Best Mulch for Preventing Termites

5 Best Mulch for Preventing Termites (Forever) In Your Yard

The main purpose of this guide you will be able to find the five best mulch for preventing termites permanently in your garden. Bugs and termites both love mulch. Also you can know Why Termite Drops From The Ceiling And Make You Sleepless.

In the wrong mulch, you’ll have termites waiting at your doorstep to invade your home.

However, there are mulches that termites avoid. Termite repellent mulches are used here. 

Due to the chemical composition of these mulches, they prevent all types of bugs, such as ants, centipedes, and cockroaches, from hiding underneath them.

The following guide will give you five tips on how to avoid termites while mulching. 

Termites will not damage your yard or garden when you use these mulches.

It is less likely that a home will be infested with termites if there is no termite infestation in the yard and garden.

5 Best Mulch for Preventing Termites

Does Mulch Attract Termites?

Termites can be attracted by certain types of mulch. Before you learn which mulches keep them away, it’s important to understand which mulches attract them.

You will avoid choosing the wrong mulch if you are aware of these mulches.

The mulches that attract termites have either nitrogen and phosphorous or cellulose in them.

For the termites to survive, both of these conditions must be met.

By choosing the wrong mulch around your home, you expose your home to termite infestation.

Here are the mulches that attract termites –

Pine Straw Mulch Attract Termites

Termites are not attracted to pine straw mulch, according to many people.

They’re right, but only to a certain extent.

Pine straw mulch does not attract termites. A pine straw mulch is more moist than other mulches since it traps moisture.

What happens when soil is moist?

It is ideal for termites to establish their colonies in moist soil covered with pine straw mulch.

In this way, termites are able to hide beneath the mulch’s layer.  

Termites build tunnels through these nests. 

These tunnels are used by termites to travel to find new sources of food. 

Your home is often the end-point of those tunnels.

On top of that, there are studies showing that pine straw mulch attracts termites.

In addition, many people ignore the fact that pine straw mulch is flammable.

Quite often, they catch fire quite quickly, and the fire can spread quite rapidly. 

Pine Bark Mulch Attract Termites

Termites are also attracted to pine bark mulch, like pine straw mulch.

Remember, however, that pine bark mulch and pine straw mulch are not eaten by termites.

Their nesting place and tunnel building opportunities are provided by it.

They act like a bridge between the yard and the house, despite being low in cellulose (cellulose is a basic nutritional requirement for termites).

When pine straw mulch and pine bark mulch are near your home’s foundation, termites will use them to enter your home.

Termites find both nitrogen and phosphorous attractive, which makes them attractive to them.

Both pine straw mulch and pine bark mulch retain moisture, so they can also attract ants.

Termites are eaten by ants.

Therefore, using these mulches will not only expose your home to termite infestation, but also to ant infestation.

You don’t want either of them.

Softwood Mulch Attract Termites

There is one type of softwood mulch that does not attract termites, which you’ll discover in a minute.

Softwood mulches are high in cellulose, which termites consume to survive.

Among the most common softwood mulches that homeowners use are firewood mulch and all types of pine wood mulch, especially loblolly and slash pine.

You can be sure that these mulches will attract termites when you use them, especially if your neighborhood has a termite infestation.

Your home and yard will be an open invitation for termites to invade.

Chips made from firewood and pine wood contain high levels of cellulose and moisture that termites eat and need to live.

However, mulch isn’t a long-term solution for termites. These insects need a nutrient-rich environment to survive and thrive. 

You can find that source in your home’s furniture, books, and clothes. You can find it in the firewood pile and tree stumps in your yard.

If you’ve got the wrong mulch in your yard or garden, then you’re only a matter of time before termites wreak havoc on your house.

Best Mulch To Avoid Termites

Now that you know what mulches attract termites, it’s time to reveal the list of the best mulches to avoid termites. 

The mulches show their resistance to termites for months. 

These mulches look so pretty, they’ll give your yard or garden a unique look.

Here are the 3 best mulches to avoid termites –

  1. Cedar Mulch
  2. Cypress Heartwood Mulch
  3. Melaleuca Mulch
  4. Licorice Root Mulch
  5. Redwood Mulch

The above four mulches all possess antifungal properties that help them resist termites

Furthermore, all types of bugs that can live in mulch avoid these mulches, such as ants, centipedes, roaches, and crickets.

