The Q&A Archives: ridding mulch of swarming termites

Question: I fear my gardeners laid mulch that has the swarming variety of termite population.(the kind you can see that have wings) Nothing else has changed since Saturday when they installed it, and there are those winged things all over my car which is parked right next to the front garden bed.

Is there a product proven to get rid of them without killing my plants or do we have to remove all of the ground cover. (We have a large property.

Answer: I think the first step is capturing a few of the pests and having them professionally identified. Termites cannot sustain themselves on bark mulch. There simply are not enough nutrients to keep a population healthy. So, if there are termites in the mulch, they won't survive for very long. To make sure they don't find the foundation of your house, keep the mulch at least 6" away. You can take the insect specimens to your local Cooperative Extension office (look in the white pages under "County" for the nearest location). Helpful folks there can identify the critters and provide control strategies. Best wishes with your landscape.

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