Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Home Farming Tips How To Control Fall Armyworm

How To Control Fall Armyworm

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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The fall armyworm is a heavy feeder, which quickly destroys the maize crop. If not checked, it can destroy an entire crop. It can spread fast and fly for over 30km in the night.

 Set traps

Use pheromone traps similar to those used to trap fruit flies to monitor the arrival of moths. When one first notices them, one should look for the distinctive white dot on their forewings. This will show that the worms have arrived. It will then be time to start inspecting plants closely to see if the worms have already laid eggs there. The traps will net most of the male moths, affecting the mating process. These traps are available in agri-inputs stores.

Look out for larvae

Caterpillars will often be found feeding on the undersides of leaves and on new growths. You can avoid more damage to the crops by picking the caterpillars from the crops. However, do not kill them on the farm because they may have eggs that may drop on the farm and continue with the growth process. Rather, have a bucket with a disinfectant chemical and drop them in. Then dispose of them in a pit and cover them, far from the farm.

Plant early

Planting early at the beginning of the season is important because the worms attack fairly late in the season.

Sand

Some farmers put drops of sand or grainy soil in the whorls of maize (middle parts of the plant) to prevent the caterpillars from feeding on them.

 Birds

Birds like moths and pull larvae from the plants and soil. Before you plant, allow birds to scavenge through the drying grasses on the farm.

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