22 The DOy News. Friay, June 12. 1998
All you've wanted to know about pink mealybugs
The pink mealybug has damaged cides, burning or cutting down of the Andes mountain in Central for Irish diets.
or destroyed many plants in the Vir- plants are not the best solution to America. The potato has served as
gin Islands. Many people tried control the mealybugs. Scientists an important crop to the l *ca lndi- Thus, potatoes were consumed
everything possible to kill the turned tonatme where they found OlaseoeDavis ans for hundreds oyars. Thelocas at evetr meal. In 1845, a disease
insects that were on their plants. We out that wasps- parasiticorpreda- Our used the fresh potatoes and devel- attacked t ihpotato. This was a
live in a complex environment tors- are the best method to con- hatEggnvmmgg t oped a dried product called di for the Irish people because
where organism thrive to uvi tl he melb population. How- "chuoo, which could be sored for they depended upon the potatoes.
A. human beings, we too like ever, some people'Wanted to know long periods. They .1.o fermented y suffered from hunger, disease
imsecs thrive on earth to survive. if the wasps would attack them the tubers to produce an alcoholic and severe winter months. Because
st tounderstandhow pink when they a led the vi islands that were infected with the of their d ndency the potatoes
mealybug lives and thrives in the rom tbe as a staple crop, 1.5 million people
tybg lives and thriv th romnn mealybug because it appeared to be During the 1500s, European died during the period of 1846 and
environment, we must understand Humanly speaking I goes this no ndigenos natural n of the explorers found the Irish potatoes 1851, and I million immigrated,
th life cycle of the iect. Alo, we is a natural po fr any person ects inthe Caribbean. Thepink growing from Chile to Columbia.
eed to find out if then are any nat- who does not understand how mealybug either enters our ports by The potatoes were introduced to mostly to northern United States.
ral enemies of the medbug. wasps function in the cavironment someone bringing in an infected Spain. The Spaniards called the If the Irish people had cut out
I believe the school of m e is The wasps or parasites tht control plant; it probably blew in from r-. potatoes truffles believing it to be the infected parts of the potato.
the greatest teacher to mankid. In the mealybug biologically are very ricane winds; or by some other a type of underground fungus. many probably would have sur-
nature, one can find out'i~ough small, and they would not harm mean. Eventually, the potatoes spread vived. What I am trying to say is a
observation and resear'bIhow humans. These wasps are not like throughout Europe. The potatoes single insect or disease on plants
organisms behave and function in our local jack spaniards, which if A person might ask what hap- were so productive in northern can cause great economic hardship
the covironmaent you trouble them, they will sting P- if the Wsptes kill all t Pink Europe that the government and for any country. The pink mealybug
In some cases, man might not you. mealybugs in the Virgin Islands? I church leaders promoted the pota- caused over $3.5 million damage in
understand every single detail of A USDA fact sheet stated that doubt it, but if they do, the parasites toes as a staple food. Grenada and $125 million a year
bow a particular organism functions "...parasites lay an egg inside the will do what comes naturally Of all the European countries damage in Trinidad and Tobago.
in its environment. But God gives mealybug adult. The egg hatches di. This happens because there i poaoes Ireland provided
man e ability to reason and make into a maggotlike larva that feeds no host for the wasps to feed on. So i m en, and an abun. If you have a pink mealybug
intelligent decisions to the best pos- iernally m an and ukill the mealybug you see, there, is no need to worry dant production for two centuries vic or te agrictheptenti -
sblesoations to problem. host. After pupating inside the about wasps or parasites attacking prd subsauntia poicultun department
"If any of you lack wisdom, let mealybug's mummified body, the pople gains in the country. During this
him ask of God, who ghiythwo all adult parasite chews an exit hole in When I attended graduate school time, most Irish people were poor This article reflects the view of
men liberally, and upbraide not, one end of the mummy and ia Texas, obe of my instructor told tenant farmers obliged to sell most Olasee Davis a St Croix ecologist,
and it shall be given him' James emerges." the class a tre story about the Irish of their crops to pay the high rents activist and writer who has a mas.
1:15. Wasps were imported to the Vir- people's dilemma with Irish pota- charged by English landlords. Only er of science degree In range man.-
According to scientists,pst- gin Islands and other Caribbean toes. The Irish potato is native to the cheapest crop potato remained agement andforestry ecology.