Eucalyptus Mulch - Knowledgebase Question

Dayton, OH
Question by karingreent
March 11, 1998
I have heard that Eucalyptus mulch will deter insects. What I had in mind was possibly using it for control of slugs and cutworms in my perennial flower beds. It comes in bags that are quite expensive for how much you get. Is there any proven value inits use on the surface around selected plants or mixed in the soil when planting perennials?

Answer from NGA
March 11, 1998


Both eucalyptus and cypress mulches are reportedly good at deterring insects, with eucalyptus being the more effective. I am not sure about slugs and cutworms specifically. Have you considered spreading diatomaceous earth at the base of your perennials? It is effective at deterring these pests, I have used it in my own garden. Diatomaceous earth consists of the fossilized remains of tiny sea creatures called diatoms. These creatures injure the soft bellies of crawling pests such as slugs and caterpillars. Diatomaceous earth also works by affecting the respiratory systems of some pests (it can also hurt you if inhaled so use caution).
Diatomaceous earth is avaiable from Gardener's Supply Co. ( or ph# 800-863-1700).

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