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Use of organic methods in the control of fall army worms

Source(s):  Farmers Review Africa

By Nita Karume


Farmers in East Africa are currently struggling to get through the invasion of the fall armyworm but it is proving to be very difficult. This is due to the lack of rains as well as increased temperatures; providing the best conditions for the multiplication of the pests. Worse still, the worm has spread to the region just when they have planted maize and other crops.


Nevertheless, farmers in Western Kenya have discovered that organic control methods are much more effective in control of the armyworms. Some of the bio-pesticides being by the farmers include Nimbecidine. This neem-based bio-pesticide is not only able to control the fall army-worm, but also aphids, leaf miners, mites, whiteflies, thrips and wireworms. It not only prevents the pest from feeding on the crop, but also interferes with the pest’s ability to lay eggs.

Another effective method is the use of pyrethrum. The white flowers in pyrethrum have active ingredients called pyrethrin. However, those who opt for this method should be privy to the fact that light reduces the effectiveness of the flowers. As such, the flowers should be picked on a warm day when they are open. These should then be dried and stored in an airtight container in the dark.


A cheaper option would be the use of garlic, which also garlic has anti-feedant properties and can also repel most pests. Mix 85g of crushed garlic with 50ml of vegetable oil and add 10ml of liquid soap. Mix 50ml of the garlic and vegetable oil emulsion with 1l of water, shake thoroughly before spraying.


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  • Publication date 06 Jul 2018

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