Termites in Mulch: Here’s What you Should Know First

Termites In Mulch

Termites are insects that have underground colonies where they reside. They can seriously harm homes, buildings, and garden structures if left unmanaged.

Mulch termites are a frequent issue. Eliminating their food source is the only way to get rid of them. Eaters of mulch Mulch is made of wood that fungus have partially decomposed. So it is safe to argue that the main draw for termites is mulch itself.

Subterranean and above-ground termite infestations come in two different varieties. Under the soil, where they may feed on plant roots, subterranean termites construct their nests. Termites that live above earth create mounds that resemble hills. Additionally, this kind of termite can seriously harm buildings.

Termites can create whole colonies in mulched areas if they are not controlled. When infested with termites, gardens and manicured areas around a house can represent a major threat to its structural integrity.

Termites in mulch can be identified, treated for, and prevented using the information in this article.

Why is there Termites in Mulch

What draws termites to mulch? Mulch serves as a food supply for termites, who will settle there and establish their colony. Mulch is made composed of cellulose and lignin, which are found in wood, to a degree of 90%.

Lignin and cellulose are consumed by termites and converted into sugars or food.

In order for termites to survive, the optimal temperature range is between 75 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit (24 and 35 degrees Celsius).

Additionally, as the seasons change, such as in the fall and winter, when the outside temperature is unfavorable for termites, these temperatures are quite alluring.

How Do Termites Get in Mulch

Termites are underground animals that can spend their entire lives in the soil and, if there is no barrier present beneath the mulch layer of soil, they can easily make their way into mulch. Termites frequently choose to build their nests in secure environments, and they are more likely to do so when the temperature drops below 75°F.

Since termites have a cold blooded nature, temperature has a significant impact on how active they are. In places with excessively hot or cold upper-level soil temperatures, subterranean termites will not forage.

Flavius Reticulitermes

The most prevalent termite in North America is Reticulitermes flavipes, sometimes known as the eastern subterranean termite.

Information on Termites

Is it common to have Termites in mulch?

Depending on the type of mulch being used, termites may have little trouble settling down there. The lignin in wood attracts termites. When termites ingest this lignin, it is converted into sugars.

As a result, untreated wood particles such as bark, pine, redwood, and hardwood can provide termites with a welcoming home and an easy food source.

How to Prevent Termites in Mulch

How hard is it to get rid of termites?

Termites in mulch can be avoided, and doing so is not particularly difficult.

Before applying mulch, it is advised that some form of barrier be put on the soil. T

This would successfully stop termites from rising in the soil when the temperature is no longer conducive.

Termite barriers that work:

Termite barrier

Termite barriers are substances that have been created especially to stop subterranean termites from entering a structure.

Termite membrane barriers

These are made up of elastomeric sealants that are attached to a strong backing. Membrane barriers serve a number of purposes when they are a part of the building envelope. They function as a waterproofing, air, and vapor barrier in addition to keeping out termites and other insects.

Termite sealant materials

are the fundamental part of termite membranes, as previously mentioned. Sealants come in caulk or spreadable formulations and are elastomeric, meaning they can move with the structure without tearing.

How Can you tell When Mulch is Infested with Termites?

Termite nest indications include digging holes in and around the mulch chips as well as mudded tunnels that they have constructed for both protection and movement when mulch is infested with termites.

Larger, more mature colonies will have constructed mounds from which they can be seen moving in and out as they engage in destructive behavior.

Another interesting point is that termites will start eating away at the chip size of mulch as it becomes infested, which will lower the level or height of the mulched layer.

How to get rid of termites in mulch?

Mulch termites can be eliminated chemically and naturally (organically) (Using insecticides).

If termites enter mulch that has been sprayed with a pesticide that will kill them in 24 hours, they will be quickly dead.

The deadly scents in the mulch will also be detected by termites, preventing them from even getting close.

Insecticides for termites in Mulch

To kill termites, insecticides mostly use two substances.Hexaflumuron with fipronil.

A broad-spectrum pesticide from the phenylpyrazole chemical family, fipronil. The insect’s central nervous system is disturbed by fipronil. (Wikipedia)

Fipronil is frequently found in Regent and is used to treat a variety of field and horticultural crops for important lepidopteran (moth, butterfly, etc.) and orthopteran (grasshopper, locust, etc.) pests.

Use of hexaflumuron as a pesticide against termites is particular.Because it interferes with chitin formation, it prevents the growth of insects.

Termites are killed by applying termite bait, an efficient insecticide, on wood. On the mulched surface, it is typically sprayed.

Applying Insecticide to Mulch: Some Advice –

  • Apply it to the mulch where you think they might be living.
  • Apply a small bit of it.
  • Every two weeks, spray.
  • On the same day, avoid using any additional insecticides.
  • Utilize an applicator that was created with this need in mind.
  • In a descending motion, mist.
  • Apply insecticides while wearing safety gear.

Traps for Termites in mulch

cardboard-based traps

Termites are drawn to these traps, where they establish their nest before being collected and burned.

A cardboard layer can be used before the mulch is applied, and a plastic barrier should also be put in place before the mulch is spread.

If termite activity is detected, the cardboard can be removed and burned while the plastic barrier will stop the termites from advancing into the mulch.

Natural Treatments for Termites in Mulch

Termite-infested mulch shouldn’t be used in landscaping projects. When the termites are gone, you might want to restore the mulch that was removed.

