Pest risk assessment of Spodoptera frugiperda for the European Union

@risk, fall armyworm, migration, quantitative risk assessment, pathway model, pestestablishment, phytosanitary measures
First published in the EFSA Journal
31 August 2018
21 June 2018
Scientific Opinion


EFSA was asked for a partial risk assessment of Spodoptera frugiperda for the territory of the EU focussing on the main pathways for entry, factors affecting establishment, risk reduction options and pest management. As a polyphagous pest, five commodity pathways were examined in detail. Aggregating across these and other pathways, we estimate that tens of thousands to over a million individual larvae could enter the EU annually on host commodities. Instigating risk reduction options on sweetcorn, a principal host, reduces entry on that pathway 100‐fold. However, sweetcorn imports are a small proportion of all S. frugiperda host imports, several of which are already regulated and further regulation is estimated to reduce the median number entering over all pathways by approximately 10%. Low temperatures limit the area for establishment but small areas of Spain, Italy and Greece can provide climatic conditions suitable for establishment. If infested imported commodities are distributed across the EU in proportion to consumer population, a few hundreds to a few thousands of individuals would reach NUTS 2 regions within which suitable conditions for establishment exist. Although S. frugiperda is a known migrant, entry directly into the EU from extant populations in sub‐Saharan Africa is judged not feasible. However, if S. frugiperda were to establish in North Africa, in the range of thousands to over two million adults could seasonally migrate into the southern EU. Entry into suitable NUTS2 areas via migration will be greater than via commercial trade but is contingent on the establishment of S. frugiperda in North Africa. The likelihood of entry of the pest via natural dispersal could only be mitigated via control of the pest in Africa. If S. frugiperda were to arrive and become a pest of maize in the EU, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) or broad spectrum insecticides currently used against existing pests could be applied.

Panel members at the time of adoption

Claude Bragard, David Caffier, Thierry Candresse, Elisavet Chatzivassiliou, Katharina Dehnen‐Schmutz, Gianni Gilioli, Jean‐Claude Gregoire, Josep Anton Jaques Miret, Michael Jeger, Alan MacLeod, Maria Navajas Navarro, Bjorn Niere, Stephen Parnell, Roel Potting, Trond Rafoss, Vittorio Rossi, Gregor Urek, Ariena Van Bruggen, Wopke Van der Werf, Jonathan West and Stephan Winter.
Panel on Plant Health
alpha [at]
EFSA Journal 2018;16(8):5351
Question Number
On request from
European Commission