Bug zappers

Paul Cherubini cherubini at mindspring.com
Mon Oct 30 12:17:18 EST 2000

Norbert  Klonda wrote:

> Maybe we can get the anti-collectors
> and anti-releasers to spend some energy on criticizing something that really
> may be a serious issue for insect conservation.

Another insect conservation issue the anti-collectors & anti-releasers seem
loathe to tackle is roadside mowing. I think we can all agree that for auto safety
and road maintenance reasons a small band of roadside soil needs to be
maintained free of excessive weed growth, but I was downright shocked 
by what I observed along Iowa roadsides this past September. 

Iowa is a state where 80% of the land mass is covered with corn and soybeans,
plus a few other minor crops. Roadsides therefore account for a fair
portion of the left over 20% that isn¹t cultivated. But in Iowa the highway
department regularly mows down not just a small band of weeds next to roads, but
everything right up to the edge of crops and fencelines. This makes
for a very tidy appearance, but gosh there is practically no ground left undisturbed
for plants and animals along Iowa roadsides. We are not talking about just 
one mowing a year, but multiple mowings during the warmer months - all 
(apparently) for the purpose of ³beautification². 

On NABA¹s home page http://www.naba.org/ one can find a list of
³hot [conservation] topics² that include mosquito spraying, butterfly
releases at weddings, butterflying with binoculars instead of nets,
a project to raise $500,000 for a ³premier butterfly garden²
etc, but no mention of roadside mowing or bug zappers as conservation

Paul Cherubini


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