This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
In the Gardener's Monthly for December 1878, C. O. S., Seguin, Texas, complains about the destructiveness of a certain kind of ant which eats his plants, and asks if any correspondent knows a remedy. I suppose it is the same kind of an ant which was formerly the dread of Texas gardeners; here are two recipes for their destruction, the first is preventive. Buy a pound or less Cyanide of Potassium, and where you find the ants carrying the leaves in the ground, open the hole carefully and put a few grains of the above named drug into it. The ants are killed by the fumes of this substance, and after a few days you will find for some distance, the hole choked and filled with dead ants, and it will take some time before they will venture to open a new gang and attack your plants again, and if so, treat them to another dose of Cyanide of Potassium. The second remedy is radical. It consists of a contrivance to blow the fumes of burning sulphur into their dens, which are in Texas, from nine to ten feet below the surface.
The fumes are blown into their nests by little machines, similar to those of a fanning mill.