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Has anyone tried Diatomaceous Earth?

Posted by laurie_z3_mb sw MB (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 21, 06 at 16:41

Lately on the container thread in the gallery, it was mentioned about how many cabbage butterflies there are out now, and my ornamental kale is starting to look a bit lacey. Now a couple of years back I picked up a huge bag of diatomaceous earth to discourage snakes from living in the flowerbed on the south side of the house, and it seems to work. I've tried sprinkling it on the potato beetles and larvae, and again it's worked. So I'm thinking that I'll be powdering my ornamental kale with it and see how that works. Also will be trying it on anthills and for people who have problems with slugs, apparently this will work too. The biggest bonus to DE, is that it's totally harmless to humans and animals, and with kids and a dog around, I really like that.

Check out the link below and see what you think. Oh, also it's cheap. If I remember correctly, I picked up a 50 pound bag for around $40 at a local ag. store. That's way cheaper than buying the potato powder, deritox, etc.
Anyway, would like to hear everybody else's ideas too.

Laurie

Here is a link that might be useful: Diatomaceous earth


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Has anyone tried Diatomaceous Earth?

The gardening expert on Fri AM CBC happened to mention that d. earth didn't work well for ants. Then again, he suggested buying a commercial ant killer. I've found they just lap that stuff up & keep marching. Maybe depends on what type of ants they are.


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RE: Has anyone tried Diatomaceous Earth?

Hi Lauri, I haven't tried the D earth but think we will as soon as we are someplace where we can buy it...We live in a VERY small town....um....For the aunts, What I do, (must be used ONLY where there is no plans to plant things) is to sprinkle salt..just tble salt or pickling salt, then really wet it down...they can't live in the brine. Sometimes you hve to do this more then once as it seems some of the aunts aren't 'home'
when you do this. Other places, Dh uses a mixture of borax & icing sugar, about 1/2 & 1/2
Just mix it up & sprinkle it on the hills. DON'T put this on grass, it will kill the grass. We also find that the purchased formulas don't always work. It might also depend (with ALL these things) on how diligent with this you are.


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RE: Has anyone tried Diatomaceous Earth?

Yes, ants are pretty tough to get rid of, and I think being diligent about what ever you are putting on the hill is important. We've also been using the borax and sugar, but maybe will have to try the salt solution too.

Probably the DE will work the most effectively on soft bodied insects due to the nature of how it works. I've been keeping my kale powdered, but there were a few holes in the leaves to start with, so I'm not really sure if there aren't any new ones. I probably should have started my experiment a little sooner with them. But at least they're not eaten down to the stems ;^)


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RE: Has anyone tried Diatomaceous Earth?

I'd be VERY careful using salt in the garden. It's not good for ants, but it's also deadly for soil and plants. That's one substance I don't use, even for slug control

Large amounts of borax can also be detrimental to plants--don't use it with a heavy hand. And be careful if there are pets in your garden. They might be attracted to the sugar/borax mix--not a good thing.

The key to getting rid of ants is to get rid of the queen, or to disturb their nests so frequently that they get the message and move on...hopefully to your neighbour's yard ;-).


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RE: Has anyone tried Diatomaceous Earth?

Laurie, I've been using DE for 2 seasons now. I have mixed feelings with it.

I'm trying it this year with my turnips. It was recommended to sprinkle them right at emergence and there after to get the flies that are laying the eggs on the plants. I haven't pulled any yet to see if there are worms in them or not because they're way not ready yet. I have also used it as a barrier around the base of plants. I am finding it works well on the creepy crawlies, but not so noticeable with the flying bugs(ie. the bane of my existence the dreaded 'tarnish plant bug'). I found alot of dead beetles that I think were good beetles after I powdered my row of turnips and it'll likely get whatever lady bugs get in it. But it also worked well on this plump little black grub thingy that was eating a fair amount of foiliage (they seemed to crawl around the base and hide in the dirt so even if the DE washed or fell of the plant they still got it on them).

Anyone had any luck with controling flea beetles with it?
It didn't help my brocolli with cut worms, but how do they get under ground without going throught the dirt or down the plant? I'll have to look up their life cycle...

I wouldn't put any on or near flower blossoms because you'll kill all your pollinaters.

I have a couple questions I'd like to add here about DE:

1. Is it still effective if it gets rained on then dries out again?
2. Are there 2 grades of DE? I bought ours at the feed store and its coarser than the powder you can buy in bottles at the garden store. It was cheaper than $40/50Lbs but maybe not as effective as the finer stuff.
Definately nice to buy it bulk like that though. I might have more luck with something finer staying on the foiliage? The courser stuff is really only effective at the base of the plant or in the leaf crevices.
Laurie, was the stuff you bought in a 50Lb bag fine like a powder or more coarse?

I have put it around the base of our cabin in hopes of warding off the big ants. I have no idea if its working, but it helps me sleep at night!

Tip: I keep my DE in a bucket with a lid and use a parmesan cheese shaker to apply it. Works for me!

Toots


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RE: Has anyone tried Diatomaceous Earth?

1. Is it still effective if it gets rained on then dries out again?

Toots, I thought I read somewhere that DE does have some residual effect after a rain. I think as long as the rain didn't wash it completely off, and it dries again on the leaf it still works. I'm not 100% sure about this, but that's how I interpretted it to be.

