Fall army worm – Spodoptera frugiperda has become an important pest on several crops in India, causing extensive economic losses to farmers in current crop seasons. This infests on 100 crop species including maize, sorghum, millets, rice and also commercial crops like cotton and turmeric. It is native pest in Americas, entered now into India through trade and also by flying in the air; became a devastating pest due to lack of its natural enemies and this is spreading without control.
Farmers should be aware about the need for understanding its life cycle, vulnerable stages to easily control the pest. This pest completes its life cycle in about 50-60 days and it has 4 stages egg, larva, pupa and adult flying moth.
Pheromone traps @ 5 per acre are useful for monitoring the pest, if installed 10-12 would help in mass trapping also. Neem based applications control th early stages of the pest like eggs and small larvae. However if the pest reached economically damaging levels, mud slurry application in plant whorls, botanical sprays like Chilli garlic extract, Agni astra are effective.
Release of parasites like Trichogramma and spray of fungal formulations of Metarhizium or Beauveria would help in control of the pest. Bird perches attract the predatory birds to rest on them and prey upon big larvae. Farmer should shift from mono cropping to diversity based cropping system including trap crops like castor on farm bunds would help.
Fall army worm management through natural farming methods.
Pheomone chemicals – Raghunath – 9440897918
Light trap – Mahadev – 7356227888