If you’re into gardening, then you already know how great mulch is for plants, shrubs and trees in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area. Mulch traps moisture to help plants thrive. Unfortunately, the moisture also makes it easier for termites to tunnel through. By following these tips from the University of Florida, you can prevent termites in AZ, along with your garden.
1. Use the Least Amount of Mulch Possible
Termite bodies dehydrate rapidly when exposed to sunlight. This is why they like to travel inside of things like wood, dirt or mulch. Mulch makes soil moist and easier to move through. The moisture makes the soil more comfortable for the termites. Use mulch sparingly so that the plants get the benefit and not the mulch. Keep mulch to depths less than six inches thick.
2. It Does Not Matter What Kind of Mulch You Use
Although termites love to eat anything with cellulose like wood-based mulches, they move through mulch easily if it is deep enough and moist enough. It does not matter what kind of material the mulch is made out of, or even if the termites stop to eat the mulch along the way to your home. The University of Florida notes that although termites avoided melaleuca mulch the longest, they still eventually tunneled through it.
3. Keep Mulch from Touching Home
Mulch makes a nice bridge over rock-hard Arizona soil or even soil treated with pesticides from the termite nest to your home. Termites are attracted to food smells like wood. Your home is made up of wood or wood-based materials. If mulch is close enough to your home, then the termites will scent your home while in the mulch. Keep mulch at least one foot away from the sides of your home, porch, deck or sheds.