Diatomaceous Earth has been used for decades all over the world as a means of pest control. It is entirely natural, easy to use and insects cannot build up a resistance to it.
Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth:
- The main advantage of DE over many other forms of pest control is that it is an entirely natural, easy-to-use product and insects cannot build up resistance to it when it is used over an extended period.
- DE is not harmful to earthworms or other soil micro-organisms.
- DE is effective against arthropods such as ants, aphids, earwigs, mites, slugs, snails, thrips, vine borers and small caterpillars.
- It has no impact on the environment and is harmless to most higher life forms.
DE can be applied as a powder or in wet form. Depending on the situation (type of insects, severity of situation) you may either sprinkle the dry powder over the soil and/or around the base of your pots creating a border or mix a cup of dry powder with 2L of water, shake thoroughly and spray lightly over the foliage ensuring a good, even coverage.
*Note DE can also be mixed into your soil before planting as a preventive against soil-borne pests.
Mix into your soil up to 10% volume for outdoor beds and 20% volume for potted plants. Alternatively, mix a cup (250ml) of dry powder to 2L of water and foliar spray.
The typical chemical composition of DE is 80–90% silica, with 2–4% alumina (attributed mostly to clay minerals) and 0.5–2% iron oxide. Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled protist.
Caution: DE can irritate the mucous linings of the nose and mouth of the person working with it, it is advisable to wear a mask to avoid inhaling the dust.