Additionally, cedar mulch, cypress heartwood mulch, and melaleuca mulch are hardwood mulches.

Termites avoid hardwood mulches because they contain resins.

The four mulches also prevent termites from building nests underneath them. 

Take a closer look at each of these mulches.

Termites Avoid Cedar Mulch

The cedar tree produces cedar mulch as a byproduct. It contains thujone, a natural chemical that keeps termites away. 

This is the most expensive mulch on our list.

5-7 years is the average life expectancy of cedar mulch. It adds beauty to your garden and yard because of its natural red color.

All these characteristics make cedar mulch a great value for money.

In addition to repelling termites and bugs, cedar mulch improves the quality of the soil.

Cedar mulch also helps maintain a healthy soil temperature, which aids the growth of plants.

As cedar mulch takes years to decay and does not allow nitrogen into the soil, it is said to be harmful for plants.

The myth is a myth, as mentioned earlier.

The University of Missouri did a study showing that cedar mulch has no negative effects on plants.

Termites Avoid Cypress Heartwood Mulch

There’s a catch, though.

Termites will be attracted to normal cypress mulch.

What’s the reason?

The reason is that cypress mulch contains sapwood. As you know, termites love cellulose, which is found in sapwood.

Rather than using cypress mulch, you should use cypress heartwood mulch.

The cypress heartwood mulch has the same anti-fungal and termite repelling properties as the cedar mulch.

Not only does the antifungal property keep termites away, but it also keeps many other insects and bugs away. 

Cypress heartwood mulch takes at least 3-4 years to decompose since it is a hardwood mulch.

Your home and yard are thus protected against termites for a long time. On top of that, you’ll love the scent of cypress heartwood mulch.

Termites Avoid Melaleuca Mulch

If you’re on a budget, Melaleuca mulch is a great alternative to both cedar and cypress heartwood mulch.

Additionally, it is hardwood mulch. 

Melaleuca mulch, however, has a smell you might not like. 

The best part about melaleuca mulch is that it lasts for 2-3 years before it decays. 

The melaleuca tree produces melaleuca mulch. There is no indigenous species in the US; it is imported from Australia.

Melaleuca trees grow rampantly in Florida swamps. That’s why they’re also called Florimulches.

Florimulch is more affordable because it is readily available. 

However, before you buy melaleuca mulch, make sure it doesn’t contain any seeds and it is properly composted. 

You may otherwise have a wild growth of Melaleuca trees in your yard. 

Termites Avoid Licorice Root Mulch

Steaming and grating the roots of the licorice tree produces licorice root mulch.

The licorice tree is native to Central Asia. It reached the United States in the 1940s.

Because of its anti-artillery fungus properties, licorice mulch is a proven pest repelling mulch.

That keeps the termites at bay.

In addition, it contains 13 nutrients for plants that make it excellent for plant growth. Additionally, licorice mulch also maintains the soil’s carbon-to-nitrogen ratio, which is essential for plants’ growth.

Termites Avoid Redwood Mulch

Redwood mulch is the only softwood mulch to make the list of best mulch to avoid termites.

Termites are also repelled by redwood mulch, which contains resins similar to those found in cypress mulch.

Redwood mulch decays after one to three years. Its life isn’t as long as the other hardwood mulches listed on this page.

However, it’s certainly cheaper than hardwood mulch. For those who don’t mind changing their mulch in their yards and gardens often, redwood mulch is a good choice.

Why Termites Avoid These Mulches?

Tunnels are tunnels that are dug in the ground or in wood by all types of termites. Termites bore into the wood and eat it from within. In order to survive, termites need moisture and cellulose in the wood. 

These mulches lack both moisture and cellulose, and their natural chemicals make them termite-resistant. 

Mulches, being wood chips, don’t provide them with enough space to make long tunnels for commuting. 

Therefore, these mulches are neither nutritious nor worth drilling for termites.

Do You Lay Mulch Around Your Foundation To Avoid Termites?

It’s time to learn how to lay the mulch now that you know what mulch termites avoid and why.

Mulch that repels termites may not be as effective if you lay it incorrectly.

The good news is that mulching around your home’s foundation in your yard or garden is easy. 

Here’s how you do it.

Around your home’s foundation or where you want to apply mulch, dig a ditch half an inch to an inch deep.

Be sure that your mulch is at least a foot away from the perimeter of your home’s foundation if you plan to lay mulch around it.

