Does Cypress Mulch Repel Bugs & What Mulch Do It Best?

Cypress mulch is a type of organic mulch made from the shredded bark of cypress trees. It is a popular choice for landscaping due to its durability, natural fragrance and ability to retain soil moisture.

Generally Cypress mulch helps to keep bugs away. And aside from bugs, they also help to repel other insects. Here as an alternative you can choose cedar, Eucalyptus or Coffee grounds from organic and rubber or plastic among inorganic mulch. 

But these have some drawbacks which you should consider before use. So continue reading to learn more.

Does Cypress Mulch Repel Bugs?

Does Cypress Mulch Repel Bugs

Yes. But remember that the effectiveness of cypress mulch to repel bugs depends on a few factors. This includes: type of insect, effective chemical concentration in the mulch and how it is applied.

In general, cypress mulch is more effective at repelling bees, flies, ants, and beetles than it is at repelling other types of insects. 

This is because these insects are more sensitive to the chemicals in cypress mulch.

Besides, the concentration of the chemicals in the mulch also affects its effectiveness. Because the higher the concentration of the chemicals, the more effective the mulch will be at repelling bugs. 

However, it is important to note that too high concentration of the chemicals can be toxic to plants.

How Does Cypress Mulch Repel Bugs? 

How Does Cypress Mulch Repel Bugs 

Basically Cypress mulch is made from the bark and wood chips of cypress trees. This mulch contains several natural chemicals, oils and terpenes that are responsible for its insect-repellent specialty. 

These include: Thujone, Cedrol, δ-3 carene, α- and β-pinene, Camphene, Cypressene etc. 

Here are some details about some of these along with how they work together to repel bugs:



This is a chemical that is found in a variety of plants, including cypress, sage, and wormwood. 

It has a strong mothball-like odor that is unpleasant to many insects (because they use their sense of smell to find food, mates, and shelter) which helps to repel bugs. 

Besides damaging the nervous system of insects, thujone can slow down the lifecycle and kill some bugs. 


Cedrol is a sesquiterpene

Cedrol is a sesquiterpene, a type of organic compound that is found in many plants, including juniper and cypress trees. 

It’s known to have insecticidal properties and can repel a variety of insects (like: termites, cockroaches, ants, mosquitoes etc.). 

Cedrol basically works by disrupting the insects nervous systems. In some cases, cedrol can even kill insects by using  Dehydration, Emulsification and Suffocation methods.

Delta-3-carene (δ-3 carene)

Delta-3-carene (δ-3 carene)

Delta-3-carene is a terpene which is a naturally occurring compound found in basil, cannabis, rosemary, and cypress trees. 

It basically  interferes with the insects’ sense of smell and makes it impossible for them to find food or mates and eventually drives them away. 

Besides, it disrupts the insects’ ability to sense pheromones. It’s also a natural and safe alternative to chemical pesticides.

In addition to these chemicals, this mulch’s fibrous texture also helps to deter insects. Basically they have excellent moisture retention capabilities, which helps to keep the surrounding soil relatively dry. 

This condition deter insects that prefer damp habitats and an unfavorable environment to establish colonies. 

Also these mulch fibers trap insects’ legs and wings, makes them difficult to move and create a barrier that prevents insects from reaching plants.

What Mulch Is Best To Keep Bugs Away?

Mulch is a layer of organic or inorganic material that is spread around plants to help protect them from the bugs and insects. 

It can also help to suppress weeds, conserve moisture, and improve soil drainage. In addition, some types of mulch can help to repel insects.

Here are some of the best mulches for keeping bugs away:

1. Cedar Mulch

Cedar Mulch

Cedar mulch is made from the bark and wood of cedar trees. This mulch is basically known for its rich aroma and vibrant color which enhance the aesthetics of a garden. 

But it is an effective bug repellent due to its natural oils and aromatic compounds. Typically these oils release an offensive scent that keeps bugs away.

Furthermore cedar mulch provides a long lasting bug protection because it doesn’t decay as quickly as other types of mulch.

2. Eucalyptus Mulch

Eucalyptus Mulch

Eucalyptus mulch is not only visually appealing but also boasts insect-repellent qualities. In fact, Eucalyptus contains terpenes which have a strong odor that is unpleasant to insects. 

