Joe recently wrote an article which appeared in a local paper regarding the dangers of using wood mulch in flowerbeds next to your home. You may read the article in its entirety below.
Why Mulch and Landscapers Keep Termite Companies Busy
Understanding subterranean termites may be the most important thing you can do to protect your home from the damage they cause. Termites cause One Billion Dollars to Louisiana homes and businesses every year according to the LSU Ag Center. There are at least 10 colonies per acre and each colony may have up to 300,000 termites. Formosan termite colonies may contain 1 to 10 million termites per colony. Formosan termites can eat 1000 pounds of wood a year!
Termites do not build mounds like we see on the Nature Channel. The termites we deal with in Louisiana are subterranean and all you will see is a small mud tunnel on the slab or pillar of your home. The colony is deep underground, out of sight; they eat wood in your home from the inside out. Usually, damage is done before you know it.
Having your home professionally treated is paramount. Just as important is not using any mulch or cellulose of any kind next to your home. Nurseries and landscapers love to sell and apply this termite causing product. Termites eat wood, mulch is wood. When you pour mulch around the base of your home, in time, you will get termites. Often, the mulch is placed on top of the soil that your termite company treated at the base of your home. By the way, termites will eat cypress mulch and so-called treated mulch.
What should you do? Have your home professionally treated and maintain your contract for annual inspections. Pull any mulch you currently have away for from your home 12 inches or more. Consider pine straw, straw mulch or decorative rocks. My favorite is rocks.
Please call 225-791-9911 to schedule a free inspection and estimate today.
Joe E. Arceneaux
Board Certified Entomologist
Owner, Arceneaux Pest Management Service