Continental publishing company,
Text on page 280
The Philippine 'Islands.
Two or three weeks are necessary for the hatching. The grubs cannot be driven to flight, as their wings do not sprout for about ten days, and they set themselves diligently to work to eat their fill, making havoc in the growing crops. Though they cannot fly, they can jump, and the plan adopted to dispose of them is to form a barrier of sheet-iron at one side of the field, dig a pit before it, and set a number of men to beat up the small game around the other three sides of the field. In this way the young locusts may be driven in heaps into the pit, and there destroyed. I have seen instances wrhere tons of these destructive pests were thus slain.
Locusts have been known to travel as far as sixty miles out to sea. It is a curious fact, that, they avoid for several years a province where large quantities of their number have been swallowed up and destroyed by an earthquake.
Aside from their destroying growing-crops, these insects are perfectly harmless ; little children play with them, and older people eat them, fried locust being esteemed a great delicacy by the poor-class natives. I can vouch for one instance in which the inhabitants of a certain village offered to pay the parish priest if he would say mass for the continuance of this luxury. The scourge is thus a terror to the planter, but a boon to his poor laborers.
the chief nuisances : mosquitoes and ants.
To repeat: Among the chief nuisances in the Philippines are mosquitoes and ants. The ordinary bed is a hemp mat, without sheets, but never without ample mosquito nets, in the absence of which sleep would be banished. The white ants are indeed formidable ; not like the locusts, feeding on green things growing, but destroying dry wood and vegetable fibre, wherever found. They can literally devour a house ; and I have been gravely told that even the surface of iron is not safe from their ravages.
Many anecdotes are extant concerning the silent, hidden, and rapid ravages of these aggressive insects, working entirely out of sight, yet finding their way by a sure instinct to anything that will serve them for food. In one aggravating instance, happening inMany anecdotes are extant concerning the silent, hidden, and rapid ravages of these aggressive insects, working entirely out of sight, yet finding their way by a sure instinct to anything that will serve them for food. In one aggravating instance, happening in