Return to the Organic Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Does shredded CEDAR mulch really repel insects?

Posted by californian 10 (My Page) on
Fri, May 27, 11 at 19:13

I bought a bag of shredded cedar mulch and it says on the bag that the cedar repels insects. I did a websearch and several websites say it repels aphids, earwigs, and ants. Can anyone verify this? If so I plan to put it under my sprawling tomato vines to keep slugs, snails, roly polys, and earwigs from eating any tomatoes touching the ground.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Does shredded CEDAR mulch really repel insects?

It repels fire ants. I used to use it for that in Florida. Put a layer of cardboard or six sheets of newspaper and a good thick mulch of cedar, cypress, or eucalyptus, and the fire ants won't come through it.


 o
RE: Does shredded CEDAR mulch really repel insects?

does it have any effect on the soils PH?


 o
RE: Does shredded CEDAR mulch really repel insects?

Cedar oils definitely repel some insects, I've used it with success on fleas and CedarCide is a decent mosquito repellent, it's 1% cedar oil, 99% essence of Juniperus virginiana. Redwood mulch is good for CA soils, I'm less sure about cedar.


 o
RE: Does shredded CEDAR mulch really repel insects?

'Cedar' is a generic term that is used to refer to several types of trees, most of which are not true cedars (Cedrus species) at all. On the west coast, 'cedar' most likely refers to Western red cedar, Thuja plicata. In other parts of the country, 'cedar' usually refers to some sort of native juniper.

Both contain a lot of essential oils that repel insects, primarily by smell. But neither type repel ALL insects. Mollusks - like snails and slugs - are not typically affected, although their presence may be reduced to some extent just because they are not inclined to creep over the rough surface. However, I would not rely on ANY type of cedar mulch to deter slugs/snails -- you need to bait for these types of garden pests.

Insects that will be deterred are some types of ants, cockroaches, termites, fleas, moths, some varieties of flies. Cedar wood chips (either type) are often used as pet bedding because of this property. Also some desirable garden inhabitants, like butterflies, will avoid cedar. But other insect pests will find either type of cedar a welcome habitat, as they will burrow and live in the moist, dark recesses of the thick mulch layer and feed on the decomposing wood. These includes earwigs, vine weevils, pill or sowbugs (roly polys) and various beetles.

Western red cedar is a valuable timber tree with very durable, long-lasting wood. Western red cedar mulch is a by-product of this industry but still tends to be pricey. Eastern red cedar is a weed tree and mulches made of this type of wood tend to be rather inexpensive.


 o
RE: Does shredded CEDAR mulch really repel insects?

This will lower the Ph (acidic mulch) and it will tie up the Nitrogen in the soil. the little good you might get from this will be outweighed by the bad, I would not recommend this for tomatoes. I would recommend it for acid loving plants such as brambles, though.


 o
RE: Does shredded CEDAR mulch really repel insects?

FYI I used shredded cedar mulch in my tomato garden last year and had great yields and no problems.


 o
RE: Does shredded CEDAR mulch really repel insects?

"Cedar" mulch,( from whichever species), will not acidify your soil. Been disproved for a long time. Rainwater has a pH of 5.6 and doesn't acidify soil either.

Neither will it lock up nitrogen in the soil if it's laid on the surface and not mixed in.


 o
RE: Does shredded CEDAR mulch really repel insects?

As long as the essential oils in the mulch are present an volatile many insects will find cedar and eucalyptus repellent. As those oils evaporate the mulches become less effective as a deterrent.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Organic Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here