Mulch is one of the most popular tools in any gardener or garden company’s arsenal, but it’s not without its risks. One of the most common questions people ask is “does mulch attract termites?”
There are different kinds of mulch and different ways that you can use it. In this article we’re going to answer everyone who has asked does mulch attract termites?
Why Are Termites Linked to Mulch?
The answer to this might seem simple: termites like wood, and mulch is a great source of partially broken-down wood. This sounds like a natural haven for termites, right?
This might be true, but there are some rumors surrounding termites and mulch.
These rumors include:
- The idea that mulch actually contains termites.
- The suggestion that some garden companies are spreading termites by selling mulch filled with termites.
These aren’t the most ridiculous assumptions, but they’re actually quite unrealistic. Even if you do find a termite in your mulch, it’s probably going to be dead.
Termites that make their way into mulch aren’t going to be able to survive very well without their colony and if you’re buying bagged mulch, they certainly won’t be able to survive.
However, that still doesn’t change the fact that termites love mulch.
So, Does Mulch Attract Termites?
Well, to be totally fair, mulch is pretty prime food for termites. Your real worries start when you start mulching your garden, not when you get your mulch at the store.
One of the reasons that termites love mulch so much is because mulch helps to keep the garden moist. This is one of the main reasons that most people use mulch in the first place, in addition to reducing weeds.
This increased moisture allows for plants to grow much more effectively. However, plants are part of an ecosystem, and with that ecosystem might come termites.
Termites generally explore by digging tunnels. Mulch actually protects them, because they’re able to explore underneath the safety of the mulch. This means that they might be creeping around your garden without you even noticing.
How to Prevent Termites in Mulch
Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with termites in mulch. One of the best ways to do this is by using a termite-resistant mulch, which isn’t as hard as you might expect.
Termites are connoisseurs of wood, and they prefer certain types over others. Their favorites include certain pine trees and Cypress sapwood.
What you want to do is find yourself some mulch that termites don’t like. Melaleuca, eucalyptus, red cypress, and California redwood are all types of wood that termites don’t like to eat.
One of the few types of wood that has actually been classified as termite-resistant is cypress heartwood, which can actually repel termites. If you want to keep termites out of your garden, this is the mulch to get.
Cedar mulch is another type of wood that termites don’t seem to enjoy.
Does mulch attract termites? That depends on the mulch. As long as you get a good, termite-resistant mulch then you won’t have to worry too much about these pesky bugs in your garden.