FALL ARMY WORM - A SERIOUS PEST IN MAIZE/CORN, Impact and 5 effective control measures

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Fall Armyworm    (Spodoptera frugiperda) causes crop damage to larger extent in maize or corn.

Fall army worm on maize

Damage on Corn/Maize.

  • Fall Armyworms usually feed at night and damage corn by chewing leaves. They prefer to feed on the succulent leaves in the whorl first.
  • Feeding is usually confined to leaf margins, but occasionally they may strip the entire plant leaving only the midrib of the leaves.

Fall army worm Injury on corn/Maize

  • During the day, armyworms are found in the soil or underneath ground cover.
  • Ragged leaf feeding in the spring and early summer is evidence of armyworm feeding.

Fall army worm on maize crop damage

Stages of Armyworm:

Egg: Eggs are small, greenish-white, globular, and laid in clusters of 25 or more on the leaves of grasses.

Cut worm Fall army worm eggs on maize crop

Larvae: The full-grown 1-1/2 inch armyworm has a greenish brown body with a thin stripe down the center and two orange stripes along each side. The head is brown with dark honeycombed markings.

Fall army worm larva

Pupa : Pupal stage of armyworms is in soil.

Fall army worm pupa in the soil

Moths: The adult moth is tan with a tiny white spot in the center of the forewings. The moth has a wingspan of about 1-3/4 inches.

Fall army worm moth

Integrated control measures need to be followed to control the fall army worm

The moths lay eggs at the base of leaves of any plants including the weeds in and around the main fields. The weeds need to be removed or weeds need to be sprayed with chemicals with ovicidal properties, so that the egg stage will be killed making larval embryo die inside the egg itself.

    1. Jashn  2 mL /L + Econeem plus  1 % - 1 mL/L of water.                     Fall army worm killing eggs
    2. Pheromone traps for attracting the moths and killing before egg laying, SPODOPTERA FRUGIPERDA [FAW- Fall Army Worm] pheromone traps may be installed at the fields. 4-5 traps per acre. traps and lures are available on Bighaat.com
    3. Bird perchs can be installed in the fields to make birds sit and eat off the larvae on the leaves.
    4. Light traps with poison bait can also be installed in the fields during nights to kill the gravid moths.
    5. Chemical control may be made by spraying some of the insecticides provided below

    Following chemicals may be used to kill the pest. Spraying in the evening will be effective since they come out to feed in the night times.

    1. Plethora 2 mL/L + Econeem plus 1 % - 1 mL/LFall army worm control spray
    1. Coragen33 mL/L + Neemark 1 % -1 mL/L and if required

     Fall army worm spray control chemicals

    and  if required

    1. Ema Gold 0.5 gm/L + Neemark 1 % -1 mL/L

     Fall army worm control spraying

    The army worm will be dwelling in the soil and will be coming out to feed the baiting technique may be an effective method to kill them. As the bait has attractant jaggery the larvae gets attracted to jaggery, feed on the bait mixture and will be killed avoiding them to feed on the corn plants. Bait mixture made in to small balls must be broadcasted evenly all over the maize plot preferably atb  the base of plants .

    The process of baiting can be a mixture of 3 components,

    1. Poison (Insecticide) 1 liter : 2. Carrier or base (Rice bran) 10 kg , and Attractant (Jaggery) 1 kg. Mix all the items with given ratio to prepare the bait mixture.

    The poison may a stomach poison insecticide can be used like Malathion or Phoskill.


    Fall army worm chemical control for baiting


    The poison may a stomach poison insecticide can be used like Malathion or Phoskill.

     Fall army worm chemical control stomach poison


    Senior Agronomist, BigHaat.

    Disclaimer: The performance of the product (s) is subject to usage as per manufacturer guidelines. Read enclosed leaflet of the product(s) carefully before use. The use of this product(s)/ information is at the discretion of user.

    1 comment

    • Mounir Khamis

      Dear sirs. I am a corn silage producer. I have a problem with the green worms which are attacking my fields at early stage and destroying the corn leaves. Since I am using the drip irrigation it’s difficult for me to enter and spray the fields with chemicals. My question is if I add the chemicals by drip is it possible to kill the worms ?

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