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LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL.

U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,

DivisioN OF ENTOMOLOGY,

Washington, D. C., September 16, 1896. SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith the manuscript of the • secretary's report of the proceedings of the eighth annual meeting of the Association of Economic Entomologists, which was held at Buffalo, N. Y., August 21 and 22, 1896. From the fact that the proceedings of this association are of the highest economic importance the Department has hitherto published the secretary's reports in the bulletins of this division, and I therefore recommend that the present report be published as No. 6 of the new series of bulletins. Respectfully,

L. 0. HOWARD,

Entomologist. Hon. J. STERLING MORTON,

Secretary of Agriculture.

CONTENTS.

Page.

EIGHTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AssociATION OF ECONOMIC ENTOMOLO-

GISTS

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ILLUSTRATIONS.

Paga Fig. 1. Map showing area in Ohio over which chinch bugs were observed in 1894....

19 2, Map showing area in Ohio over which chinch bugs occurred in 1895... 20 3. Map showing area in Ohio over which chinch bugs occurred in 1896... 21 4. Map of Ohio giving elevations at various points as determined by railway surveys

22 5. Device for preparing oil emulsions

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EIGHTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE ASSOCIATION OF

ECONOMIC ENTOMOLOGISTS.

MORNING SESSION, AUGUST 21, 1896. The association was convened in the lecture hall of the Library building, Buffalo, N. Y. The following officers and members were present:

President, C. H. Fernald; vice-president, F. M. Webster; secretary, C. L. Marlatt; M. F. Adams, C. J. S. Bethune, R. A. Cooley, James Fletcher, E. H. Forbush, C. W. Hargitt, A. D. Hopkins, L. O. Howard, J. A. Lintner, W. G. Johnson, D. S. Kellicott, A. H. Kirkland, G. H. Perkins, F. W. Rane, M. V. Slingerland, J. B. Smith.

The following entomologists, not members of the association, were also present:

W. S. Blatchly, C. D. Zimmerman, E. P. Van Duzee, Ottomar Reinecke, C. W. Needham.

There were also present at the meetings a number of zoologists and other visitors, the attendance averaging from 25 to 30 persons.

The association was called to order by the president, and the presentation of his annuai address immediately followed.

THE EVOLUTION OF ECONOMIC ENTOMOLOGY.

By C. H FERNALD, Amherst, Mass.

The earliest accounts of injuries caused by insects, so far as I have seen, are contained in the Old Testament, but nowhere in this work is it stated that attempts of any kind were made to destroy the insects or hold them in check in any way. In many instances the visitations of insects in large numbers were looked upon as plagues sent by the Almighty. Three of the plagues of Egypt, portrayed so vividly in the book of Exodus, were caused by insects—one by lice, one by flies, and one by locusts—but in each case Pharaoh looked for and sought relief only by Divine interposition through the good influences of Moses," the great lawgiver.”

In the book of Joel sundry judgments of God are declared, among which the devastations of insects are referred to with some detail. The prophet seems to take a pessimistic view of their work, but no hint is given or even suggested of any method of checking their ravages.

Aristotle, in his History of Animals, written about two hundred years before the Christian era, while treating of insects gives us nothing whatever of an economic nature concerning them. Pliny, in his great work on the History of the World, written about the year 77 of the Christian era, bas given much of interest concerning the work of insects and the methods of destroying them adopted in those times. In the eleventh book of this work, page 327, it is stated that “if the spring be wet and rainy the eggs of locusts, which have remained in the ground during the winter, perish and do not hatch." Pliny further states that “whole armies of locusts often come from Africa into Italy," and many a time the people of Rome, fearing a famine, had recourse to the Sibylline books for a remedy and to avert the wrath of the gods. These books were supposed to contain the fate of the Roman Empire In the Cyrenian Province of Barbary, it was ordered by law that all the inhabitants should wage war against the locusts, first by hunting for their eggs and crushing them, second by killing the young, and lastly by destroying the adults. A severe punishment was inflicted on those who neglected to perform this duty. On the island of Stalimni it was determined just what quantity each man should kill, and the full measure was required to be exhibited to the magistrate. The people made much account of the assistance rendered by the jays and other birds in destroying the locusts. This account given by Pliny is the earliest concerning the enactment of laws for the destruction of insects that I have anywhere found.

This is more in accordance with our modern ideas on economic entomology than the remedy given by Cato for caterpillars on fruit trees, which was to moisten the tips of the twigs with the gall of a green lizard, or the remedy for cankerworms given by Pliny, which was to hang the bones of a mare's head on the pales around the garden. He emphasizes the fact that the bones must be those of a female, as those of the male would prove of no avail. It appears that the common people needed special cautioning in these matters in the days of Pliny, just as they do to-day.

In the twenty-fifth book, chapter five, Pliny says that if white hellebore be powdered and put into milk all the flies that eat of it will be destroyed. This is the earliest mention I have found of the use of white hellebore as an insecticide. I do not know who claims the honor of the discovery of hellebore as an insecticide in modern times.

The next account, in order of time, that I have been able to find is given by Berg in bis History of the German Forests. In the year 875 hosts of grasshoppers appeared on the Rhine and destroyed all the grass and grain. The remedies employed for their destruction were by the priests, who went in procession around the infested fields, carrying holy relics and making intercessory prayers, “but," adds the chronicler, “it was of no avail.” This was said to be the oldest record to be found of methods of treating insects in German lands and was taken from the Bavarian chronicle of Aventinus.

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