Insects liable to dissemination in shipments of sugar cane

Insects liable to dissemination in shipments of sugar cane


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Insects liable to dissemination in shipments of sugar cane
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Holloway, T. E ( Thomas Edmunds ), 1886-
Government Printing Office ( Washington )
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aleph - 29682489
oclc - 16665739
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Full Text
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*I, luct I fitA r i.7, 1912.

L 0. 1\10 \%R EAudw d Bi 4 Bw"-u.




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6871V 13


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L. 0. How \iR, Etomologoisl and ,.f' of Breau.
C. L. MARLARTT, Entomologist and Acting I '",, .f in .4 Ise.ire of chieff .
R. S. C Ii-TOs, Ereculii e Assistant.
W. F. TASTET, ChiefClerk.

F. H. CHITTENDEN, in charge of truck rrop and stored r,.y,,,'/ insect inisligations.
A. D. HOPKINS, in charge of forest insect in cf;ihlo,,
W. D. HUNTER, in 4 '' of southern field crop insect '" ''.;/.'-'.,ins.
F. M. \% r it,1 i. u in charge of cereal and forage insect investigations.
A. L. QUAINTA NC E, in charge tf deciduous fraii insect i i..... 1,i'iif i.
E. F. PHILLIPS, in cJharge of bee culture.
D. M. ROGERS, in charge of r, ,,,t i,,q spread of moths, ,I.tlI work.
ROLLA P. ('r iRIE, in charge ,'. editorial work.
MABEL C'OLCRI), in firqr of IJ,,',r.,
W. D. HUNTER, in ,ivrq,'

W. D. PiERCE, .1 D. MITCHELL, G. D. -'irn. E. A. M,,.t. ,r HARRY PINK s.
enqiq', in cotton-holl weevil in, ,,Iqjtn,.
A. C. MORGAN, G. A. RUNNER, S. EF. iii 'iti. D. C. PARMAN, ,i u'ljqld in tobacco
insect iit, ,K .,'.,)i
F. C. BISHOPP. A. H. JENXINGS. 1I. P. \\oon. W. V. Kt\'<, .ai, ';J,1 ikinrfe.Tq;ouions.
T. E. HOLLOWAY R BA.RBER, a',IW,'ii in ., .l Ir i .,ii, (tii;,)11on,
J. L. WEBB. ',.* .. in rice insect .. litl',Ii.,
R. A. COOLEY, D. L. VAN DINi:., A. F. CONRADI, C. C. K,.i ibnH ii.. collaborators.

CnCULAn No. 165.

United States Department nf agriculturee ,

B 'RL.\U 1F i.'I iV.l il. ; iY.
L. 0. HOWARD, L-11a1..,.. i, and Chief of Bureau.

By T. F Iho Ito. ,
1. I.,. ti .is:Mst~ldt.


Tlio dangerr 4ifn ini 'lii'ii.. injurious insects into the Ilnithd States
I! roUgl, tihe m)portation of i>['iii-ir,_'' varieties of -,.ir cn is so
great and so ofien overlooked that a word of wamil: seems to be
niiessry. However desirable it may be to introduce new varieties
-f cane, the fait that jilijurious insects will probably be disseminated
ait the same time should be .:i ,.ri due consideration. T.'ri' is also a
ri-k. 1ibuZIh not so ._.0ii' iln I r.ii-prtilil' cane frii one 1,1ii e to
another in the 1'ired Sti',-. as is often done for gr4ri'lirl.r or plIiliirr.
purposes. All the sugar-cane insects in this contrti- seem to be of
only local distribution, so that any injurious insect may easily be h
,prend over a larger area l1v siipments of cane. Si _'.:ir cane intended
for grindiiing is probably not so p, rf, t a medium for tiin'-pi 'litii
insects as is cane which is to be plant,,, but if the canle for riridlirii
is lift vnitin,_ fiir some time it is probaIble that the insects within i nv
inerge and infel.stsi-.i1it, cane near by. An injurious insect may
il this way obtain a foothold in a new ri,,i'm.
To avoid the introduction of a new pest with a shipment of cane
it is desirablle to obtain the I ;ti,, if possible, at a point where injurious
insects are not known to occur, and to grow the cane for the tirt
\,eir under the inspection of an eit('ii, ,iit. Shiiiui..1 of -i_'.ir
cane ci',iin into the United States should be carefully examined at
the port of entry, but sometimes there are borers within the cane
which can not be detected unless the stalks are cut open and conse-
qlerillyv -poiled. (ea.-e. which are ordinarily very efliinir for fumi-
.,,tion sem to be unable to penetrate a stalk if ane, but it may ie
that dipping the cane in certain solutions will be found to be satii-
factory. Experiments along these lines are now in progr-..

