.

3. Will the situation become worse?

3. Will the situation become worse?

FAW will likely to continue to spread, and FAW populations continue to build, as the pest finds more host plants on which to multiply. The natural enemies of FAW do not exist in all regions. This includes its natural biological enemies (predators like ants and earwigs, specialized parasitoids) and a host of entomopathogens (virus, bacteria and fungi).

4. What is the impact of FAW on international and regional trade?

4. What is the impact of FAW on international and regional trade?

Exports of crops that are preferred host plants for FAW from countries with a confirmed presence of the pest will face new scrutiny from importing countries that haven’t reported FAW. This will include countries in Southern Europe.

5. What can be done to control FAW – by farmers, farm organizations, agriculture departments, extension agents and others?

5. What can be done to control FAW – by farmers, farm organizations, agriculture departments, extension agents and others?

FAO is implementing a bold, transformative and coordinated new Global Action for FAW Control, with measures to strengthen prevention and pest control capacities at a global level. It will complement and bolster ongoing FAO activities on FAW.

 

 

6. What innovative measures can be taken to control FAW?

6. What innovative measures can be taken to control FAW?

FAO is working with member countries around the world to determine the most sustainable and appropriate recommendations for farmers’ actions, and how best to share this information. Programmes are being delivered under FAO’s Global Action. Support is also being delivered through the use of early warning processes such as FAW Monitoring and Early Warning System (FAMEWS). The FAMEWS Mobile App is a free, digital assistant that provides farmers with advice on how to manage FAW, and is available on Google Play. The application guides farmers through scouting for the pest and can help farmers make good decisions in the field. It is available to farmers off-line.

 

 

7. Can pesticides be used to control FAW?

7. Can pesticides be used to control FAW?

There is a strong risk that if Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) are used, they could harm the environment and human health; and could also destroy natural predators of FAW. These pesticides are generally not a sustainable option.

8. Is the use of biological controls recommended for FAW?

8. Is the use of biological controls recommended for FAW?

There are many biological organisms that can help control FAW. Some may be naturally occurring (predators, parasitoids and some entomopathogens). In the Americas, where experience with FAW is extensive, natural predators have demonstrated a 50 percent success rate in killing FAW in the field.

9. What about bio-pesticides and botanical insecticides?

9. What about bio-pesticides and botanical insecticides?

Local, small-scale production of natural enemies and bio-pesticides (e.g. Trichogramma egg parasitoid, Nuclear Polyhedrosis Virus [NPV], or Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria) is one way to support sustainable management of FAW, and has been shown to be effective in Brazil and Cuba to curb FAW infestation. Botanical insecticides (e.g. neem, hot pepper, local plants) can be effective against FAW, while not presenting any risks for human health or the environment.