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August 18, 1909


Countless Numbers of Them Made
Life Miserable Last Night.

The fat man who lolls in front of hotels in the style of chair large enough to sleep in, discovered a fine breeze last night. He was out in unusually large number. The breeze was fine. The fat man was reading a paper under a glow of large electric lights and puffing away on a huge black cigar.

Then the bugs came, the pestiferous, clinging, crawly green bugs that hot, dry weather brings out. They crawled into his ears and slimed their way across his perspiring neck. They attacked him cheek and jowl. The fat man retreated, back to the super-heated, but screened, lobby of the hotel.

The fat man was not alone in his misery. His brother of the rolled up sleeves and a few of his sisters who affect that kind of raiment also had their troubles. The bugs had an ugly habit of climbing in under the roll of the sleeves, and crawling over the bare skin with much the sort of feeling one has when a bum prima donna hits a punk note. Under the electric lights and close to show windows, the green bugs held undisputed sway. They flew about in trillions, more or less, but sufficiently more to make it much more than less.

Their entry called for heartfelt swats and biffs, and they got 'em, but the survivors came back gallantly to the charge. At a late hour this morning, the green bugs held their vigil 'neath the twinkling lights, ready, ever ready to pounce down and crawl over and along and about any wayfarer who chanced their way.

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August 12, 1909


Insect Looks Like Big Silk Worm
and Destroys Foliage.

A park policeman yesterday brought a sheaf of things that looked like gigantic silk worms growing on branches of trees. They were the new pests that are overrunning the country and destroying the foliage. According to the policeman this is the first time the creatures have been a pest, though they appeared last year.

The grubs are in jackets somewhat like rotting peanuts and from one to two inches in length. They expose about half an inch of their head and neck, and never seeming to stop browsing.

The are repulsive to view, and strip trees clean of all green stuff.


September 21, 1908


Make Annual Pilgrimage to Kansas
City From the North.

Mosquitoes continued last night to swarm down upon Kansas City, and the fellow who said they were all destroyed in the forest fires of the Northern states has taken to the woods. If it be true that the annual fall crop of pests does come down from the North to escape the cold, it came in good installments last night, picking out the Northeast district and most all the lowlands in the city for a field for operation.

Pennyroyal fumes came from the lowlands last night, and the odor of burning rags floated from many a household which hadn't read of the two fires caused last week in that very manner. But the mosquitoes came flocking in just the same, even invading the rooms where the housewife had scattered watermelon rinds for the little rascals to feed upon and die. Some people believe watermelon rinds kill mosquitoes.

It is a matter of record deduced from the tone of complaints that the mosquitoes are not so thick as last year, although this is the month for the annual onslaught. Perhaps the absent ones did perish in the forest fires of the North, where the mosquito is said to get his start.

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August 24, 1908


But She Captured the Saddle-Back
Caterpillar, a Stranger Here.

As Mrs. L. M. Dunlap, 509 Askew avenue, brushed against an amphilopsio vine in the garden of her home Saturday she suddenly noticed a stinging sensation on her right arm. So severe was the pain that Mrs. Dunlap looked for the insect which had attacked her, but instead she discovered a small but very aggressive and exceedingly rare specimen of the caterpillar family on one of the leaves of the vine.

Breaking off the leaf, the caterpillar was put in a glass jar, where it was examined with curiosity by many persons while Mrs. Dunlap nursed a badly swollen and discolored arm.

This particular specimen of caterpillar family, called the saddleback caterpillar, measures about half an inch in length. His body is green, while in the center of his back is a round spot made up of two colors, maroon and white. At either end there project a series of fuzzy horns against which Mrs. Dunlap is thought to have brushed as she passed the vine.

On one other occasion a caterpillar of this kind is said to have been seen in Kansas City, but this is the first discovered for many years.

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September 8, 1907




Pedestrians Slipped Up on Layers of
Them on the Sidewalks -- Elec-
tric Lights in Total Eclipse
and People Had to
Fight Their Way.
Fighting Off Swarms of Bugs

"Suffering Moses! This is the first time I ever realized what sort of proposition Pharaoh and the other Egyptians were up against!" exclaimed an irate citizen last night as he left an Electric park car at Eighth street and Grand avenue, buttoning his coat collar tightly about his neck and shading his eyes as if he had stepped into a snow storm. And no one thought it worth while to ask the meaning of the allusion -- it was evident enough. It was the green bugs.

