Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/2009
Publication Date: 3/3/2010
Publication URL: hdl.handle.net/10113/40203
Citation: Hummel, N.A., Hardy, T., Reagan, T.E., Pollet, D., Carlton, C., Stout, M.J., Beuzelin, J.M., Akbar, W., White, W.H. 2010. Monitoring and First Discovery of the Mexican Rice Borer Eoreuma loftini (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) in Louisiana. Florida Entomologist. 93(1):123-124. Interpretive Summary: Monitoring and early detection of potentially important insect pests is a critical responsibility of state and federal researchers and regulators. This task can be very difficult as insects can move about by many means, both naturally and by accidental introductions. One method of detecting the natural movement of insect pests is by the use of traps that emit chemicals that mimic natural sex hormones of the target insect pest. If the sex hormone mimic is effective and enough traps are placed into an area that has not reported the insect, then the chance of detecting the new insect is likely if it is in fact there. This manuscript reports the first detection of the Mexican rice borer, an important pest of rice, sugarcane, corn, and grain sorghum, in the state of Louisiana by the use of attractant traps. On December 8, 2008, one specimen of the Mexican rice borer was detected in each of two traps in Calcasieu Parish, approximately 5 miles from the Texas border. By detecting the insect early in its natural advancement into Louisiana will allow researchers and regulators to develop rapid and proactive responses and for growers to become educated on the use of these best management practices. Continued and expanded trapping will allow researchers to map the progress of this pest into new areas of the state.
Technical Abstract: The Mexican rice borer, Eoreuma loftini, has expanded its range from the Lower Rio Grande Valley to east Texas, and now into southwest Louisiana. Louisiana Department of Agricultural and Forestry and Louisiana State University AgCenter scientists forecast that natural and unintended movement will result in the continued spread of E. loftini toward the heart of Louisiana’s rice and sugarcane-growing regions. The 12 December 2008 collection was the first confirmation of this pest in the state. By catching E. loftini early in its natural advancement into Louisiana, additional rapid and proactive responses will allow producers to become educated on the best management practices for the pest in sugarcane and rice. These best management practices include planting resistant varieties, use of pheromone trap-assisted scouting, applications of narrow-range minimum-risk insecticides, minimizing plant stress through manipulation of irrigation and fertilization practices, and processing of cane at the closest mill to minimize spread. Also, the continued prohibition of the east Texas sugarcane shipments into Louisiana for processing is likely the most important step to avoid any artificial spread of E. loftini.