How to Treat Mulch for Termites
Persistent and tenacious, termites can cause serious damage to your property if they are allowed to flourish in the mulch that covers your gardens. Mulch laid against the side of a house provides a food source for these pests and can create a bridge over existing termite-repellent treatments. Spraying mulch with insecticides is ineffective because the active ingredients are quickly broken down by the sun's ultraviolet rays.
Rake the infested mulch out of the plant bed and bag it. Dispose of the bagged mulch in the trash. Keep the bags of termite-infested mulch away from wood piles and other wooden landscaping items and dispose of them promptly.
Dig holes at no less than 10-foot intervals with a hand shovel all over the area where you removed the mulch. Make each hole large enough for one sulfluramid bait station. Put on gloves and insert one station in each hole. Do not touch the bait stations with your bare hands.
- Persistent and tenacious, termites can cause serious damage to your property if they are allowed to flourish in the mulch that covers your gardens.
- Mulch laid against the side of a house provides a food source for these pests and can create a bridge over existing termite-repellent treatments.
Place extra bait stations near any small holes you notice in the area where the mulch was removed. Check the indicators on the stakes on the bait stations each day. Remove and inspect any stake with a visible indicator. Install a fresh stake -- wearing gloves -- and three more within 1 foot of the first stake's location once you find a stake that termites have fed on.
Check the baits for feeding activity and replenish or replace them as necessary until the termites cease feeding on them. Once the termites are under control, replace the mulch, applying only a thin layer of fresh mulch no more than 2 inches deep. Check any mulch used around a building to ensure it does not come into physical contact with siding or any gaps where the outer wall meets the foundation.
- Place extra bait stations near any small holes you notice in the area where the mulch was removed.
Mulch and other wood products left in direct contact with the soil are an attractive source of food to termites. Although the moisture-retaining qualities of mulch make it attractive for gardens and landscaping, the moisture it retains also attracts termites toward the wood in the building. Using pea gravel instead will not deter termites because it also increases the level of moisture in the soil beneath it. Reducing watering around the mulch or leaving the ground bare of mulch makes the area less attractive to termites.
Termite infestations in landscaping mulch around the foundation of a house can be an indicator of serious damage to the building's structure. Signs of termite damage in buildings are often difficult to find. Consult a termite specialist if you find termites near a building's foundation.
Daniel Thompson began writing about analytical literature in 2004. He has written informative guides for a hardware store and was published at an academic conference as part of a collaborative project. He attained a Bachelors of Fine Arts in English literature from Eastern Kentucky University.