About the Fall Armyworm (or Fall Army Worm) and Beet Armyworm (Beet Army Worm) Infestation

Perhaps you’re here because you’ve heard all the hubbub about the Fall Armyworm and Beet Army Worm infestation. Despite being called ‘Armyworms’, these are actually caterpillars. Here at All About Worms, we think caterpillars are generally cute and lovable, but we know some of their feeding behaviors can be rather destructive and, well, unlovable. Plenty of people view caterpillars solely as pests since they can destroy the foliage of plants and trees in a matter of days if enough of them inhabit one crop. In other words, they can be a real headache for farmers and gardeners. While plants and trees can sometimes withstand the damage and easily bounce back to good health, the caterpillars can cause irreversible harm. Currently, there are two caterpillars species that are causing havoc around the world.

Most notable is the Fall Armyworm caterpillar, which is the larva of the Fall Armyworm Moth (yes, that does seem oxymoronic, or redundant, or something). This caterpillar is currently eating its way through Africa and Asia. The Fall Armyworm, which eats maize as well as roughly 80 other crops, is native to tropical and subtropical parts of North America and South America, but in 2016 it appeared as an invasive species in Africa. Since then, it has spread to 28 countries in Africa, destroying crops and causing economic damage. Fall Armyworm populations have now spread to Asia, and populations have been reported in India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Since Fall Armyworm Moths can fly up to 100 km a night, and females can lay up to 1,000 eggs in a lifetime, it is easy to assume this infestation will spread to other Asian countries in the next couple months or years. Scientists fear the infestation will reach China, the world’s second largest producer of maize, if preventive measures aren’t put into place ASAP. There is now an app in place that farmers can use to report Fall Armyworm populations. This data helps officials to track the caterpillars and gather information to help prevent further spread.

Like the Fall Armyworm, the Beet Armyworm population is also suspected to explode soon. Beet Armyworms, which primarily eat scallion and onion crops,  are originally native to Asia, but have spread worldwide and are now found in most places where crops are present. In parts of England, agricultural experts are convinced that there is about to be an intense Beet Armyworm infestation. Farmers have been encouraged to monitor their fields carefully, checking for egg sacks and larvae every three days. As in Africa with the Fall Armyworm, a Beet Armyworm infestation in England will lead to crop damage and significant economic loss.

In conclusion, the “wanted dead or alive” outlaws of the worm world are currently two caterpillars that are causing some serious issues around the world. The Fall Armyworm has eaten its way through Africa and is now spreading through Asia, destroying maize crops and leaving farmers in economic distress. The Beet Armyworm population is predicted to spike in England, causing similar issues for onion and scallion crop farmers there.

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About the Fall Armyworm (or Fall Army Worm) and Beet Armyworm (Beet Army Worm) Infestation
Article Name
About the Fall Armyworm (or Fall Army Worm) and Beet Armyworm (Beet Army Worm) Infestation
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The "wanted dead or alive" outlaws of the worm world are currently two caterpillars that are causing some serious issues around the world. The Fall Armyworm has eaten its way through Africa and is now spreading through Asia, destroying maize crops and leaving farmers in economic distress. The Beet Armyworm population is predicted to spike in England, causing similar issues for onion and scallion crop farmers there.
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