En Español

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

Leaf drop from maple tree in Minnesota
August 15, 2008 - I have about a 30 ft maple tree in my yard, last fall I trimmed it pretty good because the branches were getting low where you could not walk under it or get grass to grow. This is the 2nd time in abo...
view the full question and answer

Health of pond cypress
April 08, 2005 - Is there a common reason pond cypress trees vary greatly in their apparent health in similar conditions? I have 7 of them on my property, only two look healthy, one died and fell down recently. The lo...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen groundcover under pine tree in NY
May 23, 2008 - Hello! I live in upstate NY. I'm trying to find an evergreen ground cover to plant under a pine tree. I believe it's a white spruce (but I'm not postive). I've read conflicting information reg...
view the full question and answer

Oak sap dripping on driveway in Austin
November 06, 2011 - Why would oak sap be dripping on driveway at this time when other oaks the neighbors have are not.
view the full question and answer

Sap dripping from redbud in Bertram, TX
March 03, 2014 - Our multi-trunked Texas redbud has sap dripping down 3 of the trunks. It seems to originate from a very small crack in each trunk. The tree is just starting to show pink this week, and is about to blo...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center