This will prevent termites and bugs from using the mulch as a bridge to enter your home.

Sprinkle termite granules in the ditch and water it.

The termite granules sink into the soil and kill any termites underneath.

A termite granule remains active for at least 6-9 months, preventing termites from making nests in and around your home’s foundation.

Termite granules are always used around the foundation of a home by smart homeowners.

And finally, fill the ditch with any one of the mulches in the list. 

How To Treat Termites In Mulch In Two Steps

Is it possible that you are using the wrong mulch and it contains termites?

This section will explain how to get rid of termites in mulch before you replace it with one of the mulches listed.

Mulches typically cover a few inches (2-3 inches) of soil, making them perfect habitats for termites and other pests.

Your home is just a few days away from being infested with termites in your yard or garden unless you take care of them. 

Before we talk about killing termites in mulch, let’s examine signs of termites in mulch. The sooner you act if you see these signs, the better. 

  • Live Termites In Mulch – There is no doubt that termites exist when they are physically seen in mulch. If there are termites underneath the mulch’s layer, you will see them crawling as you scatter the mulch.
  • Piles Of Mud In Mulch – There are mud hills made by termites on mulch. You can also find these mud hills around trees. A mud hill in your yard indicates the presence of subterranean termites. 
  • Dead Termites – It’s a warning sign of both termites and ants in your yard or garden if you see dead termites. A battle must be taking place between ants and termites in your yard because ants eat termites.
  • Mud Tubes – To reach their food source, subterranean termites build mud tubes on rigid structures like walls, ceilings, or timber using their saliva and soil. You’ll know you have termites if you find mud tubes emerging from the ground where your mulch has been kept.

Now that you know how to identify termite infestations in mulch, it’s time to get rid of them. 

While getting rid of them, however, you need to make sure that you don’t compromise the soil’s quality. You sure wouldn’t want to do that if you have a garden. 

To prevent termite infestations, do not spray chemical pesticides on mulch. As a result, your plants will be deprived of the nutrients they need to grow. 

Instead, there are some natural ways to get rid of termites from mulch, and they also work well. 

Two steps that you can take right now to get rid of termites in mulch –

Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth On The Mulch To Kill The Termites 

When it comes to getting rid of termites and other bugs from the soil and mulch, food grade diatomaceous earth works best. 

Diatomaceous earth penetrates termites’ skins and soaks up moisture, causing them to die quickly. 

Diatomaceous earth sticks to termites’ bodies, making their lives more difficult. Termites with diatomaceous earth go back to their nests and spread it to other termites. 

Plants, you, your pets, and children can be safely treated with food grade diatomaceous earth. 

Diatomaceous earth can also be substituted with boric acid.

To use boric acid, simply mix one teaspoon with one cup of hot water. 

You will need more than one cup of water if your yard or garden is large. It would be best to keep the composition the same – one teaspoon per cup of hot water. 

Mix the mixture with the termite mulch and spray it on. Boric acid kills termites by dehydrating them, and hot water does not allow them to survive. 

Boric acid is also safe for the soil. It’s naturally found in the soil too. 

But if you use an excessive amount of boric acid or borax in the mix, then the soil can be damaged.

In this case, it would be best for the soil if you kept the recommended ratio – one teaspoon per cup of hot water.

The mixture of boric acid and hot water must be sprayed twice in the mulch for three days to kill the termites. 

As an alternative, use can use borax, too, instead of boric acid. 

Use Nematodes To Kill Any Surviving Termites

Termites are killed by nematodes, which are tiny roundworms that enter their bodies.  

Natural termite and insect killers, nematodes do not damage soil quality. 

They are easily accessible. All you have to do is sprinkle nematodes on the termite-infested mulch area and let them do their work. 


For your yard or garden, the best mulches to avoid termites are cedar mulch, cypress heartwood mulch, melaleuca mulch, licorice root mulch, and redwood mulch.

Cedar wood mulch, cypress heartwood mulch, and melaleuca mulch are hardwood mulches that last longer than any other mulch. 

When you use firewood or pine wood chips as mulch, they attract termites instead of repelling them. 

Woods such as firewood and pine are rich in moisture and cellulose that termites feed on to survive. 

The purpose of these mulches is to repel termites. Here’s how to use them correctly.

You should remember that subterranean termites gain access to your home through the ground.

It is your yard most often that provides termites with access to your house.

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