The Helicoverpa armigera caterpillar is causing great damage in many crops in Brazil. It has already been detected in cotton, soybean, tomato, beans, wheat, and in some weeds.
The Citrus Defence Fund (Fundecitrus) reported that, although no official statement had been made, the caterpillar had also been seen in citrus plants in Goiás, Brazil, state where the plague was officially identified in other plantations.
The entity explained that once it was a moth, the Helicoverpa armigera could fly up to a thousand kilometres in three days. It also has a great capacity for reproduction and survival, as well as the potential of developing resistance to insecticides and easily adapting to different environments, climates and farming systems.
According to the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), the Helicoverpa armigera was first detected in Brazil in 2012 and, so far, has caused losses close to 2,000 million reais ($ 858 million dollars).