Maize (Zea mays) is an important food crop in Nigeria, and it is fast becoming the most widely cultivated crop. Several efforts have been made by the Nigeria Government to make the country self-sufficiency in maize production, but some biotic and abiotic factors are impeding this achievement. Among the biotic constraints militating against maize production in Nigeria, armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) is most devastating in recent times. The larvae of this insect pest are the culprits that caused damage to maize plants. They leave several feeding holes on the leaf lamina of the crop, giving maize tattered appearance. The infestation level by armyworm on the field experienced by maize growers in recent times calls for great concern in Nigeria. This outbreak is not out of mere coincidence, but a result of numerous factors which is chiefly driven by climate change. Climatic change over the years has altered temperature, moisture, relative humidity and CO2 concentration in our ecosystem. These changes seem to favour the proliferation of pests, even making secondary pests like armyworm to become a major pest of maize in Nigeria and Africa at large. In this paper, we reviewed the biology of armyworm, the influence of climate change on pest prevalence and some control measures for coping with armyworm infestation. Integrated pest management was advocated as the most sustainable management approach.
Key words: Armyworm, temperature, rainfall, maize, integrated pest management.
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