Eggshells as Organic Pest Control

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Eggshells As Organic Pest Control

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 Kill Japanese Beetles

Eggshells 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.

Eggshells Help Control Flea Beetles

Eggshells Help Control 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…

Related Post: How to Control Squash Bugs Organically

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

Eggshells Drying Out

Grind the eggshells into a powder using a mini food chopper or a coffee grinder (here’s the one I have Coffee Grinder).

Grind Eggshells With Coffee Grinder

Grind Eggshells With Coffee Grinder

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.

Related Post: How to Get Rid of Squash Borers Organically

Ground Eggshell Powder

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.

Sprinkle Eggshell Powder On Japanese Beetles

Sprinkle Eggshell Powder 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.

Eggshells As Organic Pest Control On Japanese Beetles

Eggshells As Organic Pest Control On Japanese Beetles

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.

Eggshells Help For Controlling Garden Pests Organically

Eggshells Help For Controlling Garden Pests Organically

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.

Eggshells Help Control Slugs

Eggshells Help 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. Better yet, avoid the mess of spreading eggshell or diatomaceous earth powder by using a Pest Mini Duster – awesome!

Eggshells as Organic Pest Control

Making A Mess With Eggshell Powder

Store unused eggshell powder in a dry location.

Store Eggshell Powder In Dry Location

Store Eggshell Powder In 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.

Products I Use:

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.

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  1. says

    Yeah, we do this in our garden, but I never thought to throw it on the plant itself. We use it around the base of our plants (though this year we've been lacking in keeping up with this).

    • says

      Awesome! I always used to put them into the compost bin too, but they really stick around a long time. Then I started crushing the ones I put into the compost bin. Now I just use them as pest control and add the powder to the soil of my raised beds directly rather than put them whole into the compost bin. I feel like they are more beneficial this way.


  2. says

    I'm definitely going to try this! I always just toss egg shells in the compost and they are so slow to break down. I did effective rid my apple tree of Japanese Beetles with a homemade pepper spray, but that stuff was potent!

  3. Heather says

    I've used crushed eggshells to deter bugs before. Works great!! Bonus: the birds eat some of the eggshell bits in nesting season, too.

  4. says

    How long can you keep this stored? I am just starting to build raised garden beds for the spring. We can't plant anything right now with the snow and cold (we live in CO). If I keep these in an airtight container, can I start stocking up now?

    • says

      Eggshells don't have an expiration date. I save mine though the winter and use them throughout the summer. Just make sure they are completely dry before putting them in a sealed container or they could get moldy.


      • Kourtney Parent says

        Sweet. This will kill the ticks here in Northern, About, Canada. Hopefully I can get a lot fast…want to spread my yard with them….Would it be okay for people to walk on them or would that run the whole process and be a waste of time? Lots of people saying their kids are biten this year

        • says

          I wouldn’t recommend spreading them around your whole yard. The eggshells can kill beneficial insect in your yard too. Also, the eggshells would be washed away or pushed down into the soil after a heavy rain, so they don’t have a very long lasting effect. Sorry to hear about your tick problems. Keep your grass mowed low to help prevent ticks in your yard.

  5. Anonymous says

    Hello. This looks great. Thanks for the tip. One quick question. How about ladybugs? I don't want to harm them… Need them for my basil! So should I just avoid using on my basil?

    • says

      Yes, this would be harmful to lady bugs, or any other types of beneficial beetle. Definitely don't use it on your basil if you know the lady bugs frequent it. I only use it on plants where I have pest problems. Otherwise, it goes into my compost bin and the soil of my garden beds.


  6. Civility118 says

    I especially want to know if you have any idea if this would get rid of bedbugs?
    Or how about along the baseboards for roach control?

    And maybe you do or don’t know about this:
    What about on the floors, baseboards or porch for flea or tick control?
    Could it be directly applied directly to the fur of pets? Seems like the calcium would be good for dogs and cats, but I haven’t a clue how it would affect their digestive tract.


    • Amy Andrychowicz says

      This should work on any type of bug that has a hard outer shell. Please make sure to talk to your veterinarian before you use it on your dog though.

      • DJ says

        Trusted websites promoting a natural raw diet for dogs recommend using ground egg shells mixed with the dogs food to obtain the correct amount of phosphorus. Dogs require a high ratio of phosphorus to calcium ratio.

