There are many rumours surrounding mulch and its effect on termites and their behaviour. Many people fear that mulch actually attracts termites, and can lead to an infestation in your home, although this simply isn’t the case. In this article we will look at the benefits of mulch in your garden, and why termites like mulch, but why it shouldn’t be avoided. Termites in mulch is common, but as we’ll see, this isn’t a problem.
Benefits of Mulch
The thought of mulch often conjures images of termites in mulch, looking for more structural wood to damage. This is a myth. It’s worth bearing in mind that termites aren’t evil creatures, and they’re just looking for their next meal like the rest of us. The fact of the matter is, you garden is an ideal place for bugs of all shapes and sizes, and termites are no different.
Termites themselves love damp areas, and this is provided by laying mulch in your garden. Additionally, it gives them a plentiful source of food which should keep them from chewing your walls anytime soon. This should not be used to outweigh the benefits of mulch in your garden. Mulch provides a damp and fertile soil for plant growth. Because mulch adds to the soil content organically, you can use it to improve the quality of your soil.
An improvement in soil quality is the goal of many a gardener, and by avoiding mulch, you’re missing out. Better soil means more effective nutrient uptake, which means healthier plants. That’s the bottom line. It also provides an excellent habitat for wildlife, which gives your garden character and helps keep the ecological balance, which is good for the environment as a whole.
Mulch should never be avoided because of the fact that it attracts termites. It does encourage termite habitation, but you will be at no greater risk than without mulch, and its environmental benefits far outweigh this issue.
Why Termites Like Mulch
Why is it that termites in mulch are like pigs in the mud? Well, it comes down to their natural instincts. The termites themselves usually live in large colonies under your soil surface. They prefer the damp conditions and rich soil offered by mulch, and they like the continual food source offered by a supply of fresh mulch.
However, when you consider that termites can look for wood in excess of 300ft from their nest, and they can frequently move, it is not surprising that they have a wide coverage. The presence of mulch isn’t going to attract termites any more than not having mulch, and the massive benefits to the health of your garden should be the swaying factor.
Termites aren’t out to be pests, and if you leave them to take their natural course in a natural habitat, you will be supporting the environment in a positive way. At the end of the day, there’s nothing you can do about termites, and if they choose to attack your house, that’s just unlucky. Adding mulch isn’t going to change the world, but it will improve your garden and soil quality.
If termites in mulch are a real concern for you, you can obviously avoid it as far as possible, in favour of some other organic matter. The fact is that if you’re going to get termites, you will get them anyway. They are very common pests in certain areas, and there are far more useful preventative measures open to you than avoiding mulch.
Photo by Gnilenkov Aleksey, Creative Commons Attribution License