This is the only pest control I now use in my garden. It is easy to apply and totally organic and natural with no toxic build up or risk of pest tolerance.
Diatomaceous Earth is a naturally occurring product. It is made up of millions of fossilised agae which are mined from seas and lakes. Each tiny grain is very hard and razor sharp. When Diatomaceous Earth comes in contact with insects, the razor sharp edges lacerate the insects exoskeleton and the powdery Diatomaceous Earth absorbs the body fluids causing death from dehydration.
Diatomaceous Earth works in a purely physical/mechanical manner, not chemical, and so has no chemical toxicity. Pests do not build up a tolerance or immunity and there is no build up in your soil. When applied on or around your vegetables there is no withholding period as the dust can be easily washed off with water prior to eating.
There are different forms of Diatomaceous Earth, Food Grade and agricultural grade. They are processed in different ways. Only use the Food grade product directly on animals and pets as the other product can make them sick or even kill them. The agricultural grade product is safe to use in the garden and around the house. I sell Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth on the Shopping Cart.
How and Where to Use Agricultural Grade Diatomaceous Earth.
- Dust around the chicken coop, kennels and house to kill lice, adult fleas and mites.
-Sprinkle on manure to kill flies and destroy odour.
-Apply to kitty litter to deodorise and adsorb moisture.
-Apply a cup to compost piles to prevent pests and odours.
-Sprinkle around the base of house piles, foundations and wood stacks to keep away cockroaches and spiders.
-Sprinkle at the bottom of rubbish bins and wheelie bins to kill ants.
-Make up a paint using 2 cups of Diatomaceous Earth with 500mls of water and paint around the base of wheelie bins, letter boxes and worm farms or anywhere else where ants are a problem.
-Use this paint solution to paint the trunks of fruit trees to protect from ground dwelling insects such as codling moth.
-Sprinkle under fridge, BBQ and oven.
-Sprinkle on window sills to kill flies
-Sprinkle on and around your vegetables to kill all sucking, chewing and rasping pests.
-Sprinkle a border of Diatomaceous Earth around tender seedlings to protect from snails and slugs.
Outdoor insects affected by Diatomaceous Earth include:-
ants, caterpillars, cut worms, fleas, ticks, cockroaches, snails, slugs, spiders, termites, silver fish, lice, mites, flies, centipedes, earwigs, aphids, beetles, fruit flies, lemon tree borer, borers, thrips, pysllid etc..
I have found the most efficient way to apply Diatomaceous Earth is to use a dust puffer. Using this equipment I can easily treat hard to reach corners and cracks. I find 500gms of Diatomaceous Earth will last a season of spraying as the duster delivers a fine powder exactly where you want it and is especially good for applying to the underside of leaves to target the tomato pysllid. You can just use a flour sieve or a cheese shaker but this does waste a lot of powder. Watch my video below as I explain how and when to apply this product in and around your home.
A trick is to apply Diatomaceous Earth to your plants in the early morning when dew is still present or water overhead and then apply. The moisture helps the powder stick to the leaves.
Diatomaceous Earth is a great product but it is not clever enough to know only to target pests! Only apply to areas where there is visual evidence of pests as beneficial insects such as Ladybirds, Honey bees, Hover-flies and Lacewings will also be killed if they come in contact with the powder.
Avoid breathing the dust as it can irritate mucous membranes.
Reapply after rain.