Entomological Warfare Essay

1763 WordsOct 30, 20138 Pages
If one has ever made the trip to the beautiful state of California, s/he would know of the state's strict "no outside food" rule. Such a rule is the cautious approach towards protecting California's primary economy: agriculture. While many probably find the rule obnoxious and possibly irritating, it displays how much California would suffer if something as small as the Mediterranean fruit fly made its home among the fruit fields. Additionally, this causes California to be a possible location of entomological attack: bug and/or insect warfare. However, destruction to agriculture is not the only form of entomological attack an enemy can utilize; bugs and insects can also be used to infect and kill groups of individuals with deadly pathogens: parasites. Historically, nature's six-legged friends have found their way on to the battlefield for thousands of years. It is hypothesized the earliest use of insects and bugs as weapons may date back to the Upper Paleolithic period–100,000 years ago. Unfortunately, "written" evidence does not appear until 5,000 years ago (Lockwood, 1980). Mesopotamian-history scholar Edward Neufeld (1980) states It may be assumed with reasonable confidence that man has perceived the value of certain insects as an instrument of warfare long before recorded history. [. . .] It is almost a logical certainty that insect weaponry belonged to early man's 'natural' objects like those made from wood, bone, or stone. The primary choices of insects during this time were most likely bees, wasps, deadly ants, and possibly scorpions. It is difficult to determine how early man collected such a "weapon" without being attacked, but some speculate the insects were gathered during the night when the cooler temperatures slowed the insects and the lack of light masked the human's approach. When the time came to use the living weapon, the nest, or perhaps

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