National Geographic : 1988 Nov
the south in a few years. A strong soap solution was used to control the epidemic-effectively. G. T. YOGANANDAN London, England (Thefollowing lettercame to us as a tape recording from a 71-year-oldreaderwho hadheardthe article on a Library of Congress recordingfor the blind.) When I was a landscape gardener in Key West in the late 1950s, I found the first dying palm to hit the coast of the U. S. on the Casa Marina Hotel grounds. I suspected something serious but couldn't get anyone to listen. I found maggots in the bud, and it smelled like a garbage can. Eventu ally, at my own expense, I took down 10,000 dis- eased palms and had them burned. I think birds feeding on those maggots spread lethal yellowing. CHARLES WARDLOW Key West, Florida Experts tell us that after the lethal yellowing dis ease sets in, rottingtissue attractsflies whose mag gots draw the birds. Letters should be addressedto Members Forum, National Geographic Magazine, Box 37448, Washington, D. C. 20013, and should include sender's address and telephone number. Not all letters can be used. Those that are will often be edited and excerpted.