The Mexican rice borer, Eoreuma loftini (Dyar) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), is an invasive pest of sugarcane, Saccharum spp., rice, Oryza sativa L., and other graminaceous crops in the Gulf Coast region of the United States. Traps baited with E. loftini female sex pheromones were used to document establishment and distribution of E. loftini near sugarcane, rice, and noncrop hosts in seven southwest Louisiana parishes from 2009 to 2013. Additional field surveys documented larval infestations in commercial sugarcane and rice. After its initial detection in 2008, no E. loftini were detected in Louisiana in 2009 and only two adults were captured in 2010. Trapping documented range expansion into Cameron, Beauregard, and Jefferson Davis parishes in 2011 and Allen, Acadia, and Vermilion parishes in 2013. During the course of this study, E. loftini expanded its range eastward into Louisiana 120 km from the Texas border (≈22 km/yr). Surveys of larval infestations provided the first record of E. loftini attacking rice and sugarcane in Louisiana. Infestations of E. loftini in rice planted without insecticidal seed treatments in Calcasieu Parish reached damaging levels.
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Vol. 44 • No. 3