The trip across the Atlantic he survived in the belly of a plane, maybe a Lockheed C-5, as it is the American military used at the time, hidden somewhere between the relief supplies for the people in the war that would just drag the borders in the Balkans bloody new, in addition to care packages and Medical supplies. Maybe he has taken a very different path. Sure, you can’t say it. The only thing is that he was in the summer of 1992 in large numbers on a field in the vicinity of the Nikola Tesla airport in Belgrade: The Western Corn rootworm, Latin Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte.

An animal of the class of insects, order of beetles. Five mm large with body-length antennae, and a yellow pronotum and the distinctive black and yellow stripes on the outer wings. A Neozoon the scientists, a schlepptes, non-native insect call him. A pest the plant protection experts to call him. The plague is called the farmers, whose fields he devastated.

Serbia has not limited the beetle. Since 1992, it spreads in concentric circles around the first site, per year, around 20 kilometers and is often taken as a stowaway in agricultural cars or buses, vehicles, private. The Corn rootworm has reached in 1995, Hungary and Croatia, a year later, he was to be found in Bosnian. In 2002, he broke silence the Austrian border. The danger, of the man had only heard of and now between the fingers of the farmers crush.

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learn How a line of the find spots lie exactly on the border between Slovakia and Austria. Then he continued to move to Germany. Eleven years ago, employees of the Bavarian state research center for agriculture (LFL) is found to fall in the first beetles in the Pheromone. Surprise it was no more: “We knew about the strong increase in catch rates in Austria. We knew that the beetle comes. We have waited for him,“ says Michael Zellner from the Institute for plant protection in the LFL. The first beetle found its employees in a vacant lot in the Passau city area, today he has in the whole of upper and lower Bavaria laid out, especially so where the animal grow fatteners Maize as a fodder plant.

25,000 shares were received this year in the Bavarian Fall. Four times as many as in the previous year. Eight times as many as two years ago. And: Also, the number of beetles at the individual sites is increasing rapidly. Similar to reports from Baden-Württemberg. With a cultivation area of more than 2.5 million hectares of Maize after the winter, the second most important culture of wheat plant on the German field. And it is not a question of whether the Corn rootworm is also to achieve lower Saxony, the Federal state, where planting is particularly strong Corn. The only question is when.

Two to Zero for the beetle

The Corn rootworm as voracious as little love is great: Only one Generation per year. The female beetles together in the fall the eggs into several packages for Overwintering in the soil, each 300 to 400 pieces, and dies. In the following year, the larvae hatch at the end of may in the Corn field and begin their work: Nor under the earth, they eat the roots of corn plants. In case of severe infestation, the beetles eat away the entire root mass. The Plant can absorb less water and nutrients, and finds less support in the ground, you are bowing to. She manages once again to erect, curving upwards. The Corn looks like a goose neck.