African armyworm in the press

Zimbabwe: Govt Reacts to Armyworm Outbreak

ZIMBABWE: Government has started distributing chemicals to spray armyworms countrywide as efforts to control the pest intensify, an official said yesterday. In an interview, Plant Protection Research Services Institute deputy director in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Dr Godfrey Chikwenhere said they had already started distributing chemicals in all the country's provinces. "We have started distributing chemicals countrywide and we have enough chemicals in stock. Government has assisted us with about $45 000 to buy chemicals and protective clothing," he said "We have Deltamethrin and Cypermethrin used to control armyworms in pasture grasses because they are less toxic to livestock. We also have Karate and Carbaryl to spray in maize and other crops because they have a long residual effect."

The Herald -

Thu 01 January 2015

Zimbabwe: Armyworm Outbreak in Mbire, Muzarabani Districts

ZIMBABWE: AN armyworm outbreak has been reported in Mbire and Muzarabani, Mashonaland Central Province, where the pest is reported to have destroyed at least 26 hectares of sorghum and pastures. The pest rapidly breeds in wet conditions. In an interview yesterday, Plant Protection Research Institute Deputy director in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Dr Godfrey Chikwenhere, said the first armyworm outbreak this year was reported on December 23 in Mbire. "We recorded the first armyworm outbreak on December 23 in Mbire District where about 22 hectares of pastures and sorghum were destroyed," he said.

The Herald -

Tue 30 December 2014

Zimbabwe: Agronomists meet to fight armyworm

ZIMBABWE: Regional crop specialists have agreed to collaborate in the fight to eradicate armyworm which normally destroys cereal crops between December and March each year. The calls to strengthen ties among SADC member states was made at a Capacity Development for Community-based Armyworm Forecasting on Southern Africa workshop held in Harare yesterday. Crop specialists from Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe attended the workshop which was organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Winfred Hammond, a senior entomologist with FAO, told delegates that armyworm and other transboundary pests could have a devastating effect on the region’s food security if left unchecked. “It is important the region develops an early warning system against threats, facilitate and organise joint technical assistance on armyworm in the region,” Hammond said.

Fri 03 October 2014


During the dry season (May-October) there are unlikely to be any armyworm outbreaks reported.

Thu 01 May 2014

Tanzania: Govt supplies pesticide to combat armyworms

Tanzania: Amid infestation of armyworms destroying food and cash crops in the Northern Zone, the government has distributed 1,507 litres of a pesticide, Deltamethrin 25EC, to hold back the pests' spread. In an interview with 'Daily News', Assistant Director of Plant Health Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Mr Cornelius Nkondo, said the government will disburse an additional 500 litres of the pesticide to three regions of Manyara, Arusha and Kilimanjaro.

Daily News

Wed 16 April 2014

TANZANIA: Take Armyworm Warning Seriously

TANZANIA: An alert has been issued of the imminent invasion of the dreaded African armyworm. Preliminary reports say nine regions in the country are threatened with attack by the voracious pest. According to a spokesman of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives Richard Kasuga, so far the armyworms have been spotted in Mtwara, Lindi, Mbeya, Morogoro, Dodoma, Tanga, Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Coast regions. Several of the mentioned regions are also among those currently facing some level of deficit in food stocks and need every kilo to improve the situation. Source: The Guardian.

Thu 27 March 2014

Zimbabwe: Armyworm Wreaks Havoc in Manicaland

ZIMBABWE: AT least 15 hectares of rapoko and sorghum have been destroyed by armyworms across the country, a senior official has said. In an interview, Plant Protection Research Institute (PPRI) head Dr Godfrey Chikwenhere said the worm predominantly affected crops in Nyamaropa, Chimanimani, Birchenough Bridge and Masvingo. "The problem was attributed to the dry spell that the country was experiencing over the past two weeks creating conditions that promoted the reproduction of the armyworms.

Sat 15 March 2014

SOUTH AFRICA: Armyworm outbreak alert

Farmers are advised to inspect their lands for armyworm infestations after an outbreak was reported in the Klipdrif area of the Potchefstroom district.

Marthinus Beytell farms some 20km from Potchefstroom and has lost about 50% of a 70ha camp of natural grazing virtually overnight.

"Three or four days ago the veld looked fantastic, but so far we've lost the bulk of grazing. Our neighbours also reported serious infestations", he said.

Farmer's Weekly

Tue 25 February 2014

Southern Africa: Crop-eating pests plague southern African farmers

Southern Africa: The rainy season, always welcome in often dry southern Africa, has brought with it favourable breeding conditions for army worms and red locusts. The crop-eating pests are contributing to the woes of subsistence farmers already struggling to recover from setbacks in the last farming cycle.

