Fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, is a major pest of maize that was first detected in Bangladesh in 2018 and rapidly spread throughout the maize-growing areas. The presence of FAW was monitored using sex pheromone traps. Farmers' pest management practices were assessed through a questionnaire. The damage is most apparent in the early and late whorl stages. As the crop is grown mostly from November to April, both vegetative and reproductive growth stages remain vulnerable to extensive damage. The survey results showed that 100% of the farmers used pesticides for FAW control, 40.4% handpicked and crushed egg masses, 75.8% handpicked and crushed caterpillars, and only 5.4% used other techniques like applying ash/sand in the funnel of maize. Commonly used pesticides included Spinosad, Emamectin benzoate, Imidacloprid, and others. Thirty-four percent of farmers applied pesticides twice in a season and 48% applied pesticides three times in a season and 54% and 39% of farmers sprayed chemicals at 7-day and 15-day intervals, respectively. FAW causes an average economic loss of 37.7% in maize production without pesticides. Increased use of pesticides to control FAW poses hazards to human health, wildlife, and the environment, and is expensive. Therefore, well-tested agroecological practices and bio-control agents are needed for sustainable FAW management.
Keywords: economic analysis of pesticide use; fall armyworm; farmers perception; integrated pest management; invasive species; transboundary pest.