This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
S. P., Newport, R. I., writes: " I send by mail, with this letter, a small box containing a portion of Grape vine root. You will find, by applying the glass to it, it is covered with small yellowish-green insects, which feed on the same, as you see by the piece of root sent, till they kill the root outright. In the Spring they come out of the ground in large quantities and last for several weeks, when they die away again, and I suppose lay their eggs for the crop of the future. They do not seem to injure the foliage at all while in the hug form, but through the day are constantly flying against the glass; they have now disappeared about ten days. On examining the roots to-day I find a great many killed and many full of the insects like the root sent you in a small piece of paper in the box. Are any of the bugs in their full grown state ? Is this what is called the Phyl-loxera or not ? Do you think a strong solution of tobacco water would be injurious to the vines ? If not, I think where they could be reached with it, it would kill them while in this state.
Please advise me what is best to do, and oblige".
[There was a large quantity of Phylloxera on these roots and a small beetle in addition. We sent the box to a prominent coleopterist on account of these beetles, but he evidently overlooked them, as he reported " nothing but phylloxera." Please send some more sometime. We never saw roots eaten out by a beetle as these were. Perhaps the tobacco might do. Try, and report. - Ed. G. M].