Mulching And Controlling Bugs - Knowledgebase Question

Darien, IL
Avatar for pmiller66
Question by pmiller66
April 2, 2000
With the use of different mulches, certain bugs seem to congregate in these areas, how do we control these bugs from eating the flowers we have, also with it being safe for children in an area that can be used with a swing/playset that has the same woodchips.

Answer from NGA
April 2, 2000
Unfortunately, based on your description I am not certain which insects are present so it is difficult to make a detailed suggestion. Some insects, such as pillbugs or sowbugs, assist in the natural process of decay and are not usually otherwise harmful so they do not need to be controlled. Others such as earwigs (or possibly slugs) may shelter in damp shady spots such as under the wood chips and, although basically harmless to people, may emerge at night to damage plants. These can be controlled to some extent by raking the mulch to keep it fluffed up and expose the pests to light and air. They can also be trapped in the area near your plants. Ground wasps or bees can also be trapped and removed. I would suggest that you contact your county extension (653-4114) for a more precise identification of the problem and recommendations on how to control it, especially if you suspect termite or other wood damaging activity is present.

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