So the universal question in the Mulch industry and with homeowner wanting to protect their property is:
Do wood based mulches cause termites?
The answer is No! In fact a termites survival rate drastically drops if they eat mulches purchased for homeowners. Termites find wood pulp and take it back to the colony for food. If a termite is in a moist and dark location they may stay a bit longer but that is no different than any place in the soil already where there is moisture and darkness. The key is not to put the mulch or any material where termites can hide against your window sills, siding, or any wood part of your home, this is what can make an opening for termites to get into your home. When mulch is properly applied it enhances the look of your home and health of your plants according to university studies.
Another common question is:
Do termites travel in mulch to re-establish a new colony?
And once again the answer is No! Termite survival drastically drops once it is away from the colony and it would have to have a queen with it anyhow. So if you were to have a termite in any mulch that was delivered it will die shortly. A single termite cannot establish a new colony. The suppliers we recommend have fresh mulch products that has been processed so there should be no termites in it.
Source Iowa State University Department of Entomology: http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/2001/5-4-2001/mulch.html
University of Florida IFAS Extension: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in651