Does Mulch Attract Termites?
Consumers and homeowners have long been concerned about whether their beautifully mulched flower beds will attract termites and other bugs. If this is you, do not worry. Mulch is not a termite magnet. In fact, some mulch varieties are actually bug-resistant. Including termites! Here we’ve laid out all you need to know about the relationship between mulch and termites.
Mulch Does Not Attract Termites
Termites can sometimes be found in mulch beds, as can many other insects live in the soil, but mulch does not attract termites. The chances of you buying a bag of mulch that is termite-infested are extremely low.
What Does Attract Termites?
The truth is that termites are attracted to the very thing your plants love: moisture. The properly laid mulch bed in your lawn helps your plants thrive by keeping moisture at the roots, but termites also need a moist environment to survive. This is because they are subterraneous insects.
However, this does not mean that your mulch is housing termites. According to some termite advice from Terminix, mulch merely “increases a termite’s ability to survive around your home if they are already present.”
What Is the Best Mulch for Preventing Termites?
Cypress heartwood and cedar woods have been known to be bug-resistant. Studies have shown that oils in these woods actually repel termites. You can order cypress blend mulch from our website today.
However, it’s important to remember that termites can be found in any mulch variety, even rubber mulch or pebbles. This is because termites are not there for the wood. They are not using your mulch as a primary food source. Tests have shown that even organic, wood-based mulches do not provide adequate nutrition for termites, and they will not survive in mulch alone, so they need an outside food source.
Mulch With Termites in Mind
The best way to avoid a detrimental termite disaster is to stay one step ahead of them. Design your lawn or garden and spread mulch following these tips to help you get some peace of mind and a termite-free home.
1. Leave Space
As mentioned above, termites only spend time in mulch because there is moisture beneath it. If your mulch beds are right up against your house foundation, it gives termites an easy way to tunnel into your home. Instead, make sure to leave at least a foot of bare dirt between your house and the mulch.
In addition, make sure that at least six inches of the foundation are showing between the ground and your house’s wood siding. Unless you are building your home, this should be taken care of because it is standard in most building codes.
2. Fix Your Sprinklers
We all have neighbors whose sprinklers water more than just their grass (like the street). If your sprinklers are watering the side of your house, this is not only wasteful, but it could be putting you at risk for termites! Any kind of moisture is attractive to termites. Keep the side of your house and the bare strip of dirt mentioned above dry to keep it from becoming a possible home for these pests.
3. Properly Maintain Your Mulch
No matter what mulch you are using, maintaining it properly will ensure it provides all of the benefits you want while minimizing the negatives.
Mulch should always be approximately three inches thick and not be making contact with any wooden structures or your house foundation. Only water when needed to avoid creating an environment that is too moist. Mulch beds that are too damp will attract termites and be harmful to your plant’s health. But keep in mind that it is natural for mulch beds to decompose as they give nutrients back to the soil; this makes mulch good for your garden.
As organic mulches break down, they improve the chemistry of the soil, thereby increasing the number of helpful bacteria, fungi, and insects. Helpful insects keep populations of harmful, plant-destroying insects at bay.
HomeGuides, SF Gate
4. Keep an Eye Out & Consult an Expert
If you keep an eye on your mulch beds and maintain them regularly, you should be able to catch signs of termites early. Getting rid of termites in a mulch bed will be a much easier task than from your home. It is also a good idea to have your home sprayed for termites or at least consult a termite prevention expert.
Use Our Quality Cypress Mulch
The benefits of mulch are numerous, and mulch beds do not welcome termites. Mulch is an important part of landscaping and gives back invaluable nutrients to the soil. But if you want an extra layer of protection with a mulch that is already bug-resistant, make sure you purchase our cypress blend mulch.
Gaston Mulch and Soil provides quality wood-based mulches and chips for any lawn or garden. You can order online today and take advantage of local pick-up options or call for shipping options outside of the Gainesville, FL area!