Monday, 17 February 2020
The Fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) is an exotic pest that has been detected on the northern Torres Strait Islands of Saibai and Erub in January 2020, and more recently on the tip of Cape York (Bamaga) in February. This is the first incidence of Fall armyworm being detected in Australia.
This pest poses a significant risk to Australia’s nursery industry, and production nurseries are urged to implement rigorous plant protection protocols to reduce the risk of incursion.
Known to eat and destroy more than 350 plant species when caterpillar population levels are high, the destruction of crops can almost occur overnight.
Detection of this pest in Australia has been in the form of Adult fall armyworms (moths), which were caught in surveillance traps managed by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment’s Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy (NAQS).
Although detection sites were a significant distance from the nearest commercial production areas in Lakeland
Downs and Atherton Tableland, growers are urged to remain on alert.