Mulch warning, is this real?

ohiolawnguy

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Akron, Ohio
got a message from the onla about this topic. Supposely the state of louisiana, as well as missouri, have gone to great lengths not to let any type of wood in that area be composted ground up, and sold in order to create mulch.
All wood from this area is supposed to be either burnt ground up and buried, or just plain buried. I woulkdnt much woory about this being an issue.
 

poolboy

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
earth
From Randy Lemmon's webite http://www.950kprc.com/pages/gardenline.html

I didn't think I would do a tip sheet on the LOUISIANA MULCH & TERMITE email hoax, but it is worth noting a few more things that have cropped up since last weekend's barrage of emails. Obviously, the number of forwarded emails on the subject has gone way down since we put this link up next to my email link at the website.
Click Here

I think I know who either started this email hoax or is perpetuating it to a certain degree - makers of Alternative Mulches, like recycled rubber tires. If someone really did the research on where the genesis of this information came from, I would bet a case of my books that it was the brainstorm of someone trying to market an alternative. When I first started getting the email hoax my gut instinct was that someone is trying to market a different type of mulch, so I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop. And so it has! Guess what email question I've gotten in droves this week? "Randy, what do you think of these rubber mulches? They say it doesn't attract termites."

My, my!! And in my best Church Lady voice "Isn't that convenient!?!?" Here again is what I wrote in my book in the chapter on mulches:

You can always bet that when someone tells a consumer that mulches attract termites, they are usually selling something on the other end of the statement. It could be another mulch alternative they're pedaling or even a termite control. It's simply not true that shredded mulches "attract" termites. Yes, termites love cellulose material, but they aren't attracted to shredded mulches in the first place. And termites are pretty much already there. THEY'RE EVERYWHERE. Bottom Line: Don't let anyone convince you that shredded wood mulches are going to attract termites. They much prefer the white woods that lumber usually comes from; not decomposing shards of what used to be wood, now mixed with composts, or already decomposing on its own.

Furthermore, I was talking to John Ferguson, the mulch, compost and soil expert of Houston at Natures Way Resources.
www.natureswayresources.com
And he noted that wherever there's a good mulch that has any amount of compost in it, there's no chance for a termite to thrive. Ferguson writes: If the mulch is composted first, then the risk factor is very low. The heat of the composting (170 degrees F) will kill any insect. As the lignin and cellulose is broken down into humus there is far less food resources hence after composting it is not very attractive to the termites. In addition, the good microbes in the composted mulch will attack and parasitize the termites killing them (several species of fungus and bacteria have already been identified that attack termites).

So, am I down on rubber mulches? Not at all! I think they make for three really good uses. Playground mulch, dog run mulch and for areas of a yard that need a permanent walking path instead of shredded hardwood mulches. But rubber mulch in landscaping and around trees scares me for many reasons. The simple fact is, as it leaches some chemicals, (and yes, it will leach chemicals, despite what the marketing of rubber mulches claim) the ones that it leaches are the deadliest to our trees and shrubs; Zinc and Cadmium. The other main reason I hate the idea of rubber mulches in landscapes in Texas has to do with out heat. The heated up rubber during our summer months can only do more damage to the delicate feeder roots in the area, as it transfers the heat down to the soil.
 

Imulchmore

LawnSite Member
Location
Malvern, Pa
Check out www.ldaf.state.la.us It is from the Louisiana Dept of Agriculture. Whenever a customer asks just hand them a copy of the official press release.
 

TysonsTree

LawnSite Member
Location
Chantilly VA
I agree w/ PoolBoy-Houston. I did research on this & here is some of the info I found. I was considering selling the rubber mulch & wanted to do some homework. I might be convinced to sell it only for paths but not for mulch around plants and not for playgrounds for kids (where surface temps are hotter on rubber mulch versus natural materials). Here is some of the info I found:

http://www.sare.org/sanet-mg/archives/html-home/18-html/0259.html

http://www.paghat.com/rubbermulch.html

More info avail at my site: www.ttwr.com (click on 'more info' button).

fyi
 

1PRO

LawnSite Member
Xterminator said:
Cypress & Cedar they dont favor they will eat it and use it to travel ( MUD TUBES ) yes some make it through Im sure but they cannot survive in cold conditions
(MUD TUBES) man i just bought a 3 year old home and in the garage i saw those dam mud tubes i took a 2x4 and smashed them..? is- when you see those mud tubes are they boring, eating my structure...i also used those spectricide bait packages @ my old house and thought i would use them again the pest control company sent me a sales letter talking about the warranty maybe i will get them to pay for furture damage to my 35 grand garage. FOCKERS BETTER SPRAY RIGHT:realmad:
 

John Zaprala

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Exton, PA
I get my much locally from an actual mulch grinder. If they don't want termites, then tell them to call a pest control company to install time released preventatives. We're not in the termite biz, but the facts are termites love wood and mulch is just that. Whether it has termites when you bring it or not doesn't mean it can't happen. Explain to them for you no say there will be no termites is impossible. Give them a price on cleaning the beds, putting down fabric and replacing the mulch with stone and he'll probably shut up about the termites.
 

RedWingsDet

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Detroit
Man, this past spring I almost had a lawsuit because this customer of mine thought he had this. I buy my mulch in bulck. Anyway, he calls me and says he has termites and has paid Terminex $600 and demands me pay for the bill. I tell him no, since they didnt come from me, and long story short he almost filed a suit against me...

I did some research, called some local pest companies, and what I found out is that termites do not like mulch, because when they are making the mulch it takes all the carbs out of the mulch, therefore the termites and other bugs have nothing to eat. I told him that and case was dropped...

I think he just didnt want to pay the bill from the mulch and thought that by him telling me he would sue me, I would get scared and fork over $600 to him, and just another person trying to get something for free. Plus everyone is so damn sue happy lately.
 

Grassmechanic

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
S.E. Michigan
Man, this past spring I almost had a lawsuit because this customer of mine thought he had this. I buy my mulch in bulck. Anyway, he calls me and says he has termites and has paid Terminex $600 and demands me pay for the bill. I tell him no, since they didnt come from me, and long story short he almost filed a suit against me...

I did some research, called some local pest companies, and what I found out is that termites do not like mulch, because when they are making the mulch it takes all the carbs out of the mulch, therefore the termites and other bugs have nothing to eat. I told him that and case was dropped...

I think he just didnt want to pay the bill from the mulch and thought that by him telling me he would sue me, I would get scared and fork over $600 to him, and just another person trying to get something for free. Plus everyone is so damn sue happy lately.
My guess would be that he never did have termites. We're at the far Northern range of those critteers and they usually can't survive the winters here (although, with "global warming" we may see them move further north in the future). Sounds more like he got hosed from the pest company for a pest he may never had. He probably had carpenter ants.
 

DJL50

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Ohio USA
Hardwood is sooo easy to come by that a mulch manufacture does not even figure in the cost of wood in the price. It's all the bag a shipping. No company is going to drive all the way south just because there is free wood. Free wood is everywhere. An just because it is free does not make it cheaper (remember it's free everywhere) Even if they did get some of the infested wood. Composting in the manufacturing process would take care of that.

True or not. It did hurt mulch sales last year.
 
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