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Does Mulch Attract Termites – and More!

Termites in Mulch

Many people use mulch around landscaping and flowerbeds to slow erosion, replenish nutrients, and provide plant roots with insulation. However, homeowners and landscapers working outdoors might find termites in mulch on occasion, which can be cause for concern.

Termites feed on the cellulose in wood and paper. The pests live underground and need moisture to survive. Problems occur when these insects get inside apartment buildings, offices, and homes through wood that’s in direct contact with the soil. Termite workers consume timber from the inside out, causing considerable damage that often goes unnoticed.

Does Mulch Attract Termites?

While the material itself does not draw termites to the area, mulch spread over three inches deep creates an inviting habitat for the pests. Layers of organic matter trap heat and moisture next to the ground. Termites use this thick mulch as shelter from harsh weather.

Some kinds of mulch may even repel termites. Redwood and cypress contain resins that make the wood less attractive to termites. Cedar mulch contains thujone, which is a chemical that deters insects. When it comes to termite-resistant mulch, melaleuca wood might be the best choice, as the insects will actively avoid eating it.

Materials like rubber or stone also deliver the same weed and temperature control without the risk of infestation from termites in mulch.

Using Mulch Correctly

To prevent termite issues, make sure mulch does not touch the building, including siding or door frames. If possible, keep wood mulch at least six inches from foundations. Consider using gravel in the space between flowerbeds and exterior walls. This spacing makes it harder for termites to enter while allowing you to keep an eye out for the pests’ telltale mud tubes.

If you have concerns about termites in your home or business, don’t hesitate. Listen here to find out why if you aren’t concerned, you probably should be. Damage from these pests often results in costly repairs. Call the professionals at Western Pest Services for help with termite infestations.

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