New Orleans Mulch

A friend on mine sent me this interesting email,and I thought I would pass it on to the BB.

**Interesting… & good to know!
check out the Louisiana agricultural dept. web site.
Shortcut to:

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 Lowe’s 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.



Great info, Mark-
Did the state issue that warning?
If so (& it’s reputable),how about submitting it to newspapers as a press release??!!

Well Russell, I will have to eat my own words from another post. I need to find out if it is a factual story. :stuck_out_tongue: If it is,yes you are right. We need to get this out there and get the NACHI name listed with it. I will check it out for the facts and get back on this.:smiley:

What is the website for urban legends … or something…it is on there, and they say it is an urban legend…just for your info.

Tony, they are a fun group to read for fun. “BUT” click on the web link and you will find that it links to LSU AgCenter. I think that I would bet my dime with them before I would with snoop. :roll:

I wonder who is correct seems to me I read earlier this week it was not true .

Formosan Termites
[FONT=Arial]Claim: E-mail warns that buying mulch from major home improvement stores will spread the Formosan subterranean termite.

Status: False.

Roy Cooke ,


Like I said, click on the weblink provided. The university Ag dept. is putting it in plain words. Beleive nothing of what you hear and only half of what you read. :slight_smile:

Ok, in all fairness. I went to the link that you posted Roy. It is a good read,but the last message hits the nail on the head, and I quote,

Of course, no quarantine can be absolutely 100% effective, and there is always some chance, however small, that termites (and other pests) could turn up in mulch produced just about anywhere at any time, so consumers are always advised to be careful. Inspect every bag of mulch you purchase, and if you find insects in any of them, return them to the point of purchase.

Yes Home Depot and Lowe’s may watch who they buy their mulch from. But what about all of the Mom & Pop stores,Boy scouts,and all of the gas stations who are out there selling mulch. And I don’t know about you guy’s, but when was the last time you saw a mulch bag that was vacuum sealed. All of the bags I have gotten from Lowe’s had small holes though out the bag. Just a thought. I guess the bottom line here is, it is up to you. :roll:

It was bogus

Here is a memo from Home Depot on the subject

Re: ** Important Notice Concerning Mulch**
There is a false rumor being e-mailed to the public, which warns that The Home Depot may be selling mulch made from fallen trees resulting from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. It states that there is a possibility this mulch will contain a very dangerous termite, called the Formosan Termite, found in certain parts of the New Orleans area. This statement also references an LSU Web site in an attempt to add legitimacy.
Our customers can feel confident that the mulch they purchase from The Home Depot is of the highest quality. The Home Depot does not and will not sell mulch from termite-infested trees. Additionally, The Home Depot does not use any mulch suppliers from the New Orleans area. We have very strict policies and procedures in place to ensure the integrity of the mulch products sold in our stores. In fact, all our mulch suppliers are required to be certified by the Mulch and Soil Council (MSC), who created the industry standards and criteria for mulch and soil certification and inspection. You can find the MSC certification on the back of every bag.
You should also be aware that on Oct. 3, 2005, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture enacted a quarantine on all hurricane-related damaged materials and goods. This includes wood waste from destroyed homes, fallen trees, debris, etc. No such materials or goods are allowed to leave the 12-province area of New Orleans, where this quarantine is being enforced. This essentially assures that the selling and transporting of these fallen trees, either intact or as ground up fiber, is prohibited. Additionally, according to the experts, the practical survivability of a soft-bodied insect - such as the termite - withstanding the violent environment inside the mulch grinding process or the high temperatures (130F -160F) of mulch storage, packages and pallet stacks is extremely unlikely. There are no reported instances of any of this purported New Orleans mulch entering the marketplace.

That LSU link never says the same thing as that email. It talks about the termite and says:

Efforts are under way to prevent the spread of Formosan subterranean termites in mulch from New Orleans and Louisiana following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It is true that there is a lot of cellulose debris (wood, paper and their products) in Louisiana following these two hurricanes.

It never ays that contaminated mulch is being distributed. Go with Snopes and the press release from Home Depot.
Plus that LSU link also says:

**New Orleans Flooding Could Slow Termite Spread **Termites can’t hold their breath forever, although they have a capacity to live under water for a significant amount of time, according to a world-renowned termite expert. That means termites in areas flooded by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina may not be as prevalent as they have been for a while – offering a small grain of good news among the massive destruction.

So it looks like That LSU link is actually pointing to most termites not being spread throughout.