Have you ever heard of the species Nipponaclerda biwakoensis? Probably not. But you soon might just hear more about this devastating pest.
Roseau cane is a wetlands grass that provides not only habitats for fish and birds, but an important defense against coastal erosion in the Mississippi Delta. Lately, however, large amounts of the cane have been dying off. But thanks to weeks of research by Louisiana State University and entomologist Scott Schneider of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the cause of the damage has been attributed to an invasive scale insect from Japan and China known as Nipponaclerda biwakoensis. Common names include the Phragmites Scale or Roseau Can Mealy Bug.
Current solutions to help stop the spread of this pest include introducing a tiny parasite that only targets this particular type of scale, but this effort could prove costly. And that’s if Japan or China would even be able to send large amounts of the parasite in the first place. Controlled marsh fires and pesticides are also solutions being considered.
Of particular concern is a 110,000 acre preserve known as the Pass a Loutre Wildlife Management Area where 80% of the area are affected.
For more information please see the original story from Nola.com.