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Does Mulch Attract Mice & Rodents? or Keep Them Away?

Mulch is a material made of the old fallen bark, leaves, and a mixture of both or synthetic. Mulching is needed to cover the plant’s base.

Sometimes for aesthetics, or to get rid of weeds, holding moisture, and keeping a suitable temperature. Can it attract or deter them? Let’s dive in.

Does mulch attract mice & rodents?

Mulch energizes the soil to retain moisture and keep the nutrients intact. Mulching enhances the garden’s beauty and gives some insects free access to build their hut. Most of the organic mulch attracts mice & rodents. Only a few, such as cedar mulch, deter them.

Mulch-like cedar deters the rodents to their max. The cedar smell is not loved by the rodents and they like to keep away from them.

Except that, other natural mulches do attract them. They like to build their home in the mulch and disguise them from prying eyes.

Rubber mulch:

Nearly a hundred percent of rubber mulch is made from old tires. Rubber much is one of the synthetic mulches that control the growth of weeds. Doesn’t dissolve as fast as any organic mulches. But they might not be a good mice deterrent.

Wood mulch:

There are different types of wooden mulch that you can use in your backyard. But do they all deter or attract the rodents?

Pine bark mulch:

Pine bark mulch covers the ground by keeping the perfect water flow. Like other organic mulches, pine bark mulches dissolves after a period.

If the pine bark mulch is too heavily covered, a hideout for rodents and mice will be easier.

Cedar mulch:

Cedar mulch has its aroma to keep insects, pests, and rodents away.

The chemicals and oils play a crucial role in keeping rodents and insects away. Here cedar mulch doesn’t prevent the soil from retaining all the nutrients or moisture.

Cypress mulch:

Cypress mulch has a smell property that some thought to have repelling power in it.

Cedar mulch has the repelling property, though cypress mulch doesn’t have it. So, cypress mulch can be a rodent or mice hideout.

Red mulch:

Red mulch is a type of dyed mulch that gives a beautiful touch to your garden or yard. Wooden waste and red dye mixture create red mulch.

Sometimes the dye is not bad for the soil, but contamination due to red dye may appear on the ground. Red mulch doesn’t attract or deter mice or rodents. But work as a shelter to them.

Black mulch:

Black mulch is almost like red mulch. But the darker shade gives the black mulch a higher position to provide shelter to the rodents or mice. Black mulch also offers a safe hideout to insects.

Sugar cane mulch:

Sugar cane mulches are highly dissolvable and high in nutrients. That’s why the soil under the sugar cane mulch becomes fertile. Fertile land can produce more food, attracting insects and mice or rodents to stay safe.

Leaf mulch:

Leaf mulch also retains all types of suitable things for the surface. It contains water, retains nutrients, and, most importantly, keeps weeds away. But it helps rodents or mice to take shelter.

Do mice like mulch? Do rats burrow in mulch?

Generally, mice burrow to have some safe house for themselves and run from their preditors. Mulch is not, particularly a loving thing for any rats or mice.

These small animals always look for a hiding place to collect their food and save themselves. When there is a thick layer of mulch under a tree or plant, mice or rats may build their home underneath.

Mice or rats don’t bother to come near cedar mulch or rubber mulch. Generally, organic mulch dissolves and starts to decay. In their decaying phase, the insects and rodents swarm the place.

The place gradually filled with many nutrients and a safe hut for these small animals. Rats might burrow in mulch. Some other rodents also burrow in mulch to hide their food or collect their nutrition from the yard.

Will rats eat mulch?

Rats can eat almost everything they want to eat. Even sometimes, rats eat carcasses. They can take everything to please their tummies. Where there is an adequate amount of food, they will not bother to eat something unpleasant.

Rats can eat mulch; they are most likely to eat organic mulches rather than synthetic or inorganic ones.

Generally, thick mulch is their favorite place to keep themselves secure from anyone. They can burrow in mulch and stay for the right time to invade a house.

These wild rodents can eat almost anything, but straw, wood chips, and leaves provide them the best hiding place along with food. Whether they eat it or not, they will chew on anything they find on their way.

3 reasons why mulch attracts mice & rodents

Mulch can be a great hideout for the rodents like mice and rats. But what exactly attracts them. Let’s get to know them.


Mice and rodents love to hide and look for the best time to invade their respective place where they got food for themselves. Sometimes, a thick layer of mulch helps rodents and insects build hideouts.

Mulch doesn’t necessarily attract mice and rodents to come. Instead, they allow these small animals proper shelter. Inside of mulch, any foreign predator will not trouble mice and rodents.

So, mulch is a safe house for these tiny creatures. Moreover, mulch is used to prepare a good and durable home for themselves.

Humid Land:

As we know, mulch helps the soil underneath it by keeping the moist and delivering nutrients. These nutrients help the plants to grow faster.

But this humid land is loved by insects such as flies, termites’ other bugs, and most importantly, mice and rodents.

A little humid and damp place is loved by some species of rodents. However, most rodents and mice may not stay directly in wetlands, but they are not bothered by wet soil.

Store House:

As rodents and mice make tiny holes inside the mulch and hide them properly, they are not seen by anyone.

These creatures snitch food from a nearby house, and they gather all their food down to the hole. So, burrowed mulch helps these rodents to keep their foods safe and sound.  

How to keep mice & rodents out of mulch? How to apply mulch without attracting mice and rodents?

Note one thing in your mind: only preventive techniques can help you keep them out of your place.

Avoid Thick Layer of Mulch:

When applying mulch to your garden. Make sure to spread the mulch throughout the place. If you have old mulch on a surface, replace them with newer ones.

Sow Plants that bother Mice:

 Plant such as peppermint and lavender can be effective. Planting them or mixing peppermint oil with mulch can help you deter mice and rodents.

Create a Fence and Put a trap:

Creating a fence will save you from rodents or mice and keep your garden from certain animals like squirrels and chipmunks. Or setting a trap that will catch these small animals may help prevent rodents and mice from coming around.

Change Mulch After Certain Period:

You should change the old layer of mulch after every period of six to twelve months. It will bother the rodents or mice to set their hut permanently.

Does cedar & cypress mulch repel mice and rodents?

Cedar and cypress mulch do repel mice and rodents. Cedar has a potent chemical element, an essential oil which smell may push the mice or rodents away.

But, in cedar mulch, the scent stays not for a longer time. After a particular time, the smell flushed away. Then cedar mulch no longer works as a deterrent.

A similar thing happens with cypress mulch, though cypress mulches smell is not as strong as a cedar. So, the scent doesn’t bother them as much as cedar mulch does. Cedar mulch has more preventing capacity than cypress mulch.

What mulch keeps mice & rodent away?

There can be multiple mulch types to use to repel the rodents. Check below to know them.

Cedar Mulch:

Cedar mulch is mainly used for some purposes. To halt weed growth, retain moisture, and keep nutrients for the plants. This mulch will deter insects such as termites, flies, and rodents away.

Rubber Mulch:

Rubber mulch will not provide any nutrients to the site. Nor does it has any decaying capabilities. This mulch doesn’t attract any rodents as it doesn’t provide the necessary shelter to them.

Cypress Mulch:

Cypress mulch is another organic mulch with distinct smells. This mulch is a deterrent to mice, rodents, and some insects.

Final Thoughts

Mulch is one of the favorite places for rodents and mice to stay safely and gather food. Though mulch doesn’t really attract mice and rodents directly. But they act as a safe house for these tiny creatures. Some mulch may deter them, but mostly mulch is a shelter for rodents and mice.