hort.net Seasonal photo, (c) 2006 Christopher P. Lindsey, All Rights Reserved: do not copy
articles | gallery of plants | blog | tech blog | plant profiles | patents | mailing lists | top stories | links | shorturl service | tom clothier's archive0
Gallery of Plants
Tech Blog
Plant Profiles
Mailing Lists
    Search ALL lists
    Search help
    Subscription info
Top Stories
sHORTurl service
Tom Clothier's Archive
 Top Stories
Disease could hit Britain's trees hard

Ten of the best snowdrop cultivars

Plant protein database helps identify plant gene functions

Dendroclimatologists record history through trees

Potato beetle could be thwarted through gene manipulation

Hawaii expands coffee farm quarantine

Study explains flower petal loss

Unauthorized use of a plant doesn't invalidate it's patent

RSS story archive

Re: CULT: Mulch?

From: Bill Shear <BILLS@hsc.edu>

>     I use pine needles to mulch beardless Irises and about everything else I
>grow.  Some dude trying to sell a termite control package claims that pine
>needles draw termites.  All of the mulched beds are away from the house by at
>least 30 feet.  Is there anything to this, or is it pure poppycock?

Well, it's not PURE poppycock... but mostly so.  I know of no evidence that
pine needles "draw" termites.  Wood-eating termites would have no interest
in pine needles.  However, heaps of pine needles or any other such material
up against the house would make termite infestations difficult to detect
and would also provide the damp conditions termites require to survive.

Most professional entomologists and extension agents hold exterminators in
the deepest contempt.  Their agents are usually poorly trained and know
little about the relevant aspects of insect biology.  What they do know is
how to scare people about termites and other insects, so they will buy
their services.  I suppose there are ethical exterminators around, but one
hears of them so rarely they must be an endangered species.

One of my colleagues (not in the sciences) had his whole house enclosed in
a tent and fumigated with powerful pesticides, at a cost of thousands of
dollars and significant potential danger to his family from pesticide
residues.  He had noticed a couple of large beetles emerging from the
woodwork.  This was a new house and the beetles had probably colonized some
of the lumber while it was in the contractor's yard, or even earlier
(perhaps in the forest; the larger woodboring beetles sometimes have
multiyear life histories).  The emergence was almost certainly a one-time
phenomenon and his home was in no danger.  But a local exterminator
convinced him that ruin was only months away.

Your best source of information on termite and other home/insect problems
is your local extension agent, who has access to the Entomology
Department's expertise at your land-grant university.  It's best not to
trust someone who has a financial interest in the outcome.

Bill Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943
FAX (804)223-6374

--------------------------- ONElist Sponsor ----------------------------

       ~ FREE Games & CA$H Prizes!  ~  $55,000+ Awarded Monthly ~ 
Welcome to Gamesville.com-- Home of the World's Biggest & Best Free Games
  Play Three-Eyed Bingo, Quick-Draw Poker, Pop Quiz & Picturama  FREE! 
   <a href=" http://clickme.onelist.com/ad/gamesville5 ">Click Here</a>


 © 1995-2015 Mallorn Computing, Inc.All Rights Reserved.
Our Privacy Statement
Other Mailing lists | Author Index | Date Index | Subject Index | Thread Index