No one wants to deal with bugs, especially in their garden. So it’s natural to wonder if mulch attracts them.
Does Mulch Attract Bugs?
The answer is a little complicated, but in short: mulch can attract some bugs, but there are ways to prevent this from happening.
Let’s take a closer look at the different types of insects that mulch may attract.
Does Mulch Attract Termites?
Termites thrive in an environment that is humid and moist, so they dig narrow tunnels to explore their surroundings and seek food, such as wood.
If the termites find wood (especially moist wood), they will establish a colony and start eating it. If you have mulch next to your house, there’s a chance termites will find their way into your home through cracks in the foundation or holes in the siding.
Does Mulch Attract Ants?
Carpenter ants are excellent smell detectors, allowing wood mulch to be an inviting hangout for these pests.
While carpenter ants do not eat wood like termites, they will tunnel through it to create their nests. If you have mulch next to your house, there’s a chance carpenter ants will find their way into your home through cracks in the foundation or holes in the siding.
Does Mulch Attract Roaches?
While roaches don’t eat wood, they will nest in it. Wood shavings and chips are biologically attractive to cockroaches.
Mulch provides an ideal hiding place for roaches because it is dark and moist. Roaches use this to their advantage by constructing their nests in mulch, infesting your yard, and gradually taking control of your home.
If you have mulch next to your house, there’s a chance roaches will find their way into your home through cracks in the foundation or holes in the siding.
Does Mulch Attract Mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes will lay their eggs in the mulch if it is moist enough, which they know by instinct. The female mosquito can lay anywhere from 50 to 200 eggs at a time, and the cycle can start all over again in as little as one week.
Mulch is an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes because it is dark and moist. If you have mulch next to your house, there’s a chance mosquitoes will find their way into your home through cracks in the foundation or holes in the siding.
Although cedar oil repels mosquitoes, if the oil dries up, the mulch loses its repelling capabilities.
Does Mulch Attract Spiders?
Spiders are attracted to mulch because it provides them with a hiding place to build their webs.
Although spiders are typically beneficial since they keep other pests in check, some of them may be harmful—you’ll have a lot more spiders with wood mulch than without.
It’s a given that spiders nesting in mulch around their home’s foundation will crawl about and find their way through the foundation, especially if it’s wood chip mulch, which retains the most water.
Types Of Pest-Resistant Mulch
If you’re worried about pests in your mulch, there are a few types of mulch near you that are less likely to attract them.
Mulch made from these materials is less likely to attract bugs and other pests. However, it’s still important to keep an eye out for signs of infestation.
Inorganic mulch is made from materials like gravel, stone, and rubber. These materials are not as attractive to pests because they don’t provide the shelter that organic mulches do.
Inorganic mulches also tend to be more uniform in texture, so there are fewer nooks and crannies for pests to hide in.
Cedar, Cypress, and Eucalyptus
Pest-resistant mulch is made from materials that naturally repel pests.
Some examples of pest-resistant mulch include cedar, cypress, and eucalyptus.
These materials contain natural oils that repel insects and other pests.
Pine straw is also a good option for pest-resistant mulch because it is less attractive to pests and decomposes more slowly than other types of mulch.
Pine straw mulch also has a lower pH than other mulches, which can help to deter pests.
Plastic mulch blinds and confuses insects, which keeps them away from ornamental plants and gardens.
Some types of plastic mulch are also coated with chemicals that repel pests.
How To Keep Pests Out Of Your Mulch
Even if you use a pest-resistant mulch, it’s still important to take steps to keep pests out of your mulch.
Here are a few tips:
- Keep your mulch dry. Wet mulch is more attractive to pests.
- Remove any debris from your mulch, such as leaves, twigs, and dead insects.
- Check your mulch regularly for signs of infestation, such as holes or burrows.
- If you find signs of infestation, remove the affected mulch and replace it with new mulch.
- Consider using a plastic barrier between your mulch and your house to prevent pests from getting inside.
- Apply cedar oil or other pest repellents to your mulch to keep pests away.
By following these tips, you can help to keep pests out of your mulch and prevent them from infesting your home.