National Geographic : 1921 Aug
206 THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE DISINFECTION OF EGYPTIAN COTTON TO EXCLUDE THE PINK BOLLWORM The worst of all cotton pests is the pink bollworm, the larva of a minute moth. The larvae feed in the bolls and destroy the forming lint. This pest originated in India and reached Egypt about 15 years ago with some importations of cotton, and has since been distributed with Egyptian cotton seed to practically every cotton-producing country of the world. It reached Texas via Mexico in 1916, and since that time Congress has appropriated upward of $2,500,000 to be used in an effort to exterminate this pest. This illustration shows the method of disinfecting Egyptian cotton. The entire row of cotton bales is carried at one time into a huge steel cylinder, shown at the end of the picture, by means of a movable platform. The cylinder then is hermetically closed and the air exhausted, creating a vacuum. The poisonous cyanide gas is then allowed to enter the cylinder, and the vacuum insures penetration of this gas to the very center of the bale, destroying all insects. This is the largest fumigating plant in the world, and each cylinder has a capacity of over loo bales of cotton at one time. A SPECIAL SENSE MUST BE DEVELOPED BY THE PLANT INSPECTOR This photograph illustrates an effort to bring alligator pears into the United States from Mexico imbedded in partly baked loaves of bread, in violation of a Federal embargo on account of pests.