Fall armyworm update
The first egg mass was found attached to the outside of a gypsy moth surveillance trap in Tauranga’s CBD (before being tested and then destroyed) and since then there have been further detections in the Waikato, Taranaki and Auckland regions.
Kiwifruit is not known to be a host of this pest and therefore KVH, on behalf of the kiwifruit industry, continues to be an observer to activities in response to these detections, rather than a GIA partner who shares decision-making and costs.
Analysis undertaken last year showed it is unlikely to cause widespread biosecurity risk to New Zealand because it’s unlikely to establish in our temperate environment. However, it does feed on more than 350 plant species and can cause crop damage, as well as defoliation in severe cases, so we encourage growers to check orchards and crops as always and report anything of concern – there is a link to an ID sheet to help with this below.
If you think you may have found fall armyworm a great reporting option is to take clear photos and directly upload them via the new online reporting tool. You can also report via the Biosecurity New Zealand hotline (0800 80 99 66) or the KVH team/office (0800 665 825).