May 31 2011 -- The Mexican rice borer continues to move east across Louisiana

6/2/2011 11:03:27 PM

Originally posted May 31, 2011, by Natalie Hummel on Louisiana Rice Insects

The Mexican rice borer (MRB) has now been found near Lake Charles, La. This link will take you to an LSU AgCenter press release that provides the latest update: click here. Fortunately, LSU AgCenter professor Gene Reagan has conducted intensive research on this pest for the past ten years, and we are prepared with management options in-hand and ready to use as needed. He has provided an agent training in Texas for a number of years. Following is a link to a blog posting about the most recent site visit. Within the blog you will find a link to the handout, which contains information on recent management recommendations: "LSU AgCenter Mexican Rice Borer site visit – Beaumont, TX" click here

It is important that you learn to identify this pest, and distinguish it from other borers that can be found in rice or cane. You can study up on the pest by downloading these two LSU AgCenter numbered pubs:

  • This publication includes images of sugarcane borer (SCB) and MRB for comparison: click here
  • This publication provides images of MRB: click here
  • Following is a Louisiana Agriculture article that includes the latest information on MRB research that has been generated by Dr. Reagan’s lab: Reagan, T. E., J. M. Beuzelin, B. E. Wilson, A. T. Showler, and M. O. Way. 2010. Advanced management research and the Mexican rice borer. Louisiana Agriculture 53(4): 40-41. click here

In sugarcane, there are a number of recommended management practices to prevent injury from MRB. In rice, the seed treatment Dermacor X-100 should provide control of this pest. Pyrethroids can also be used, but timing of application is critical. It is necessary to detect an infestation when larvae are still feeding in the sheath area. Once the larvae penetrate the stem, pyrethroid insecticides will not provide acceptable control because they are not able to come into contact with the larva.

If you find a larva in rice or cane and suspect that it is MRB, please call me and we can arrange to pick up the sample.

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