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kimpossible May 19, 2006 12:02 PM

Termites in Mulch
I just received an e-mail regarding cheap mulch in Home Depot & Lowes which originated from termite-infested trees from New Orleans which came down in the hurricane. Now this mulch is being widely distributed (to help with the clean-up effort), but harbours termites. It seems I read recently about someone who discovered termites in the stems of their tomato plants, a problem they had never had before. And there was a news program about a termite infestation around here - unusual problem for this far north. Maybe they bought this mulch ? ....

kimpossible May 19, 2006 12:07 PM

Here is the article (from a Technical Assistant, Region of Peel, near Toronto):

If you buy mulch this★spring/summer make sure you know where it came from.

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 take it 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 where the Termites have gotten a stronghold 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 ever had. These termites can eat a house in no time at all and there★★apparently is not good control against them, so tell your friends/family the★★own homes to avoid cheap mulch and know where it came from.

cthomato May 19, 2006 12:24 PM

This is a recent urban legend. Check out


kimpossible May 19, 2006 12:27 PM

OK, I will, thanks. I don't want to perpetuate any false info, but it did seem possible & concerning ...

Suze May 19, 2006 12:27 PM

Kim, that e-mail has been circulating for a while. There were several posts about it over at GW. It's untrue and has been discussed on Snopes and several other similar sites.

Here's a couple of links on it--

Edited to add -- looks like you and I were posting at the same time...

hasshoes June 5, 2007 11:00 PM

It is true!!!!!! Maybe not about New Orleans but they do live in mulch!!!! I just joined a community garden where everyone mulches there stuff every year and and the end of the year it is just tilled under. . . no one I see makes raised beds, but I'm doing it, and just came into A HUGE termite colony. They're everywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If anyone has any advice. . . please share. . . I thinking maybe I'll try to stick some plastic in the dirt around my tomatoes that are already there, and then call the town and see what they can do about it. I'm sure they don't care about me, but might be worried about the golf course nearby!!!!!

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