iMlKNl IlwMUltrr'/?, Hit


Compared with the knowledge which has been gained of certain
other insects, little is known concerning the species \%hith troul le
-nI;gir cane. Ti,- reason for this lack of knimled(.ge is that the scien-
tific study of the various species is a very recent development, and
the few workers in dil'erent ,parts of the world have not yet had time
to make the required investigations. But the several species, with
their respective forms of injury, have been differentiated and some
of their life halbits have been determined, so that more than suffi-
cient knowledge has been obtained upon which to base a warning.
The very fact that the measures for control are in many cases doubt-
ful makes the warning even more urgent.
A list of species liable to dissemination ,by sihipinents of sugar
cane has been compiled from published and unpublished notes which
are on file at the office of the United States Bureau of Eitom ology
at Audubon Park, New Orleans. The various species are considered
as follows:
(Casinia licus Drury.)
Of the injurious insects which do not now occur in the United States
the larger moth borer is perhaps most to be avoided. The injury
to the cane by this species is even greater than that which is caused
by the moth borer which we have in this country, and the larger
species is still more difficult to control.
Prof. H. A. Ballou,1 entomologist of the Imperial Department of
Agriculture for the British West Indies, has published the follo bing
statement regarding the pest:
* The larva reaches a size of 21 inches in length and I inch in diameter.
The tunnel is consequently lajrt- and the injury to cane very severe. The pupal
state is passed in the cane or in the soil near the iirnlerground portions. The time
occupied in the life cycle ranges from 12 to 15 weeks. The adult insect is a lap.ze
da.j -flyiri,, moth which in general appearance is very similar to the large bulterflie-.
Casinia licus is a native .f S.iiih America. Its original food plants were species
of the orchid f.iiil and of the fjariily of plants to which the pineapple belo.wr-
(Bromeliaceoe). It is distributed over a lari,, portion of ilih- northern part of South
America and extends northward to Mvxi',; it has been known in Trinidad for several
years. In British Guiana it has been a serious cane pest in certain Iocalities for a
number of years, and in Trinidad it is known to attack :.ii, cane and bananas. It
has also been reported, as a cane pest, from Surinam. It is not known at present to
occur in .ti% of the islands north of and every precauiii.i should be taken
to prevent its introduction into any of these islands. If cane plants are to be imported
from Jii colony or country where this pest ,.cur, only the tops should be adiilted.
and these should be carefully examined for any signs of thl, eggs or larvae at the base
of the leaves. i'.i i trash should never be imported, on account of the pos ibility olf
Insect PIests of the Lesser Antilles. By II. A. 13llou. M. Sc. Issued by the Commissioner of Agri-
culture. Barbados, 1912.


i r,.,nl i n,' the ,...- Wn y nr +h n-. ,. 1 .11, .. .i ..1 i i, i i]... i .Fu-+
1,,,, be i...?. II, |o mt -,lr
I r tir il' I 1 1ii. t h" 11 I k I r It n :- I11 1 1. 1 1 I
l,,.ir':'r. > ,.h r l,. t||n' ii+,iot|w |'. ll}+attt+|+ ii( i|n t?+ in |hi ||l|aid+ oil r|i[ilrtlr' hi+ i , n
l,,.itw rpslllta hau .,,,..tht'r dipnset imesiciir of ,+ntriil tlhat h+w IMtI'II tried. I I .,i,,,.o
ih i,.ll- after m the "miival hw thek iy hI I 1i;d a w ,iwd i in certai iilt h 4 r(':
Ill' this pracliet' could lnt. be mrrivtd i.n iin H1101 l,,+tlifi + in i e [I*' IA+ r \:.t.iI i i.

