Fall armyworms, damaging crops worldwide, discovered in Japan for first time

KAGOSHIMA, July 4 – Fall armyworm larvae have been found in a field corn crop in Minamikyushu, Kagoshima Prefecture, the first discovery of the exotic invasive pest in the country, the Kagoshima Prefectural Government announced on July 3.

The prefectural government is working together with the agricultural ministry to prevent the spread of the insect, a type of moth that have been causing great damage to crops worldwide in recent years.

The ministry, which has been preparing for possible invasion of the pest, believes the insect flew into the prefecture.

Fall armyworm larvae eat away gramineous crops such as rice and corn, as well as turnips, cucumbers, tomatoes, egg plants, sweet potatoes and soybeans.

The worms spread in African countries and the damage has also been reported in China and Taiwan this year, according to the farm ministry.

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