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Does Mulch Attract Termites

By December 22, 2021February 8th, 2022Pest Control

Whether you are looking to buy a home or increase the curb appeal on your current home, landscaping is always a great selling point. Having a colorful and vibrant mulch in your yard can attract many viewpoints. However, having certain mulches in your yard can also attract many insects. Does mulch attract termites? Sometimes as termites are attracted to various wood. However, not all mulch attracts termites and some mulch actually repels them.

Let’s take a look below at some more details regarding mulch and termites.

Termites on mulch
Termites on Mulch

What Are Termites

Termites are grouped into three categories. Those categories consist of “workers”, “soldiers”, and “reproductives.” All termites are creamy-white and have translucent bodies. They often are mistaken for a grain of rice.

  • “Reproductives” and “swarmers” have wings and can be mistaken as flying ants.
  • “Worker” termites have no wings and bodies are similar to the “swarmers” bodies.
  • “Soldier” termites are similar to “swarmers”, except for their large crushing mandibles and oversized heads.

What Is My Best Choice for Mulch

Believe it or not, not all woods are a food source for termites. There are mulch choices available that don’t attract termites and are more resistant. Additionally, just like humans, termites have preferred food choices and can be picky about what they would like to consume. Let’s look at the variety of choices below so you can determine which mulches are beneficial to keeping termites away.


Mulch Liked by Termites:

  • Cypress sapwood
  • Loblolly pine
  • Slash Pine

Mulch NOT liked by termites:

  • Cypress heartwood
  • Melaleuca Eucalyptus
  • Southern Tidewater Red Cypress
  • California Redwood

The Cypress heartwood actually rates as the highest mulch to repel termites. Laying cedar mulch also deters termites. Some alternatives to mulch altogether would be pine straw and rock beddings.

While some mulch might repel termites, it’s recommended to keep mulch 4-6 inches away from the foundation as it can be a habitat for other pests and moisture.

Atkinson inspection has a termite treatment program if you have a reoccurrence or need more information.

How Much Does It Cost

Treating for termites is something that should be done on a regular basis as you don’t want to avoid this pest control. Also, damaging ramifications can be pretty high if you do not have a termite pest control service as the average cost for termite treatment ranges from $200 to $900. Beginning treatments typically start around $560 and then your regular treatment is billed monthly. Basic treatments run you about $3 to $16 per linear foot of the home.

Since we are on the topic of termites and mulch, it is a great idea to get a termite inspection done prior to completing a major gardening project. You would not want to spend the money on the mulch, only to have it removed because a termite inspection made a discovery.

Keep in mind that termites do like to swarm on occasion. Understanding when they swarm could be a vital piece of information for you. Especially if you chose the wrong mulch and attract a fierce amount of termites to feast.

Another area to look at while inspecting your mulch or adding a mulch to your garden beds that work for you is the HVAC system. Many people do not realize the amount of water an HVAC system can leak. Since termites love moist and dark places, an HVAC leak is a highly critical area that attracts termites and other insects. Take a look at your HVAC system and determine if it is leaking or not.

When Do I Call A Professional

Prior to gardening in your yard, you might want to consider where you live. Just like plants not surviving in certain soils, insects can thrive under certain conditions. Explore all of your options with a local pest control company. Make note of what items make sense for your area. Take note of what was mentioned above with regards to termite control and verify with your local pest control team.


Learning as much as you can to deter any insects from accessing your home is a priority. Infestations of any kind can become costly and a huge nuisance. Make sure to contact your local pest control team and home inspection team to give you an honest assessment of what your yard and home needs might be. Some home inspection teams can also provide a pest assessment inspection and recommend some great termite control services. Atkinson Home Inspection offers termite control services in Clermont, The Villages, and Orlando.