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Does Mulch Attract Mosquitoes or Repel? (Read This First!)

Mulches are very helpful for gardening. They reduce the growth of weeds in your garden and keep the plants and trees moist. They are very essential for soil protection, organisms, and temperature regulation.

Actually, mulches have many more benefits as well but some disadvantages too. Before using mulches in your garden it’s better to know everything about them.

Does mulch attract mosquitoes or repel? 

Wet mulch normally attracts mosquitoes because of its moisture but some species may work as a mosquito repellent as well. Mosquitoes are naturally attracted to wet or moist areas where they can lay their eggs and nest there and wet mulch provides them with enough moisture that they need.

Mulches themselves don’t attract mosquitoes but they are after the moisture mulches provide. Mosquitoes mostly prefer wet or moist areas to live in. As the wet mulches provide moisture, darkness, and cold temperature, they take shelter there and lay their eggs. 

Also, there are some species of mulches that deter mosquitoes as well for their strong aroma that comes from their essential oils. Some varieties of mulches:

Rubber mulch:

Rubber mulches are made of inorganic products like recycled tires. Like other mulches, they don’t absorb much water and aren’t moisturizing enough. It can significantly decrease insects and mosquitoes also don’t attract rubber mulch.

Wood mulch:

Wood mulches are the mixture of shredded, chip, bark, branches, and leaves that are best for vegetables and annuals. But they absorb more water than any other mulches if it rains a little and so mosquitoes attract on wood mulch. 

Also, there are varieties of wood mulch like:

Pine bark mulch:

Pine bark mulches are pink or reddish-brown in the color that is made from the shredded bark of pine trees. The mulches have enough moisture below the surface which helps nearby plants to retain moisture but attracts mosquitoes.

Cedar mulch:

Cedar mulch is the most effective natural way to deter mosquitoes, ants, bugs, or any other insects because of the presence of many insect-repelling natural chemicals. 

Moreover, the mosquitoes can’t take the strong fragrance of cedar oil which keeps them away from cedar mulch.

Cypress mulch:  

Cypress mulches are made from cypress trees which play a great role as mosquito repellent. Cypress mulch contains some natural chemicals and oils that effectively deter mosquitoes.

Red mulch:

Red mulch helps to protect soil from erosion. It allows water to reach all sections of your garden evenly and keep moisture. It doesn’t attract mosquitoes itself but provides shelter to the mosquitoes.

Black mulch:

Black mulch helps to keep soil temperature consistent and the color is very conducive to attracting mosquitoes or other insects. After a little rainfall, the wet black mulch attracts mosquitoes very much.

Sugar cane mulch:

Sugar cane mulch is an organic-based mulch that encourages soil organisms and is very much helpful for vegetable gardens. It provides favorable conditions to the mosquito and thus attracts them.

Leaf mulch:

Leaf mulch is organic material that works great in temperature regulation and retaining moisture. And mosquitoes require that perfect environment and the moisture to happily take shelter.

3 reasons why mosquitoes are attracted to mulch?

Mosquitoes are attracted to mulch because it gives them shelter, moisture, and cold temperature that they need. Mostly organic mulches are beneficial and conducive places that attract insects and mosquitoes.

If it rains a little, the mulches become their breeding ground as they provide every facility that they need. Here are 3 reasons why mosquitoes are attracted to mulch:


Mulch easily can absorb the water and keep themselves wet and moist, even if there is a little rainfall or get a little water. The mosquitoes are naturally fond of wet places and they search for wet and moist areas to live. 

A moist environment is also needed to lay their eggs.

When mosquitoes find the moist or wet areas are enough for their ideal residence, they start to nest there and lay their eggs. Mulch doesn’t attract mosquitoes by itself but mosquitoes are actually after its moisture.

Shed and darkness:

Mulch provides shed and darkness that mosquitoes are fond of. During the mid-day, they tend to hide in darkness like under the decks and shrubs. Mulch works as a shed and doesn’t let sunlight enter much. 

