How to identify a fall army worm and its lifecycle


  • The Fall Army worm moths can lay the eggs on either side of the leaf. The eggs normally take two to three days to hatch in warm tropical conditions.
  • The young caterpillars after hatching then move to the maize funnel where they hide during the day and feed on the young leaves.
  • The caterpillars (larvae) normally grow for 2-3 weeks while feeding on the crops thereby causing great damage.
  • The caterpillars then pupate into the soil with the pupal stage lasting 1-2 weeks.
  • This then leads to the emergence of the adult moth. The female fall army worm then lays eggs in the first 5 days after emergence. This is normally after multiple mating and can live up to three weeks.
  • The adult moth can fly long distances at night to colonize new areas.


Reference: Kenya Fall Army worm Technical Brief