Pest Control - Knowledgebase Question

Oklahoma City, OK
Question by vramo
January 17, 2001
Could I stir in some diatomaceous earth in the soil bedding for new plants and seeds so insects will not thrive and devour my plants?


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Answer from NGA
January 17, 2001

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Diatomaceous earth is basically tiny, fossilized silica shells made into an insecticidal powder. Caterpillar-type insects, including slugs, will crawl through it, be cut, and eventually die. It will not help with other types of insects and it is best used as a barrier around plants, not mixed into the soil. The very best thing you can do to control insect problems is to grow healthy, unstressed plants. Research shows that insects seek out weak, stressed plants. Thanks for writing!

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