So mosquitoes find mulches attractive to hide and peacefully shelter there. 

Cold temperature:

As the mulches can absorb much water, they remain wet most of the time. Mulches can grow more than three inches deep and never dry out and thus provide cold temperature to the mosquitoes. 

Mosquitoes naturally prefer the cold temperature for their shelter and so, they are attracted to the mulches.

What types of mulch are mosquitoes attracted to? Do Mosquitoes breed in mulch?

There are two types of mulches inorganic and organic. Inorganic mulches are from rocks, stones, or human-made materials like rubber, tires, fabric sheet, etc. whereas organic mulches are from different types of woods and leaves. 

Organic mulches provide more benefits to mosquitoes because they can absorb more water than inorganic mulches and remain moist and wet for a long time. So, mosquitoes are attracted mostly to the wet, organic mulches.

To breed, mosquitoes need wet places and cold temperatures. Mosquitoes naturally breed where they find enough moisture and cold shelter that mulches provide the mosquitoes. 

As the mulches remain wet for a long time, they give mosquitoes the perfect atmosphere that is cold and moist for breeding. If it rains, mulches work like their breeding ground.

How to get rid of mosquitoes in mulch?

If you’re bothered by the mosquitoes in your home and garden and want to get rid of mosquitoes in mulch you can follow these techniques:

Eliminate wet spots:

Wet mulches are their favorite place to take shelter and breed. You can eliminate the wet areas of mulches by adding stones and covering the area with topsoil. You can also spread the mulches properly where they can get proper sunlight. 

It’ll reduce mosquitoes.

Put the mulches in a thin layer:

If the mulches in your garden have layered more than 3 inches, they won’t be dried easily if it rains a little. As a result, the wet mulches will attract mosquitoes more. So it will be a good decision if you put the mulches in a thin layer.

Mulch with cedar:

The aroma of cedar mulch works great in repelling mosquitoes. So, if you use cedar mulch instead of other mulches, mosquitoes and other flies won’t bother you. Else, you may mix cedar mulch with other mulches in your garden.

DIY chemical spray:

To deter mosquitoes from the mulch, you can make a DIY chemical spray by using many essential oils togetherly like lemon eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, cedar oil, olive oil, coconut oil, etc. and spray it on the mulches every day. 

Plant mosquito repellent trees:

If you have used mulches in your garden for protecting soil but don’t want to attract mosquitoes, you can plant some mosquito repellent trees in your garden. 

Lavender, eucalyptus, lemongrass, blair brown, citronella, etc. are the mosquito repellent trees.

CO2 mosquito trap:

CO2 mosquito trap is one of the most effective ways to deter mosquitoes from the mulches. This device works as an attractant to the mosquitoes by an alluring scent from the device. 

They become vacuumed and fall into a trap and can’t come out rather pass from dehydration.

What kind of mulch repels mosquitoes?

Cedar mulch and cypress mulch magically deter mosquitoes. Both are organic mulches and are made from trees. Cedar mulch and cypress mulch both have insect-repelling chemicals and because of the presence of those chemicals, mosquitoes don’t come close to them. 

Also, cedar mulch and cypress mulch both produce essential oils, and the smell of the oils is very offensive to the mosquitoes. So, they are the best solutions for repelling mosquitoes from the garden.

Some inorganic mulches also repel mosquitoes. The rubber mulch and plastic mulch are the inorganic mulches that deter mosquitoes. They are made from plastics, tires, fabric sheets, etc and so, can’t absorb as much water as the mulches from wood and leaves absorb. 

So, they aren’t wet and moist enough that the mosquitoes need. As a result, mosquitoes aren’t attracted to them.

Final Thoughts

Mulches are attracted to the mosquitoes if they are wet enough. Mosquitoes need darkness to hide and wet, moist places for laying their eggs. And, the wet mulches provide the perfect atmosphere that they need. Hence, some varieties of mulches repel mosquitoes for their strong aroma.