Mulch brings wave of Pest Problems

Every spring after the long winter people are excited to get out in their yards and clean up and make their landscaping look beautiful again.  Cleaning up leaf litter left over helps reduce harborage for pests, and planting pretty flowers, and plants helps “curb appeal”.  However we see some companies go extreme with mulch right up next to the foundation.  I’ve actually seen mulch several inches deep.

The problem with mulch is it is actually decomposing underneath if the old is left there, and it actually becomes a food source to many pests such as millipedes, centipedes, silverfish, pill bugs, etc.  Several other insects like it because it holds in moisture and provides cover, or shelters them.  I’ve even seen termites in mulch!  

Tips for mulch:

  1. Make sure you don’t go too deep and don’t cover any wood siding, there should always be a gap so termites don’t go undetected.
  2. Better yet put a 12″ band next to foundation if possible of rock.  It lasts longer, and remains drier and doesn’t attract near as many pests.
  3. If possible remove old mulch from previous years.
  4. If cost effective use the newer rubber mulch, it is more expensive in the beginning, but since it is recycled tires it’s not going to decompose. It comes in several colors to choose from also.
  5. From time to time inspect mulch, rake it back and see what’s hiding underneath.