University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association / Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers' Association. Thirty-first annual meeting, Grand Rapids, Wisconsin, January 8, 1918. Thirtieth summer meeting, pavilion, Nekoose, Wis., August 14, 1917

Searls, Andrew
President's annual address,   p. 7 PDF (210.3 KB)

Page 7

As the blackhead fire worm seems to be inclined to give the cran-
berry growers trouble this coming season, it might be well to sound
a warning and give some pointers how to manage this troublesome
pest. The way I have doped this subject out is, there is only one way
for the Wisconsin Cranberry Growers to combat him successfully, for
if you attempt to get him with a poison, or any other way by the use
of a spray, you will fail to reach him in time to prevent him from
getting in his work and doing your crop and vines a great deal of
harm, besides the spray method is very much more expensive.
I have had several years experience in treating for this pest and
have always been successful in combatting him. I think it was twelve
years ago this last fall, I discovered quite a large patch of our vines
had been severely injured by some pest. I had not noticed when
the work was being done but I could see if the whole bog was worked
over as thoroughly as this particular patch, something like forty
square rods, it would put us out of business for at least a couple of
years. This looked serious and in walking among the vines on a fine
sunny day I noticed very many small brown flies, or you might call
them millers-they resembled millers-would rise and fly away, a few
feet, and again settle down in the vines. I concluded these were the
fellows responsible for the work, and from their immense numbers
they would be likely to spread over the whole bog and be laying eggs
for the coming season.
I had come in possession some time before of a bulletin on Cran-
berry Culture, and among the papers was one on how to combat the
black head fire worm. The treatment advised when the first crop of
worms were hatched (which usually occurs in the last days of May)
was to put the bog under water for a sufficient time to drown these
young worms: it might take several floodings to get them all but
this was the only sure method of protection. The next spring I was
on the look out for the appearance of the fellows. I think it was the
25th of May I discovered that the worms were getting busy, their
first work seeming to be on the young growing buds and vines.
We at once put our entire fields under water, covering every vine
as nearly as possible. They were held submerged for 36 hours, the
water was then drawn off and the worms examined and were found to
be dead, all at least that we had been able to get under water. We
make a practice of giving our marsh a worm flood for safety, believ-
ing it will do no harm and if there are any stray worms hanging
around it will put them out of business.

Go up to Top of Page