Mulching your soil is essential to ensure its health. Mulching also improves the soil’s capacity to grow healthy crops and keep your garden safe from pests.
Today, rubber mulch has become quite popular among gardeners. It’s long-lasting and an excellent insect controller.
However, a concern that most people have while using rubber mulch is the possibility of insect infestation, in this case, termites.
So, does rubber mulch attract termites?
No, rubber mulch doesn’t attract termites. The best mulch that doesn’t attract termites is any inorganic mulch with dry materials like rubber. An advantage of rubber mulch is its dry nature, which keeps off termites. Also, you can keep termites off, through moderate watering and frequent turn-overs.
Read on for an in-depth look at the topic.
Also Check: Can You Put Mulch Over Grass?
Does Rubber Mulch Attract Termites?
No, rubber mulch doesn’t attract termites. As you’ve read in the introduction, rubber isn’t organic. Termites are usually attracted to mulch that has some organic content. Organic mulch holds more moisture and compostable products. That’s an excellent breeding ground for termites.
Additionally, rubber mulch is relatively dry. Therefore, it wouldn’t attract termites.
Because rubber mulch is naturally dry, it doesn’t support the growth of weeds in your garden that may attract these termites.
What Other Mulch Doesn’t Attract Termites?
Other types you can consider are Melaleuca mulch, which repels both termites and other pests. It’s a wood-based type of mulch that’s also friendly to the environment.
Cypress and cedar are also good choices as well. These wood-based mulch needs replacing every two to three years. Although, depending on the moisture content of the soil, they may decompose faster hence needing frequent replacement.
How Do I Keep Termites off My Mulch?
If you’ve noticed your mulch is infested with termites, here are some ways for you to control and eradicate them.
- Spread Out Your Mulch
Termites love moisture and green leafy plants, hence common in mulch. Suppose you’ve spread your mulch in heaps without aeration; termites can infest. Therefore, while applying mulch to your garden, spread thin layers equally throughout the garden.
Additionally, rake up the mulch and turn it over constantly to allow aeration and drying. Excess moisture creates excellent breeding grounds for termites and fungi, which leads to other pests.
- Use your Sprinkler Wisely
As mentioned, termites are close friends with moisture. However, you can’t avoid watering your plants because you’re afraid of them. Therefore, use the sprinkler watering method instead of a hose or bucket.
You’re in luck if you’ve spread rubber mulch because they’re highly porous. Evenly distributed rubber mulch allows water to pass seamlessly into the soil for plant root uptake.
Sprinkler watering also ensures water is distributed evenly throughout the garden, even drying, and therefore, no termites.
- Take Part in Mulch Maintenance
Mulch maintenance means turning your mulch, replacing your mulch, and giving cover to your mulch.
Rubber mulch doesn’t decompose as fast as organic mulch. Therefore, it won’t need constant replacing. However, add a fresh layer if you notice your rubber mulch starting to rot.
Rubber mulch does retain heat that may increase moisture content underneath.
A good maintenance tip is to do a turnover every two weeks to ensure aeration and expose soil to the sun.
- Mix your Rubber Mulch with Cypress Shreds
Although cypress shreds are wood-based, they’re just as dry as rubber and don’t break down as fast as other organic and wood mulch.
Cypress mulch added to rubber mulch increases your plants’ durability and nutrient content and soil. Cypress is also bug resistant.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do I have Termites in My Garden?
If you’ve noticed an increase in termites in your garden, there’s probably excess moisture in your soil. Termites are attracted to the same things your plants require to survive.
To prevent this problem, therefore, spread mulch on top of your soil to absorb the excess water. The best mulch for this job is rubber mulch because it’s inorganic and relatively dry.
However, rake up your soil before adding the layer of rubber mulch. Add about 1.5 inches of coating to the ground.
Though termites aren’t attracted to soil or water, they’re in your garden for the leaves and flowers. Therefore, while adding and replacing your rubber mulch, spray insecticides to ensure you won’t experience this issue frequently.
While there’s general confusion on whether prolonged termite presence on your farm is harmful or beneficial, what can be agreed on is that a lack of termites is the preferred situation.
Rubber mulch is spoken of in the landscaping world as the cheapest and easiest way to prevent termites from becoming an infestation in your garden.
So, it’s not a question of does rubber mulch attract termites anymore, but how to effectively use your mulch!