Patrick Fallet

Research interests

The fall armyworm (FAW; Spodoptera frugiperda) is a lepidopteran pest native to the Americas. Recently, FAW invaded Africa and large parts of Asia where it is causing important damage to a large variety of crops, but most importantly to maize with yield losses up to 50%. Effective, safe and sustainable control measures are desperately needed to ensure food security in the invasive range.

Together with CABI and a team of Rwandan scientists, we are developing a novel strategy to apply entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) for the control of FAW. Our aim is to use a formulation that protects EPN against environmental constraints and that can be easily applied in the centre of maize plants, where FAW larvae spend most of their time. We also intend to identify and incorporate feeding stimulant into the formulation to encourage FAW to feed on the EPN containing substrate. Our approach is currently being tested in laboratory experiments and in field trials in Rwanda.


Fallet, P, Bazagwira, D,  Guenat, J, Bustos, C, Kajuga, J, Mukundwa, IP, Karangwa, P, Toepfer, S, Turlings, TCJ 2022 (preprint). Laboratory and field trials reveal the potential of entomopathogenic nematodes as biocontrol agents for the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda). bioRxiv Ecology: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.02.03.479057v1.abstract

Fallet, P, De Gianni, L, Machado, RAR, Bruno, P, Bernal, JS, Karangwa, P, Kajuga, J, Waweru, B, Bazagwira, D, Degen, T, Toepfer, S, Turlings, TCJ 2022. Comparative Screening of Mexican, Rwandan and Commercial Entomopathogenic Nematodes to Be Used against Invasive Fall Armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda. Insects 13: 205. https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4450/13/2/205

Toepfer, S, Fallet, P, Kajuga, J, Bazagwira, D, Mukundwa, IP, Szalai, M, Turlings, TCJ 2021. Streamlining leaf damage rating scales for the fall armyworm on maize. Journal of Pest Science 94: 1075-1089. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10340-021-01359-2

Machado, RAR, Bhat, AH, Abolafia, J, Muller, A, Bruno, P, Fallet, P, Arce, CCM, Turlings, TCJ, Bernal, JS, Kajuga, J, Waweru, B, Toepfer, S 2021. Multi-locus phylogenetic analyses uncover species boundaries and reveal the occurrence of two new entomopathogenic nematode species, Heterorhabditis ruandica n. sp. and Heterorhabditis zacatecana n. sp. Journal of Nematology 53: 1-42. https://sciendo.com/it/article/10.21307/jofnem-2021-089

Fallet, P, Machado, RAR, Toepfer, S, Ye, W, Kajuga, J, Waweru, B, Bazagwira, D, Turlings, TCJ 2020. A Rwandan survey of entomopathogenic nematodes that can potentially be used to control the fall armyworm. IOBC-WPRS Bulletin 150, 87-90.

Patrick Fallet




+41 32 718 31 35

Bureau D125