If you’re a homeowner with concerns about termites and eye towards landscaping and gardening, then you’ve probably heard about termite resistant mulch. Tips on using mulch to control termites are pretty thin on the ground, despite this.
Mulch and termites are not something that normally goes together. Or rather, they go together a little too well, which is why it’s generally recommended that you keep mulch away from your house to prevent termites.
Termites are small, social insects that thinking that rotten wood and dirt are the highest of fine dining. Mulch is composed of dirt and rotted wood, so it’s not hard to see why having mulch around your house might not be the best of ideas if you’re looking to keep termites away from your home.
This is generally good advice, but there are other options available to homeowners these days. Lots of places offer termite resistant mulch, which may help offset the problems with mulch and even serve as a deterrent to termites.
The trick to termite resistant mulch is what wood goes into the making of the mulch. Certain trees are naturally resistant to termites, and making mulch out of them results in mulch that is just plain unappetizing to the little buggers.
Cypress and redwood are the main two, and while they aren’t completely inedible to termites, they do appear to not particularly interest them. Since termites are relatively smart, in the insect sense, they will go for food that is easier to get to and more appealing to their tastes.
This a guarantee, by any means, so if you want to use mulch in proximity to your house, I recommend you take several steps to make sure that you don’t end up with uninvited wood eating guests.
First, make sure that you are in fact using the termite resistant mulch. Make sure you request it specifically, and make sure that you are getting it from someone reputable. The mulch is more expensive than the regular variety, but the thousands that you’ll save in repair and extermination costs will be worth.
Second, wherever you are going to put down mulch, put down a layer of heavy black plastic as well. Termites move and sense through the ground, so putting a barrier that they can’t eat between them and food is a good way to keep them out.
Next, invest in boric acid, which is available almost everywhere. Boric acid is toxic to many insects, including termites, but safe for people in animals. You want to mix it in with the mulch, both by putting it in by hand and by mixing it with water and saturating the soil. The boric acid will kill any termites who attempt to eat the mulch, so any stragglers that manage to get around the plastic and into the mulch won’t be reporting back anytime soon.
Coming all three of the methods will give you the most protection and least chance of termite infestation. It all starts with termite resistant mulch. Tips on using mulch to control termites? These are the best you’re going to find.