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Does Mulch Attract Insects? What You Need to Know

You know that fresh load of luxurious shredded bark mulch you love so much? You might not be the only one who loves it.

Does mulch attract insects? If so, now what? Does anybody want to live in a world without mulch?

Who are these bugs? How bad could they be?

If you’re suddenly feeling sort of itchy, put that bug swatter down and let’s get to the bottom of this.

Does Mulch Attract Bugs?

Yes. Sorry.

Mulch creates a dark, damp environment insects love. It already holds in moisture, but there are often plants living in mulch that get regularly watered — even better.

planting bed with mulch and stones

Mulch offers nice cozy protection from predators like birds, too.

If you were a bug, you’d love your mulch. Plus, it’s rent free.

What Insects Does Mulch Attract?

The creepiest ones, unfortunately.

Here in Idaho, the most common mulch-loving insects are earwigs and centipedes.

If you haven’t yet encountered these ick-inducing creatures, good for you.

Earwigs are super creepy looking, with a flat brown body that looks kind of like a cockroach, fierce-looking pinchers and two pairs of wings. They look prehistoric, like they used to ride on the backs of dinosaurs.

They love dark damp places — like mulch.

Centipedes creep some people out because they speed along on all those wiggly legs.

Like earwigs, they thrive in wet, damp, dark areas — like mulch.

And just to creep things up a bit, let’s add spiders to the mulch party. They love it, too. We’ll leave it there. The less said about spiders, the better.

BUT, Mulch is Still Magical

Does mulch attract insects? Yes, and we hate bugs, but we sure love mulch. There’s so much great about mulch.

Bark mulch conserves water, by holding in your soil’s moisture so you need less irrigation.

It protects your plants’ roots from extremes in temperature, keeping them cozy in cold weather and cool in summer’s heat.

Mulch keeps rain from washing away your soil.

annuals and shrubs in a mulch planting bed

As it decomposes over time, bark mulch adds nutrients to your soil.
And it discourages weeds from popping up, keeping everything dark so the weed seeds can’t sprout.

Finally, mulch just looks great, adding a tidy, uniform appearance to your beds.

Do Bugs Like Some Mulch Better Than Others?

Love a fresh load of rich dark shredded bark mulch?

Bugs do, too. Darn it.

Bark holds in moisture that insects need to thrive. It’s dark, so they can hide from predators. And it breaks down over time, creating a lovely habitat of damp decay. Bug paradise.

Does mulch attract bugs? Not rock mulch. Rocks are hard and dry. If you really want to deter bugs, rocks can be a good choice, especially if your garden beds aren’t filled with plants, or if drainage is a concern.

The nice thing about rock is that it stays put. This is a plus if you have a lot of wind, and your shredded bark keeps blowing away with every big gust. Bonus: you don’t have to reapply it every season.

But if you change your mind later, it’s kind of a pain to remove all the rock.

Bugs aren’t too crazy about pine needles, either, due to the snell and the high acidity.

Should You Skip the Mulch?

Does mulch attract insects? Yes, but if you decide to skip it and just leave bare soil, you’ll face some problems.

Bare soil dries out quickly in the sun and wind, leaving your plants thirsty for water.

plant health care technician spraying shrubs in a planting bed

Rain can easily wash your soil away, too, exposing your plants’ roots to scorching sun, drying winds and icy blasts.

And weeds will throw a big party out there, because there’s nothing to keep them from happily sprouting and growing.

Pair Mulch with Perimeter Pest Control

How to keep mulch-loving bugs from migrating from your mulch to your kitchen, basement, and bathroom?  Perimeter pest control.

This outdoor barrier spray helps prevent bugs from getting inside your home.

Lawn Buddies technicians spray around the perimeter of your home and yard to keep pests like centipedes, earwigs and spiders from making their way inside.

pest control technician spraying a foundation with barrier control product

This wide protective barrier around the house includes the landscaping and lawn directly around your home.

Professional perimeter pest control lasts about three months. Once that three months has passed, you’ll want another treatment, depending on the time of year.

Need Mulch and Pest Control to Go With It? Trust Lawn Buddies

Nobody’s suggesting you stop using mulch. The stuff is just too great.

But when you sign up to have Lawn Buddies deliver that load of fresh mulch, add on perimeter pest control to keep those bugs from heading into your house.

When you call Lawn Buddies for landscaping services in Idaho Falls and Boise, ID  you can relax, knowing you have all the benefits of mulch, without creepy invasive pests making their way inside your safe and cozy home.

The first step is to sign up for our 6-step complete lawn care program.

You’ll be glad you did.

Choose an Idaho Falls or Boise professional lawn care service that makes it easy, bundling your yard’s most-needed treatments into one convenient, no-fuss plan.

Fertilizing, weed control, grub control, mulch. Done. Add pest control. Double done.

We’ve got your back.

Got a few minutes? That’s all you need to get started. You can simply fill out a form, call us at (208) 656-9131 or read more about our services. Then, kick back and relax in your healthy, thriving yard and pest-free home.

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Is your lawn ready for a new best friend?

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