Next in importance ctrom t lie weevil brer.-, ol wi'h i there 'are
bEvr111i species. They are known in Ctlm, lVPorto lRico. II.i.iii. the
I't i-li \\est Ililhi'. aInd prolally illn itth America and M,'.i ,, It
-.,+.|. that one or two species ima be' recorded as rare in the t'nited
St, r.- A note ill their pocsoAn of thlie writer rec(,rds a weevil as
ltiN\ iL been reared from 4,iii,' slmtots of -ii,'.ir cane which were col- at F'airview Plant at ion, Berwick, La.. o)n April 2",. 191(I, lby
\11r. D1). L. Van D)ine. NI r. Van I )in, found the larva' jiust above
ti]c surface of the .;rii nd Mr. E. R. Barlber of this o mfire sates that
lihe It iim piip' of weevils in the -i_'.i, canre at Audubon li'rk. New
S)rlehans. in 1911. D,)ring the early stnumer in 1912 the writer found
U',evil borer, in the pi,,.: u l-ii'.'i -cane plants at Antadul)on Park and
iti the experiment -station at Brown sville, Tex. The wevilas found
Ll Brrown-villv were in the larval oto,_'e in dvi inp plants of stul)lle
ciite. below the sl ii'ace of the ground and near tlie point where tlhe
yvuing shoot left the old stubble. in plant cane at A. m'iiion Park
tWe weevil larva' were also found below lthe -tirlace, and near the
piint where the y,,iin, plant j-i6iiI thle -cIl rane. The larva' were
frm imo-e-ei.llth to one-fourth of an inch in 1i it..1i Sometimes a
birer was fiiiin in the middle of thle stein, while in other cases the
,,reTs were near one side of the stem. The injury Io the plant is
lik, the 'dead heart" caused Iy our moth horer. It seems ir hiVil'
tlit the moth bolrer is blamed for some of thie injury caused by the
Verv lik,,v these borer have been introduced in shipments of
si .-ar cane fr,,m the "r,.p,- Trliv are -iiiall and their work is
hI.,rd to find. so that lihc iiiglil easily have ,'-,jid the v.I, of the
a%,craige person. So few of the \,,\& ii have been found upl) to date
that there may be no occasion for idlarimi. while on thle other hand
t1 ,iy may increase in numbers so as to become a seri ous pet
I'rii, allV the W 2ri' l,-.t d1tli i..1q' fl',ITII fr. .'h,,[ip,-r, or spittle insects
i. [ivir-ed 1)y the cane pl;ilter. of the Island if TiiuLI.i. near the
cist of Venezuela, Fr-,ih.'.1,pper suck the juice from the cane
plants. Iliii:iiiiil.. in one place on the plant they surroumid them-
'elves with a ,'atinu: of white fr,,tli. and because of this habit the
lpilular name of spittle insects has been iirn t to themi. Tl,.v are


