Does Cedar Mulch Repel Bugs?

Suppose you are interested in learning more about the benefits of using Cedar mulch for your lawn care needs. You probably have wondered if Cedar mulch will repel bugs and rodents? We've researched these questions and have great answers to share with you!

Yes. Cedar mulch will repel insects because of its chemical composition. Using Cedar is one of the best mulches to use in place of toxic insecticides. 

Educating yourself about the pros and cons of Cedar mulch will help you care for your lawn. Perhaps you're wondering if Cedar mulch will repel rodents? Or if Cedar mulched gardens attract snakes? We've researched these topics and have quality answers to share with you!

A small stockpile of Cedar mulch, Does Cedar Mulch Repel Bugs?

Does Cedar Mulch Repel Bugs?

According to Washington State University, Cedar mulch will repel Argentine ants, carpet beetles, clothes moths, cockroaches, termites, and odorous house ants.

The Cedar tree species produces the chemical compound Thujone, which repels the pests without using toxic insecticides. 

Many gardeners find it beneficial, adding granules of Cedar mulch with other types of mulch to reduce the insects in gardens and flowerbeds. 

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Which Mulch is the Best for Repelling Bugs?

Cedar or Cyrus are some of the best two mulch options for repelling insects. Both species possess the chemical compound Thujone and will repel Argentine ants, carpet beetles, clothes moths, cockroaches, termites, and odorous house ants. 

Regardless of which type of mulch you use for your lawn care needs, mulch will provide nutrients for your soil as it breaks down over several months.

Similar to a compost pile, the mulch will break down into the soil and provide your plants with vital nutrients via organic matter. Plus, mulch will help with water retention, which will reduce water usage in your gardens. 

Do Bees Like Cedar Mulch?

Cedar mulch does not deter bees. They will continue to visit your yard, even when the Cedar mulch is keeping the other insects away.

A small bee collecting nectar on a flower

Also, many beekeepers use wooden hives built from Cedar wood for its durability and longevity compared to different types of wood. 

Will Cedar Mulch Repel Snakes?

Cedar mulch will repel snakes because the phenols in Cedar are toxic to snakes and other reptiles. Please note if you have pet snakes, do not use Cedar mulch in their cages or tanks. It could be deadly to their health. 

Can You Put Cedar Mulch Next to the House?

According to Better Homes and Gardens, keeping mulch at least 6 inches from the house is best. Suppose you mounded the mulch against the house.

Brown colored garden mulch on a white background

The water that the mulch retains could dampen the sides of the house and cause wood rot. To prevent this issue, keep 6 inches between the house and the mulch. 

Is Cedar Good for Mulching Around Trees?

Cedar mulch used as garden fertilizer

Cedar is excellent for mulching trees and protecting the trunk from insects. However, it is not beneficial to mound a lot of mulch around the tree trunk. It will keep the tree's root collar damp, and lead to rot. 

Leave a couple of inches between the tree trunk and the mulch for the best results, especially if you are mulching young trees with developing root systems. Allowing the tree collar space is paramount for the tree to develop correctly.  

Does Cedar Mulch Deter Mice?

No. Cedar mulch will not deter mice, as they will chew through Cedarwood in homes and outbuildings. Also, peppermint based products are great for repelling mice and other types of rodents. 

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Will Cedar Mulch Attract Termites? 

No, Cedar mulch will repel termites. Often, homeowners will use Cedar mulch around the perimeter of their homes to prevent termites from entering and destroying the woodwork. 

Can You Spray Miracle-Gro on Lawns with Cedar Mulched Flowerbeds?

Yes, Miracle-Gro is perfectly safe to use around mulched flower beds. If a bit of the Miracle-Gro sprays lands on the mulch, it won't damage the mulch. 

For the best results, use the product as directed. When you spray the lawn with Miracle-Gro use a hose-end sprayer it is the most effective and efficient way to fertilize lawns. 

Pro tip: spray the yard when the wind is still or relatively low because the wind's direction will affect how the fertilizer is dispersed. 

What Are the Benefits of Cedar Mulch?

Cedar mulch perfect for garden fertilizer

There are many benefits to using Cedar for your yard mulching needs beyond the insect repelling properties. 

  • A woodsy scent that pairs well with the fresh scent of flowers. 
  • Color enhancement by adding more color contrast to the gardens and flower beds.
  • Helps prevent water run-off around flowerbeds. 
  • It breaks down slower than other types of tree wood mulches.
  • Moisture retention will help reduce the amount of water needed for the plants. 
  • Weed growth suppression in mulched areas.
  • Placing a handful or two of mulch into the outdoor garbage bin will help reduce nasty odors.
  • Repels damaging wood termites.

When Should You Not Use Cedar Mulch?

There are a few exceptions where using Cedar mulch will not be helpful. 

Acidic soils

Suppose your soil's PH is on the acidic side. Using Cedarwood mulches will increase the soil's acidity. Although it will not increase it exponentially, it could cause the ground to become too acidic for the plants.

One way to remedy these issues is to allow the Cedar mulch to sit for a year to reduce its acidity before using it to mulch your garden. Also, test your soil over the growing season to chart the acidity levels. 

Financial constraints

Cedar mulch is more costly than other types of mulch on the market. Suppose Cedar is not in your budget. Consider requesting mulch from your city's arborist and landscapers. Often, residents can get mulch for free. 

Sensitive plants

Avoid using mulch around plants with shallow root systems until the plants are more established. Then, use larger pieces of mulch around those plants to encourage the root system to grow. 

Wet areas

One of the best properties of using Cedar mulch is it will retain water. Suppose you have low or wet spots in the yard. Do not use Cedar mulch in those areas because it will cause too much water to remain in the soil and cause root rot in the surrounding plants. 

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How Long Does it Take Cedar Mulch to Decompose?

Great question. Typically, the Cedar mulch will break down in 1 to 2 years. The first signs of decomposition are the colors fading from vibrant red to dusty brown.

Please keep in mind that a few variables will affect how quickly the Cedar mulch will break down. How thick was the mulch layered?

The climate where you live will affect how quickly the mulch will break down. Also, the rainfall totals are another factor in the decomposition process as well. 

In Closing

A small stockpile of Cedar mulch

This article taught us about Cedar mulch and its many purposes for gardens and flowerbeds. Also, we discussed lawn and tree care that will help reconnect you with nature and improve your property's appearance.

Please be sure to check out some of our other posts before you go to help further your lawn care knowledge.

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