A Closer Look at the History of Cochineal

According to The Advocate, “The prickly pear cactus was a scourge in outback regions of Australia until the Cactoblastus moth was introduced in 1926 as a biological method to eradicate this introduced plant pest. A consignment of 3,000 Cactoblastus moth eggs reproduced and the next generation numbered in excess of two and a half million eggs.  These were distributed to selected areas from which eggs were gathered and scattered over an increasing area until about 300 million moth eggs had been successfully translocated. By 1932 most of the infested country had been reduced to soggy masses of decaying yellow pulp and by 1934 the cactus had been brought under control. This cactus was first introduced into Australia in the early … Read more