Not entirely false. If you take the time to read the article, it
concedes that the insects may be spread via infested wood and wood
products. It goes on to say the reason it gave the story a "false" is
only because the statement about the major home improvement store's
mulch being questionable is not necessarily true.
It also notes that this has always been true, before
Katrina, or downed trees in New Orleans. Therefore
the "New Orleans" and Katrina aspect to the e-mail is
irrelevant to this point.
It also points out that the major transportation
vectors for these insects are railroad ties and
telephone poles. Again, this has nothing to do with
mulch resulting from Katrina-downed trees.
No, it says that's the "key" assertion of the e-mail
that's false. Other reasons you shouldn't jump on the
termite warning e-mail bandwagon are,
"... the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry imposed a
quarantine on several parishes back in October 2005 specifically to
prevent the accidental movement of Formosan subterranean termite to other
"... Entomologists we've contacted also generally have said they doubt
that termites could survive the mulch shredding, packaging, and
transportation (in shrink-wrapped bags that expose them to high
temperatures with a limited air supply and limited moisture)..."
"... the fact that they are rarely found above 35° N latitude because the
colder temperatures typical of higher latitudes prevent their eggs from
They pretty much sum it all up with,
"... 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
Personally, I'll worry about Formosan termites in my
mulch this year as much as I did last year.
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