Termites and Mulch – Separating Truth From Fiction

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CHARLOTTE – Many of our customers have concerns that mulch could cause termite infestation. It is true that most of the mulch contains some wood. Mulch can be a problem, but not for the reasons most people think. Numerous studies show that mulch, which is produced during debarking in wood mills or wood chopping, has very little nutritional value for termites. Like soil, mulch is not a good source of food.

Mulch itself does not attract termites to an area. Termites feed on solid wood from the inside out, which consumes wood. Termites live underground and need moist areas to travel and even survive. Serious problems can arise if these pests enter your home or any other type of structure through wood in direct contact with the ground.

If mulch (and even pea gravel and river rocks) can be an issue, the land cover is over 3 to 4 inches deep, providing a suitable moist environment for the insects to shelter from inclement weather. Also, prevent mulch from coming into direct contact with deck posts, crawl space doors, and other solid wood structures due to the moisture path it creates.

Certain types of mulches like cypress and cedar are rot-resistant and produce natural chemicals that can actually deter termites.

After all, it is very rare for termites to come with your bag or bulk mulch products. Termites and all other insects cannot survive the heat generated by processing wood grinders or hackers.

Next week playground mulch for houses, churches, schools and parks.

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For 15 years, Phil and Pam Carter, owners of Metrolina Mulch Premium Landscape Products in Midland, NC, have sold a variety of high quality landscape products throughout the Charlotte area and beyond.