Does Wood Chip Mulch Attract Termites and Other Insects?

Wood chip mulch
Mulch helps retain moisture in planting beds.
If you dig down into a thick layer of wood chip mulch, you’ll find that it’s full of insects. They’re drawn to the moist environment; and the thicker the mulch, the more insects you’re likely to find.
However, the popular idea that mulch attracts, or is the cause of, termites and other insects is something of a myth.
When you put down wood mulch, it’s not like a call goes out for a convention of termites and other insects in your yard. Instead, the insects that are already in your soil (and there are plenty of them, including termites!) wander into the mulch in your planting beds, like it, and decide to stay.

Those centipedes, millipedes and earwigs in your mulch are there because of the moisture. You’ll see even more insects during wet seasons, particularly if your mulch doesn’t dry out easily.

Most of these insects aren’t anything to worry about. However, termites are another matter, since they may use the favorable environment in the mulch to gain access to your home.

Wood mulch piled up next to house
This mulch is too close to the wood framing and siding.

Termites and Mulch

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