Mulch Color has an Impact on Bug Control

Mulch can be used for both beneficial and aesthetic purposes around the foundation of your home, as a garden cover in the fall, and landscaping around shrubs and trees in your yard. Mulches are available in either organic or inorganic varieties. Regardless of the type you prefer, the mulch color has a significant impact when it comes to attracting or deterring bugs. You can click here to learn more about the different types of pests invading your home and how you can exterminate them.

The mulch color and pest control

Generally, black and yellow mulches tend to attract more insects. On the other hand, silver-colored mulch, such as metalized reflective plastic, are perfect in repelling aphids and can attract fewer pests as compared to other types and colors of mulch. If you plan to use mulch in your garden or even around your home, it is recommended first to learn how the mulch is likely to attract pests or repel them.

According to a study carried out in the University of Florida and University of Tennessee;

  • Thrips are perfectly repelled by orange, silver/aluminum or yellow mulch
  • Aphids are excellently repelled by aluminum/silver and yellow mulch. They are attracted by black or blue much
  • Orthoptera, Neuroptera, and Lepidoptera are repelled by yellow mulch
  • Aluminum/silver, orange, and yellow mulch is likely to repel whiteflies.
  • Hemiptera, Thysanoptera, Coleoptera, Homoptera, and Aphididae are attracted by black mulch.

In another study to determine the right color of mulch to use with particular vegetable crops for both disease and insect reduction, the Penn State Research shared the following findings. Note that the researchers listed the right color for plastic mulch to use for each type of plant compared to black mulch.


The best mulch color is dark blue. It offers about a 30 percent increase in overall market yield within three years. On the contrary, yellow mulch produced the lowest yield according to the study.


Dark blue or infrared thermal mulch works best. The study report indicated that these colors boosted the average yield by about 35 percent within a period of three years. White or black mulch produced the lowest yield. Note that the color may vary based on the climate and other external factors.


The study concluded that red mulch works best for eggplant. Within a two-year period, it can improve the overall yield by 12 percent. This was evident particularly when the plants were stressed during the study.


The use of red mulch lowered early blight, contributing to about a 12 percent increase in the overall marketable yield within a period of three years. However, the researchers noted that this benefit might be impacted when tomatoes are grown in ideal environmental conditions.

Summer squash

According to the study findings, the use of dark blue mulch increased the average marketable yield by 20 percent within a period of two years.

The bottom line is, different mulch colors impact pest control differently. Therefore, it is recommended to think about the specific mulch color you wish to use and how it can help repel some pests.

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