Termite Scare - trees and house in danger from mulch?

An unsubstantiated warning is spreading throughout gardening and landscape circles, via a rediculous email - Mulch shipped from the Katrina areas of the US may contain the Formosan Termite and could damage your house and trees.

While the Formosan Termite is a problem in the lower latitudes of the US, it does not threaten the Atlanta area. Atlanta is too far north and we have too many cold spells to allow the termite eggs to hatch. In addition, the adults are unlikely to survive the mulch shredding process. After the shredding, mulch begins to compost automatically. Composting creates very high temperatures, in excess of 120 F, at which no remaining termite could escape!

The Houston Chronicle, and subsequently Snopes.com, have put this rumor to rest. Now what about regular termites here in Atlanta? Do they pose a threat?

No. Termites need structure. Tree mulch does not provide the structure, such as a long wood beam or railroad tie, in which to build their galleries. Mulch near your house foundation will not attract termites to your house.


Hubert said…
You have nice and interesting articles. God bless you and your family...

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