    • Amy Andrychowicz says

      I used to do that, but now I just toss them into a paper bag (not plastic). That way, I can just leave the bag in the pantry, and don’t have eggshells drying on the counter all the time. As long as they’re not stacked together, they will dry quickly. If they’re stacked or crushed while they’re wet, they could mold.

  7. sherry guitard says

    I have been using broken up eggshells in my garden for years now. I don’t have the beetles, just slugs and earwigs, so I don’t need to ground them up. The eggshells work wonderfully. I haven’t had a bug problem since I started using the shells.

  8. Jasmine says

    I had read that you can cook the egg shells at about 325 degrees for 3-5 minutes to kill off any bacteria. I use the shells as added calcium for my plants as well! Hadn’t thought of using a coffee grinder, thanks for the tip!

  9. says

    I used them to enrich the soil of my raised bed gardens, but didn’t think of the pest control factor. I know what I’ll be adding to my organic pest control regimen this growing season. Awesome information and you cannot beat free organic pest control.

  10. Deebi27 says

    Thank you amy for this article. I have read about using egg shells before planting tomatoes…so the egg shell collection has started. Thanks for the FYI about grinding them for pest control. I all loving all these FYI I find, as my birthday present this year are the raised beds that I have been asking for, for years!!!

    • Amy Andrychowicz says

      You’re welcome! Congrats on finally getting your raised beds, that’s SO exciting!! :-)


  11. Pam says

    Put your ground egg shells in recycled spice jars and just sprinkle where you need it. Less mess on your hands and clothes.

  12. says

    I have been using crushed egg shells for a couple of years now but I have been removing the inner film first. I was told to do that. Do you do that or even think it is nessessary? I also just crushed them using a mortor. Do you find grinding them better?

    • Amy Andrychowicz says

      I don’t remove the inner film (I don’t even rinse them out). I don’t think it’s necessary. I’ve never tried crushing them with a mortor, so I’m not sure how fine they get. I like the coffee grinder the best because it crushes them into a powder. Also, it seems like less work than manually crushing them.


  13. lntan Baharuddin says

    Wow..great tips!!! Thanks. l’m using eggshells pieces to keep snails away but, l didn’t know abt beetle. l have beetle flies problems on my Passion fruits. Will it work on them?

  14. Mary Picklesimer, Ohio says

    Using some eggshells, about a tablespoon, before you plant tomatoes, eggplants or peppers will keep them from getting “bottom end rot”. Been doing this for years with hugh success.

    • Amy Andrychowicz says

      Good to know Mary. I tried this last year, but still have some bottom end rot on a few peppers. I’ll have to try using more eggshells in the holes this year.


  15. says

    Not only do our gals bless us with their eggs, NOW the shells are going to help keep pests away in our garden! Super post, thanks for this valuable tip.

    • Amy Andrychowicz says

      You’re welcome Correen. I’m jealous of your chickens. I’ve been thinking about getting some myself. We’ll see.


  16. says

    My, I need to save the shells from cooking eggs. Thanks for this post!

    It’s awesome how this mundane object could be effective in keeping unwanted insects at bay. I can’t imagine paying for pest control services when they’re in my kitchen all along!

  17. says

    I have been using eggshells for so much anyway, but I had no idea you can do this much stuff with them. I just read another post about how you can use the skin as a band aid, use the shells for planter (to keep as a decorative piece, or use a planter) cups you don’t have to remove before planting either – the whole thing gets planted. You can use them for decorative pieces, too. I my self mix them in to every potter I set up for healthy soil; it does so much for the soil and plant alike. You can even use them for Easter decorations and Christmas ornaments! Eggs are the by far the most repurpose-able item in our kitchens; yet so many get thrown out in to the garbage. I am glad more people are starting to use them for other things. They are little miracles! Enjoy your eggs everyone! <3

  18. Cyndy says

    I didn’t know that you should grind them into a powder; I have been crushing them by hand for snails. I mostly pick off snails, but that is time consuming. Thanks for this post!

    • says

      You don’t have to grid them into the powder, crushing them up the way you’ve been doing works for snails too. But the powder will get into their shells easier and stick to their soft bodies.


  19. says

    As a pest controller and a gardener I really appreciate a good tip when I see it. Thank you, Amy! I will definitely try this method. Do you think it will also work for Colorado potato beetles?

