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Wood mulch and carpenter ants

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 11th, 2021 2:56 pm
Deal Fanatic
Dec 11, 2008
7253 posts

Wood mulch and carpenter ants

Yesterday, Ive added wood mulch to my flower bed. Today I noticed a few carpenter ants moving around, including a winged one. I had no idea it would attract carpenter ants until the researches I just did. The flower beds are right beside my house, can it be a problem? My house is a new construction from 2019, so rotten wood shouldn't be a problem, I hope lol

Ive read that rubber mulch is the better choice because they don't attract insects. Would it be a wise idea to remove the wood mulch and replace them with rubber?
2 replies
Sr. Member
Jan 10, 2005
521 posts
If you confirmed they are carpenter ants, your best bet is to protect your house with a permethrin based perimeter spray. Keep vegetation off the house (weeds/shrubs) and make a nice 6" band all around the foundation just below the wall. Spray twice a summer if you can (early and late). Carpenter ants prefer dead/rotten/wet wood, but they will use dry wood or foam too for nesting.

I've never heard of wood mulch being an attractant for carpenter ants. Chances are they were there before and you just did not notice them. They like rotten wet wood that has not gone into chips yet (they will do that themselves), so remove any wood that may be housing colonies off your property if you can (old pressure treated wood, untreated wood with ground contact). I am assuming you are in the city/suburbs. If you are in the forest you just have to live with them, and keep them out of your building.
Sr. Member
Feb 26, 2019
625 posts
Don’t use rubber mulch. It’s toxic. Bugs in the garden is a good thing. Sign of a healthy ecosystem. Leave the wood mulch and enjoy your garden. Wood mulch will not cause carpenter ants to be attracted to your house. No need to spray insecticide.