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Re: 1. Mulch Warning Not a Valid Concern (SafariAng)

  • Subject: [cg] Re: 1. Mulch Warning Not a Valid Concern (SafariAng)
  • From: Don Boekelheide dboekelheide@yahoo.com
  • Date: Sun, 5 Mar 2006 10:22:49 -0800 (PST)

Hi, all,

I'm getting the same skepticism about the termite
threat here in North Carolina from David Goforth, an
excellent NCSU Extension Agent who I've come to
respect and trust over the years as highly reliable.
The subterranean termites were already here and
spreading in the Southeast, prior to Katrina-Rita.
They are not likely to show up in mulch destined for
community gardens due to shipments from Louisiana,
bulk or bagged. Same story for imported fire ants (the
version of this urban legend I heard first).

Use of woody mulches right up to the footer of houses
in the Southeast isn't a real good idea, in any event
- we've got local termites that are already ready to

Personally, I remain much more worried about Bush than
about Mulch.

Do you hear a munching sound...? Heck, it's just the
phone tap...

Don Boekelheide
Charlotte NC

> Subject: Mulch Warning Not a Valid Concern (06-008)
> Date:	Fri, 3 Mar 2006 00:07:07 -0500
> From:	"Mayer, Steve L" 
> Dear Master Gardeners,
> The following mulch warning is being circulated via
> e-mail.  Note the
> reply from a Purdue entomologist who specializes in
> urban and industrial
> entomology.
> Steve Mayer
> Extension Educator-Horticulture
> Purdue Extension-Marion County
> 6640 Intech Blvd., Suite 120
> Indianapolis, IN 46278-2012
> Phone: (317) 275-9305, Ext. 290
> Fax: (317) 275-9309
> E-mail: MayerSL@purdue.edu
> Website:
> http://www.ces.purdue.edu/CES/Marion/HortCon.htm
> Mulch Warning
> If you use mulch around your house be very careful
> about buying mulch
> this year. After the Hurricane in New Orleans many
> trees were blown
> over. These trees were then turned into mulch and
> the state is trying to
> get rid of tons and tons of this mulch to any state
> or company who will
> come and haul it away. So it will be showing up in
> Home Depot and Lowes
> at dirt cheap prices with one huge problem; Formosan
> Termites will be
> the bonus in many of those bags. New Orleans is one
> of the few areas in
> the country were the Formosan Termites has gotten a
> strong hold and most
> of the trees blown down were already badly infested
> with those termites.
> Now we may have the worst case of transporting a
> problem to all parts of
> the country that we have ever had. These termites
> can eat a house in no
> time at all and we have no good control against
> them, so tell your
> friends that own homes to avoid cheap mulch and know
> were it came from.
> Reply to Mulch Warning
> "I do not feel this is a valid concern.  The process
> of turning wood
> into mulch would kill the termites.  If a termite or
> two did happen to
> survive the process, they would die quickly because
> of the lack of the
> social system (workers, soldiers, reproductives,
> etc. present in the
> colony system that they maintain) so vital to
> termite survival."
> Gary W. Bennett, Dept. of Entomology, 901 W. State
> Street, Purdue
> University, W. Lafayette, IN 47907-2089.  (765)
> 494-4564
> http://entm29.entm.purdue.edu/directory/entm/51.htm
> For More Info on Formosan Termites
> The following contains information related to moving
> wood, not mulch:
> es/
> Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal
> access/affirmative
> action institution.
> ---
> angela herrmann
> safariang@yahoo.com

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