Can mulch cause a termite infestation?

Spring is definitely in the air throughout the New Orleans Metropolitan Area. Flowers are blooming and the grass is growing which means it is time to pluck weeds and add new mulch to the gardens. But, as you are spreading the mulch, have you ever thought about whether the mulch attracts termites?

Purchasing Mulch with Termites

When you head out to the store to purchase more mulch, you may see people scrutinizing each bag before adding it to their cart. Some people believe that a bag of mulch can be infested with live termites. This rumor is a simple wise tale because the likelihood of termites surviving the chipping and bagging process is relatively slim. If they do survive to be bagged, they will not survive long sitting on the store shelf. However, there is definitely a link between mulch and termites.

What type of mulch resists termites?

There are all types of mulch and of course there are certain types that a termite prefers. In particular, cypress sapwood, loblolly pine and slash pine are the preferred mulch vintage. Termites are not particularly found of melaleuca, eucalyptus, cypress heartwood, southern tidewater red cypress and California redwood. In a study performed at the University of Florida, melaleuca was the least consumed type of mulch, but all were consumed. Click here for a chart of the results.

Do termites like mulch?

Mulch definitely makes a flower bed look fresh, beautiful and complete. Unfortunately, mulch also is moist. This is a benefit to bushes, flowers and trees, and also termites. They love moist environments and the mulch provides cover and encourages them to explore the area for a better food source. The mulch helps them survive and provide a safe interstate to get to your house and is conducive to colonization in and around your home.

Protect Your Home

Just because you use mulch, does not mean you are going to get termites. But, it does mean that you may be increasing your risk. The best way to reduce your risk of infestation, it to maintain a long-term termite prevention and control with a pest control company.

At Terminix, we offer termite protection services including the liquid defend system, the bait defend system and the tent defend system. Click here to find out more about our Termite Control Services.