OT - Ant Killing Story

Hi all,
I'm mostly a lurker here but I thought I'd post a funny (and dangerous) story as an example of how NOT to kill fire ants.
I grew up in NC and had my fair share of ant bites by fire ants.. ugh. The story goes:
My dad (from the Philippines) tried to get rid of them by pouring gasoline on them (at the suggestion of one of the neighbors I believe). I dont' know who told him to do this, or if tehy thought it woudl be funny - but as you know - one ant mound is usually linked to another mound, etc.
So he pours gas on each mound, the ants are going nuts, crawling everywhere. He's probably breaking all sorts of environmental laws, just killing the earth, god, the amount of damage tht did. Especially when some other idiot got the bright idea to throw a match down.
Apparetnly several mounds "blew up", showering everyone around with really pissed off fire ants. Not only that, but gass got everywhere
I tell you, people are positively brilliant sometimes *sarcasm*. My uncle was going nuts when he heard about this - yelling and hollering. Anyway, I don't know how many mounds are generally connected in some form, but at least 3 "blew up" that day.
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in article bjolta$i98$ snipped-for-privacy@bob.news.rcn.net, Culturalenigma at snipped-for-privacy@titchmarshfan.com wrote on 9/10/03 7:20 PM:

<snip>
Firstly, gasoline without additives is about as organic as you can get. Ask any chemists.
Secondly, even if you went *inorganic* how can you get rid of fire ants?
When I was a kid, I remember seeing a product that was in the form of a powder. I think it was calcium cyanide, but it really was a long time ago. It came in a can with a nozzle to insert the powder down the nest enterance. Then, either from ground moisture, or added water, the powder would produce hydrogen cyanide.
Aside from possible environmental problems, would such treatment be effective against ants?
Bill
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snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net says...

There used to be a product called cyanamid (sp?) that was used to kill a lawn for replanting. It was a powder you applied and then watered in. IIRC, it generated some form of cyanide that killed all vegetation including dormant seeds. In about 3 days it decomposed to a fertilizer and you then reseeded.
I only used it once, but it worked like a charm. I replaced a grass lawn with dichondra and never saw a blade of grass trying to come back. The stuff is undoubtedly banned now.
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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in article bjq5nd$m3a8t$ snipped-for-privacy@ID-124996.news.uni-berlin.de, Larry Blanchard at snipped-for-privacy@fastmail.fm wrote on 9/11/03 8:40 AM:

I tried tracking this down a bit, but Google didn't search the way I wanted it to.
The cyanamide process, used by the American Cyanamid Corporation, was an early method to fix nitrogen for fertilizer and explosives. It preceded the Haber process that ultimately replaced the cyanamid porocess. Cyanamide can be used directly as fertilizer. It can be used to produce cyanide products when mixed with boiling water or in other high temperature processes. So I do not think that calcium cyanamide itself was very useful to kill ants.
One fumigant that I used was metam sodium, also known as vapam or sodium methyldithiocarb. I may still have some in my garage although it was banned, at least in California when a trainload was dumped into a river. It was pretty good for sterilizing soil.
Although it would be considered a metal-organic compound, I do not think that it would meet with approval from organic farming enthusiasts.
Bill
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in article BB8623E4.9D20% snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net, Repeating Decimal at snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote on 9/11/03 1:06 PM:

By coincidence, there was a PBS broadcast on KOCE (Orange County, CA) tonight about a metam sodium spill on the then Soutern Pacific RR into the Upper Sacromento River. It killed off everything in the river including fish, snails, and plants. It took about a decade for the river to recover as it was restocked from unaffected tributaries.
Bill
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snipped-for-privacy@titchmarshfan.com writes:

Do you think the story has been embellished through the years as things like this often are?
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Um, possibly. I'm sure there were more than just my father who tried it. There had to be more. I knew of two men in high school who one ended up in the hospital after setting himself on fire accidentally.
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