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Re: Termites


You're certainly right about the underground economy, Bonnie, and as near as I can tell, you're right about the flea market supply line. I was told recently that DDT turns up somewhat regularly at flea markets--if you know who to ask. I've also had a few interesting exchanges at flea markets.

On Mar 5, 2006, at 12:49 PM, Bonnie Holmes wrote:

However, an article I recently read on these termites (I think in Natural
History) stated that the insects arrived in boxes made of trash lumber sent
back to U.S. when the military returned after WWII. It wouldn't take many.
In our area there are many who make money "under the radar" so it would
make me rather nervous to buy on the cheap. You can go to most flea
markets and find things that have been officially removed from the market.
Bonnie ETN Zone 7


[Original Message]
From: Kitty <kmrsy@comcast.net>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Date: 3/5/2006 12:09:54 PM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Termites

ah, the voice of reason.  thanks.
Kitty
neIN, Zone 5
----- Original Message -----
From: <Cersgarden@aol.com>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Sunday, March 05, 2006 11:28 AM
Subject: [CHAT] Termites


The following is the infor I recd from ISU on termites.
    Ceres

Termites in Mulch b another urban myth

There has been considerable interest in Formosan termites after an
article
began circling on the Internet claiming Formosan termites will be
coming
to
eat
your house if you buy low priced wood-chip mulch from garden centers
this
spring.   The theory is that trees blown down in New Orleans by
Hurricane
Katrina
were infested with termites and that those trees willed be chipped into
mulch
and shipped across the country, spreading Formosan termites.

In my opinion, this scenario starts with a small ounce of fact but then
adds
sensationalism and exaggeration while ignoring other pertinent facts to
come
up with an urban legend.

Yes, there are Formosan termites in New Orleans and yes, they create
aerial
colonies (above ground) in trees, especially in the rainy, humid
environment
of
New Orleans. Yes they are extremely destructive to houses and
difficult
to
control.   See http://www.agctr.lsu.edu/termites/

Yes, there are warnings and quarantines against moving building
materials
from damaged homes for use in other structures or areas. Of special
concern
are
architectural components such as beams, doors and salvaged lumber and
lumber
taken from damaged buildings and stored on the ground where it can
become
termite-infested. Railroad ties and landscape timbers installed on the
ground are
similarly a potential problem, and have a far greater and better
documented
risk of moving termites.

The state of Louisiana neither encourages nor condones the sale of wood
waste
in mulch from the hurricane damaged areas. If anyone is chipping,
bagging
and selling mulch from southern LA it is being done under the radar and
illeg
ally. The same would be true for Texas where there are also large
quantities
of wood from Hurricane Rita-affected areas that also have Formosan
termites.
It is very unlikely that any retailer, especially large retailers
mentioned
in the internet article, would buy and distribute mulch from illegal
sources.

We do not know for sure that termites will not survive in wood chips
but
we
believe that it is highly unlikely that they would survive the
mulching/chipping process. The chipping process is as destructive to
insects
as it is to
tree limbs and the likelihood is low of transporting a viable colony of
Formosan
termites in this manner. Further, any composting that occurs will
raise
the
temperature inside a mulch pile to the point that termites will not
survive.

In summary, there is no guarantee Formosan termites will not spread,
but
the
claims made in the current Internet rumor are overblown and needlessly
alarmist for those of us living in the upper Midwest, far away from the
normal
range
where Formosan termites can survive.

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Island Jim
Southwest Florida
27.0 N, 82.4 W
Hardiness Zone 10
Heat Zone 10
Minimum 30 F [-1 C]
Maximum 100 F [38 C]

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