Do you want to apply mulch to your lawn but don’t want the mulch termites to find their way to your home? 

The prevention of mulch termites is possible once you are informed about questions like “How does mulch attract termites?”

Besides that, learn the best type of mulch for your lawn and the right way to apply it.

To use mulch in your yard without the fear of attracting mulch termites, you need to know the risks. 

Therefore, in this blog, we will help you know the factors regarding the most growing concern of homeowners–mulch termites.

Learn more: Mulching Vs. Bagging: A Detailed Comparison

Mulch For Lawn Makeover Projects 

Mulch is available in bags or truckloads and is a necessary tool for landscapers and gardeners. 

There are different types of mulch, like pine straw, cypress, and cedar, as well as classic favourites like shredded hardwood and pine bark. 

Mulches can also be made from food processing wastes, including buckwheat, corn cobs, coconut shells, and grape seeds.

All of these mulches have different prices to suit the gardeners’ budget, making them a wonderful option.

The idea of adding mulch to a lawn is to cover the bare soil so it doesn’t lose its nutrients and undergo desertification.

However, only soil doesn’t benefit from mulch.

Does Mulch Attract Termites?

An answer post explaining does mulch attract termites

Mulch termites and other insects thrive in the steady, moist environment that landscape mulches help to create for our trees and shrubs.

In some regions, mulch termites inhabit underground communities that are quite active. 

To eat wood and other cellulose materials, the mulch termites descend to the soil’s surface and bring back food to share with other colony members.

Also, mulch termites continuously search the soil around their nest for food by creating a network of haphazard, pencil-sized tunnels. 

Mulch termites like damp environments for digging, foraging, and exploring.

Therefore, whether or not mulch termites eat the mulch, any landscape mulch may enhance the environment for termite colonies.

Surprisingly, mulch termites have the ability to tunnel up to 300 feet away from their nesting site. 

Mulch retains the moisture content of the region while fostering the ideal growth conditions for plants and shrubs. And the mulch termites are more interested in finding a moisture source than eating the mulch.

Underneath the mulched regions, termites may enter your home through tiny cracks or fissures in your brickwork. 

It’s crucial that you only place mulch 75 mm below the weep holes.

Mulch covering weep holes is a common cause of termite invasions, as it creates a pathway for termites to enter your home through a weep hole.

Perfect Environment for Mulch Termites 

Generally speaking, mulch dries out to the point that mulch termites can’t thrive there. 

Mulch piles can harbour termites only if they are maintained consistently moist.

Pile mulch too high up against your siding to create a bridge over the termiticide-treated foundation and into the house, which increases the realistic danger of termites.

Put differently, termites struggle to survive on a diet of only mulch. 

Termites like higher-quality wood, such as building waste buried in backfill. Therefore, if mulch termites are surrounding your house, it may not be the mulch in your garden.

Instead, it may be buried debris that the builders of your property left behind. 

Additionally, twinblock ties and landscape timbers that are used as garden borders can harbour mulch termites.

Read More: Stone and Mulch Landscaping Idea For Your Front Yard

Kinds of Mulch That Resist Termites

An infographic on the types of mulch that is resistant to termites

Purchasing material that doesn’t provide a suitable environment for mulch termites is a good option.

Termite-resistant mulch varieties include the following:

1. Cypress 

The heartwood of cypress is the most mulch termite-resistant. 

This kind of heartwood contains a significant amount of resin, which is harmful to termites. 

It takes a long time for this mulch to decompose as well. Another appealing feature of cypress mulch is its durability.

You will always hear an experienced gardener suggesting this mulch because it requires less upkeep and breaks down considerably more slowly than its rivals.

Due to its pet and kid-friendliness, this mulch is a favourite among large families and pet owners.

2. Cedar Mulch

This type is also great for mulch termites. It has compounds that repel termites and also is toxic to them.

Because they are quite straight and grow quickly, the wood and mulch they produce are renewable. 

The mulch’s natural colour is reddish brown. However, you can get it dyed in multiple colours, such as black, yellow, dark brown, or red, for aesthetic reasons. 

Mulch in flower beds and gardens enhances their aesthetic appeal.

3. Tea Tree Mulch

This mulch comes from melaleuca plants and contains a small amount of tea tree oil, which deters termites. 

Additionally, it improves soil quality, encourages quick crop and plant growth, and is beneficial to worms, which is good for soil health.

In addition to repelling mulch termites, it provides a natural feel, appearance, and colour to improve your garden.

4. Treated Mulch

The last one from the list is another enemy of mulch termites.

For treated mulch, wood is treated before being crushed into mulch, leaving some spots or corners of the mulch uncut. Yet, it is not suitable for termites to feed on.

Read More: Mulch Vs. Rock (2024 Comparison)

Signs of Mulch Termites Invasion in Your House

An infographic on the top signs of mulch termites in the house

You can check if mulch termites have already invaded your house in a few different ways. 

  • Visible mud tubes outside the house, particularly close to the foundation
  • Termite wings near windows and doorways 
  • Damage to exterior siding, interior baseboards, or structural structure made of wood
  • Termite droppings piled in sawdust-like piles

You may be able to stop serious damage if you discover an infestation in time. 

How to Save Your House From Mulch Termites

  • Keep mulch a few inches away from the home’s foundation.
  • Mulch should never come into contact with home siding or cover windowsills.
  • If mulch termites are present in your area, watch for signs of activity. 
  • For inspections, if you suspect termite activity, get in touch with a few reputable termite control providers. 
  • It is preferable to leave termite treatment to experts knowledgeable about the different termite control techniques. 

Related Blog: Pest Control Organic Methods: Protect Your Lawn & Family


How do you avoid mulch termites?

Steer clear of redwood, pine, and fir mulches as they are more prone to harbouring insects. 

Does mulch touch the foundation of the house?

No, mulch shouldn’t come into contact with a home’s foundation. Keep the mulch 6 to 12 inches away from the foundation of the building.

How can I keep mulch from mulch termites? 

To aerate the mulch, let it dry between waterings and rake it occasionally. Keeping a buffer zone between your foundation and yard, removing wood debris heaps, and using an insecticide can help you avoid mulch termites.

Does rubber mulch attract mulch termites?

Since rubber mulch contains no cellulose, termites aren’t drawn to it. But if the soil stays wet, termites might still burrow beneath it. In between waterings, leave rubber mulch beds to dry fully.

The Bottom Line

Only applying mulch to your lawn won’t attract mulch termites.

If you already notice signs of termites, treat them before adding a new one.

Also, remember the correct way of putting it to eliminate the chances of termite growth.

For yearly termite inspections, you can contact professionals to identify pest activity before it develops into a full-blown infestation that may cause irreversible damage to your house.