Green bugs! The air literally swarmed with them. About every street light and illuminated sign board they hung in clouds. The sidewalks were covered with them and pedestrians slipped up upon layers of them on the sidewalks. Passengers in the street cars had to keep their eyes closed for fear the insects would get caught beneath the lids and cause exquisite pain. One scarcely dared to open his mouth for fear of complications. The memark of the man who recalled the pests visited upon the persecutors of the Hebrews in olden time voiced the sentiments of half the downtown people in Kansas City last night.

The tiny green insects have been worse here this summer than ever before, but last night they surpassed all previous records. There was no escape from them except in darkness, as it seemed they could penetrate the closest screen netting. The lighting of any kind of lamp was the signal for an invasion by a swarm of the pests, and once inside they seemed to multiply by the thousands. They had an uncomfortable way of slipping down one's collar, or crawling into one's ear, with occasional side excursions up the nose.
Swarms of Green Bugs Attacking Shoppers
At the confectionery stands they were most exasperatingly aggressive. One ordered a crushed nut sundae and then politely handed it back to the waiter for renovation. An absinthe frappe, because of the harmony of hue between the liquer and the bugs, was altogether out of the question. At the "hand-out" restaurants in the North end, diners calmly covered their coffe-cups with the saucers while they ate their "ham an' " in rapid mouthfulls.

The young woman with the peek-a-boo shirtwaist probably fared the worst. The filigree seemed to offer especial attraction to the little insects, and not a few Kansas City girls were given an evening of peculiar and undesired discomfort. Many women were seen with light shawls, handkerchiefs, coats, anything that would prove a barrier to the aggressiveness of the bugs, about their shoulders in spite of the heat.

There was some satisfaction to observers, however, in the fact that if the bugs made people uncomfortable, other bugs made things interesting for them. Darting in and out of every cloud of the the green insects, large bugs closely resembling beetles were seen feeding voraciously upon the smaller pests. The inroads of those cannibals did not appreciably diminsh their numbers, however, although it was a matter for some comfot to know that trouble was happening to the trouble makers.

It is supposed that the warm weather, following the recent cool, wet weather, brought the bugs out in unusually large numbers. An entomologist who attempted to give a history of the insects was almost mobbed in a Grand avenue saloon by some men who asserted that the bugs were bad enough without going back into tradition and raking out all their ancestors.

In the telephone exchange offices the bantam grasshoppers were especially annoying.

"Bug here? Well, only a million or so, and they get in our mouths," said a "Central" girl.

"You see, we can not say 'hello' with our mouths shut, and every time we open them in hops a bug."

For some mysterious reason the bugs avoided the police station. While persons nearby were complaining, the officers only smiled.

At the Hotel Baltimore the bugs were so thick during the early part of the evening that they annoyed guests in the grill room. Waiters who were not engaged lighted rolls of paper and held the flame beneath the large electric lights in the grill and bar rooms. The smoldering fragments of newspapers which fell about those dining at nearby tables was just as annoying, but the fires soon dispatched the bugs.

Expert mathematicians figured it out that billions of the pests fluttered about the street arc lights, and this seemed plausible, for in the downtown streets some of the arc lights were in total eclipse.
Arc Lights Dimmed to Darkness by Little Green Bugs

On the street cars the scene was much the same as during a heavy snow storm. People turned up their coat collars, held their hats or hands before their faces and now and then, when an especially ambitions bug found its way down the collar of a passenger, there were shivers and exclamations.

In many of the cars the lights were turned entirely out, especially so in all the trailers on the Electric park line. The conductors and motormen fared the worst, for they were compelled to keep their eyes open even at the street corners under the electric lights where the bugs were thickest.

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July 28, 1907


Billiard Hall Man Felt a Buzzing
of the Head.

When the Royal billiard hall at Eight street and Grand avenue closed early yesterday O. R. Bruns, the proprietor, felt a buzzing in his head. He finally located it in the neighborhood of his ear when that organ began to pain him severly.

"I never did have a bee in my bonnet," said Bruns, "and I don't know what this means."

When the buzzing reached the extent of a miniature thunder storm in his head he hied himself to the emergency hospital in city hall. there Dr. Ford B. Rogers removed a small green bug.

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