All Things Gardening forum: How to kill thousands of termites in mulch pile?

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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Apr 1, 2015 7:30 AM CST
I have a pile of mulch that I went to dig into and discovered termites. TONS of them. Is there any way I can kill them and still use my mulch or ? What to do? So far I just left the pile undisturbed. I don't want to mess with them and then have them decide to move over into my house! The house btw is safe for now I think, it has been treated and we also have a contract with that company-they will come back out here in another month. What should I do?
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Apr 1, 2015 8:28 AM CST
Are you sure they are termites? Many ants will go though a winged-stage in the spring. I don't know whether Orthene powder will kill termites but it will surely kill ants.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Seedfork
Apr 1, 2015 11:14 AM CST
Maybe ask your termite company to swing by and check them when they are next in the neighborhood?
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Apr 1, 2015 12:54 PM CST
Termites have certain requirements like darkness, a food supply and moisture which must be what your mulch pile provides. You could start shifting the pile, moving it and breaking up the pile to let in light, let the moisture dissipate. Without knowing how far the mulch pile is from anything else in the yard the simplest, most environmentally safe thing is to pour boiling water over the pile and keep doing it until you have reached every termite. Then shift the pile and pour more boiling water. Another alternative is to go ballistic and burn the entire mulch pile but... Shrug!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Apr 1, 2015 2:07 PM CST
well the pile is rather large so boiling water is out. May ask the company about it, I guess that IS what I am paying them for!
I am afraid to do anything w it for now, if I disturb them, they may go for the house which is about 20 ft away.

Ken, yes I am sure they are termites. I will take a pic when I get a chance, right now it is raining cats and dogs.
I have never seen termites so bad as we have them here. We left some wood on the ground for 2 wks and they already were in that. I even had a tree planted last spring and the termites got into that fierce. I guess they were after the mulchy mix that was in the soil the tree was potted w at the nursery. A deer rubbed the tree and killed it, when I went to dig it up that is when I found all the termites. I don't know if they would have hurt the live tree or not. They have ate so much of the rafters (roof area) of the bathroom add-on, that we are going to have to basically tear it off and build it again. We knew the house had termites when we bought it, but I didn't think they would be this hard to get rid of. I am starting to think you never really get rid of them (if they are this bad) but just control them. I used some mulch up around my house after the company treated it, but I used fresh cedar. My fingers are crossed. Often.


Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Apr 1, 2015 4:11 PM CST
Yes, the best thing to do is call in the exterminators. They will take care of it.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Apr 3, 2015 7:09 PM CST
Because termites are bad in the south, when I want to mulch around the house I use at least a foot perimeter of rubber mulch first.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
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RoseBlush1
Apr 4, 2015 1:02 AM CST
Arlene .... you should put that up as a "Tip". I would have never thought to do that.

Smiles,
Lyn
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.

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