Mulch doesn’t contain manure. Mulch consists of organic material, typically plant matter, that can have a fertilizer-like odor as it decomposes. The manure smell is caused by bacteria breaking down the mulch. Slurry odor is strongest when mulch has been stored in a humid environment with little or no oxygen.
Under anaerobic conditions, the decomposition of mulch produces additional acetic acid, hydrogen sulfide and/or methane gas that leach into the air and soil. What is that? This process can cause mulch to smell like manure (which mulch doesn’t usually contain), rotting eggs, ammonia, particularly strong vinegar, or silage.
Sour mulch can smell like vinegar, ammonia, sulfur or silage, while good mulch smells like freshly cut wood or earthy like soil. This mulch can also feel very hot. Sour mulch is formed when the materials used to make mulch are stored in piles that are too large.
Fungal spores and wood dust from mulch are known human health risks. The dangers of mycotoxins and mycotoxic fungi are well documented in peer-reviewed studies in the US and internationally. Wood dust has long been considered carcinogenic. There are no mitigation strategies.
There are two basic types of mulch: organic and inorganic: Organic mulch includes formerly living material such as chopped leaves, straw, grass clippings, compost, wood chips, shredded bark, sawdust, pine needles and even paper. Inorganic mulches include black plastic and geotextiles (landscape fabric).
But can mulch attract bugs? Yes, it can. The mulch itself is not what attracts insects and other pests to your garden. However, it provides a hospitable environment for insects that are already nearby.
With too much water, the plant is prone to root rot, fungal and bacterial infections, and mold growth, all of which could be responsible for the foul odor. In garden soil, fecal odor can also be caused by fresh or underprocessed manure that you may be using to fertilize the plants. What is this?
If manure cannot be incorporated, the next 36 hours after spreading manure is most critical. Why? Good drying conditions over the next two days can significantly reduce odor release. Also, the next two evenings are the most likely time that neighbors will notice odors.
Aged manure does not have the same strong aroma as fresh manure. And composted manure does not have an unpleasant aroma at all. The bagged material was either fresh manure (fairly uncommon) or anaerobic (fairly common). The scent dissipates quickly when exposed to air.
< li>Pine needles/pine straw.
Anyone working with organic material in bags or bulk such as garden soil, compost, mulch or potting soil is at risk of inhaling (inhaling) Legionella bacteria..
The white stuff is a beneficial fungus that breaks down the organic matter you put in the bed. These fungi, called saprophytic fungi, do not attack plants and do not cause plant diseases. They feed on dead organic matter such as mulch, compost, soil conditioners, etc. They are critical to soil health.
The complex mix of plant, bacterial and fungal products can result in organic dust toxicity syndrome characterized by fever, inflamed lung ducts, chest tightness and airway obstruction.
Mulch with large shreds or pieces of wood can attract dogs just as much as the stick you throw for them. It smells good and feels good to chew on. But the larger and more pointed pieces of mulch can damage your dog’s throat and cause intestinal or stomach obstruction, which can lead to an emergency visit to the vet.
Organic mulch can be grass clippings, compost, mulched leaves, wood chips, shredded bark, swamp hay, or straw. All organic types of mulch degrade over time and return nutrients to the soil.
Unfortunately some of the recycled waste wood used to make landscape mulch products is contaminated with various chemicals such as creosote and CCA (chromated copper arsenate). CCA is the chemical used in the manufacture of pressure treated wood.
Avoid using mulch and large rocks in your landscape as they attract snakes and their prey and can create breeding and wintering habitats.