2. Are there 2 grades of DE?

The stuff I got feels like talcum powder, so it's very fine, and I also got it from a feed store. If yours is courser, then there must be different grades of it.

I've been using a large shaker from steak spice to dust things with. It works well too.

As for also killing beneficial bugs, well, you get that with every pesticide anyway. It's pretty hard to get away from that, but I do only sprinkle it on the plants that are getting eaten at the time. And I've been keeping it away from my milkweed so that the monarch caterpillars don't munch on any.


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RE: Has anyone tried Diatomaceous Earth?

Toots, there's some interesting info about DE on the link below, especially regarding the 2 different grades.

Laurie, the caterpillars wouldn't munch on the DE but, if they crawled over it, they'd get sliced and cut, resulting in dehydration and death.

Here is a link that might be useful: Diatomaceous Earth


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RE: Has anyone tried Diatomaceous Earth?

I found this interesting at that site...'And I don't recommend incorporating mass quantities into the soil. Earthworms are a good thing' There's alot more good little things than earthworms down there. :^(

It never occured to me. Goes along with the how I was wondering if is still effective after it gets wet, too. So, Laurie it likely does still have an effect, just maybe not as much as if it were fluffy and dry though, eh?Hmmmm. I'll be paying more attention to how much I use in one spot that's for sure. It's fossilized particles, but once it's up out of the earth does it decompose faster I wonder? Is a fossil a fossil forever? :^)

I'm cleared up on the grades. Thanks. I checked the label on mine. Its called Red Lake Earth and its manufactured in Kamloops, BC. (Iwonder if its mined there, too) and there's directions for use in feeds. So it looks like I've got food grade. Maybe I'll use it up in the calves grain this fall...

Toots


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RE: Has anyone tried Diatomaceous Earth?

Hmmm, yes, I suppose that you'd want to be careful to not use too much of it IN the soil, like for maggots and cutworms and such. As for decomposing, I wonder if it really does? Or maybe it just gets more diluted every time the ground is worked. It's interesting stuff anyway ;^)


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RE: Has anyone tried Diatomaceous Earth?

Maybe an archeologist will pop up on this forum who could tell us if it decomposes, eh?

It gave me a heads up because I've been using it mostly right on the soil and being coarser it doesn't stay on foilage very long. The finer grade is definately going to help me with the flying bug problem by staying put longer.

Toots


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RE: Has anyone tried Diatomaceous Earth?

The finer grade powder that I sprinkled on leaves, seems to have fairly good staying power. We haven't had any good rains lately(I wish!), but the odd little sprinkle doesn't wash it off completely. Afterwards it dries in the shape of the where the rain drop was. I'm assuming that it's still working because it's still there.

Even the wind doesn't seem to be able to blow it off. I'm thinking that it's because the tiny particles are so razor sharp that they actually cling to the leaf.


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RE: Has anyone tried Diatomaceous Earth?

Maybe, eh? Kinda like velcro! Good to hear it stays on anyways.

Toots


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RE: Has anyone tried Diatomaceous Earth?

Laurie, thought I'd update you on the DE status in my garden. My turnips are still wormy, but I don't think as bad as last year. That's either because they're healthier or the DE helped. I'm thinking they are just healthier, because I used blood and bone meal this time and the tops are way bigger than last year as are the roots. (picked one last night that was 2 1/2 pounds!)

I think I'll try row covers next year instead to try to prevent the flies from getting to them at all.
Toots


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RE: Has anyone tried Diatomaceous Earth?

Yes Toots, it's a battle isn't it? So far that's all I've been using on my ornamental kale, and they've been ok. It seems like there are millions of cabbage butterflies around this year, so the DE must have helped the kale.


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RE: Has anyone tried Diatomaceous Earth?

That's good news!
Toots


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RE: Has anyone tried Diatomaceous Earth?

Try chickens on the ants they love to eat them!


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RE: Has anyone tried Diatomaceous Earth?

I purchased a 50 lb bag for 25$ and find it works for: reducing the baldness that comes from outside on my dog and cat. Works wonders. I am also putting it in their food for Tx for worms. I am currently using it on my horses for the same. However, it ruined my veggie garden by warding off my pollinators. How sad! I got one zuke and 3 yellow squash only. We have those japanese beetles that have so many offspring I had to try something. I had not even gotten 1 zuke in past years. The diatomaceous earth is food grade and edible. Supposidly it is pure silica, and it is good for hair, nails, and worming! It doesn't kill the ants, but makes them move. I have been herding them out of the front yard and have way less that in previous years. I bought a duster to use on the lawn, nothing is going to help with this seasons numbers of fleas. Oh yes, got 1 apple per tree, only 4 peaches on two trees? Of course I applied to the trees! It does kill the black power on my gardenia. I guess it is trial and error?


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RE: Has anyone tried Diatomaceous Earth?

  • Posted by xices South TN (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 25, 12 at 0:08

I got on this Forum for the purpose of finding more information about the use of Diatomaceous Earth (DE) in controlling fleas on cats and feeding DE to cats to kill internal parasites. I have read many times that dusting DE on their fur and rubbing it in well, will do the job. But how often should this be done? I feed 18 feral cats dry cat food as part of a volunteer effort in feral cat control. I need help in finding a way to incorporate DE into their diet.


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