Wednesday, March 11, 2015


I'm running a series about Organic Pest Control via our e-newsletter
 at Mary's Heirloom Seeds.  There's a sign up option at the bottom of this post.  
Our garden is completely organic, starting first with our soil as well as 
the nutrients we use and even our pest control.  

It's time to start thinking about your garden and we've got you covered!

Mary's Heirloom Seeds

Do you have pesky bugs in the garden that eat your veggies and plants before you get to enjoy them? 
How about bugs in the house? 
We have a Safe and Non-Toxic Solution!

Using Diatomaceous Earth for Non-Toxic, Natural Pest Control

Last year I offered a workshop for 10 Ways to Avoid Chemicals in Your Garden.  One of my absolute favorite options for non-toxic pest control is Diatomaceous Earth(DE)

There is a huge difference between food grade DE and the stuff used for pools  

Diatomaceous Earth is a natural, organic garden pest control and household insect killer. Diatomaceous Earth kills by physical action, not chemical. It is safe for pets and people. The tiny diatoms scratch off the insect's waxy coating, and dehydrate it. DE kills spiders, roaches, silverfish, ants, fire ants, carpenter ants, bedbugs, lice, mites, earwigs, flies, fleas, box elder bugs, crabs(std), pubic and hair lice, scorpions, crickets and harmful insects. Diatomaceous Earth is used in the home, yard, animal housing, etc. Sprinkle a 2 inch wide border around the foundation of your house to stop insects from entering. 
Diatomaceous Earth kills aphids, white flies, beetles, loopers, mites, snails, slugs, leaf hoppers, and harmful pests. Use Diatomaceous Earth inside your home, greenhouse or outdoors on fruits, vegetables, flowers, grains and grass. Apply Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth up to and including day of harvest.

Tell those garden pests to EAT DIRT!
What is Diatomaceous Earth (DE)?  Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. 

How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth to your Veggie Garden:

-Fill a shaker container with diatomaceous earth. Avoid creating dust by using a spoon to transfer the powder to the container. Although diatomaceous earth is non-toxic, you should not breathe the fine dust. Consider wearing a disposable face mask if you will be working with large quantities of the powder or if you have respiratory issues.

-Shake the powder onto the vegetable plants. The best time to do this is in early morning or late evening, when the plants are wet with dew. The moisture helps the dust to adhere to the plant. Diatomaceous earth won't harm insects when it is wet, but it will be effective once it dries. Shake the powder on the vegetables as well as the leaves; the powder can be easily washed off the vegetables prior to consumption. 

-Apply the powder to the garden bed and to the area surrounding the garden. This will keep many crawling insects from even reaching the vegetable plants.

-Pour a thick ring of diatomaceous earth around the base of plants to deter snails, slugs and squash bugs.

**It is not recommended to use on flowers or flowering plants.  Example, Once your tomato plants begin to flower, use only on the stem and soil surrounding the plant. 

And there you have it! Non-Toxic and Natural Pest Control with  
Diatomaceous Earth from  Mary's Heirloom Seeds 

"If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't. "  - Michael Pollan

Mary's Heirloom Seeds

Helpful Links:

Detoxing with Diatomaceous Earth

Make Your Own Organic Liquid Fertilizer

We have had quite a few questions about DE an Bees.  This is why we specifically state "It is not recommended to use on flowers or flowering plants.  Example, Once your tomato plants begin to flower, use only on the stem and soil surrounding the plant."  

~Here is an excerpt from Going Green Using Diatomaceous Earth How-To Tips page 65 concerning Diatomaceous Earth and bees.
"When Diatomaceous Earth is applied to crops or orchards, the honey bee tends to protect themselves by simply avoiding those blossoms already treated with DE. However, if DE does get on a bee's body, it is covered with slick hairs that are able to help prevent dehydration of body fluids.
Then the bee simply vibrates its wings to remove the dust and protect itself. However, should a bee get enough DE on it to cause death, he's the only insect that dies. Even if he makes it back to the hive, he does not contaminate the colony, as DE is not a chemical toxin."

If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask!


Sign up for our E-Newsletter


Marla said...

Hi Mary,
I love diatomaceous earth and use it a lot in my garden. To me its one of the best natural pest controls out their and its good for the earth. Thanks for sharing your information. Pinned & twitted. Marla

Unknown said...

Thank you for clarifying. I learn something new everyday--and this is something that's useful ;-) .

daisy g said...

We've used DE on tomato plants with mixed results. Thanks for this informational post!

Unknown said...

I have been using Food Grade DE for years but for internal and external parasite control in pets--it has many uses besides plant usage. My understanding it dehydrates the exoskeleton of insects including ladybugs, butterflies, and other good insects. We have a lot of wind in south Texas and one must be very judicious when using DE. Please cite your resources about using wet versus dry food grade DE. Again, my references are from using it for pets and other animals s I am not familiar with plant references. Thanks!

Mary Smith said...

Hi Janis, We don't use DE when it's wet. We only use as a dry application.
This was originally pulled from a previous article and then sent ans an e-newsletter to our customers.