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Hardwood Mulch

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by ARLawnCare#1, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. ARLawnCare#1

    ARLawnCare#1 LawnSite Member
    from AR
    Messages: 20

    We have a local Termite man that is really bashing Hardwaood mulch around houses. It is making my business suffer and people aren't wanting to mulch. It is my understanding that these are a few of the reasons why termites don't get in mulch, #1 it is hardwood and they can't eat that, #2 the temp of mulch is too hot for them. Are these correct? Are there anymore reasons? Does anyone have any literature that I could send out to my clients? THNAKS!
  2. stxkyboy

    stxkyboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 222

    You give those reasons and people are going to laugh at you... of course they can eat hardwood ....they're termites remember thats what they do:eek: . What you should tell clients is assure them that you will install mulch beneth the foundation/brick line.... the access point for termites into a house.

    As for the temp thing ive never heard that but it certianly doesnt make any logical sense considering where ive seen termites in mulch and logs
  3. jkelton

    jkelton LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    Attached is a document that I use - it is from Iowa State University. Also, in regards to the heat, hardwood mulch goes through a composting cycle to make it brown, which creates a lot of heat. This is probably what he is referring to.

    Attached Files:

  4. kbenvironmental

    kbenvironmental LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    For information on termites in your area, go here:

    AK subterranean termites

    Most likely your customer's termite guy is suggesting your mulch is acting like bait to get the termites close to the house, and he is correct. However, any lanscaping that helps to retain moisture, including gravel. will draw them just as much if not more.They certainly can eat, but do not prefer hardwood. Additionally, it is possible your landscaping "may" disturb the common liquid termite barrier. I'd guess he uses Termidor or a form of it. All the termites need is a break in the barrier of 1/8" formed by, you guessed it, clean, yet undesirable hardwood mulch to get to the foundation. Then they simply form mud tubes up the foundation to the desired wood.
    Here's a mud tube on steroids:


    Basically he is doing a conventional CYA so he can say he warned his customers if they are infested after liquid application and have you do their landscaping.

    In the AZ desert, mulch around the house is generally discouraged for termites along with an additional reason, namely scorpions love mulch. soft cozy and humid. However, the termite companies around here merely ask that you keep the mulch several inches from the foundation so as not to disturb the barrier.

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