PestFacts WA

Native budworm activity update

A pheromone native budworm trap in lupins
A pheromone native budworm trap in lupins. Photo courtesy of Amber Balfour-Cunningham (DPIRD).

Volunteer farmers and agronomists have commenced weekly pheromone trapping for native budworm moths during the past week. This trapping is part of a program to monitor the annual native budworm migratory flights from eastern pastoral areas into the grainbelt and the potential risk of caterpillars to pulse and canola crops.

These traps complement the traps already put out earlier in the year by DPIRD staff and Mingenew Irwin Group, West Midlands Group, Liebe Group and South East Agronomy Services as part of co-investments with DPIRD, GRDC and iMapPESTS projects.

An adult native budworm moth.
An adult native budworm moth. Photo courtesy of DPIRD.

Although large numbers of native budworm moths were recorded flying into areas of the northern and north eastern cropping areas earlier this year over the last few weeks relatively low numbers have been captured. To read about previous native budworm activity this season refer to the 2022 PestFacts WA Issue 7 article Native budworm moths and caterpillars are being found early.

Native budworm moth captures over the last two weeks include: Beacon (42 moths) Yarragadee (21), Maya (18), Lake Hinds (15), Kondinin (7), Dandanning (3) and Kellerberrin (3).

Sweep netting of a canola crop at Yarragadee, that is near a native budworm trap, produced an average of four caterpillars per 10 sweeps.

Results of this week's trappings are available at the department’s Native budworm moth numbers 2022.

A mapped view of the native budworm trap captures is available at Cesar Australia’s MothTrapVisWA page. Viewers need to select the desired trapping date range.

The trap numbers only provide an indication of the pests’ activity and cannot be relied upon for control decisions. Only the use of a sweep net to regularly check crops can give growers confidence in the levels of budworm caterpillars present.

Pesticide options for the control of native budworm can be found in DPIRD’s 2022 winter spring insecticide guide

Detailed information on this pest can be found at the department’s Management and economic thresholds for native budworm.

For more information contact Technical Officer Alan Lord, South Perth +61 (0)8 9368 3758 or +61 (0)409 689 468.



Article author: Alan Lord (DPIRD South Perth).