Saturday, 12 February 2011

Entomological Haikus

Though to be fair, these are actually more specific than that as they are all crop protection haikus. These have come about as I spotted the link on Bug Girl’s blog about the 4th Annual Hexapod Haiku Challenge sponsored by the North Carolina State University Insect Museum. I spent a couple of bus journeys contemplating verse rather than damaging my hearing by listening to my pod at full tilt. These are the results:

An attempt to distil the complex epidemiology of Parsnip Yellow Fleck Virus into 17 syllables 

Spring umbellifers
Aphids, virus coincide
Carrots wilt and die

Orange wheat blossom midge is an occasional problem in wheat if the conditions and timing is right and there is only one effective option in the UK

Still summer evenings
Blossom midge flits. Right growth stage?
Chlorpyrifos: death

IPM is used in many closed systems to keep pest populations under control (in this case Trialeurodes vaporariorum and Encarsia formosa)

Glasshouse whitefly blooms
Parasitic wasp controls
Residue free food

Easier than I thought to fit some things into 17 syllables and for it to still make sense! However, I am sure that aficionados of the genre will point out, perhaps using these as evidence, that it takes far more effort than a 20 minute bus journey to produce good quality Haikus.

I have submitted these to the competition and await my prize!

Comments welcome!


  1. very good Phil, your poetic talents have been wasted! My fave is the orange blossom midge one - any poem with a word I can't even pronounce has to be a winner.

  2. Thanks Hazel. Actually quite liked the process of trying to shoehorn something understandable into such a rigid structure...