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Chemical-warfare techniques for insect control: insect 'pests' in Germany before and after World War I.

During World War I, chemical-warfare practices were introduced into economic entomology in Germany. Fritz Haber, 'the father of chemical warfare', realized that Germany could not win the war and thus looked for 'civilian' uses for his chemical arsenal. Before the war, there was a rhetoric of dangerous 'masses' of insects but the large-scale techniques needed to deal with them had not been developed. The gap between rhetoric and practices enabled entomology to integrate chemical weapons into its working methods. This article traces transformations in the ways of seeing insects and their control from the mid-nineteenth century to after World War I.[1]


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