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.
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.
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…
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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.
The coffee grinder does a great job of grinding the eggshells into a powder. When I used the food chopper, 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.
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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.
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.
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. Be careful though, eggshells will kill any type of beetle – even beneficial ones. It’s best to sprinkle the eggshells directly on the specific pests you are trying to 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.
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.
Store unused 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. Don’t worry, if you don’t have access to eggshells, you can buy diatomaceous earth for pretty cheap too.
For more information about organic pest control, click here… Organic Pest Control
Do you use eggshells as organic pest control in the garden? Tell me about it in the comments below.