The flea beetles have been worse than ever this summer, and the Japanese beetles are no fun either. On top of that, the slugs have been turning my hostas into swiss cheese. (Ahhh, the joys of gardening) I need all the help I can get fighting these and other pests in the garden.
|Eggshells work to kill Japanese beetles|
There is a well known organic pesticide called diatomaceous earth, which is basically the fossilized remains of creatures that are ground into a fine powder. This works as an organic pesticide because it gets under the shells of beetles and acts like bits of glass to cut them up and kill them. Snails and slugs will also die if they slink across it, and it works as a deterrent. Well guess what, eggshells work the same way.
|Eggshell powder will kill flea beetles|
I eat a lot of eggs, so I have plenty of eggshells. Which means I can have the benefits of diatomaceous earth for free – Oh, and I’m all about free! Do you want to do the same thing? Here’s how…
Eggshells as organic pest control:
Allow the eggshells to dry out before crushing them. I toss them into a paper bag where they dry out in a few days.
|Eggshells drying out|
Grind the eggshells into a powder using a food processor or coffee grinder. I found a coffee grinder at a garage sale for $1 and use that as my dedicated eggshell grinder now.
|Grind eggshells in old coffee grinder|
The coffee grinder does a great job of grinding the eggshells into a powder. When I used the food processor, I found that the shell pieces were larger than the ones I crushed in the coffee grinder. These would work too, but I like the finer powder, it sticks to the Japanese beetles better.
|Ground eggshell powder|
After the eggshells are crushed, you can take them out to the garden and use them right away. To use eggshells as organic pest control, sprinkle the eggshell powder directly on the beetles.
|Eggshells as organic pest control on Japanese beetles|
They really don’t like it, and will start to squirm and move around. It won’t kill them right away, but they’ll die in time.
|Japanese beetles don’t like the eggshell powder|
For continued beetle control, sprinkle the eggshell powder liberally on the leaves of the plant where you see the most damage. This will help detour the pests, and kill others that crawl on it.
|Eggshell powder on plants as organic pest control|
For slug, snail and flea beetle control, sprinkle the eggshell powder around the base of the plant as well. Eggshell powder sprinkled on and around plants will need to be reapplied after a heavy rain.
|Sprinkle eggshell powder around the base of plants to control slugs|
Just be careful if you’re wearing dark pants, and don’t wipe your hands on your pants as you are spreading the eggshell powder (oops!). It can be a messy job.
|Making a mess with the powder|
Store unused eggshell powder in a dry location.
|Store eggshell powder in a dry location|
You can’t beat free organic pest control. Plus, eggshells are great for the health of your garden, and they add calcium to the soil. With so many benefits, it makes me wonder why anyone would toss eggshells into the garbage.