Fall Armyworm

6 June 2023

Managing the plant pest fall armyworm

Fall Armyworm thrives in warm climates. Growers are encouraged to look for signs of it, particularly on volunteer maize and corn plants. Information about this pest and what to look for can be found here.

Better Border Biosecurity (B3) has established a research programme to understand the survival, distribution and potential impacts of Fall Armyworm in New Zealand. From September 2022, more than 200 Fall Armyworm pheromone traps will be distributed around the country to support the B3 research work. 

While there are insecticides that have proven to be effective, growers must check with their distributor, marketer, and/or processor regarding the use of agrichemicals.

Work is being done to identify possible Fall Armyworm controls, and agrichemical companies are being encouraged to register suitable products for control.


On-site Fall Armyworm management options

 If you are a grower and suspect or have detected Fall Armyworm on your crops: 

  • Take a clear dorsal (top down) photo – the caterpillars you photograph should be at least 2cm long
  • Freephone the Biosecurity New Zealand pest and disease hotline (0800 80 99 66) or make a report online 
  • Alternatively, report the detection using the Find-A-Pest app 

Note that Fall Armyworm can easily be mistaken for other species that are already in New Zealand. These three other species are often confused with FAW.


Click here for the Fall Armyworm quick growers' guide

Click here for a Fall Armyworm identification sheet

Click here for a Fall Armyworm factsheet