Mulch: A Beautiful Way to Attract Pests to Your Yard◀ Back To Blog
July 7, 2017
Homeowners looking to dress up their yard and give the landscaping a clean, tidy appearance often put down a new layer of mulch to kick off the summer months. Mulch will take an average-looking landscape and create one that looks like something out of a gardening magazine! You can define flower beds, create interesting shapes and lines, and hide weeds that pop up near your flowers with a healthy layer of mulch. Not only does it look nice, but mulch offers improved soil conditions for your plants by locking in moisture, insulating trees and shrubs, and breaking down into the soil like compost over time.
But, the benefits of mulch for your yard are also benefits for the living conditions of pests. As you use mulch to create a beautiful outdoor space, you're also creating the perfect living conditions for cockroaches, ants, millipedes, and termites.
Why Does Mulch Attract Pests?
Insects and other pests seek out areas that offer them key resources. All living things need food, water, and shelter. If you're a creepy-crawly insect, taking up residence in a big pile of mulch is like living in the fanciest neighborhood in a gorgeous mansion with butlers! Mulch creates a humid habitat because it traps moisture. It offers limitless places to hide from predators. Mulch offers temperature relief from the hot sun. Many types of mulch, whether you use wood chips, pine straw, or bark, can also serve as a source of food for a variety of insects as the matter decomposes in the soil. All of these ideal living conditions attract pests and encourage breeding.
How To Use Mulch Without Increasing The Pest Population
If you love the look of mulch in your yard but don't want to create an oasis for pests, consider the following tips:
Use less mulch. People have a tendency to really pile on the mulch when a two-inch layer of fresh mulch over your gardens will hold moisture for plants without attracting large numbers of breeding pests. It will look just as beautiful as a landscape with larger amounts of mulch.
Remove old mulch. Before adding a new layer of mulch to your landscaping, remove the previous year's mulch.
Keep mulch away from foundation. When laying mulch near the house, keep at least six inches of exposed soil between the foundation and the mulch to create a drier environment against the home and make it less attractive to pests.
Managing the Pests in Your Home
Whether you choose to use mulch or not, you may have pests in or around your home. If ants, cockroaches, millipedes, termites, or other pests have made your yard or house their home, you don't have to live with the unwanted guests! Give Thomas Pest Control a call for customized pest control solutions that meet your needs.