small, winged creatures, and leap readily when disturbed. The
frgioppers breed in cane fields which are damp and grassy. A
g,,Iod method of control is to keep the cane fields free from rank weeds
and tall grass. A species of froghopper was found last summer on
cane and grass near New Orleans by Mr. Gilbert E. Bodkin, Govern-
ment economic bil,,fi.l of British Guiana, who examined some cane
fields in company with the writer. Specimens of these insects were
sent to Dr. F. W. Urich, entomologist of Trinidad, who states that
the species is not the same as the one which occurs in his vicinity.
Dr. writes as follows:
1 would strongly advise ywii to make an effort to eradicate this insect from the grass
surrounding cane fields, for if they get established in sugar canes there is no knowing
what may happen. Our frgli,,pp(-r trouble originated in grass.
Apparently we have several leafhoppers in this country, but they
do not seem to be injurious. In Hawaii, however, there is a de-
structive leafhopper (Perkinsiella saccharicida Kirkaldy) which was
introduced from Queensland, Australia. The manner of introduction
and dispersion is described in an interi.dting way by Mr. D. L. Van
Dine in the following words:
The main factor in the distribution of the pest is the habit of the female of deposit ing
her eggs beneath the epidermis of the internodes of the cane stock. It seems probable
that the pest was introduced into the islands and to a great extent distributed over
the cane districts in seed cane. In local distribution other factors present themseh es.
The lea 0h1,pper is an insect readily attracted by light at night, as its presence about
lamps in the factories and homes on the plantations testifies. Passengers and steam.
ship officers of the interisland steamers have frequently stated to the writer on inquiry
that in many instances, especially at rn eight, great numbers of the insects have come
aboard in certain ports or when offshore from certain plantation districts. These
adults have undoubtedly traveled in this manner from one locality to another, so
that an uninfested district might easily have become infested while stopping at or
pa.-ing by an infested locality. Railway trains have been equally active in the
spread of the insect on land.
Another mode of distribution during the general outbreak of 1903, under conditions
of heavy infestation, was the migration of the pest from one locality to anriher during
the daytime. Th.-.. rni-ritiinm were observed by many of the planters. The man-
ager of one plantation in the Hamakua district of the island of Hawaii stated to the
writer that in the early evening of April 26, 1903, the atmosphere was "thick with
hpp,.r-" for a distance of 2 miles and that the "hoppers" were traveling with the
prevailing wind, about southwest. Similar migration., described by the observers
as "clouds," were mentioned by other inanii.i',r-.
The characteristic injury of this leafhooper is also noted by Mr.
Van Dine:2
The presence of the pest on the plantations was noticed first by the appearance of
a sooty black covering on the lower leaves of the cane plant. This black covering
became known as smut. It is a fiiniu growth and finds a medium for development
in the transparent, sticky fluid secreted by the he.ihippers during their f'ecdiiu on
the plant. This secretion is commonly known as h,,rie 'lew.
'The ,ik r-1 o.r Insects of Hawaii. By D. L. Van Dine. Bul. 93, Bureau of Entomology, U.S.
Department of Agriculture. Washington, 1911.
2 Previous reference.


The black n ut or fiiiit.',-i L'r, 1i in in ti 1,r.ii, ilrw Mi, tiun of 16. I,-.lli. r ram l
she rd dli,. ..I..ri i -.i a ubout tho I- i,..- to tIh- .".' ham1f,,b in the niidriip- uf tfO
leaveS ar tito 111 t p m iounm',d 4 i( i '1, nf t. w ,rk of the I, i.), r -'." r : ikn-e.
hen one considers that this pst ti tas inan vertenflx translported
frontm .\Anl ralia to IIi% nii there is no reasa)n to stlpploSe that it could
not be lirn'i] 'fr'iit, I a : aii to t ,n I'it 'i d SI t, .i more especially
after the ,'nqAijiin of the Panama ( anal.

Tit PINl\K N1 1 1 t G.
(l*., ./...... ",,, 'i tir i kll )

Thei ink mnealcvliiur (Ps),dococci, 'cthwri <'1,11) is not known to
occur in the I inii'd Staites, 11il,.iiIi we havea an llied -O! i.-. It is
a soft creature w which infes-ts the cane in a similar manner to the
form which occurs in the U niiti SI t tii,-. which is considered in another
ldaht in this iilh.Ai, i ii. It occurs in (tiiii. Porto Rico, South
Amtcricn. and probably elsewhere. We have received soiic specimilens
from ('ol:i Rica.
Sl, f'ri,',,-r .'. '. ,i,. I.A tr.)
The West Indian mole cricket (Scape rscus 'liti.fii,.. Lair.) is
recorded froin the Wset Indies ..t'I aI.Ill\ and from South A.ii.riii i,
but it is espeii.lly destructive in 1Porto Rico, where "it abounds
over all the island d an attacks prati,.illy all cultivated plants."''
This insect burrows in the soil and feeds on the cane antid other
plants. Its peculiar lif history makes it very -lill. ilt to control.
The omnivorous habit of the mole cricket of Porto Rico indicates
that the sugar planter may not be tie ,'ll\ one \iwho will lose by the
careless introduction of -,i,.-,i"r cane. It seems p,,-i!,i too, that
nets not known to attack (11_,:r cane but w which attack other plants
may be transferred from place to l)lace in shipments of canue.
There are many other insects of lesser importance that attack
sugarr cane in thie l'ri jI' -. but it will hardly b e necessary to con(sier
them here except to state that an inslct w which is of little harm in
one country may become -riiri-irii='l injurious if I,,.ii_'ijt to another
country. The reason for this is that in its native ,'l:- a -species
Ii-ually has natural enemies of one kind or another which check its
progress, while if the injurious species b(ecomIes established in a new
hIomie its enemies are seldom introduced withl it and thle lharinful
insect reaches its imaximuml developmilent. lns-cts that aret con-
sidered of little consequence 1,v our Ir,'pic'.il friends mny become of
almost trii'ic importance to us if we allow lthem to enter our rdei.
I Second Annal Report of the Station of the *r I-rot i'tm > too Ri: co)
lBrtheYearl ll1l12. Report lthe ..' '. ... by L a Dine Rio I irs- I\ m 1912.



