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A Plague of Beetles.

The “ Sydney Morning Herald’s ” purveyor of “European news” writes that Russia is terrified at the dreadful ravages of a corn beetle, of the Cleonus class, which are assuming such serious propox--tions that the Government has appointed a committee of landowners, naturalists, and officials to report on the best method of promoting the destruction of the new enemy. These creatures swarm in such masses that the peasants of Bohroosty, in the Khazkoti district, took no fewer than 14,000 of them, a few days ago, from a muddy hole in a field, in which they had been dx-owned by a shower of rain. The field was literally covered by them. The corn-beetle has travelled as far as Jassy, and appears to be approaching Austria. In the Province of Odessa the sea incessantly throws up whole masses of these beetles, which rapidly spread over the fields and devour everything on their way. Forced labor against the common enemy has been established by the authorities. But this is so little to the tastes of the peasants that many of them ax - e throwing up agriculture and betaking themselves to other pursuits. A commission of functionaries and professors has set out for Otchakoff to decide on measures to be adopted against the cornbeetle arriving by the sea. Public trials with a new corn-beetle killing apparatus are taking place all over Central Asia, and communes are purchasing beforehand a stock of these useful instruments, in anticipation of the arrival of the dreaded pest. Another species of beetle, the “ Anisophlia Austriaca,” is ravaging the Province of Pullava. At Lublin, in Poland, a species of locust had made its appearance, and has destroyed the crops at various points. The destruction of corn in the regions of Russia that have long been the principal granary of Europe must exercise a most untoward influence on the supplies of breadstuff’s for this hemisphere.

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A Plague of Beetles. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 15, 30 October 1879

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