Mulching an E-Mail Hoax
You can erase junk email just by clicking a button. But, one particular email is more difficult to get rid of.
An email message spamming the U.S. claims Louisiana is getting rid of Hurricane Katrina debris by mulching and shipping it across the nation, along with a dangerous termite.
Now, experts have weighed in.
"It can probably be classified as one of those email hoaxes," said Richard Houseman, MU entomology professor.
Scientists do agree the Formosa termite is a dangerous critter. But, they don't believe this termite can make it in Missouri.
"It's very difficult for a termite colony that's established in a piece of wood to survive the mulching process," Houseman explained.
And, if the mulching doesn't kill them, Missouri's cold weather will.
Formosa termites breed in Louisiana but, after Hurricane Katrina, the state is making sure termites don't spread.
The Department of Agriculture and Forestry has quarantined all wood debris to treat it for Formosa termites.
Scientists are confident about Louisiana's action.
"People in Louisiana are very aware of this issue and are very much concerned and want to make sure that it does not get spread by debris from Katrina," said Bruce Cutter, MU forestry professor.
Experts say mid-Missourians have more important things to worry about.
If you know of anyone moving debris out of a quarantine area, call Louisiana's 24-hour hotline at 1-225-925-3763.