BIOSECURITY ALERT: Fall armyworm detections rise

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

The Fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) has now been detected in the North Queensland regions of Ayr, Home Hill, further south in Bowen and in Katherine, Northern Territory.

This brings the total number of confirmed detections to nine since the first identification of Fall armyworm on mainland Australia in mid-February 2020.

Due to the fast movement and reproduction rates of the Fall armyworm, the Consultative Committee in Emergency Plant Pests determined it is not feasible to eradicate this pest from Australia.

State and territory governments continue to work alongside Greenlife Industry Australia and various other industry groups to further understand and assess host preference and response strategies for ongoing pest management.

The APVMA have issued a number of permits for the use of certain chemicals to control the pest and are currently assessing additional permit applications for use against Fall armyworm.

Greenlife Industry Australia has assessed the plant protection products available to the nursery production industry under Minor Use Permits and have drafted and submitted a Fall armyworm emergency permit due in April 2020.

To remain up to date with the latest chemical permits and apply, head to:

For more on the Fall armyworm and what you can do to minimise incursion risk, head to:

If you’re concerned that your plants may be infected, please contact the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881 right away – early detection is vital for managing and eradicating pests and disease.

For more information on the Fall armyworm, please go to the Pest ID Tool via

For further information contact National Biosecurity Manager John McDonald via email at or call 07 3277 7900.

Note that the Pest ID tool is now available with free access to industry. An initiative of the Nursery Levy funded National Nursery Industry Biosecurity Program (NY15004) and ‘Building the resilience and on-farm biosecurity capacity of the Australian production nursery’ Project (NY15002).