pest control with diatomaceous earth

flutterBdeeMarch 17, 2014

I was wondering if it would hurt anything to put a dose of food grade DE in my garden. I have termites and vine bores and cut worms and the list goes on and on. I am getting so discouraged with the damage that they do every year to my gardening efforts. I get a decent harvest but I always loose my squash to the vine bores. and harlequin beetles have munched my horseradish to nubs. any suggestions would be welcome. and please let me know about the DE

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I never recommend DE for general use in the garden. There are simply too many other beneficial and even essential creatures that can be harmed by the DE.

I use DE, but only in my garage where the Black Widows frolick.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 10:28PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

do some superficial research on IPM ... integrated pest management ...

such dictates you ID a specific pest.. and attack it appropriately ...

general nuclear war ...or willy nilly napalm attacks .... on your garden .... are not really favored ... for the reasons rhiz notes ...

your county extension office might be able to help you ...

the key.. is focus.... not worrying now.. and be bummed in fall... if you want to do it right... you are out there very often.. observing.. and reacting.. to a specific problem ...

good luck


ps: we dont have termite in MI ... thank God... but i think of the as subterranean ... so .. e.g. .... i dont understand how a product.. placed on top of the soil.. will have any impact on them .... and that is.. if i am correct.. why this treatment would not work for such ... [i presume they eventually come out.. but i would want them long dead.. before they emerge for some reason mating .. or making a new colony ... or whatever they do .. bar hopping.. etc ...]

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 6:49AM
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Diamotaceous Earth can be an effective pesticide for certain insects but it is not a general purpose pesticide and like many of the pesticides can have unwanted consequences such as killing beneficial insects as well as those we consider pests.
DE can be used for termites, but termites generally are not a garden pest.
DE may help with cutworms, but wet, even with dew, will do little to stop them.
The Harlequin Beetles and Squash bugs, of all kinds including the Borers, will only be harmed by DE during the larval stage unless you are there to dust them as they fly around.
De is one part of insect control and should be used with due care along with many other methods of insect pest control keeping in mind that many, even organic and natural, can do harm to the beneficial insects not used with great care.
Floating Row Covers can be of help as can a good reliable soil test.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 7:04AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

KEN! Termites are alive and well in Michigan! Michigan State refers to the subterranean termite as an " important wood destroying pest " in Michigan. Yikes.

I'll bet that your extension website has a graphis of the infested counties.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 4:14PM
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thanks to all for your input. My intention was to mix the stuff in my garden with the spring till. yes I am a bit lazy when it comes to checking my garden and defending daily. I am more of an every few days kind of defender. I was looking for the easy way. guess when it comes to the demise of pests and the care of the beneficial ones there is no easy way. again thank you all

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 8:37AM
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