A new invasive moth pest has been detected in Far North Queensland.
Fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) has been found at South Johnstone, Tolga and Lakeland, after detections on two Torres Strait islands, at Bamaga and Georgetown last month.
It is known to feed on more than 350 plant species including maize, cotton, rice, sorghum, sugarcane, wheat and many vegetable and fruit crops. While it will eat banana plants, they are not a preferred host.
Biosecurity Queensland has determined the pest is unable to be eradicated due to its rapid spread, and has established a surveillance program in Far North Queensland.
Given the potential economic impact of the pest, growers are encouraged to keep a look out for it as it is difficult to predict exactly how it might spread in Australia.
Fall armyworm can be confused with a number of armyworm species that are present in Australia. If in doubt, contact the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on 13 25 23.
For more information on the fall armyworm, visit here