| Material Information
||Gas the ants
||Press bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
||2 p. : ;
||Watson, J. R ( Joseph Ralph ), 1874-1946
||University of Florida, Agricultural Experiment Station
||Place of Publication:
||Ants -- Control -- Florida ( lcsh )
||government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
||Statement of Responsibility:
||"August 12, 1918."
| Record Information
||University of Florida
||University of Florida
||All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
||ltqf - AAA6565
ltuf - AEP5880
oclc - 52938466
alephbibnum - 000934813
PRESS BULLETIN No. 295
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
GAS THE ANTS
J. R. WATSON
About the dwelling, on the lawn, in the garden and truck patch,
in the nursery, in the grove, and in the farmer's fields, ants are
a nuisance. Their annoying depredations are well known to every
housekeeper. Many, but not all, of the ants which infest the
house have their nests in the ground.
In the fall, ants cause considerable loss in the seed beds by
carrying off the seeds. In the nursery they often eat the buds
out of freshly budded stock. In the fields the large red agricul-
tural ants deprive the farmer of the use of many spots of ground.
These ants can not tolerate vegetation about their nests, and a
large colony will keep bare a spot six to ten feet square. Besides
these direct depredations, ants cause indirect injury by lending
aid and comfort to some of the farmer's worst enemies. They
are very fond of a sweet liquid, called "honeydew," excreted by
plant-lice and some scale insects, mealy-bugs, leaf-hoppers, and
tree-hoppers. They constantly attend these insects and interfere
with other insects which would parasitize or eat them. The ants
even carry these honeydew-secreting insects about and place
them on favorite food plants.
This is a favorable time of the year to locate ants' nests. The
heavy rains cause the ants to bring up much fresh soil and build
their nests higher, making them more conspicuous. Also, the
barren areas around the nests of the agricultural ants are more
easily seen when the fields have their maximum growth of vege-
tation. The truckers are now beginning to make up their seed
beds, and it is important to kill the ants in the vicinity.
Ants in the nest are most easily and economically killed by a
solution of cyanide. Either sodium or potassium cyanide may
be used, but the former is cheaper. Dissolve about an ounce of
the cyanide in a quart of water. With a cane or sharp stick punch
a hole to the depth of a foot or more in the center of the nest
and pour into it a fluid ounce or more of the solution. As the
liquid has soaked away cover the hole with earth and tramp the
surface solid, to confine to the nest the fumes of the gas which
August 12, 1918
the liquid will give off. It is best to do this in the early morning
or at night when most of the ants are in the nest. Those ants not
m the nest when it is gassed, together with those not killed by
the treatment, will usually make a new nest near the old one.
These new nests may be treated a few days later.
Cyanide must be handled carefully as it is a most powerful
poison. The solid material must be kept away from the mouth
and sores, and even from the wet skin. Neither should the
fumes be inhaled. The solution must not be allowed to come into
contact with the roots of valuable plants as it will kill them.
Carbon bisulphide may be used in a like manner but it is more
expensive. Gasoline will kill a few ants but it does not penetrate
the galleries of the nest very far.
The little red house ants can be poisoned. Dissolve one-ninth
of an ounce of sodium arsenite in a little water and add it to a
pint of syrup. If the poison is used in much greater proportion
the ants will not touch it. At this weak percentage the ants are
not killed at once, but carry the poisoned sweet to their young
in the nest.
Ants may be kept off tables and other pieces of furniture by
banding the legs with paper which has been soaked in a saturated
(water) solution of corrosive sublimate. The solution may be
painted directly on the legs, but it is a bit dangerous if there are
young children about. A better and entirely safe formula is:
Corrosive sublimate .......................................20 grams
Ethyl alcohol ............................... ........ ...........60 c. c.
Orange or white shellac ...................................31 grams
The corrosive sublimate is dissolved in the alcohol in a wide-
mouthed bottle and the shellac added and shaken up until thoroly
mixed. White or orange shellac should be used according t)
whether the furniture is light or dark. This material should be
effective for more than a year.
Ants can be prevented from ascending trees by banding the
trunks. Two good formulas are:
(1) Tree sticky ......................................... .... ...6 parts
Powdered corrosive sublimate ........................1 part
(2) Flowers of sulphur .. ..................... part by weight
Tree sticky ................................... 6 parts by weight
Mix thoroly with a wooden paddle. This should last from three
to five months.
State Papers Please Copy.