Scale Insect Causing Widespread Damage to Wetlands

By Bruce Schultz, LSU AgCenter

Rodrigo Diaz said the insect, called the Phragmites scale, has damaged a considerable amount of roseau cane in Plaquemines Parish from Venice to the mouth of the Mississippi River. Diaz said it’s not known what other grasses could be attacked by this scale. If relocated with cane, the insect could move to sugarcane, rice and grain sorghum, also grown in southwest Louisiana. Also, the scale potentially feed on native grasses essential for the marsh to thrive.