Wood Chips – Around Playset

Q: We are creating a spot in our back yard for a big wooden play set. We are debating whether to put pine chips down for safety. We had some pines taken down so we have a mountain of chips. However, there seem to be a lot of bugs flying around them.

A: A friend’s child suffered a broken arm falling from a slide so I can appreciate your concern. The National Safety Council recommends a minimum depth of 12 inches of wood chips extending six feet out from playground equipment. To maintain a layer that thick you’ll need a foot high timber wall surrounding the play set. Insects might be attracted to fresh chips for a few days after they are produced. After rain has washed the sweet sap from the chips, though, I can think of no reason bugs would find them attractive.

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