pine straw mulch covering exterior wallAll mulches, even inorganic ground covers such as gravel or black plastic, help to maintain moist soil conditions and to reduce weeds. Moisture in the soil may attract termites to the area and cellulose-containing mulches may be eaten by termites. This doesn't mean you should avoid using mulch around your home and in your gardens. Never spread mulch so that it touches the foundation or lowest course of siding on your home. While it may have a nicer appearance this way, it can allow termites to use the cover of mulch to invade your house undetected.

ladnscapins covering and touching sidingProtect your siding
Siding should always be at least 6-inches (preferably higher) above the grade or soil line. Otherwise, you could have both decay and termite problems. Flower beds and other gardening should never touch the foundation. Never dig up the soil up within 12 inches of the house. This is the area that was treated for termites. Digging up the soil or placing new topsoil over this area will allow termites to bridge the treated soil and access your foundation. You need to be able to inspect the foundation for signs of termite activity.

 shrubsPlan your plants future
When planting shrubs, you need to think about how large the plants will be in 10-15 (or more) years. Do not plant shrubs too close to the foundation. Shrubs that are too close to the house may hide termite (and other pest) activity. Tree/shrub limbs touching the house can damage siding and allow ants and entry point. Prune shrubs to prevent them from blocking airflow through foundation vents.


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