Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Amburgey, L. Terry

Committee Member

Lewis, David

Committee Member

Melby, Pete

Committee Member

Shelton, G. Thomas

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Forest Products

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Forest Resources


Department of Forest Products


Currently, soil termiticides are the primary termite defense mechanism used under and around living spaces in the continental United States. While this form of treatment has been effective for many years, the creation of a new, more environmentally friendly termite management system could reduce the amount of termiticides introduced annually into the environment around structures. A natural barrier containing soil amendments and mulches amended with insect-repellent plant tissues discourages termite foraging and directs the termites away from the structure. The proposed integrated management system developed during this project, divides a structure into three zones. Each zone has particular responsibilities to the overall biological durability of the structure. This study concentrates on the inner-detritus zone, which extends 24” (0.61m) from the outer wall of the structure, an area that can harbor potential hazards such as moisture traps, conducive termite food, water and protection sources, and other factors that could put undue biological pressures on the structure. Altering this zone, more specifically the pH of the soil and the mixture of products used as mulch, creates an environment unsuitable for termite foraging. This integration of several termite repelling strategies should obviate or significantly reduce the need for termiticidal soil barriers under and around houses.