BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Concern over an insect that’s infected vast stands of Roseau cane in southern Plaquemines Parish has prompted a warning against transporting or transplanting the cane into other parts of Louisiana.
State wildlife officials and the LSU AgCenter say the insect is commonly referred to as Phragmites Scale or Roseau Cane Mealy Bug. It’s native to China or Japan and has had severe effects on vegetation of the Mississippi River Delta.
Roseau cane is a wetland grass that helps protect Louisiana’s bird foot delta. Officials say the infestation has been found as far north as Hospital Bay on the west side of the river and across from Fort Jackson on the east.
Experts urge boaters to wash their boats so they don’t inadvertently transport the scale to other areas of the state.