View Full Version : Pine Straw Mulch/Termites

Abita Bill
04-19-2004, 11:47 PM
I'm bidding this job against one other landscaper. I believe my design is far better and cost effective. So does the customer. However, the other contractor told the customer that he will be using pine straw mulch because it prevents termites from traveling in the yard. The customer had a knee jerk reaction to this as termites are a great concern in my area. Is this true? I've never heard this before and I've asked other operators. They never heard about this either. I thought termites travel under ground. Personally, I think pine straw is "plain jane". Is this termite thing true?

D Felix
04-20-2004, 01:06 PM
Contact your local extension agent. They should be able to tell you, or at least point you to someone that would know for sure...


Abita Bill
04-20-2004, 07:35 PM
Today, I talked to someone at the LSU agg center. Pine straw does nothing to stop termites! As I suspected, termites travel under the ground and tend to surface when they encounter wood under the ground, such as roots and trunks. I think my competition is just trying to cut cost by using B.S. and not as fertilizar!

04-20-2004, 08:02 PM
Termites don't ususally infest mulch. Especially if it's hardwood muclh. They prefer moist, soft wood like pine, you know, the stuff they use to make your house. They will sometimes nest under mulch cause it's all warm and toasty under there, but they don't like the hard stuff.
Check with your mulch supplier to see what type of mulch they use. My lady gets here from a company in carolins that strips the bark off tree and this is what they make the muclh from, so no termites.
And you're right, pine straw does nothing to stop termites.

D Felix
04-22-2004, 11:11 PM
Termites will infest bark mulch, though it is seldom a problem. I've heard of it in our area, though it's only been one case, and that was a somewhat unusual circumstance. It was an old pile that had been left for several years, and apparently the termites liked it for some reason.

I have never seen/heard of termites infesting spread bark mulch in our area, though I'm sure it happens every blue moon or so.