Seven Best Mulch to Avoid Termites

Termites are small insects that can damage your home’s foundation, enter your house and destroy walls slowly. Unfortunately, termites are hard to notice, and they may be ruining your ground and landscaping without you knowing about it. 

Read the article and learn how to avoid termites, what type of mulch to use against them, and how to deal with these pests.

First off, does mulch attract termites?

does mulch attract termitesWe can say that mulch attracts termites;; however it would be more correct to say that mulch creates a specific condition that termites love. 

There are two main reasons why termites are attracted to mulch:

  1. Firstly, mulch can be a food source for termites. According to Britannica, termites mainly feed on cellulose which they can get from various places. Cellulose can be obtained from leaves, grass, wood, and even paper. Mainly, termites feed on wood that is partially decayed. Unsurprisingly, all of these materials can be found in mulch. Therefore, mulch provides an excellent food source for termites. 
  2. Secondly, mulch is a moisture source for termites. Generally, these insects love damp places that provide termites with high moisture levels. Since mulch keeps the moisture in the soil, it creates an environment that can be desirable for termites. Although, not all termites need water equally.

Dampwood termites appreciate excess moisture. Therefore, they mainly get water through wood. More specifically, they feed on highly moist wood and get the necessary moisture. Hence, this species can be attracted to wood-based mulches. 

Subterranean termites also love moisture; however they get it from the soil. So Subterranean termites build long tunnels in moist soil to have unlimited access to water. 

Drywood termites get their moisture through the wood. Therefore, they do not need an additional moisture source, and have lower water requirements. 

How to avoid termites?

Overall, both moisture and wood are a quite big attraction for termites in a mulch. Due to this, many homeowners face termite problems in their yard. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recommendations to avoid termite infestations. To deter termites, keep the following rules in mind:

  • Keep the soil dry around your house
  • Do not pile wood next to your home
  • Fix any leaks 
  • Make sure the trees are not planted very close to the house

With these recommendations, you can efficiently prevent termites. However, termites are invasive species and they still might manage to get into your home. In that case, contact your local pest control services provider. 

7 best mulch to avoid termites

There are different types of mulch and not all of them attract termites. Some types are not only termite-resistant mulch but also repel termites. Here is a list of 7 best mulch to help you avoid termites:

Cedar mulch

Cedar mulch is one of the best termite-resistant mulch. 

Cedar is not only unattractive for termites but works as an effective repellent. The resin of cedar is toxic to termites because it contains thujone.  Additionally, cedar mulch and wood chips are thick and hard to break down. Hard wood creates a strong soil barrier that termites do not like. 

Keep in mind that cedar mulch is the most expensive. However, it lasts for the longest time as well and protects your yard against termites.  

Redwood Mulch

Redwood MulchGenerally, termites avoid solid wood mulch because it is hard to break down. However, redwood is an exception to this. California redwood is the only softwood mulch that repels termites. 

Redwood contains resin that termites avoid. Unfortunately, because it is softwood it is easier to decay. So, if you decide to use redwood mulch for termite infestation, be aware that it will not last for a long time. 

Melaleuca Mulch

Melaleuca mulch is made from the melaleuca tree which is originated in Australia. Melaleuca trees are grown in Florida because of the favorable climate. This is why melaleuca mulch or also known as Florimulch is cheap and common in the U.S. This is a very good option to avoid termites in your yard. 

Melaleuca mulch is made out of hard wood and its wood chips are an effective solution against teramite. 

Often this type of mulch is known as tea tree mulch. The mulch contains tea tree oil and these natural chemicals have negative effects on a termite. 

Cypress Heartwood Mulch

Cypress heartwood mulch has anti-fungal properties which repel termites. But you have to be very careful with this one. Pay attention to the exact name of the mulch. While cypress heartwood is effective against a termite just cypress mulch won’t do the trick. 

Cypress mulch contains sapwood that has cellulose hence it is quite attractive for termites. On the other hand, cypress heartwood not only keeps termites away but other insects as well. 

Southern tidewater red cypress mulch is one of the best you can get your hands on. In addition to efficiency, it is very resistant. 

Licorice Root Mulch

Licorice root creates a termite resistant mulch. While some people find that licorice root smells great, it is not the case for termites. 

Licorice root has anti fungal properties and can be used to avoid termite infestation because it is toxic. Not only termites but other insects and bugs avoid licorice roots as well. 

Treated Mulch

Treated mulch has special contents that create termite resistant mulch. Some of its properties are actively avoided by termites. Additionally, treated mulch can help with other bugs and contribute to the healthy growth of plants around it. 

Inorganic Mulch

Inorganic MulchInorganic mulch is made of inorganic materials such as rocks, stones, gravel, and even plastic. This type of mulch is very resistant and decorative in a yard. Inorganic mulch simply does not contain properties that are favored by a termite. Therefore, you can use it to avoid termite infestations.

Frequently asked questions

What are the signs of termites in mulch?

Termites in mulch are not easy to notice. Wood chips in mulch create a good hiding spot for a termite colony. If you find just a few termites that is no reason to panic however, termite activity should be noted. 

If the mulch is overly moist that can be a sign of termites in mulch. Pay attention to the ground and make sure the mulch is at least a foot away from the house. Keep an eye for pests and fix any leaks that can create a moist environment. 

Will all mulch attract termites?

No, not all types of mulch attract termites. For example, cedar mulch does not attract termites and is actually very toxic for these insects. On the other hand, pine bark mulch can attract a termite. 

What is mulch used for?

Mulch is a thick layer on top of the soil. It can be made of different materials such as leaves, grass, compost, and even rocks. Mulch can be created naturally as well as artificially however both serve the same purpose. Mulch is used to protect the soil from direct sunlight and wind. It also is useful for keeping the moisture, improving the soil structure, and holding the nutrients. 

To sum it up

Termite protection is one of the challenges for homeowners. Termites can damage a home’s foundation, can create issues for landscaping and yard work. Lucky for you, there is a variety of mulch that can keep termites away. 

Adding mulch to your home can be a great investment. First of all, nobody likes termites entering their homes and mulch can help you with that. Additionally, mulch can be a very beautiful and aesthetically pleasing addition to your garden.  

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