FAW pheromone traps

Please note that the QDAF FAW trapping program has now finished. Please refer to the links below for information on how to run your own trap.

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Fall armyworm (FAW, Spodoptera frugiperda) is an exotic pest that was first detected on the Australian mainland in February 2020. After state and federal biosecurity organisations determined eradication unfeasible, this pest is now classified as endemic.

In response to this incursion, the Queensland Government has funded a network of pheromone traps to better understand the potential range of FAW in Queensland and how it might impact our cropping and grasslands systems. Initial FAW trapping was run by Biosecurity Queensland; once the pest had been deemed endemic, the field crops entomology team took over the program.

It is important to note that the primary function of pheromone traps is not to provide definitive counts, but to act as an ‘early warning’ for potential egg lays of FAW. In-crop sampling is required to accurately assess the presence of eggs and larvae.

Throughout winter, low levels of FAW moths were detected in the Richmond, Longreach, Emerald and Bundaberg traps, but no larval populations reported. However, large numbers of moths have been detected in Mackay as well as above threshold larval populations.

View a dynamic map of trap catches from February 2020 to April 2023.

In addition to the trapping network, DAF staff will be conducting research to understand the pest status of this insect within our production systems with the aim of identifying and developing a range of sustainable practices (cultural, biological and chemical) to enable effective control.

Insecticide resistance has been a feature of FAW infestations with almost complete failure of all options in Brazil causing significant management issues. When managing FAW, consideration of both potential resistance issues in this pest, and how FAW management will impact on resistance development in Helicoverpa armigera and other species will be necessary.


FAW pheromone trap sites (as at August 2020)

The QLD trapping network is funded by the Queensland Government and would not be possible without our network of trap operators.

Latest fall armyworm pheromone trap counts in NSW


Thank you to NSW DPI and LLS for supporting the NSW trapping network and funding diagnostics in NSW. For further information https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/biosecurity/plant/insect-pests-and-plant-diseases/fall-armyworm

Setting up your own FAW pheromone trap

To successfully operate a pheromone trap(s), you will need to purchase the individual components: the trap (which can also be used with helicoverpa lures), FAW pheromone lures and insecticide cubes to kill the caught moths and prevent them escaping (or damaging themselves if clarification ID is needed). DAF trials indicate that the Pherolure lure (imported by BioLogical Ag) produced the lowest level of by-catch.

Suppliers and information on setting up the traps and sorting bycatch can be found on the Beatsheet’s Pheromone traps page.

More information on FAW generally is available on the FAW page