Natural insect control for slugs and snails – Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous Earth is made from the shells of one-celled plants called Diatoms. About 30 million years ago countless one-celled plants called Diatoms lived in the sea and built protective shells out of silica. As the Diatoms died the shells drifted to the floor and built up into deposits and the shell became fossilised. When the shells are compressed into a soft chalky rock they become known as Diatomaceous Earth. It is prepared for commercial use by quarrying, milling, grinding, screening and centifruging, the results is a fine talc like powder. The milling of the product cracks apart the Diatom skeletons to expose microscopic needles of silica that are razor sharp.

Debbie Heine spent a year with Echonet in Florida. Slugs and snails were controlled by sprinkling diotomaceous earth around base of plants. There’s a good chance that other suppliers may provide the product in less expensive form. (There is also a possibility that appropriately managed ducks and chickens will do a useful job of controlling slugs and snails in fallow areas).
Here is what one supplier states-

Its used as a barrier to control slugs and snails, sprinkle around the plant you want to protect. It is not a poison. It works mechanically. Insects must come in contact with Diatomaceous Earth, as they walk through the barrier the Diatomaceous Earth becomes stuck to their feet and as they clean their feet they ingest the Diatomaceous Earth and in turn shreds their internals causing them to die. Great for use around cobblestones, concrete tiles and etc for the control of ants, simply spread a small amount of Betta-Crop Diatomaceous Earth around the area you want protected and sweep into the cracks.

Does not harm warm blooded animals and earth worms are not affected by Diatomaceous Earth. Use as a natural barrier to control sawfly, codling moth, twig borer, thrips, mites, earwig, cockroach, slugs, snails ants and many other insects.

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