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Injurious Insects

Nature volume 30, pages 142143 | Download Citation



WE have to congratulate Miss Ormerod on having again produced an excellent summary of the evil doings of injurious insects in this country during the past year. It is full of interesting and useful information, from personal observation, and from the reports sent in by the staff of assistants she has enlisted into her service. Regarded from a popular point of view these annual Reports do great service by explaining to those interested the real nature of their insect foes; from a scientific point of view they may do good service by stimulating inquiry, and occasionally bringing to light the hitherto unknown life-histories of certain species; and they should do paramount service from an economical point of view. This latter is really the most important of all, and the item of expense in application of remedies is always a serious consideration. With some crops it may some-times be doubtful if the outlay would be sufficiently recouped; with others (hops for example) the case is different. In that year of hop-famine, 1882, we heard of one grower who expended 15l. an acre on washing, and was amply and abundantly repaid, but if all had done the same his profit would have been much less, though the general advantage would have been much greater: possibly in his case his gardens were comparatively isolated, and not subject to migrations from those of less careful neighbours. While on this point we observe that Miss Ormerod is inclined to believe in the supposed migration of the hop-aphis from plum to hop. The habit of migration in Aphides from one plant to another totally different is most strongly asserted by Lichtenstein, and almost as strongly pooh-poohed by others. At present we incline to the side of the observant French savant, because he states results from actual observation and experiment, whereas his opponents simply deny the possibility.

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