Prospects for microbial control of the fall armyworm
Microbial-based pesticides have long been considered as one of a low-risk approaches for pest management and have earlier been discussed in the context of fall armyworm control. Recently, we compile information on microbials including entomopathogenic fungi, entomopathogenic nematodes, bacteria, baculoviruses and combinations of microbial agents and also mixtures with compatible insecticides, with a special focus on their efficacy against fall armyworm. Although many microbial pesticide species have been found effective against fall armyworm in many countries, while only a relatively small number of the identified biopesticide registered that can be used against fall armyworm. In addition, most countries allow the use of indigenous microbial agents. Therefore, there is a growing need for international collaboration in sharing biopesticides which have proven effective under laboratory and field trials to facilitate management of this globally important invasive species. We suggested to increase research efforts to study e.g. the optimal combinations of biopesticides and conventional pesticides, as well as to test innovative approaches such as improved formulations to make agents more effective and protect them from detrimental environmental factors. Governments and international organizations also have an important role to play, e.g. by providing knowledge and advice or subsidising biopesticides for farmers.