Officials of the Directorate of Agriculture in Assam has reported Fall armyworm attack on the standing crops in various districts of Assam.
Fall Armyworm – Scientific name being Spodoptera frugiperda – is an insect native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas.
However, because of trade and the moth’s strong flying ability, it has spread across the world. India’s tropical climate could allow the pest to thrive and spread further.
In its larva stage, it can cause significant damage to crops, if not well managed. It primarily affects maize, but can feed on more than 80 additional species of plants (rice, millet, sugarcane, vegetable crops and cotton).
The moth can fly up to 100 km per night and the female moth can lay up to a total of 1,000 eggs in her lifetime.
It can be controlled with insecticides (like lambda-cyhalothrin), through natural predators(such as coccinellid beetles which feed on FAW) or by inter-cropping.
Source : The Hindu