Fall Armyworm

The Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), FAW, is an insect native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas. FAW larvae (photo) can feed on more than 80 crop species, including maize, rice, sorghum, millet, sugarcane, vegetable crops and cotton. FAW can cause significant yield losses if not under natural control or well managed.

It can have several generations per year and the moth can fly up to 100 km per night. FAW was first detected in Central and Western Africa in early 2016 (Benin,Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, and Togo) and further reported and confirmed in the whole of mainland Southern Africa (except Lesotho), in Madagascar and Seychelles (Island State).

It has then quickly spread across virtually all of Sub-Saharan Africa. In July 2018, it was confirmed in India and Yemen. By December 2018, it had been reported in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Thailand. As at June 2019, it has been reported in Myanmar, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia and Vietnam, Egypt and the Republic of Korea. Japan reported presence of FAW in July 2019.