Fall Armyworm Control Services
Fall Armyworm Control Services

Fall Armyworm in Kenya

Fall Armyworm Control in Kenya
Fall Armyworm Control in Kenya

Jopestkil Kenya Fall Armyworm Control services, Jopestkil Kenya provides armyworms control strategies which include pesticides, cultural practices, natural enemies, IPM, and resistance. The IPM and host plant resistance are the most appropriate control strategy. Approach to breeding in host plant resistance is the best long‐term control strategy. Or call 0723 362 334 / 0733 650 805. The fall armyworm feeds primarily on corn but will also feed on cotton, alfalfa, clover, peanuts, grasses, tobacco, and many garden crops. Larval feeding causes extensive damage to leaves, tassels and ears of corn. Identification can be done with adults or larvae. Adult moths have dark gray forewings mottled with light and dark spots and grayish-white hind wings. Larvae start green and range from light tan to nearly black as they mature. They also have three noticeable yellow-white lines down their backs. The tell-tale mark of fall armyworms is the inverted y-shape between their eyes.

Fall armyworm (Spodoptera Frugiperda) is a destructive pest that primarily targets maize (corn) crops. It is a moth species belonging to the family Noctuidae. The life cycle of fall armyworm consists of several stages: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa, and adult.

Life cycle of the Fall Armyworm

Adult moths are 20 to 25 mm long and have a wingspan of 32-38 mm. They are nocturnal and most active during the warm, humid evenings. Females lay their eggs in clusters of 150-200 and can lay up to 2000 eggs in a lifetime. Eggs are white, pinkish or light green and spherical, and are usually laid on the underside of the leaves. The larvae (caterpillars) are 30-40 mm long. They have six instars that vary in colour from light tan to green to black. They have a distinct white inverted Y-shaped mark on the front of the head and four large spots on the upper surface of the last segment. Pupae are reddish brown and measure 13 to 17 mm in length. The eggs hatch after 3-5 days. Over the next 2 to 3 weeks, the larvae pass through 5-6 stages and the pupal stage takes 9-13 days

Damage symptoms

The developing larvae eat different parts of the host plant, depending on the crop, the stage of crop development, and the age of the larvae. On maize, young larvae usually feed on leaves, creating a characteristic windowing effect. This damage and moist sawdust-like frass near the funnel and upper leaves can be an easily spotted sign of larval feeding. After feeding, the leaves appear ragged or torn (similar to hailstorm damage in appearance).

Fall armyworm possesses several features that make it challenging to control effectively. Here are some of the key characteristics of fall armyworm that contribute to its difficulty in control:

Rapid Reproduction: Fall armyworm has a high reproductive potential, with females capable of laying up to 1,500 eggs in their lifetime. This rapid reproduction allows their populations to grow quickly, leading to large infestations within a short period.
High Mobility: Fall armyworm moths are strong fliers and can travel long distances, aided by wind currents. This mobility allows them to migrate across large areas, infesting new regions and making it challenging to predict and prevent their spread.

Nocturnal Feeding Behavior: Fall armyworm larvae primarily feed during the night, making it difficult to detect and monitor their activity.

Polyphagous Nature: Fall armyworm is a polyphagous pest, meaning it feeds on a wide range of host plants. While maize is its preferred host, it can also attack other important crops such as rice, sorghum, cotton, and vegetables. This broad host range enables the pest to survive and thrive in various agricultural systems, making management efforts more complex.

Cryptic behavior: Fall armyworm larvae have a tendency to hide within the whorls of maize plants, making them less visible and harder to reach with control measures. Their ability to conceal themselves within the plant structure offers protection from predators and control agents.

Overlapping Life Stages: Fall armyworm populations often exhibit overlapping life stages, with eggs, larvae, and pupae present simultaneously. This complicates control strategies since the application of insecticides needs to target multiple life stages at different times to achieve effective control.
To control fall armyworm in maize crops, it’s crucial to consider the key characteristics of the pest that make it challenging to control.

Steps to effectively eradicate fall armyworm using insecticides while addressing its difficult-to-control features:

Early Detection and Monitoring: Regularly monitor maize fields to detect fall armyworm infestations at their early stages. Focus on scouting susceptible growth stages, such as whorl and pre-tassel stages, as fall armyworm larvae are more vulnerable during these periods.

Insecticide Selection: Choose insecticides with multiple modes of action to minimize the risk of resistance development.

Application Timing: Application timing of insecticide to target small larvae when they are actively feeding and more susceptible to control measures. Coordinate insecticide applications with the pest’s life cycle, considering its nocturnal feeding behavior.

Application Method: Ensure thorough coverage of the maize plants, particularly targeting the areas where fall armyworm larvae typically hide, such as the whorls and leaf folds. Adjust application techniques to improve penetration into the canopy and reach hidden larvae effectively.

Application Rate and Frequency: Follow the recommended insecticide application rates as per label instructions.

Fall Armyworm Control

The control of the Fall Armyworm (FAW) is essential for protecting maize crops from significant damage and yield loss.

The surest way to control FAW currently is through known tough insecticide combinations. It is important to carefully follow the instructions on the label and use protective gear when applying pesticides.

Such combinations are:

Escort 50 EC 20-25 ml + Integra 3ml in 20 litres of water.
Occasion Star 200 SC 3ml + Integra 3ml in 20 litres of water.
Indoking 300 SC 3ml + Integra 3ml in 20 litres of water.
Legacy Extreme 500 WDG 2g + Integra 3ml in 20 litres of water.
Ranger 480 EC 20ml + Integra 3ml in 20 litres of water.
It is important to use the above combination to effectively control FAW and protect your maize crops. Greenlife Crop Protection Africa can assist with providing expert guidance on the most effective methods for controlling FAW.

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