Top tips for managing Fall armyworm

1. Know if the pest is in your area 

Moth surveillance is an important first action in management because it alerts growers the presence of local fall armyworm activity.

2. Follow up with regular in-crop monitoring for larvae and signs of damage

If in doubt about which species of larvae is in your crop, send clear images of the head and tail to:

3. Optimise control costs by timely application of selective insecticides on above threshold populations

If sprays are warranted, act fast with full-rates of insecticide to target small larvae before they establish in whorls of plants, at which point control will be more difficult to achieve.

4. Approach control with an IPM focus and take advantage of natural enemies present in crops

Make spray decisions that will conserve beneficial insects which help suppress fall armyworm populations in your crop. Consider biological options such as Bt and virus products as part of an IPM strategy.

5. Know which chemicals are likely to be MOST effective on fall armyworm

Selective insecticides such spinosyns (Group 5, e.g. Entrust®, SuccessNeo®), emamectin benzoate (Group 6, e.g. Affirm®, Proclaim®) and chlorantraniliprole (Group 28, e.g. Altacor®, Coragen®) are likely to provide effective control if used correctly.

6. Know which chemicals are NOT effective on fall armyworm

FAW has high levels of resistance to synthetic pyrethroids such as alpha-cypermethrin and growers are advised to avoid these products because they will not control of fall armyworm and they will destroy crop beneficials.

7. Be mindful of the effect your insecticide sprays could be having on other pests in the crop

Overuse of selective insecticides will increase resistance levels in fall armyworm and Helicoverpa armigera. Use a planned approach to insecticide selection and chemical rotation in maize and sorghum to minimise resistance risk.

8. Further information on fall armyworm identification and treatment options is available at:

Lisa Bird
Ph: 0438623906

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are a general guide only, not comprehensive or specific technical advice. Circumstances vary from farm to farm. To the fullest extent permitted by law, NSWDPI expressly disclaims all liability for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information, statement or opinion in this presentation or from any errors or omissions in this document. The product trade names in this publication are supplied as examples on the understanding that no preference between equivalent products is intended and that the inclusion of a product does not imply endorsement by NSWDPI over any other equivalent product from another manufacturer. Any information regarding pesticides or their use in this publication does not constitute a recommendation for that particular use by the authors or the author’s organisations. All pesticide applications must accord with the currently registered label or permit for that particular pesticide, crop, pest and region.