  20. Cookie Sandridge says

    I use egg shell tea to water my plants.
    Just plop them in water, let them sit a few days and water your plants inside or out. Works wonders.

  21. Rose Seemuth says

    thanks for the tip. The Japanese beetles in north Georgia are getting more difficult to trap. Hopefully the egg shells will work this year.

  22. shana vaughn says

    Thanks for the tip! We are starting a garden this spring and I want it to be completely organic and pesticide free!

  23. Jennifer says

    I can’t wait to try this! I’ve heard about it possibly used in chicken coop dusting to keep mites and pests away, and as long as they’re ground up, how are the ladies to know, eh?? 😉 Regardless of results w/ chickens, I’m starting a bag right now for the garden!!!! Thanks!!

  24. Barb says

    I’ve been using egg shells in the garden for the past two years. I keep an empty #10 can in the warming oven of my wood cookstove and throw all my eggshells into the can as I use them. They dry quickly in the warming oven, then I grind them to a powder in the blender. I put a Tbsp of the powder at the base of tomato, eggplant, and pepper plants and water it in. It’s amazing! The plants grow big and tall and I’ve not had any problem with blossom-end rot since I started this. I haven’t tried the powder on pests, though, but I certainly will this year! Thanks for the information.

  25. says

    I have been using ground fine eggshells to feed back to my chickens for 3 years now. Not only does it strengthen the eggshells, but it stops the hens from eating the eggs. Also I have noticed that when a hen has chicks, they encourage the chicks to eat the powdered shells. I am so happy to learn that I can use them as an insecticide. And that it stops blossom end rot on tomatoes and peppers. I am planning to do as advised for them this year and also to do it for my melons. I have a hard time getting my melons to reach maturity due to blossom end rot. fingers crossed! m

    • says

      Oh wow, that is very interesting! Eggshells are beneficial in so many ways! I hope the added calcium that the eggshells provices will help with your melons. Also, make sure to water the melons consistently. Inconsistent watering is another factor in blossom end rot. Good luck!

  26. Virginia says

    I have been told that this may work for scorpions in Arizona. Does it work or is it because it kills the beetles that the scorpions feed off of?Thanks for the info.

  27. Susie Richardson says

    Sooooo happy to be putting together natural solutions for my garden. I hate using chemical pesticides and fertilizers. I don’t have the time to mix…compute instructions on how to convert to which container to dispense, and then deal with the potential hazards chemicals can cause. Appreciate all the help I can get. Thanks for your contribution.

  28. Cindy Thompson says

    Is this harmful to pets? I have two yorkies…I would like to use the powdered eggs around my host garden!!

    • says

      Not that I know of. I’ve had people tell me they use it to kill fleas on their pets. But, I am not a Veterinarian so I would definitely recommend you check with your pets Veterinarian before using it if you’re concerned your dogs will get into it.

  29. Linda Lockyer says

    I have been having quite a time with aphids and ants destroying my scarlet runner bean blossoms and have been saving eggshells for composting. I had heard they could be ground up to repel insects, so today I ground them fine in a coffee grinder, and I powdered it on those nasty ants & aphids. The ants went into a tizzy! Thanks for the great information. I’m going to put it at the base of my tomato and zucchini plants, too.

    • says

      Great! It’s not the ants that are destroying the flowers, it’s the aphids. Ants are known to bring aphids to plants so that they can feed off the sweet dew that’s created as a bi-product of the aphids feeding on plants. The eggshells won’t harm the aphids, unfortunately. But soapy water works great. How To Control Aphids

  30. Robin says

    I wonder if it would deter tomato hornworms? those things give me the creeps, and they can do so much damage so fast.
    meanwhile, I have a dozen shells to pull out of the top of my compost, to dry and crush…my tomatoes and peppers will be happy. (all my veggies, really)

  31. Carolyn says

    I also use egg shells in my garden. When I get a bowl of egg shells I pop them into the microwave for a minute or two and then crush them. That way I dont have to wait for all of them to dry enough to be crushed.

  32. June says

    Will the crushed shells work for squash bugs…they are disgusting and quick. Just planted my tomatoes, peppers and zucchini. I will crush the shells I have and use around these new plants to give them a boost.

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