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What Mulch is Best For Repelling Bugs?

June 25, 2020
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The wonderful thing about mulch is that it provides so many benefits. From conserving soil moisture to suppressing weeds, mulch works overtime to keep our plants healthy.

Part of keeping plants healthy is protecting them from destructive pests. Sure enough, there’s a mulch for that!

Below, read about the best types of mulch to keep bugs away, and find a few other gardening tips and tricks that deter pesky pests.

Mulch that doesn't attract bugs

If you’re on the hunt for a mulch that repels bugs, try one of these types

Cedar mulch

Made from the wood of cedar trees, this mulch is stocked with natural oils and chemicals that turn pests away. Cedar mulch is a great addition to your yard because:

  • It’s known to repel insects like ants, moths, mosquitoes and carpet beetles
  • It takes a long time to breakdown or decay, which means it won’t need to be replaced as often as quick-decaying mulches like leaf mulch or grass clippings
  • It has a pleasant smell that can add a nice aroma to your garden

Melaleuca mulch

This mulch is made from the melaleuca tree, a native Australian tree. Melaleuca mulch is a good option for your landscape because:

  • It’s known to be a big turn off for termites
  • It's great at maintaining moisture in the soil
  • It’s long-lasting

Landscaping tips to repel mosquitoes and bugs

Along with choosing a mulch that repels mosquitoes and other insects, a few handy landscape tips can help keep pests off your plants. Here are three ways to cut down on the critters in your yard.

Cedar oil

Just like cedar mulch, cedar oil is created from the parts of a cedar tree. The oil contains a chemical called thujone which naturally repels troublesome pests. That’s why you can often find cedar oil in insect repellent products.

Planting flowers and herbs

That’s right—there are some powerful plants that naturally keep mosquitoes away. Mosquitoes can’t stand the smell of flowers and herbs like citronella, lavender, basil, marigolds, rosemary, catnip, and peppermint.

Put these plants near a porch, patio or other areas you frequent in your yard and let them work their magic!

Bird feeders and Bat houses

While neither deters mosquitoes and bugs themselves, they do attract birds and bats that eat problematic pests. Because birds are active in the daytime and bats are active at night, you get double coverage! A few examples are:

  • Woodpeckers, which eat ants, borers and grubs
  • Orioles, which eat caterpillars and larvae
  • Hummingbirds, which eat aphids, mites and weevils
  • Bats,which dine on mosquitoes and moths

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