termites and mulch
Termites cannot live in mulch. However, anything that keeps soil moist will make it a better environment for termites to live or travel in. It doesn't matter whether soil is mulch with shredded bark or other organic matter.
Surprisingly, rocks actually make the soil more moist. They are worse to have around the foundation of a home than mulch or plants.
We recommend pulling mulch back a few inches from the foundation. Here are more tips to prevent termites (see the links at the bottom of the page): https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/termites