Different types of mulch

What is the Best Type of Mulch for Garden Pest Control?

Mulch has been used for years to enhance the health of plants in a garden. It offers innumerable benefits by retaining moisture for plants, preventing weeds from flourishing, and insulating plants during cold spells.

It’s also convenient for landscaping, creating distinct, clean-cut beds that improve a yard’s aesthetic. It can be used to cover up exposed tree roots and line driveways or walking paths. It’s also easy to install since all you have to do is pour a layer of it over the ground where desired.

But one of the biggest benefits of mulch (which we will focus on in this post) is that some varieties repel certain pests that cause harm to plants.

The thing is, there are so many types of mulches and not all of them are pest-resistant. It can be tricky choosing the best type to use in your garden. 

In this post, we go over the best types of mulch to use that actually repel insects, so you can make the most informed decision for your needs!

How to mulch a tree

Organic Mulch

Organic mulches are a much better choice than inorganic ones, as it’s made from natural byproducts such as grass, leaves, bark, and straw. 

It’s also much healthier for your soil and jumpstarts a thriving bacterial ecosystem that fights bugs. 

Organic mulch breaks down over time, feeding the soil and boosting the nutrient profile. This in turn boosts the growth of bacteria, fungi, and helpful insects that keep the bad bugs away.

Shells of Cocoa Beans and Straw

These organic mulch varieties are pest control superstars! Straw mulches deter bugs from laying eggs in your plants and also stop harmful fungi and diseases from spreading. 

Cocoa bean shells lend an attractive dusky brown color to your landscape design and give off a pleasant aroma that humans like, but bugs don’t. The sharp edges of the shells deter slugs and snails, whose soft bodies can’t handle the texture.

Note that if you have pets, especially dogs, this type of mulch probably isn’t the best choice, as it can make them sick if ingested.

Cypress/Cedar Mulch

These types of wood contain potent organic oils and chemicals such as thujone, which are powerful at repelling insects in the garden.

Cedar repels or can even kill certain insects, such as cloth-eating moths, termites, ants, and cockroaches.

These mulches are also resistant to decay, so they tend to last longer than other mulch varieties. 

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