Image via flickr by jumpyjodes
Managing the landscape is one of the most challenging jobs for homeowners, but the results can be rewarding. Mulch is a product that can be used to give your lawn and flower beds that well-manicured look, but it may come at a cost. Although mulch is a natural product that benefits the plants in your landscape, mulch can attract termites and many other pests, as well.
When using mulch to accent your property, there are methods you can use to keep it from enticing pests to invade your property and your home. Learning how to use mulch properly to beautify your lawn and flower beds while deterring pests will help protect your home and your family. You may also want to learn about the many different pests that are attracted to mulch for moisture, shelter, and food.
Termites are a homeowner’s worst nightmare, but can mulch be the cause of a termite infestation? The logic behind this assumption is that termites eat wood; therefore, natural wood mulch can attract termites. Mulch can attract termites, but it’s not because they use it for food, and it does not necessarily mean that using mulch around your home and property will set you up for a termite invasion.
Mulch can attract termites for the moisture barrier that it provides, whether it is organic or inorganic. They will nest under mulch beds that consist of bark, gravel, wood, or ground rubber, but fresh wood mulch offers the added benefit of being a food source. Mulch is not conducive to an increased termite population around your home, but it can provide an ideal environment for the existing termites in the immediate area.
There are many different insects in the soil around your house. Mulch can attract termites and other insects since it catalyzes those insects to thrive and multiply. If you inspect your mulch beds and find termites, you will want to take precautionary measures to ensure that they do not move into your house. There are DIY remedies, such as termite baits, that are an effective treatment for getting rid of termites. Still, termites are typically best left for a professional pest control agency to handle.
If there is a surplus of insects infesting your mulch beds, stay vigilant, and keep an eye out for potential intrusive pests in your house. If you consistently monitor your mulch beds, you will be aware of possible pest invasions. It is impossible to prevent bugs from inhabiting your mulch beds. Still, there are methods that can be applied to your mulch that will help reduce the risk of pesky insects finding their way inside your home.
Mulch serves more purposes than merely creating an aesthetic value for your property. Organic and inorganic mulch helps the plant’s water retention, prevent erosion, control weeds, and has insulating properties that regulate the moisture and temperature of the soil. Organic mulch also naturally increases the soil’s fertility as it decomposes and does a better job of reducing evaporation. The benefits of utilizing organic or inorganic mulch typically outweigh the adverse effects of bugs and other pests infesting your home.
When designing the landscape around the foundation of your home, you should employ a few simple yet effective methods of applying mulch and keeping pests in check. Mulch should never be in direct contact with your home. Keeping the mulch at least 1 foot away from the foundation of your home is recommended, leaving a bare dirt barrier between your house and the mulch bed. Pests will not want to cross the exposed area and will be deterred from entering your home.
Whether you water your landscape manually or using a sprinkler system, the water should not come in direct contact with your home; you will want to keep the buffer zone area dry. Insects and other pests will find this dry, barren area unattractive and will avoid it altogether. You should also keep the mulch as dry as possible by maintaining and raking a 2 inch or less layer of mulch to promote the evaporation of excess moisture.
All of these methods must be followed and maintained as a means of preventing pests from getting out of control. It may be better to remove it entirely before adding new mulch. Removing the old mulch will help reduce the number of insects living in and under your mulch beds. Bugs are inevitable, but taking the time to put measures in place to prevent your house from being infested is well worth the effort in the long run.
Ants are another pest that is attracted to the moisture found in mulch beds and will often make their nests underneath layers of mulch. If the mulch is in direct contact with your house, you may see ants invading your home when foraging for food and water. Ant baits will help rid the threat of an ant invasion, but if the situation is dire, hiring a professional exterminator may be a better option.
Following the precautionary methods of applying mulch mentioned earlier in this article will also help keep ants out of your personal space. Other bugs that may be found living underneath the mulch’s moisture-rich environment are millipedes, earwigs, centipedes, cockroaches, and pillbugs. Being aware of what could be lurking in your mulch beds will help you reduce the risk of finding these same pests gaining access to the inside of your house. Remember that Bulwark Exterminating is here to help you better protect your home and your family.