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Japanese Beetle Suppression

Along in 1927 the Japanese beetle became so destructive in certain areas and the requests for help so insistent that a Japanese beetle suppression project was established and Victor I. Safro was named director. Safro's first activity was to prepare, for widespread distribution, a circular answering 169 questions about the insect and its control. This was followed by another circular on community shade tree spraying which included specific directions for organizing spraying campaigns. Safro in 1928 activated community spraying projects in Haddon Heights, Collingswood, and Moorestown, all with good results.

In order to present to the public the results of research and experimentation, Safro wrote other popular publications on the Japanese beetle, prepared educational exhibits, addressed meetings, and cooperated with service and garden clubs, shade tree commissions, county agricultural agents, and others.

Safro resigned in 1929 and Edgar G. Rex assumed charge of the Japanese beetle suppression work along with his seed certification duties. Rex established temporary headquarters at Elmer, New Jersey, near the center of the heavily infested Japanese beetle territory. A spraying outfit was purchased in 1931, and non-economic foliage in six locations was sprayed with a poisoned attractant material consisting of geraniol and green arsenate of lead. Community spraying was continued at Moorestown and Haddon Heights. Electrical and mechanical traps were tested for effectiveness and the latter were decided upon as being the most effective. Improvements were made in design, and during the summer of 1931 twenty-five hundred state-owned traps were distributed in southern New Jersey. During the season over 530 million beetles were trapped and killed. Although this trapping program was continued for several years, it was gradually replaced by other control procedures.