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The Potato Beetle In The Fall

The Potato Beetle In The Fall image
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In anawei to the query as lo wh borning the potato topa would or woulc ttot lmvc the effect of diminishing th munli'Tof beetles next year, W. W. Kedzie, nf tho AgrfrttHund College, writes to tho Lanaifig II ■'ulilienn'. " The suggostion of our "eight-aere1 1'iiwid ia certainly worthy of our oonrideration, and seerus on the wholc mi effisctual and common-sonso met&od of treatmentof these impoeiüona. Our oorrespondent manifesta, howeter, a slight ndsu]pruhonsion of the economy of thia insect. Tho erop of egga which he wishes to 'annihilate is, let it be ramemberad, the lust "edition" which oharactetizea a -c:ir's oampawn of the beetle. Prom thia crojiis hatchcd the third and laat inatallment of tilia insect which in the larra state feuds upon late potatoea, and when reaohing tho imago state seekesuug quarters for tho winter; where - ïf we may be allowcd to use the exprWHOB - they hibernato through tho winter iiiontli, and, appearing at the approaob of venia] wiiimth, oonstituto tho flrst or Spring erop of the next year. Late in the auI uiim, a caroful observer of nature may wítnass a very peculiar phenomenon and One which is ofton made the subject oí mu li remarle : the bcftles ajip ar mi- fpatèng in eveiy direetion. On clie highWiiyor fmitpath of the country you wil] encounter Ihem ; or even on the pavementa of the city, leiaurely Bauntering down street, as if on the lookout for " rooms to let." This is, in fact, the buiden of tlicir intciition, oozy apartmente for the winter ; in cracks and erevices of outhouses - or even underneath chips or struw. Dr. Shimer spe&fes ofhavingofton antertained them duri&g the winter, when they niiiiiiin'.l in ii semi-8en8ible state, partaking of no food though it na placed before thcm. If, now, the egga which produce thcso wandeling vándala can lie consigncd to destruction, wc shall not oiily escape the flrst or Spring erop, but at the sume time prevent the quality of OUT late potato harvost fniin being impaircd by the autumnal fui aging of this pest. It should, howevcr, be Iiornc in mind that tliis method of removing and burning the potiito vincs oan only Bé applied witli safety to early maturing raneties. The rcmovtil ot' the vincs fiom the later varieties bofore thoroughly matnied would of iicccssity endangerthe loss of the whole erop by dooay. Even wheh the vines appear quite vellow and maturo; a llow circuhition is is still going on, and the procesa of ripeniug is bemg gradually oompleted. There is little doobt, however, that by the exeroise of care aul disOretion is to thu time whou the vincs can le safcly removed and destroyed, littlo need be hazarded, andmaoh may bo acoomplished in subverting the power of this foo lor the next ycav's oampaign. But with all the hcrculcan efforta that liave been put forth in the encountor oí' tho present scason, h w littie has lui'ii ;wsomplished compared with the couuterForees Nature herself has brought into ïvquisil.iun. In no portion of thu State lias tiie seoond erop of beettes proved as virulent ys was antioipated ; and the }utato harvest of the presenl season isby ao means dÍ8COU)raging. In every locality the namoroua hoste of oarnivorous ins(!cts have been at their posts. The ladybird eagerly devouring the eggs of the potato beetle ; the spined soldier bug im[)alinj; the Buooulent larvae, and at its leisure sucking thejn dry of nutritiuus uices, - tlicse the foroeswhioh are ul:iinately to relieve us of this aifiiotion. Thcre isanother aspect of tlii- quostion whioh, sinee tho excitement attending its ÜSCUSsion lias passed away, can appropriately booongidered in the present conïicii'in, ïiainely, the poisonous qualitiea of this insect. It is undoubtedly poisonuis, luit no more so than manyother of ur nativc insects which have reccived no comment. An insect family oalled the. :.he lilister beetle - tho caiithaiidac of