(Diatra'a sat'haralis Fab.)
The sugar-cane moth borer is easily the most important of the
insects injurious to sugar cane in the United States. Like other
sugrar-cane insects it was probably introduced from the Tropics,
though the time of this introduction is very uncertain.' The nature
of injury is only too familiar to most planters. Tie adult, a small
milli, deposits its eggs in clusters on the leaves of the cane plants.
TlI,.e e1ggs hatch, and the small larvw, or borers, which emerge begin
to gnaw their way into the stalk. The injury in the early spring is
known as "dead heart," and consists of the decaying of the tender
shoot of the young plant. This is caused by the inner tissues being
severed by the borer near the surface of the ground. Later in the
season the borer is found in the stalks of cane, in which it gnaws
irregular tunnels.
Mr. T. C. Barber2 has made an investigation of the actual loss
directly due to the moth borer, and he summarizes his results in these
The borer daiin:,io.p cane in the field by dsli.-?roying a considerable per-
centage of the eyes, thus reducing the stand of plant cane; by st unT ing the growth of
the cane, owing to the physical injury of the stein: by admitting fungous diseases
through the wounds in the stem, and is the main cause of injury by the wind, owing
to the weakening of the stalk due to the tunnels and burrows. These classes of injury
have been appreciated by planters. It now develops hat thei.rc is another and very
important class of injury which has been overlooked. This is the reduction of both
the quantity and quality of thie juice, which is dealt with :pe'ially in this circular,
It becomes evident that both the planters and the manufacturers are vitally interested
in the work of the .'iii,.ir-.aiii borer.
The distribution of the moth borer seems to be limited, in a generaI
way, to the southern half of Louisiana and the lower Rio Gramh.
Valley in Texa;s. The infestation is not uniform, but is affected by
local conditions. Our notes indicate that the moth borer is not to
be found at Sugarland and Victoria, Tex.; at Biloxi and Ianttieqburi,
MiN-..; nor at Montgomery and Selma, Ala. Thik matter should be
further investigated, however, as we have not had the opportunity
to examine very many fields at any of the places mentioned. Whlere
the moth borer is not known to occur the planters should be very
careful in bringing in shipments of cane from other communities.
SCane borer (Diatraa saceharalis). Report of investigations by W. C. Stubbs, director, and H. A. Mor-
gan, entomologist. Bulletin of the Agricultural Experiment -Simon, second series, No. 70. Baton
Rouge, La., 1902.
2 11 irn j to -,i ,u Cane in Louisiana bythe Sugar Cane Borer. ByT. C. Barber. Circular J9, Bureau
of Eni,'.,n.,li.., U. S. Department of Agriculture. Washington, 1911.

I IE ;lAt ) t i Al I I .
(S i.-.. .. 1 1..... .. rtllri /nri; \li- l )

