Does anyone know if cocoa bean mulch attracts rodents (i.e., rats)?
Don't know, but someone told me it attracts ants.
Chipmunks love it. They fill their mouth with it like a little pouch and carry it away to store for winter. :) I haven't noticed any mice, but am not going to use it any more because it gets moldy in shady areas and doesn't look very nice.
I used it in zone 9 and it didn't attract critters of any kind. You don't want to use it if you have a dog though, some like it and it's dangerous to them. The caffeine in the shells can cause tachycardia in them. Wonder if it would do that to rodents?
However, it will dispell snails though. Their little pseudopods don't like the sharp edges. I used it specifically around my roses and used a different mulch for the rest of my beds...
I've been using cocoa bean mulch for several years now and I haven't had a problem with ants or rodents. It can get moldy, but then I stir it a little. For me it's great on keeping the soil moist. I have one garden that is in dry shade. Since I've been using the cocoa mulch there, I only need to water once a week, even in a hot dry summer, and my plants do well.
I've read that about dogs also. They can get sick if they eat it.
I have used it for years and have never had problems with rodents or ants. The only time I ever had a time with it molding was when I put down some bags that already had some mold in it and it spread.
I think it looks more formal then other mulches. I wish it didn't lose its delicious smell so quickly though. I also can get easily blown around by lawn mowers etc.
Stacy, most of the mold I get is in the shady areas. But it's not a problem to me. I just stir it a little. I like the look of it more than other mulches also. Has a nice dark brown color that lasts. As for the smell, I really don't care for it. I do love chocolate, but my nose just doesn't pick up that scent! LOL! Luckily for me, it doesn't last long.
I do turn mine back into the garden the next year. Then I just add a little more, you don't need a lot. I like this because it decomposes faster than wood does.
Just moved from Chicago suburb after gardening there for 30 years. We were in an area that had an over-abundance of field mice in the fall. The cocoa mulch did not attract them. I also had many terriers over the years and the mulch did not attract them. I loved that smell. I didn't have a problem with mold.
I was completely blown away by the smell the first time I used it. Would walk out onto my porch and get hit with that chocolate smell.
Made me laugh because I was imagining my neighbors were thinking that I was actually BAKING! LOL!