Organic Mulch and Pests: Lawn Care Rockton, IL Pros Answer Some Questions

February 21, 2017
Green Acres Lawn Care & Landscape

All green industry specialists, horticulture experts and eco-concerned pros love organic mulch for the same reason: it naturally fertilizes the soil by decomposing and infiltrating deep to the roots’ area, it keeps moisture in and heat out, it acts as a barrier against weeds and it looks naturally beautiful in the landscape. However, one particular question has been troubling homeowners for quite some time now: if organic mulch is meant to be moist and preserves moisture, isn’t it an inherent source of pest development since we all know pests thrive in moisture? How much mulch is too much mulch? How should we consider mulch applications so it does its wonders without becoming a veritable source of pest infestations? Such issues are going to be tackled by our lawn care Rockton IL specialists as follows.

How Does Organic Mulch Actually Decompose?

Organic mulches contain vegetal debris and plants’ components, so it is only natural that they decompose as an effect of combined climacteric conditions and insect activity. In case you apply mulch on your property, it is only normal to expect some insect activity – decomposers that help the mulch break down and fertilize the soil.

You may see an increased activity of sow bugs, millipedes, earwigs and centipedes especially during rain fall days and humid seasons, but while they do thrive in very moist conditions, their presence in your mulch doesn’t require emergency pest control interventions. Our lawn care Rockton IL specialists emphasize on the fact that organic mulch doesn’t normally attract such pests. However, if rain and humidity persist, you may witness a proliferation. When the weather is dry and warm, you won’t notice large numbers of such decomposers lurking around your property or mulched areas.

Are Termites a Problem?

Homeowners’ biggest nightmare is termites, invaders able to cause thousands of dollars in structural damages. We know termites live underground and they do need moisture to thrive. They feed on wood and wood products so it is only logical to wonder if woodier and moist mulches don’t represent the perfect environment for termites to thrive.

The answer to this question is less straightforward than one might desire. There have to be specific and particular variables to act together in the same time for a termite infestation to occur in direct relationship with the mulch: it takes a lot of water, humidity and moist to persist in the mulch areas for prolonged periods of time; the mulch layer has to be deeper than three inches and severely compacted; you as a homeowner should be completely unaware of mulching applications rules. If all such conditions are met, yes, there is a chance to entertain a termite infestation on your property, lawn care Rockton IL specialists say. However, a standard 2-3 inches deep layer of coarse organic mulch, if applied correctly, should never lead to a termite attack.

What Can You Do to Prevent Mulch-Sourced Pest Infestations?

Our lawn care Rockton IL specialists can apply mulches on your property in the safest of manners. However, if you want to take care of things by yourself, make sure you follow these rules:

  • If you live in a more humid, moister area (or if you apply mulch in shadowy, colder areas of your property) apply a shallower, 2 inch layer of mulch.
  • Frequently rake the mulch layer to aerate it
  • Keep the 3-3-3 rule of mulching when you apply it to untreated trees
  • Never mound mulch up against the foundation of a building
  • Even if you see some pest activity, don’t fret and call your local lawn care Rockton IL team to evaluate the situation and take the necessary measures.
See All Of Our Blog Posts Here