15 Feb What’s Really Bugging The Marsh?
Sometimes the most dangerous things are so small you can’t see them with the naked eye. A tiny insect is currently killing marsh cane at an alarming rate and threatening to undo nearly a decade of coastal restoration and land-building in the Mississippi River Delta.
This insect is known as the Roseau cane mealy bug and was first discovered on some of the marsh reeds of Plaquemines Parish last summer. It was the first time the parasite native to Japan and China had ever made it to the United States. Now, wildlife and fishery agencies believe that 100,000 acres of marsh could be endangered by it.
The most alarming fact about this bug is the rate they are operating. Scientists began tracking the bug’s destructive effects in March and are shocked by how quickly it’s spreading. They aren’t only eating away at the cane reeds: they are now appearing in marshes as far west as Lafourche Parish and as far north as Lafitte in Jefferson Parish.
Between March and May, the bug laid waste to 5.5 miles of Roseau cane that make up the banks of South Pass. Environmentalists fear that the main navigation channel could be lost if officials can’t come up with a plan to protect the Roseau cane.
This could play a major role in land-loss in coastal Louisiana. Scientists thought that there might be hope with the help of another invasive species that is a natural predator of the bug: a microscopic wasp. However, the wasp was not able to attack the cane-eaters quickly enough. The scientists are also considering insecticides but haven’t determined the best way to deploy them.
Marsh Buggies cares deeply about the restoration and preservation of the Louisiana Marsh. Because of our dedication to helping the marsh and the industry grow, we offer rental and contracting solutions for amphibious equipment. With the toughest and most durable amphibious equipment in the industry, we are your destination for Louisiana contracting. As this invasive insect bites away at our marshes, we are ready and prepared to keep up our efforts in restoring and protecting our land.