Aside from weeds and insects, rodents can also be a significant nuisance for homeowners. But, mulch is a no-brainer and excellent solution. While looking for mulching methods for aesthetics and gardening benefits, you need to consider safer and practical options for an extended period.
Most people prefer rubber mulch because of its durability, safety, and aesthetics. But, does rubber mulch attract mice?
Rubber mulch doesn’t just repel mice, roaches, and other pests, but it also keeps them away. The surface of rubber mulch is rigid, making it very difficult for mice to dig up, hence protecting the plants. Above all, rubber mulch is inorganic, so it doesn’t decompose to add nutrients to the soil.
Keep reading to the end!
Also Check – Does Rubber Mulch Attract Roaches?
Does Rubber Mulch Attract Mice? Extensive Guide
Generally, mulch attracts a lot of pests, bugs, and diseases. However, all these depend on the type of mulch you’re using.
Typically, there’re two significant types of mulch; organic and inorganic. Rubber mulch falls under inorganic mulch since it doesn’t decompose.
Other Advantages of Rubber Mulch
- Rubber mulch requires little to zero maintenance. This is because rubber mulch lasts for over ten years without fading. Unless you change because of color preference, your lawn remains with a stunning look throughout.
- It encourages healthy plant growth. It allows water and fertilizers to pass through it and protects the soil from extreme temperatures. In the end, it provides a warm and moist environment ideal for plant growth.
- The heavyweight and durable nature of rubber mulch withstand strong winds or heavy rain from blowing or washing away. There’s an advantage to its non-decomposing nature, which makes it durable. Its durability equals cost-saving since you want to keep replacing it after each season.
- Rubber mulch is also excellent in preventing and controlling the weed. Its layer is even for blocking light from reaching weeds to grow. Still, the properties of rubber mulch make it impossible for weed seeds to settle and develop roots.
What Pests Should You Watch Out In Your Mulch?
According to a study, several pests attack the gardens and lawns, leaving undesirable results. Even with the wide variety, the most common ones are as follows;
When do mice invade a garden or lawn? Mulch attracts mice when you apply in excess, intending to maintain warmth for the plants during cold weather. However, this isn’t what plants require, and by doing so, you’re providing a free home for the mice.
Besides, if there’re plants and shrubs for mice to eat, they won’t go anywhere. Ideally, you should add enough mulch on the soil surface for steady temperature in winter. This avoids extreme heating and thawing; however, excess heat is favorable for mice.
With a thick layer of mulch, the mice find a permanent hiding spot from predators. So please don’t make it cozy for the mice by piling layers on top of layers of mice.
Specifically, carpenter ants love wood; hence wood mulch brings them closer to your home. It would help if you applied the mulch less attractively. How so?
You can make the mulch very shallow to discourage the ants from building their nests. Still, you can stay away from organic mulch in your home if your area is prone to carpenter ants.
Usually, carpenter ants are excellent at detecting wood’s smell, which attracts them to your property sooner than you expect.
Most people have no clue that mulch also attracts roaches. Cockroaches prefer any spot with decomposing materials, especially those present in mulches.
Cockroaches are very invading, and if the mulch is near your house, they’re likely to enter. Annoying, to say the least!
Roaches prefer mulch because it’s a more accessible spot to build nests. As a result, they lead to an annoying infestation that could be a challenge to stop.
Besides that, the moisture in wood chips and shavings also attracts cockroaches. So, it would be best if you avoided mulches with pine straw and bark shavings to prevent roaches from visiting your garden and into your home.
Unbelievably, some mosquitoes live in mulch, especially in wet areas. There’s enough moisture in the wet mulch providing a favorable spot for laying eggs.
Even though mosquitoes may not be causing severe problems, life without them is much better.
Moisture doesn’t only attract mosquitoes but also spiders. Wet mulch attracts spiders mainly because of food and shelter. Since moisture attracts many insects and bugs, spiders live there because of the abundant food.
Moreover, the wet mulch provides a suitable environment for the spiders to build their webs and nests. Usually, wood dust mulch attracts spiders better compared to other mulches.
This is because it attracts insects that are food to spiders. In the end, spiders come rushing to feast on the free and plenty of meal.
Ideally, you must use effective methods to repel these pests from your lawn. Moreover, pests invade different types of mulch for various reasons.
Why Does Mulch Attract Insects And Rodents?
Generally, different types of mulch attract pests because of their resources. Like every living thing, pests and rodents are searching for a better life in terms of water, food, and shelter.
Remarkably, mulch provides such resources individually and on a specific period. Some types of mulch offer a humid habitat due to their ability to retain moisture. Still, others provide ideal and endless hiding spots away from predators.
Conversely, mulches also offer relief against extreme weather conditions. Additionally, organic mulches are a source of food when they decompose to many rodents and pests.
For that reason, mulch provides ideal living conditions that make an attractive dwelling place for rodents and pests.
What Mulch Attracts Rodents And Bugs?
As observed above, your type of mulch determines the pests you attract. But usually, all types of organic mulch are likely to attract rodents and insects.
Mice and ants go for organic mulch, although mice prefer straw or fluffed mulch. Termites mostly prefer mulch with white birch, loblolly, and slash pine, even though they can feed on other types of mulch.
On the other hand, roaches like the pine straw or bark shavings mulch, while mosquitoes want wet mulch. Also, spiders prefer any type of wood mulch but specifically the pine bark mulch.