In Zimbabwe, where the World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that 2.2 million people now require food assistance, more than 800 hectares of cereal grain crops and 300 hectares of pasture have been destroyed by outbreaks of army worms.


Fri 07 February 2014

Zimbabwe: Armyworm outbreak hits Manicaland

ZIMBABWE: An armyworm scare has hit parts of Manicaland, with a sizeable hectarage of the staple maize crop and green pastures suffering severe attacks from the devastating caterpillars.

Manica Post

Fri 31 January 2014

Zimbabwe: Rains Control Armyworm Outbreak

ZIMBABWE: The current heavy rains have helped reduce army worm damage to crops and pastures, the Plant Protection Research Institute has said. Head of the PPRI Dr Godfrey Chikwenhere said the recent army worm attacks in Mashonaland Central and Midlands did not have severe effects as the infestation was washed away by the rains.

Fri 10 January 2014

AUSTRALIA: Tasmanian farmers warned of (southern) armyworm threat - UPDATE

UPDATE: Reported outbreak of armyworm in Tanzania or not African armyworms but Southern armyworms (Persectania ewingii) - thanks to Lionel Hill, Catherine Byrne and others for clarifying this.

Australia: Tasmanian farmers are being warned to watch for a hungry bug that poses a threat to their crops.

The Primary Industries Department says armyworm caterpillars were spotted in barley and grass in the state's north-west around Christmas.

ABC News

Thu 09 January 2014

BOTSWANA on High Alert for African Armyworm Outbreak: Official

BOTSWANA: Agricultural officials in Botswana has been placed on high alert to deal with a suspected armyworm outbreak across the country, the spokesperson of the country's Ministry of Agriculture said on Monday.

Geoffrey Pheko, the spokesperson in the ministry, said in a telephone interview with Xinhua that teams has been dispatched to monitor the situation and search for clues of the armyworm invasion throughout the country to ensure early detection. "Suspicion has been raised by farmers in the southern part of the country. Moth, suspected to be armyworm, was detected in Mmathethe area near Lobatse (a city in the southern part near the border with the neighboring South Africa)," said Pheko.

Last year, armyworm invaded most parts of Botswana and the better part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. The invasion by armyworm caused extensive damage to crops in Botswana together with this diamond rich nation's neighbors such as Zambia, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Sat 28 December 2013

ZIMBABWE: Armyworm Control

ZIMBABWE: The Department of Plant Protection Research Institute has started distributing chemicals for armyworm control ahead of the summer cropping season. The department has teams that are monitoring the pest in different areas for forecasting [armyworm outbreaks].

Thu 17 October 2013

*** ARMYWORM SEASON 2012-2013 CLOSES ***

*** ARMYWORM SEASON 2012-2013 CLOSES ***

SYNOPSIS: The 2012-13 African armyworm season witnessed extensive outbreaks throughout southern Africa, with major outbreaks reported between December 2012 and June 2013 in at least 9 countries, including (in chronological order): Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho and Ethiopia.

See the press reports below for details.

Wed 31 July 2013

ETHIOPIA: Army Worm Destroys 8,368 Hectare of Cropland Region

ETHIOPIA: Close to 8,368ha of belg cropland was reportedly destroyed by army worms in Wolayita zone of Southern Regional State, an area that suffered from late onset of the 2013 belg rains and subsequent heavy rains that damaged belg crops, a weekly Humanitarian Bulletin, published by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs revealed.

Sun 09 June 2013

South Africa: Army worm outbreak worries farmers

SOUTH AFRICA: Emerging farmers in the OR Tambo area are concerned at the recent "unusual" outbreak of army worms which started to make their way onto their maize plantations about a week ago.

Fri 05 April 2013

South Africa: Swift Actions Taken to Rectify the Army Worm Outbreak

SOUTH AFRICA: The Honourable MEC for Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR) Zoleka Capa has called for calm among farmers that are affected by the recent outbreak of army worms that are destroying maize in parts of the OR Tambo District Municipality.

Wed 03 April 2013

Southern Africa: SADC Food Security Early Warning System

SOUTHERN AFRICA: Armyworm outbreaks that were reported earlier in the season in several countries in the region have largely been contained. These countries include Botswana, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. However, recent reports indicate outbreaks occurring in South Africa and Lesotho. Efforts are currently underway to contain the outbreak in Lesotho.

Agromet Update

Mon 01 April 2013

Zambia: Hunger Looms in Nangwenya Ward in Chongwe District

ZAMBIA: Acute hunger has hit villagers in Nangwenya Ward in Chongwe distrct in Lusaka province .... Ms Sakala [Ward Councillor] attributed the hunger situation in the area as due to [army] worms that ravaged the farms as well as the dry spell that Nangwenya Ward experienced in the 2012/2013 farming season"

Mon 01 April 2013