The Effect of Deficiency and Excess in Rainfall upon the Hickory Bark Beetle

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An epidemic of the Hickory Bark-Beetle started in Syracuse in 1912 and has extended to the present time, with a decided checking in 1915. This was preceded by semi-drought conditions over a period of several years before the epidemic started. While the trees were undoubtedly affected, as is shown by a study of the rings of growth, the indirect effect through the lessening of the vitality of the trees is not sufficient to account for all the phenomena. The greatest effect was the more direct one upon the insects themselves, as the deficiency came during the summer months. A deficiency at this time is beneficial to both adults and larvae, and an excess, as in 1915, acts as a distinct check. When the adults are active, continued rain kills many while feeding and establishing their burrows and also checks egg-laying. Excess rainfall, humidity and cloudiness kills the larvae because it produces an excess of water in the plant tissues and this is set free into the larval mines. Deficiency in rainfall has a beneficial effect upon both adults and larvae. This may be put to practical use. It is known that there has been a deficiency in rainfall extending over several years, an intelligent lookout can be made for the first signs of undue increase of dangerous forms and these can be controlled before they reach epidemic proportions.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1924

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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