Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - July 18, 2008

From: Millcove, PE
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Burning sulfur over coals in the home for insect control.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Is burning sulfur(over hot coals) in your home a safe way of getting rid of ants and insects?

ANSWER:

That would be a BAD, BAD, BAD idea!  Burning coals in the home is a deadly endeavor.  Charcoal releases tremendous amounts of carbon monoxide when burned and can quickly poison the air inside a home.

Moreover, sulfur burned in the home would leave a foul stench that would linger for some time and would probably not be very effective against the pests, either. 

Shortly after immigrating to America, Mr. Smarty Plants' grandfather was living in a New York tenement along with 2 or 3 million roaches. One Friday, he left for the weekend to visit his brother in New Jersey. Just before leaving set he off a sulfur bomb in his apartment and locked the place up. Upon his return on Sunday evening he found his neighbors ready to lynch him. My much better educated grandfather found a new place to live the next day. True story.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Growing Dwarf Yaupon Holly in Texas
December 04, 2013 - We planted 10 extra dwarf yaupons in our Austin front yard. They were identified as 'Gremici' dwarf yaupon. I googled them to get more information about them in order to determine why five have di...
view the full question and answer

Why is my Ash drooping?
June 22, 2009 - Last spring, I bought a house in Austin, TX with a large Ash tree in the front yard. It looked fine last year, but has been looking funny since it leafed out this spring. It's as if the leaves are we...
view the full question and answer

Pecan tree dropping limbs in Grand Prairie, TX.
September 04, 2012 - Our 15 year old pecan tree is losing it's limbs. The tree and its leaves look healthy with no signs of bugs or mites, but all the limbs are drooping and breaking off. The tree did have a bumper crop ...
view the full question and answer

Clear pungent, liquid oozing from oak tree
June 28, 2010 - I have a large oak that over the last few days has been oozing a pungent, non sticky, clear substance from one specific site (no damage) about the size of a dime. It's attracting quite a few gnats, m...
view the full question and answer

Sap oozing from trunks of Cherry Laurels in Austin, TX
January 24, 2015 - I have several mature compact cherry laurels whose leaves are beginning to turn yellow. They are in raised beds, have been properly fertilized, have compost spread around them, and are properly water...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.