Mealy-bug (Pseudococcus calceolariae). — Common on sugar-cane in the southern parishes of Louisiana, and recorded further in the United States from Florida and California. Known in Louisiana as " pou-a-pouche." The insects occur in a mass about the roots and beneath the lower leaf-sheaths of the cane plant, and the mass is covered by a white mealy secretion. The mealy-bug hibernates on the roots of the stubble beneath the surface of the ground or on the stalks put down in windrow as seed for the spring plant. Brood follows brood throughout the summer months.
Treatment. — Burning of trash after harvest, fall planting, and the selection of seed cane from non-infested areas are the main methods that may be employed in the control of this species.
Root-beetle (Ligyrus rugiceps). — This insect occurs throughout the lower Mississippi valley and the southern states generally as far north as North Carolina. As the name implies, the beetle infests the roots of the cane plant. The insect hibernates in the advanced larval or the pupal stages, and the adult appears in the spring. The injury to the cane is accomplished by the adult eating into the young shoots just below the surface of the ground. From this point the insect works downwards to the roots, where the eggs are laid. The larva develops about the roots. In the case of young shoots the injury is sufficient to practically sever the shoot from the mother cane or stubble. This kills out the heart of the young plant, and unless the cane suckers well, the stand is seriously affected.
Treatment. — If the stubble cane is off-barred in the spring and the soil kept away from the young cane as late as the conditions will allow, much injury from the root beetle will be avoided. Frequent cultivation of the plant cane will disturb the beetles in the soil and lessen their chance of attacking the cane. No great amount of vegetable matter should be plowed under on those areas where the root beetle is abundant, since this favors the development of the larvae or " white grubs." The headlands and ditch banks should be kept clear of grass, since the beetle develops in these situations bordering the cane-fields. In districts where freezing temperatures occur, late fall plowing will turn out many of the grubs, and they will perish from exposure. During an attack, it is often profitable to have children follow and collect the beetles behind the hoe gangs.
Sumac. Apple-tree Borer. — See under Apple, p. 308. Jumping Sumac-beetle (Blepharida rhois). — Larva, half-inch long, dull greenish yellow, feeding on leaves ; two broods. Remedy. — Arsenicals.
Sweet-potato. Saw-fly (Schizocerus ebnus and S. privatus). — Small larva about one-fourth inch long, working upon the leaves. The fly is about the size of a house-fly. Remedies. — Hellebore and arsenicals. Root-borer (Cylas formicarius). — A whitish grub one-fourth inch in length, burrowing through the tubers.
Preventive. — Burn infested tubers and the vines.
Tortoise beetles (Cassidini). — Beetles of brilliant colors and their slug-like larvae which eat holes in the leaves of newly reset plants.
Treatment. — Same as for next. Flea-beetle. (Chaetocnema confinis). — Small, dark-colored beetles, which attack the plants soon after they are reset.
Treatment. — Dip the plants in a strong solution of arsenate of lead before resetting. Spray once or twice later with the same. Rotation of crops. Destroy all bindweed and wild morning-glory plants. Cutworms. — Poisoned bait. Late planting. Keep the land free from weeds the previous fall. See p. 302. Tobacco. Flea-beetle (Epitrix parvula). — Small beetles eating holes in the leaves in the seed beds.
Treatment. — Cover the beds tightly with canvas, or spray thoroughly with arsenate of lead, one pound in 12 gallons of water. Cutworms. — Use poisoned bait. Sod land should be plowed in fall. Horn-worms. — See under Tomato, below.
Flea-beetles, Grasshoppers, and Tree-crickets. — Attacking the crop in the field, may be controlled by spraying with arsenate of lead, 1 pound in 16 gallons of water. Tomato. Fruit-worm (Heliothis obsoleta). — Larva, one inch in length, pale green or dark brown, faintly striped, feeding upon the fruit. Also on corn and cotton.
Treatment. — Hand-picking. Avoid planting close to corn or cotton, or after either of these crops or after peas or beans. Practice fall or winter plowing.