The Return of the Army Worm? (1 June 1915)

As the stakes rose on the Western Front following major battles in France and Belgium, and the Dardanelles campaign raged on in Western Turkey, the Waterloo Region again turned a concerned eye to the threat of the army worm, which had wreaked havoc on local fields the previous summer. By early June, many local farmers would have planted their season’s crops, and the possibility of another army worm outbreak must have weighed heavily on their minds.

Just in time for a possible new outbreak, the federal Department of Agriculture released a bulletin prepared by government entomologist Arthur Gibson. Gibson’s report estimated that the 1914 outbreak caused some $300,000 dollars in damages, the vast majority of which occurred in Ontario. The report also contained extensive methods for preventing or mitigating an outbreak of the pests.

The Berlin Daily Telegraph, which reported on the bulletin’s publication on June 1st, certainly thought the report was of interest to its readers, and emphasized not only the extent to which the document provided practical information for farmers, but also how one could obtain a copy from the Department of Agriculture.

(“The Army Worm,” Berlin Daily Telegraph, 1 June 1915)