Did the United States Use A Devastating Colorado Insect During the Cold War?
Is it possible a tiny insect from Colorado was used as a weapon during the cold war?
All's Fair In Love and War
It's hard to imagine a small insect, smaller than a quarter, could pose any kind of a threat compared to bombs, tanks, and heavy artillery. They say all is fair in love and war - and so anything goes and anything is possible.
If you are going to use insects in war, apparently the insect of choice is the Colorado Potato Beetle. The tiny bug can be devastating to potato crops - and the consequences of a beetle infestation could be dire.
The War Against Potato Beetles
During the Cold War, there was a campaign by countries in the Warsaw Pact to get rid of Colorado Potato Beetles. They also accused the United States of engaging in entomological warfare, saying it introduced the insect into East Germany, Poland, and Communist Czechoslovakia
According to BBC, it was in 1950 when a German farmer noticed a couple of American airplanes flying over his fields. The next day he reportedly discovered his fields were covered with Colorado Potato Beetles. There were numerous other reports of planes flying overhead, followed by an onslaught of beetles.
Discovered In the Rocky Mountains
You have most likely seen the Colorado Potato Beetle. The beetle is about 3/8 of an inch long with a yellow or orange body with brown stripes. It was first observed in 1811 and formally described in 1824 by an entomologist named Thomas Nuttall. They were found in the Rocky Mountains feeding on buffalobur. Turns out these bugs love potatoes.
In 1859 it was discovered the beetles were destroying Nebraska potato crops and moving eastward. Within 15 years, they had reached the Atlantic Coast and the word was out - the Colorado Potato Beetles were a force to be reckoned with.
Was A Colorado Insect Used As A Secret Weapon During the Cold War?
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