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Stories Of Southern Oregon: The Value Of Knowing Bugs

Oregon State University

Some of us still recoil in horror at the arrival of "bugs." But we've learned over the years how beneficial insects and spiders and all their family members can be.

Some of the time, anyway. There are plenty of critters that will eat us out of house and home and pass diseases to boot. Richard Hilton knows them well from his work as an agricultural entomologist for the Oregon State University Extension Service.

He has many "bug tales" to share, and we hear some of them in this month's edition of Stories of Southern Oregon. SOSO curator Maureen Battistella joins the conversation with Rick Hilton.

Bonus story: apparently the first nine holes of what became today's Rogue Valley Country Club were named after critters and problems with the pear orchards. Here's the list Rick found in an old newspaper account:

Hole Name Bogey [notice-bogey, not par]

1 Wooly Aphis 5
2 Thrips 5
3 Anthracnose 5
4 Blight 4
5 Scale 4
6 Slug 6
7 Borer 6
8 Blistermite 5
9 Codling 4

Medford Sun, 30 June 1911, p. 1:3

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.