This naturally occurring substance can be used for so many things in the garden. Must check out these 13 Diatomaceous Earth Uses to learn more!
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1. Eliminate Gnats
You can find these small, winged insects in crammed-up spots like garbage dumps, stale vegetables, overripe fruits, over-watered soil as well as potted plants with decaying soil. Basically, anything wet or damp forms a suitable habitat for these pests. Sometimes when you buy potted plants, they come with a batch of pesky gnats that lay eggs in the soil and feed on algae, fungi and decaying plant matter present in the soil. They are damaging to plant’s health.
Diatomaceous earth can help you to get rid of them. Just dust your potted plants with DE to keep the topsoil dry and desiccate gnats or larvae that land on the plant. When you water your plants, add some more DE to the soil again. This small measure goes a long way to tackle a severe gnat problem, in addition to a few other insects such as blackflies, whiteflies, and other flying insects. Here’s an article on it in detail!
Also Read: Castile Soap Uses in Garden
2. Deter Wasps & Hornets
It’s important to emphasize that wasps too play a vital role in maintaining the natural balance of your garden and devouring pests like caterpillars and aphids. However, if there is a wasp population in your garden you can’t live with, you may need to get rid of them.
Thankfully, Diatomaceous earth is an effective wasp killer. Just apply a fair amount of DE in areas where wasps have caused a problem and make sure to provide sufficient coverage. It’s advisable to use the wet application if the climate is dry where you live. Research has shown that wasps and hornets do not build nests on DE-treated areas. Repeat this process every three weeks for continual prevention.
Also Read: 7 Wasp Trap Ideas
3. Get Rid of Flies
Flies can be incredibly frustrating. These teeny-weeny creatures feast on your valuable garden edibles and impact your plants’ health negatively, hence your best bet is to reduce, if not eliminate their colonization in your garden. Instead of using counter-productive chemical pesticides, use diatomaceous earth around the yard and farm to repel away flies naturally. Moisture and smell attract flies, but the use of DE prevent them effectively. Check out this article on Mother Earth News and this one too, for help.
4. Get rid of Maggots
Unused piles of manure and compost often house the larvae of several types of flies that infest them. Some of these, like the soldier fly, are largely harmless as they neither sting nor spread infectious disease. But unless you are sure of them, or have a coop of chickens to tackle the maggot problem for you, you might want to eliminate them as fast as you can. If you are all for organic products and hate the idea of subjecting your garden to harsh chemicals, then the diatomaceous earth is most probably your best bet. Just apply it all over the affected area and let it do its job.
Also Read: How to Get Rid of Maggots
5. Keep Slugs Out of Your Garden
Apply food grade DE in a circle the plants to keep these pests away from feeding on your plants. This will repel them. Also, the sharp and ultra-fine silica particles in DE penetrate and inflict lethal cuts on the soft, tender bodies of these pests and distress them.
Also Read: Slug Control Tips
6. Protect Your Home from Termites
One of the best ways to protect your home from termite colonies is to preclude them from entering in the first place. These pests basically lurk in the dark corners of your garden, where they serve an important role in breaking down decaying plant matter and digesting wood to form soil. Termites typically create the biggest problems during the swarming season, when they multiply quickly and infest your home interiors as well.
If you live in a place where termites are common, you probably know the harm they can cause. Well, Diatomaceous earth is an effective thing to help you in both preventing, as well as removing termite colonies. It’s economical, chemical-free, and easy to apply! Don’t forget to read this article in detail on eHow.
7. Destroy Ant Hills & Trails
Ants swarm the family picnic, garden tea party, backyard BBQ, and whatever little food they can get their tiny legs on. So, cleaning up what’s bringing them into your garden is half the battle won. The other half can be won by using diatomaceous earth, as it’s a natural ant repellent that works in a non-toxic, human-friendly way to disrupt non-discernible ant trails and prevent future ant problems. And all that too without contaminating your ornamentals and edibles! Simply, dust the plants and anthills with DE to get rid of them.
Also Read: 30 Effective Ways to Deter Ants
8. Increase the Porosity of Soil
While it doesn’t offer much regarding nutrition, it does have the capacity to retain fertilizers and release it gradually to the roots. That, coupled to its porosity makes it a wonderful addition to the soil for container gardening and a good growing medium for bonsai and hydroponic culture. Just mix it with potting soil to improve drainage and air flow in the root zone.
Also Read: Use Epsom Salt for Cucumbers
9. Preserve and Dry Flowers
If you want to preserve and dry your favorite blooms, use Diatomaceous Earth. It can help you preserve some of the best specimens from your gardening venture, as well as the most colorful flowers of Spring, including tulips, lilacs, Iris, and of course, roses. Here’s a step by step article on this to read.
10. Deodorize Pest-Attracting Litter
In addition to acting as a mechanical pesticide, one of the most important diatomaceous earth uses in the garden is eliminating noxious odors. If you have a pet that tends to use the garden as its toilet, ensure to mix in some DE onto the topsoil or just apply it liberally over its favorite place. Also, using diatomaceous earth helps to deodorize the compost pile and keep it from acting as a potential habitat for nuisance pests.
11. Control Aphids
Aphids are the most prominent pests gardeners have to fight continuously. When overlooked, they multiply rapidly and cause widespread damage to the garden in no time. Diatomaceous earth is an effective solution to get rid of aphids. Simply dust the infested area with the dry powder, or mix it with some water and apply with a sprayer. Repeat the procedure every few days for better results.
12. Get Rid of Rodents
Rodents like mice, moles, rats, and rabbits can wreck your garden in no time, and if you don’t want to kill them, diatomaceous earth is here to help. Rodents hate the powerful smells of essential oils like peppermint and lemon citrus and as you might already know that diatomaceous earth is an excellent absorbent. These two ingredients can be combined to create the most potent organic rodent repellent that can keep the rodents at bay.
The best thing is that it is highly cost-effective, is completely safe and at the same time smells heavenly. Check out the recipe here.
13. Reduce Tick Population
Summer is commonly signified by warm, sultry weather, bright flowers swaying in the gentle breeze and large colonies of blood-sucking, parasitic arachnids, i.e., ticks. If you enjoy hiking, gardening, and playing in the backyard, you must have encountered these pesky little suckers. They are tough to handle once they attach themselves to your body. Plus, they often transmit incurable disease like Tularemia, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and so on. One way to deal with their infestation is to dust the entire yard and lawn with a generous amount of diatomaceous earth. It’s advisable to use an applicator for this purpose and repeat the process once every month during the flea season.