National Geographic : 1921 Aug
PROTECTING THE UNITED STATES FROM PLANT PESTS PROTECTING CUCURBITS FROM ATTACK BY MELON FLIES No effective control of this pest is possible except to enclose the young fruits in a paper sack immediately after the bloom has been fertilized. The illustration shows this method as employed by Oriental market gardeners in Hawaii. the European corn-borer all occurred during the last years of the effort to se cure this legislation and before it was actually enacted, although the fact of the entry and establishment of these pests was not determined until several years later. The Plant Quarantine Act of 1912 was the final outcome of this 14-year effort to secure authority to protect the United States, so far as possible, from further entry of plant pests. In connection with broad quarantine and regulatory powers, this act makes specific provision for the regulation of the entry of nursery stock and other plants. ADEQUATE CONTROL BY INSPECTION AND CERTIFICATION PROVES IMPOSSIBLE During the first seven years of the en forcement of the act an effort was made to prevent the entry of new plant pests by relying as safeguards on foreign in- spection and certification. These were made in the countries of export by the most expert officials available, and as an additional safeguard provision was made for reinspection of these importations at destination in this country, either by Federal or by State inspectors. This re inspection has given us a fairly just ap preciation of the continuing risk with the entry of such inspected and certified plants. It is true that under this system, in which the best skill both abroad and at home was employed, much improvement was made in the health status of the im ported plants, and infection was undoubt edly reduced to probably as near a mini mum as is humanly possible. The record, however, of the seven years of interceptions of plant pests in connec tion with imported plants indicates very clearly that in spite of these safeguards numbers of injurious insects and plant 215 A'