Imagine this: you’re at the local playground, enjoying the sunshine and the laughter of children playing. Suddenly, a pesky swarm of insects invades your peaceful oasis, turning your fun-filled day into a game of swatting and shooing. It’s a scenario we’ve all experienced at some point. But what if there was a simple solution? A natural deterrent that could keep those pests at bay? That’s where woodchips come in. In this article, we’ll explore whether woodchips have the power to keep pests away from play areas, providing a safe haven for kids to release their boundless energy without the hassle of unwanted visitors.

Benefits of woodchips in play areas

Natural pest deterrent

One of the major benefits of using woodchips in play areas is that they act as a natural pest deterrent. Play areas are prone to attracting pests such as insects, rodents, and birds, which can be a nuisance and potentially harmful to children. Woodchips create a physical barrier that makes it difficult for pests to access the play area, reducing the likelihood of pest infestations.

Safe for children

Another significant advantage of using woodchips in play areas is that they provide a safe environment for children. Unlike other forms of pest control, such as chemical pesticides, woodchips are non-toxic and pose no harm to children who come into contact with them. Additionally, woodchips are soft and cushioned, reducing the risk of injury from falls, which is especially crucial in play areas where children are active and may be prone to accidents.

Low cost and low maintenance

Woodchips offer a cost-effective solution for pest control in play areas. Unlike chemical pesticides, which can be expensive, woodchips are relatively cheap and widely available. Furthermore, woodchips require minimal maintenance. While regular inspections and replacements are necessary, they do not require the same level of ongoing attention as other pest control measures, making them a convenient and affordable option for play areas.

Creates a natural play environment

In addition to their pest deterrent properties, woodchips create a natural and aesthetically pleasing play environment for children. The organic look and feel of woodchips can enhance the overall appeal of the play area, providing a more engaging and enjoyable experience for children. Woodchips also contribute to an environmentally friendly atmosphere, as they are made from sustainable and renewable resources, aligning with the growing demand for eco-friendly play spaces.

Types of pests in play areas


Insects, such as ants, flies, and mosquitoes, are common pests that can be found in play areas. They can not only be a nuisance but also pose health risks to children. Insect bites may cause allergic reactions or transmit diseases. Proper pest control measures are essential to minimize the presence of insects in play areas and protect the well-being of children.


Rodents, including mice and rats, are attracted to play areas due to the availability of food and shelter. They can cause damage to play equipment, as well as carry diseases that can pose a risk to children’s health. Proper pest management strategies are crucial to prevent rodent infestations and maintain a safe play environment.


Birds, such as pigeons and sparrows, are often attracted to play areas due to the availability of food scraps and nesting opportunities. While birds may seem harmless, their droppings can create a messy and unhygienic environment. Additionally, certain bird species may become aggressive or territorial, posing a potential threat to children. Effective pest control methods are necessary to deter birds from play areas and ensure the safety and cleanliness of the space.

How woodchips deter pests

Physical barrier

Woodchips create a physical barrier that acts as a deterrent to pests, preventing them from accessing the play area. The thick layer of woodchips serves as an obstacle, making it difficult for pests to burrow or nest in the ground beneath the play equipment. This physical barrier is an effective first line of defense against pests, reducing their presence and minimizing the associated risks.

Natural repellent properties

Certain types of woodchips possess natural repellent properties that further deter pests. These woodchips contain natural oils and compounds that insects and rodents find unappealing or repellent. By using woodchips with these properties, the play area can benefit from an additional layer of defense against pests.

Proper installation of woodchips

Creating a thick layer

To ensure optimal pest control and safety, it is crucial to create a thick layer of woodchips in the play area. A depth of at least 12 inches is recommended to provide a sufficient physical barrier and discourage pests from accessing the ground beneath the play equipment. Regular inspections and additions of woodchips will be necessary to maintain the desired thickness and effectiveness.

Regular maintenance and replacement

Regular maintenance and replacement of woodchips are necessary to preserve their pest-deterrent properties and overall effectiveness. Woodchips can deteriorate over time due to weather conditions, foot traffic, and natural decomposition. Inspections should be conducted periodically to check for signs of wear or thinning, and any areas that require replenishment should be addressed promptly to ensure continued pest control.

Considerations for using woodchips in play areas

Impact on plants and landscaping

When using woodchips in play areas, it is crucial to consider their potential impact on plants and landscaping. While woodchips can provide a natural and aesthetically pleasing environment, they may affect the growth and health of surrounding vegetation. Proper installation techniques, such as creating a barrier between woodchips and plant roots, should be implemented to minimize any adverse effects on plants.