What Type Of Mulch Resists Pests And Rodents?
While organic mulches attract rodents and pests, some are resistant. Still, inorganic mulches do a better job in keeping away these pests from invading your home.
Let’s see several pest-resistant mulches below;
Rubber mulch is entirely a product of old tires, mostly from landfills. Aside from being an excellent recycling method to save the environment, rubber is healthier for plants. Here’s why.
For starters, it’s excellent in weed control since it doesn’t decompose to provide nutrients to the soil. Interestingly, the pests and rodents have nothing to feed on rubber mulch; hence leave your garden alone.
Unlike organic mulches, rubber mulch doesn’t provide any nesting material for rodents or pests. Besides, if they can’t find anything to eat from rubber, why live there?
Furthermore, rubber mulch doesn’t encourage fungi and algae growth since it’s not wet. Thanks to this environment, snails have no business invading your rubber mulch.
Aside from ammonia, snakes also don’t like the smell of rubber, especially when it’s hot.
Since pests and rodents carry diseases, rest assured that rubber mulch keeps your environment free from germs and bacteria.
Plastic mulches are a product of polyethylene and look like transparent aluminum-coated sheets. The aluminum reflects sunlight which repels the bugs. How?
Plastic mulch blinds the insects using the reflections and confuses them so they can stay away from gardens. Generally, the types of insects that plastic mulches repel include aphids, whiteflies, and leafhoppers.
Cypress or Cedar Mulch
Bark or chip mulches come from cypress or cedar. Naturally, chip or bark mulches repel insects and rodents due to their chemical content. Still, they contain a type of oil that repels insects.
Aside from repelling, cedar and cypress also kill insects like roaches, termites, carpet beetles, and cloth-eating moths. More specifically, termites keep off cypress heartwood and not sapwood because it’s toxic and kills when ingested.
For effective results, spread the cedar or cypress mulch where you desire in your compound around plants. Luckily, this type of mulches will last long since they hardly decay.
Cocoa Bean Straw and Shells Mulch
Cocoa bean straw and shell mulch are excellent in repelling and eliminating cucumber beetles from cucumber plants.
Straw mulch alone prevents bugs from laying eggs and invading gardens. Also, it keeps plants from the attack of fungus and other severe conditions that make plants rot.
Conversely, cocoa bean shell mulch emits a chocolate scent that repels the bugs.
Though cocoa bean shell is effective, remember to control its use because its excess is toxic to dogs.
Undeniably, eucalyptus is an excellent natural insect repellent at home. Luckily, it acts the same in keeping the pests from your lawn or garden.
Still, you can use eucalyptus mulch to contrast the grass and plant areas. Plus, it helps retain moisture and soil level.
How to Keep Pests and Rodents from Mulch
Before mentioning the ways of keeping pests and rodents away from mulch, you must establish what attracted them in the first place. Moisture, food, and shelter are what attract most garden invaders.
So, what should you do?
To deal with the pests and rodents, you must find a type of mulch that doesn’t provide such basic needs for them. This way, they won’t come near the mulch as there’s nothing to help with their survival.
Still, there’re other things that you can do to eliminate the pests and rodents from mulch like;
Always check the contents of organic mulch to ensure that no wood attracts termites.
- Use inorganic mulch like rubber since it’s not a food source for pests and mice.
- Don’t use plastics, pebbles, or rocks since they provide shelter from pests. Still, these inorganic mulches can hide things under the soil, allowing some insects like mites to breed.
How Do You Apply Mulch To Avoid Pests And Rodents?
Knowing the ideal type of mulch to avoid pests and rodents is not enough. It would be best to know how to apply these mulches for the best results.
See below the tips of mulch application for pests and rodents repelling.
Do Not Use a Lot
Believe it or not, applying a massive mulch pile doesn’t make any difference. Preferably, it would be best to spread a 2-inch layer of fresh mulch over your garden.
Mulch keeps away weeds and maintains moisture shunning away bugs and rodents. The 2-inch layer of fresh mulch is also more attractive than a massive pile of mulch.
Remove Old Mulch
Removing the old much is crucial before you spread a fresh layer. Preferably, change the old layer after about six months. This way, the mice and other rodents won’t set up a permanent habitat.
Lay Mulch Away
When laying mulch, ensure it’s away from the house. It would be best to leave a distance of about 6 inches of bare soil between the house and the mulch.
This forms a dryer environment for the home that doesn’t attract bugs and rodents.
Sow Mice-repellent Plants
Some plants repel bugs and rodents like cedar, cypress, lavender, and peppermint. You can choose to plant them or mix the peppermint and lavender essential oils with the mulch.
This deters even snakes from creating a habitat in your mulch.
Build a Fence and Set a Trap
Ideally, building a fence saves your garden from rodents like mice and squirrels.
Sometimes, rodents dig up and get in the garden under the fence. Therefore, it would also be ideal to set a trap to catch the small rodents like mice from frequenting the garden.
Does rubber mulch attract mice?
When planning landscaping for your home, keep in mind that your landscape method can significantly impact the ability to prevent pests — that’s true!
All you have to do is select the correct type of mulch that requires effortless maintenance without attracting pests. Rubber mulch is beneficial to your plants and soil, and using it relieves you from a lot of tedious upkeep work.
That way, the plants in the garden flourish easily without having troublesome mice and bugs around. Besides, it looks nice!