Army worms hit Zimbabwe


Zimbabwe has been hit by an outbreak of army worms which has destroyed maize crops in a country suffering from a food shortage because of drought. 

The state-owned Herald newspaper reports that the government has sent pesticides to the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces in an effort to curb the outbreak. 

"If not controlled properly, there can be re-infestation and the fall army worms may go on to attack the cob. The pest should be sprayed when it is young," entomologist Godfrey Chikwenhere is quoted as saying. 

"Farmers should not irrigate immediately after spraying and also should not spray when they expect rains as the chemical will be washed away," he added.

Last month, Zambia used military planes to fly pesticides to farming areas hit by army worms.

The pests are called army worms because they eat most vegetation in their way and can destroy entire fields.

They were devouring crops in six of the southern African state's 10 provinces.  

Maize is a staple diet in Zimbabwe and Zambia.