Another insect which ltas en tred I he II 'nited tilt es from i i,
Trpics l. is he meai\h I.i-, or "puu-i-ltcle;," 1 it is ofl'li called inII
1Aurisiana. We havte here calhlhd it the ,'i 1 l .11,\ l ti., to ili-iil,'ii-lI
it f'liii the pink one w which is conisidelr-!d t iideir "F' i'r i 'ii Iisec('ts."
Mr. J. B1. (arrett1 made a study of tlile ii'l\ I'll.- 1omi4e \ .;irN ;a"', and
we quote his statement U.,'II iiii,, ils hiistor ihl Itoitiilina:
Jii l how long the 'i-,'. ir i .iii n,.iil%. i-. |ll bet h i ini Lotti ianA aitid froii li% ence it
LIne i problematical. InformLation recei ed froIii 'ie of he oldest can m planl.ter
in siouihern ILouisianla inicale, th1at tihe i ect waaI imported on 'eedt.i cane 4loIil t.
)'y.Lr ago io d became eItiObliClied il 01'-o(ile o the plitiii.ttion- near thle Iinolil of the
Mi %l.r.r- i Ii It r. .ri, tli I ,iii ii liak \-rked iti ,. i,' iorth to the district around
New Orlea_1s. Dr. \\'Ii C'. fiil .-. frihi i,. direNior I the LotlSia-a l.|,>ilriri, rt
tail,['ni.4, State that the 'uiL'u, miadte it ',r-. ;pql>F.lrai.<( 1 t tlhe "1iN 2 r i:.\1. riiiiil
S tliatii at Audubon Park. ;-vw I rl)I. I in I1 t. It did it. i ecomt established at
the itation fromi this introduction for the rtlon it I infested ( ine were taken up
and burned '",I] year later a se ond introduction to tie 'ir ,i l,*riI,.n
Stain pl.iLt, occurred. Because of thle .'r- ,i vahie of the varietie irifi,-li,, it became
more ipra.rlii.d to attempt control and exercise precautions in the distribution of Seed
cane than to take the ri._il measures of eradication. These measures would have
meant the destruction of the varieties in practically ,11 of the satiion plat, with the
rteintr'xlii iin from outside almost a certainty Thi would iha I e been an irr. i T r I l.r
lo to the staItion and no proteionI to Itie i1 iini, r sij e the pest is ,i 1II established
in the 4irr'iiiiiiil, plantaitions.
rThie 1ieallLii, may be r'r, ,,,_iized on tlhe cane plant by the mealy
or fhoury secretion 1,- which it is surrounded. The insect atttarhes
itself to thie .t ilk of cane and sucks tlhe juice. Its greatest iIji ,rv is
in killing the buds of windrowed or other 'i .m., ,ii,-iv iiL a low percent-
age of icriiiiiiati,,n the f,,ll, i,.i year. It is limited to a certain
axrea iii I.otiini. e-'1 i.1ll., to plantations .ili bi thle Mississippi
River. The writer found an infedstat iont of te i mealc o i,, at the
t, xperilneinlt station at Brownsvill.. T.x.. in October, 1912, and ihe
advised those in 'li;ir,'r, to take ,.vr\ means of er ii ,it itil- the Ft


An aphidid or plant louse was found this year (1'l' 2'1 by the writer
at a number of places in southern Louisiana and, near I lirlir>-,.ii,
Tex. It appears to be a species inew to science as well as to most
isugr plintir-. Its importance is douillit fid. as we have pract ically
no info rinal ic in about it.
A P'rihmiary rI. *..,r on The I iir.,i M, >'Ie i y J, B. liartt. Agricultural Experiment
mati t the Lotuisiaa State tnteri-y and A. nd M. i I*- 3: i B nl i .. 1 ., 19t.

IN'I I 1- IN SH Il'\l 1-S (t* St1i;AI1t CANI .


We have considered the weevil borers as foreign insects, but as
fltv have already been found in the United States they may sooner
or later force us to give them a place among our own species.
There are some injurious beetles, and one species seems to be con-
fined to a certain part of Louisiana. During this year no definite
records have been obtained reg:rling them.
Still other insects which are more or less injurious to sugar cane
occur in this country, but they do not deserve mention in this paper.
There may be still others of which we have no knowledge, for exten-
sive field examinations have been made only during this year. The
information which has been obtained, however, indicates the need
for further investigations.


The fact that the principal insects injurious to sugar cane in the
United States seem to have been inadvertently introduced from the
Tropics indicates the necessity for more careful inspection of ship-
ments of sugar cane entering this country. Indeed(], most extraordi-
nary efforts would be justified to prevent the introduction of other
pests. As to the insects which we now have, it is evident that they
are found only in certain places and that they are more abundant in
some places than in others. Thle fullest information is needed, there-
fore, regarding their present occurrence; Otherwise, the planter, in
seeking to benefit himself by bringing in a shipment of seed cane from
some outside point, may really occasion loss to himself and his
neighbors. The pest which has once become established presents a
problem to the planter and the entmudlogist, and a period of many
years may be too short a time to solve some of the problems with
which we already have to deal. But if means are provided for keep-
ing out the injurious insects altogether the work will be correspond-
ingly simplified and the planters and manufacturers may be saved
many thousands of dollars.

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