Worried About Bugs This Summer? Use These 3 Types Of Insect Repellent Mulches In Your Garden


It’s officially gardening season! Though many landscape materials are important, mulch is second-to-none. As the base of your bed, it performs a three-fold job: it prevents the growth of weeds, nourishes the plants growing beneath it, and makes your yard look picture perfect!

However, the nationwide nonstop rain and soon-to-be high temperatures could turn your gorgeous garden into a crawling catastrophe; insects thrive in such conditions, and might end up consuming your plants and flowers faster than you can react to them. Rather than flood your backyard with toxic chemicals, you can turn to your essential mulch to help keep them away; here are three types of the vital landscape materials that act as natural insect repellents.

  • Organic Mulches: Organic mulch is made up of the byproducts of natural sources, such as grass, bark, straw, leaves or nut shells. As they break down, they improve the chemistry of the soil; this increases the number of healthy bacteria, fungi, and insects. We know, we said bug repellent — and we mean it! These helpful insects play a major role in keeping the populations of plant-destroying, invading insects at bay, thereby improving the health of the entire garden.
  • Cedar Chips: Bark or wood chip mulches contain natural oils and chemicals (such as thujone) that deter bugs. Cedar chips, in particular, can repel, kill, or inhibit harmful insects like termites, cockroaches, cloth-eating moths, carpet beetles, and certain ants. Though fir is the number one most common type of barkdust, there are many excellent barkdust specialists who are happy to lay down cedar chip mulch in your yard.
  • Straw and Cocoa Bean Shells: Though it may not look too pretty, straw prevents bugs from laying eggs and multiplying in and around your garden while also protecting your plants from the spread of fungus and other diseases. It’s the smell of cocoa bean shells that keeps insects away, although you’ll most likely find the scent of chocolate quite pleasing; however, it’s important to note that cocoa bean shells are toxic to dogs, and should not be used in homes with small children.

Bugs can be extremely irritating, especially when you like to spend the majority of your time outdoors; that being said, you don’t want your property to be stinking of pesticides and bug repellent. By investing in this landscaping trick, you can get the best of both worlds: a healthy home, and a bug-free summer.

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