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Don't Let Your Garden Mulch Be An Invitation For Termites

Updated: Jul 16



Garden Mulch what to choice for termite resistant garden

Your garden is a reflection of your hard work and creative energy, and adding mulch to the mix can help complete that perfect look. It retains moisture better than bare soil and adds organic matter, which increases fertility— what's not to love?


Unfortunately, it isn't all sunshine with the addition of mulch. Garden bark mulch can provide the perfect environment for termites, which places your home in the firing line for a potential termite attack. Luckily, you can take steps to prevent your home from becoming the next meal for these unwelcome pests.


Choosing Mulch that will not attract Termites


Different mulch types have varying effectiveness levels when it comes to keeping termites at bay. When it comes to choosing a mulch that is both good for the garden while repelling termite a few things need to be considered. Mulch that does not retain moisture will be a less attractive for termitess, also mulches with natural insecticidal properties are more effective at repelling termites. A harder more durable mulch is less likely to be infested by termites.



Best termite-repelling mulches


Here’s a look at how different mulches work against termites and why:


1. Cypress Mulch

cypress mulch - termite resistant mulch

Cypress mulch is one of the popular choices in termite-repelling mulches. Not only does it have attractive quality, but it is also long-lasting and is much slower to break down than its competitors. It is also pet and child-friendly mulch, making it a popular choice for Brisbane gardens.


  • Repellent Properties: Cypress mulch contains natural oils and chemicals like cypressene that are toxic to termites.

  • Durability: It's highly durable and resistant to decay, making it less appealing to termites.

  • Moisture Content: Cypress mulch has a lower moisture content, which termites dislike since they prefer moist environments.

  • Density: It's denser and harder, making it difficult for termites to penetrate.



2. Melaleuca Mulch

termite resistant mulch

Melaleuca Mulch is a durable, effective option for repelling termites. It also improves soil and weed suppression. However, its cost and strong aroma may be a drawback for many gardeners.


  • Essential Oils: Contains natural oils that are toxic to termites.

  • Aroma: The strong scent can deter termites and other pests.

  • Durability: Resistant to decay, making it less attractive to termites.

  • Nutritional Value: Offers less nutritional value, making it a less favourable food source for termites.



3. Cedar Pine Mulch


Cedar Pine Mulch - Termite Resistant mulch

Cedar mulch has a rich colour and texture that can enhance the visual appeal of gardens. While some people may find the scent of Cedar pleasant, others find the strong aroma overpowering. Cedar mulch is tends to be one of the more expensive mulches and often a mulch that may have limited availability.


  • Natural Oils: Cedar contains natural oils like thujone, which are toxic to termites.

  • Aroma: The scent can repel termites and other insects.

  • Durability: Cedar is resistant to decay, making it less appealing to termites.



4. Tea Tree Mulch


Tea tree mulch Termite Resistant Mulch

Tea tree mulch is one of the more versatile garden mulches. Made by griding up the wood and bark of Melaleuca tea trees it is consider a mulch that is more termite resistant.


  • Temperature control: Tea tree mulch will keep the soil surface cool in hot weather.

  • Aroma: Has a distinctive and somewhat medicinal aroma, similar to tea tree oil. The scent is sharp and can be quite potent, which contributes to its ability to repel pests, including termites.

  • Durability: Known for its durability and is slow to decay, this means it may last longer than many other organic mulches

  • Natural Oils: Contains natural essential oils that are toxic to termites and other pests.



5. In-Organic/Synthetic Mulch

In-organic sythetic mulch

Consider using in-organic/synthetic mulches such as Rubber Mulch, Gravel or Stone. Not only will these not attract termites, but an inorganic mulch is long-lasting and does not provide a food source to termites.


When placing your mulch, here are a few things to keep an eye on:


  • Keep mulch at least 4 inches away from your home.

  • Untreated wood chips and soft mulch will attract termites.

  • Look for any signs of an infestation, such as mud tubes or sawdust-like piles near your home's foundation.

  • Replace any old or decaying mulch with fresh material regularly

  • Keep mulch away from weep holes and slab edging.

  • Stay up to date with your annual termite inspections.

  • Ensure your home has a current termite protection program.


By taking the proper precautions and keeping an eye out for any potential signs of infestation, you can ensure that your mulch-filled garden won't become a termite hotspot. With the proper preventative measures in place, you can enjoy all of the beauty and benefits mulch offers without worrying about an unwelcome termite infestation.


Are you unsure if your home is termite-free? With our annual inspection, you can have peace of mind that you have taken the correct measures to guard your home against termites.


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