By C. R. Crosby

The results secured from the use of an insecticide or fungicide depend upon the operator. Timeliness, thoroughness, and persistence are the watchwords of success. It is easier to keep an enemy away than to drive him away. The worst foes are often the smallest ones ; and the injury is often done before they are detected. Be ready; begin early.

General Practices

Cleanliness. - Much can be done to check the ravages of insects by destroying their breeding-places and hiding-places. Weeds, rubbish, and refuse should be eliminated.

Hand-picking is often still the best means of destroying insects, despite all the perfection of machinery and of materials. This is particularly true about the home grounds and in the garden. The cultivator should not scorn this method.

Promoting growth. — Any course that tends to promote vigor will be helpful in enabling plants to withstand the attacks of plant-lice and other insects.

Burning. — Larvae which live or feed in webs, like the tent-caterpillar and fall web-worm, may be burned with a torch. The lamp or torch used in campaign parades finds its most efficient use here.

Banding. — To prevent the ascent of canker-worm moths and gypsy-moth caterpillars, various forms of sticky bands are in use. For this purpose there is no better substance than Tree Tanglefoot. It may be applied directly to the tree-trunk, but when so used leaves an unsightly mark and requires more material than when the following method is used: — First place a strip of cotton batting three inches wide around the trunk ; cover this with a strip of tarred paper five inches wide ; draw the paper tight and fasten at the lap only with three or four tacks. Spread the tanglefoot on the upper two-thirds of the paper, and comb it from time to time to keep the surface sticky.

Burlap bands are made by tying or tacking a strip of burlap around the trunk and letting the edges hang down. The larvae will hide under the loose edge, where they may be killed.

Banding is now little used for the codlin-moth, since spraying with poison has been found so much more effective. Fumigation. - Fumigating or " smoking " or " smudging " in greenhouses is performed by the slow burning of tobacco-stems. Best results are obtained when a sheet iron vessel made for the purpose is used, having holes in the bottom to supply draft. A quart of live coals is placed in the bottom of the vessel, and about a pailful of tobacco-stems is laid on them. The stems should not blaze, but burn with a slow smudge. If they are slightly damp, better results are obtained. Some plants are injured by a very heavy smoke, and in order to avoid this injury, and also to more effectually destroy the insects, it is better to smoke rather lightly and often. It is always well to smoke on two consecutive days, for the insects which persist through the first "treatment, being weak, will be killed by the second. If the plants are wet, the smoke is more likely to scorch them. The smudge often injures flowers, as those of roses and chrysanthemums. In order to avoid this injury, the flowers should be covered with paper bags. Tobacco fumes can be conveniently generated by burning strips of prepared nicotine paper, or by vaporizing a concentrated aqueous solution of nicotine in pans over alcohol or special kerosene lamps.

Fumigation with hydrocyanic acid gas. — Hydrocyanic acid gas is a deadly poison, and the greatest care is required in its use. Always use 98 to 100 per cent pure potassium cyanide and a good grade of commercial sulfuric acid. The chemicals are always combined in the following proportion : Potassium cyanide, 1 ounce ; sulfuric acid, 1 fluid ounce ; water, 3 fluid ounces. Always use an earthen dish, your in the water first, and add the sulfuric acid to it. Put the required amount of cyanide in a thin paper bag, and when all is ready, drop it into the liquid and leave the room immediately. For mills and dwellings, use one ounce of cyanide for every 100 cubic feet of space. Make the doors and windows as tight as possible by placing strips of paper over the cracks. Remove the silverware and food, and if brass and nickel work cannot be removed, cover with vaseline. Place the proper amount of the acid and water for every room in two-gallon jars. Use two or more in large rooms or halls. Weigh out the potassium cyanide in paper bags, and place them near the jars. When all is ready, drop the cyanide into the jars, beginning on the top floors, since the fumes are lighter than air. In large buildings, it is frequently necessary to suspend the bags of cyanide over the jars by cords running through screw-eyes and all leading to a place near the door. By cutting all the cords at once, the cyanide will be lowered into the jars and the operator may escape without injury. Let the fumigation continue all night, locking all outside doors, and place danger signs on the house.