What is a natural way to Repel or Kill Termites?

We frequently believe that termites should be exterminated using chemicals. There are several natural repellents that might surprise you, though, and they work really well.

Natural termite control techniques include:

exposure to the sunThe termites will go since direct sunshine greatly raises the temperature in the area.
Earth made of diatomsAll active worker termites will be forced to crawl through the poison by DE powder, which will also help to quickly dehydrate them by slicing their outer shell.
NematodesThese tiny roundworms hunt after termites and other insects to enter. They eventually succumb to parasite feeding till they perish.
acid boricThe termite is dehydrated, and its nervous system is shut down by the action of boric acid.
Citrus OilD-limonene, the active component of orange oil treatment, kills termites instantly by dissolving their exoskeleton and killing their eggs.

When applied at the first sign of a termite infestation, these techniques work well. A more complex procedure is advised if the termite colony is well-established.

Termites in Mulch Pile

Mulch can also draw termites when it is piled up, much like when it is applied to vegetable plants and its surrounding areas.

When this occurs, it’s possible that the termite infestation won’t be discovered until the colony is well-established.

As a result, there is a high likelihood that the mulch—termites and all—will be packed and shipped when this takes place. Sadly, it’s possible that this will end up in your garden. because of this, it’s crucial to check the mulch for bugs before using it.

Can Termites be in bags of Mulch?

Depending on where the mulch is kept, termites may find it simple to settle in and build a successful colony. Consequently, termites may wind up in mulch bags and remain there until the mulch is spread out in a garden or landscape.

As was already indicated, careful inspection is essential to avoid unintentionally introducing termites into your living area and yard.

Note: If mulch is utilized in gardens adjacent to residences, the results could be disastrous and expensive.

What Mulch Attracts Termites?

Mulch that will entice termites includes:

  • logs, chips
  • Straw
  • Chipped bark or shredded bark
  • Cardboard

Given that they are all formed of the same type of cellulose, these mulch all serve as a food supply for termites.

You might choose inorganic mulch, synthetic mulch, or mulch that has been chemically treated if you want a mulch that won’t draw termites.

These consist of:

  • Rubber mastic
  • Polymer mulch
  • Stone mulch
  • Pebbles
  • Insect rocks

Is it bad to put mulch around your house?

Mulch could potentially attract termites, so placing it around your house may not be the best option. Mulch around your home may also allow water to collect on the ground, which may encourage the formation of mold.

Termites consume both wood and cellulose, so if your property is surrounded by a lot of wood items, they can find them to be rather tasty. At first, it could seem like a wonderful plan, but you’d wind up needing to pay money to repair the damage.

Garden beds and mulch should be put at least 20 feet away from a dwelling. to lower the possibility of a termite attack on your house.

If there is adequate moisture control in place, garden beds can be planted adjacent to a house, but it should be done without the use of mulch.

Do Termites Eat Plants?

Termites are insects that mostly consume wood, but they will also consume grass, leaves, and even flowers. Vegetables, fruits, and grains don’t contain cellulose, hence they don’t typically eat them.

It’s likely that termites are searching for food if you witness them chewing plants.

Plants are not eaten by termites. Termites will favor dead trees and branches over living ones.

Finding them in living trees therefore suggests that a portion of the tree is already dead. The cambium layer, which is the portion of the trunk that is still growing, may be the culprit.

What stores sell termite bait?

Termite bait is available in well-known retailers like Walmart, Amazon, and Home Depot, but you can also find it at your neighborhood agricultural store.

Do Termites consume the soil as well?

Certainly, termites consume soil. They don’t consume the entire soil, though. They only consume dirt that is considered “active.” Organic soil with cellulose or lignin content is considered active soil.

Because they can offer a significant food source for the colony, soils with high amounts of active soil are more likely to become infested by termites.

The Takeaway

Mulch will support termites since it can act as a source of living food. Termites like a temperature range of between 75°F and 95°F, and they will relocate into mulch when the surrounding air temperature is either too low or too high for comfort.

Before mulch is placed, the soil will be lined with a barrier as part of termite prevention measures. Additionally, treated mulch discourages them from approaching mulched areas closely.

Pesticides, both organic and inorganic, can be used with varied degrees of success to actively control termites that have already inhabited a mulched region, depending on the extent of infestation.


Contact your neighborhood pest treatment business if you see any indications of termite activity, such as tunnels or nests. They will examine your property and provide you a quote for the cost of fully eradicating the issue.


What to put in mulch to kill termites?

Eliminating their food source is the only way to get rid of them. Eaters of mulch Mulch is made of wood that fungus have partially decomposed. So it is safe to argue that the main draw for termites is mulch itself.

Is bagged mulch treated for termites?

Check the label before you buy, especially if you have an organic garden, as some bagged mulch sold in stores has been treated with chemicals to stave off slugs, snails, ants, and termites.

What kills termites naturally?

Sodium borate or borax powder can naturally eradicate termites. You can either mix a solution of the powder and water to spray or paint on the afflicted regions, or you can simply sprinkle the powder on the termites and the affected area. As a termite repellent, the solution can also be painted on surfaces.

How do you kill termites in mulch?

Termites are killed by applying termite bait, an efficient insecticide, on wood. On the mulched surface, it is typically sprayed.