What is fall army worm( spodoptera frugiperda)?
The fall army worm (Spodoptera frugiperda) is a lepidopteran pest that feeds in huge amounts on leaves and stems of more than 80 plant species. It can cause serious damage to maize, rice, sorghum, sugarcane and also other vegetable crops and cotton.
Fall army worm is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas. It was first found in the Africa in 2016. In Africa, it is causing serious harm to maize crops. And also it has a huge capability for further spreading and commercial harm.
In Mauritius, it has been first found in March 2019.
How to naturally get rid of fall army worm?
Below there are 10 steps about you can get rid of fall army worms in your garden. Attend these ten steps to remove them and build up a natural Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system!
1 – Fill a bucket half full of hot soapy water. Utilize dish soap for example Dawn. It doesn’t take much, just a teaspoonful for a gallon of water will do the trick.
2 – Manually eradicate the caterpillars from plants and put them in the bucket. They should die instantly, but let them be in the water for an hour or so just to be sure.
3 – As you identify and get rid of armyworms, also search for butterfly caterpillars. If you get any, eradicate them from your garden.
4 – After removing all the armyworms, you can search and eliminate all butterfly caterpillars, use Spinosad to spray your garden.
Note: Spinosad is a natural substance produce from two soil bacterium. This pest deterrent is organic and safe to spray on food crops.
5 – Embark on an IPM by introducing predatory wasps to your garden.
Predatory braconid wasps, Trichogramma wasps, and the long-tailed lchneumon wasps target army worms by laying their eggs inside of armyworm eggs. Their larvae hatch and consume the armyworm larvae.
6 – Expand your natural pest management campaign by utilizing Neem oil pesticide sprays regularly to maintain armyworms and other pests under control.
7 –To prevent armyworm and other caterpillar infestation in your garden, utilize Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) powder.
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a natural bacteria (not a soil insecticide) that is only toxic to caterpillars. It functions by harming their digestive systems. It also gives a helping hand in controlling tomato hornworms and lawn grubs in the larval stage.
8 – Examine your garden on a regular basis and get rid of any moth eggs you find.
9 – At the end of the growing season, turn all the soil in your garden to expose pupae so that predators can eat them.
10 – Set up bird feeders and bird baths near your garden to attract birds. They are natural predators and love to eat army worms.