Asked on Jun 2, 2013

Will hardwood mulch attract termites?

Dale BSanlongJeanette S


I've been told that hardwood mulch attracts termites but that cypress mulch does not.
6 answers
  • Jeanette S
    on Jun 2, 2013

    You have to be careful about any wood close to your house. Firewood, for example, should be stacked away from the house. Cypress does not attract termites but other woods have to be treated if you plan to use them next to your house. Some companies sell treated pine and other woods. Beware of free give-a-ways of mulch from people who cut down trees or municipalities who mulch up Christmas trees unless it is for a mulch bed some distance from the house...and then you still need to watch it for termites.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Jun 2, 2013

    This is a commonly held misconception. No kind of mulch should actually touch your house. Here's the straight scoop from Iowa State University:

  • Kimberly Barney
    on Jun 3, 2013

    Use pine straw instead.

  • Jeanette S
    on Jun 4, 2013

    Thanks Douglas, I use pinestraw myself. I actually do not care for mulch. I used it in a bed away from the house a couple of times and actually put it next to the house this year. I am thinking about moving it. Watch for my new posting coming up....I am reporting on the growth of the Sago palms!

  • Sanlong
    on Jun 4, 2013

    Thanks to you all!

  • Dale B
    on Jun 24, 2013

    In our landscape business we don't use any hard wood mulch. It is notorious for causing termites and also ties up the nitrogen in your soil causing your plants to yellow. We use cedar mulch in areas where there tends to be erosion because it will not float off as bad as some and is a little stringy so that it bonds together a little. The one we recommend is pine bark mulch. Make sure it is a quality pine that only has bark in it. Many of the discount stores sell pine bark mulch that includes center wood with it. This will cause termites and has the same nitrogen problem that hard wood has. Happy Gardening.

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