Besides, they can also act as a toxin to some insects. Basically there is some research that supports the claim that eucalyptus mulch can repel insects.

Additionally it offers a pleasing fragrance to humans which makes your garden a more enjoyable space to spend time in.

3. Melaleuca mulch

Melaleuca mulch

Melaleuca (native Australian tree) mulch, made from the wood and leaves of the melaleuca tree. This mulch contains natural oils with bug repelling properties. 

Though they aren’t as widely available as other types of mulch, it’s worth considering if you’re looking for a natural bug deterrent. It’s not only unique but also environmentally friendly.

4. Rubber or plastic mulch

Rubber or plastic mulch

Rubber or plastic mulch is a contemporary choice that offers not only bug prevention but also long-lasting durability. 

Rubber mulch is made from recycled tires and plastic mulches are made of polyethylene, polylactic acid (PLA), and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA)

Basically these mulches contain chemicals that are toxic to bugs and create an unfavorable environment for them.  

**Note: Along with these, there is another mulch called: Cocoa bean shells, which also deters insects. But if you have any pets, then you should avoid it, because it can make your pets sick.

Cedar or Cypress Mulch

Cedar Or Cypress Mulch

Are you looking for the best bug repellant mulch that you can spread around your garden or house? Then it would help if you considered either cedar or cypress mulch. Both cedar and cypress mulch helps repel and kill bugs.

Cedar and cypress mulch contains natural oils and chemicals (Thujone) that can help to deter bugs. Both cypress and cedar mulch can repel and kill insects like termites, ticks, ants, carpet beetles, cockroaches, cloth-eating moths, and a lot more.

However, cedar mulch can repel and kill bugs more effectively than cypress bugs. You can also spray it around your house to repel insects.

What are the Benefits of Cypress Mulch?

Cypress mulch is one of the most popular mulches that can keep bugs away from gardens. Cypress mulch also helps insulate plant roots and keep the soil cool when shallow temperatures.

One of the reasons why many gardeners prefer cypress mulch is because it provides more benefits than other mulches. Some of the benefits that are provided by cypress mulch are:



Cypress mulch doesn’t decompose quickly like other mulches, but when it finally decomposes, it will help to add more nutrients to your soil. The plants on that soil will benefit from cypress mulch’s nutrients to the soil.

Other organic mulches change the pH level of your soil when they decompose, but cypress mulch doesn’t lower the soil’s pH because it is neutral.


If you need a mulch that looks attractive, you should consider cypress mulch. Cypress mulch makes your garden look much nicer. Another beautiful thing about this mulch is that its color doesn’t fade away quickly like other mulches, so you don’t need to reapply it more often. Aside from the attractive look, it also has a pleasant and unique smell.

Block Weed Growth

Block Weed Growth

Another benefit of cypress mulch is that it helps to deter weed growth. Airborne seeds are prevented from entering the soil when spreading cypress weeds around your farmland or garden. Also, cypress mulch is less expensive than other types of mulch, and it can deter reptiles and insects.

Read Also: How To Get Rid of Forsythia – Will Vinegar Kill It?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

After completely reading this article, you might still have some questions in your mind which are not answered yet. So to get answers to those questions, check this FAQ section. Hope it’ll help you.

Does cypress mulch repel mosquitoes?

Yes. Basically Cypress mulch contains several compounds that act as a repellent for mosquitoes. To use cypress mulch to repel mosquitoes, you should spread it around your yard in a 2-3 inch layer. 

Does cypress mulch repel snakes?

No. Though Cypress mulch contain chemicals that have a strong odor but these are not known to repel snakes. It’s also believed that cypress mulch can actually encourage snakes to live in it, because it provides a moist, warm habitat.

Does cypress mulch attract bugs?

No, Cypress mulch typically won’t attract bugs/termites; instead, it repels them. But as this mulch provides a moist and humid environment, it might be a suitable place for some tiny insects/creatures to live.


Cypress mulch can indeed keep bugs like insects, cockroaches, termites, cloth-eating moths, carpet beetles, and ticks away from your house or garden. All you need to do is spread it around your garden or house.

Aside from keeping bugs away from your garden and house, cypress mulch also provides several other benefits. One of its several benefits is that it lasts longer than other mulches.

This article will be helpful for those who want to find clear answers to one of the popular questions about cypress mulch, does cypress mulch keep bugs away?

Similar Posts