natiralists, ti) which belongsthe " Siwnish Fly " - has íuany representativos in our State, whieh contain an acrid matter in luencing peouliarly the animal systcm. When applied to a sensitivo portion of ;hc body it produces a blister ; when taicn intemally it acts as a powerful eniotic. The orange-colored Huid oxuded by ;he potato beetle is not dissimilar in somo of its reactioiis to the poisonous elementa of the oantharidre. While tho groundless rumora ooncernng the poisonous ell'ects resulting from its " bite " have very properly long since ceased to reccive oredenoe or attention, ihere can at the same time lie no question ihat on the more delicately ennstituted of the animal creation its inlluence is that of a powerful ometic, and sometimos of au Mjually powerful poiaon. A few ex])eriments may not be irrelevant to the matter in hand. Two frogs, aptured lor the purpose of experiment n Chemical I'hysics, were placed in a lass jar of water and fed with an abundanceof flies, untiltlie suppry being soraewhat exbausted in the vieinity, tho idea was suggested of fdling their oapaoious inaws with potato bugs. These, when :laced in the jar, one determiiicdly re:usedto touch ;the other eagerly onguUed soven of Uu: insects. Further examinaron alter tho lapse of ten hours revcaled be tact that the grecily individual iad evidently been the victim of misilaoed confidence, and had undoubtedly ;ot himself into a serieus diffioulty. Prothing violently at the mouth, hú lips in iv, M down with a comioally deprecaáng air, he was evidently enduring all ;ho agmiies of a confirmod dyspeptio ; finally relioving liis over-cbarged system, ■he undiminislied quota of the seven bee,les wcre thrown up in a body, somewhat lisordered to be sure in their gastric encountor, but wc doubt their feeling half so badly by the process as their wouldjc digestor. In anothor instanco a fino, hcullhy young robin was fed with all the beettes it could bo persuadodto Bwallow. In ton liours il, diod with every syinptom of violent poisoning. Upon animáis moro vigorously oonstibated nu suoh nvil results seem to follow. Thus the common fowl, when educated t a proper appreoiation of the subject, partakeN of thu lioetlo with ii rlish. In the instancias eiven, wc would ly no meana have it infeiTcd thut in ordinary casos the leaat deleterions effeots are to bo aiiticipated, bat that in. a generally reoeived popular belief thero is sometimea more truth than the aalf-snfBoient votary of scionco is always willing to acknowledge. A siíort timo ago a whale was stranded on the ooast of Bootland, and puichased for Bpeoulation ly aaharp práctitioner, who advt'itised for information how to preserve it. A wag repliod to the advortisomeat, tendering the desired information on recoiving half a orown'a wortb f postage stampa, whiob arrived, and tho dllnwing receipt was foiwardcd ; " l'ut tlm whole carefully into a phiss bottle; cover it up with spirits of wine (strong whisky muy do); then cork and Beal up. Two Irishmen woro onc dayengaged in niofing a hoiiKc, when oni' ut' t Inni lost his hold and feil to 4)u; iioinid. The other hastened to liim and impuiredi when ho found him prostrate and still, " Miokey, Miokey, are youdead !" " No," replied Mickiry, " not dead, bmt pachlese." An Tale Btudent í;iizo(1 Lona and earnesÜy i&fough a teloscope ti. tho movement f Satura, and afterWiinls discovei'tl tltut ho had boen watchiují thií reoeding head-ligbt of tho Now V"ik steauiboat. ITonry Ward Beeoher ay! "It will scarcoly bc deniod thai men are superior t) woiiiiin as mea; aad tbat womon ate iiniiiciisiu'i vlily Buperioi tomen, h woniüii ; while both of thoni together are iuore thun a matcih fiar citlior gf thtiu sopara toly." A Yaiikoo t:ilov (ttuiiuil b immii for the amount of liis bil], who replied that he was sorry, vory sorry indeed, tlirit, he couldn't pay it. "Wull," Bftid the tailor, "Itook you lor n man that WOlÜd lo Horry; but if ycni are soniev tlum L am l'U knook unaor."


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Michigan Argus