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Home & Garden | Product Spotlight

Natural Pest Control with Diatomaceous Earth and More

April 1, 2023

Nearly 200 years ago, diatomaceous earth was discovered in Germany. Essential oils have been around even longer — first discovered in ancient Egypt. Since then, people have found some impressive uses for these products. If you haven’t considered using essential oils or diatomaceous earth on your farm or in your home, we have a list of good reasons why they make sense. 

The Basics of Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is formed when microscopic sea organisms die, sink to the sea floor, and fossilize under pressure. The cellular walls of diatomaceous earth are made of silica, which is why it’s so great at absorbing liquids and smells, and killing insects and other pests. Here are some of the many benefits: 

  • Eradicates fleas and ticks: apply diatomaceous earth to the fur of cattle dogs or barn cats to control fleas and ticks.
  • Useful for chickens: sprinkle some diatomaceous earth in your chicken’s dust bath to treat mites and lice.
  • Toxic liquid cleanup: use diatomaceous earth to absorb liquid from tractors and other machines around the farm.
  • Protects crops: while it might not be ideal for large crops, diatomaceous earth is outstanding when applied to large and small gardens. Put some of the dust in your garden to protect against aphids, ants, slugs and more.
  • Controls flies: add diatomaceous earth to areas where flies congregate to kill them off. Add some of the powder to your pet’s fur, beds, and kennels to kill off fleas. You can also add the powder to your carpet for a few days to kill fleas and their eggs. Vacuum up the powder and reapply every three days for bigger infestations.
  • Inside the House: the same properties that make diatomaceous earth excellent for use around the farm make it a wonderful addition to the inside of the home as well. Before using diatomaceous earth in your home, be sure it is food grade to avoid any possible contamination issues.
  • Kills ants and bedbugs: diatomaceous earth has even been proven to kill off silverfish and cockroaches. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth anywhere you find pests. The powder will dehydrate them beyond saving. Some families add diatomaceous earth to cracks and crevices between cupboards to keep invaders away.
  • Reduce smells: add a bowl of diatomaceous earth to your fridge or freezer to eliminate odors. Have a cat litter box? Add the powder to your cat’s littler to drastically reduce smells. Can be used in garbage cans as well
  • Helps with potted plants: anytime you add some of your wonderful, composted soil to your indoor potted plants, sprinkle some diatomaceous earth to the top layer. It will help kill off spiders and other outdoor bugs.
  • Cleaning made easy: create your own scrubby, kitchen cleanup solution for pots and pans. Combine diatomaceous earth with lemon juice, water, and dish soap.

Essential Oils can be People and Pet Friendly

When used carefully, essential oils can be an effective tool against unwanted pests in your home and on your property. They can also help deter fleas, treat skin issues, boost immunity, and help with anxiety in people and pets. See our article about alternative medicine for more information. The list below shows some of those superpower essential oils based on the pests they repel. 

Ants: spearmint, peppermint, lemon
Add 15 drops of spearmint and 7 drops each of peppermint and lemon to a quarter-cup of water. Use a spray bottle to disperse mixture on countertops or anywhere ants appear.

Fleas: lavender, lemongrass, peppermint
In 12 ounces of water, add 15 drops of each oil. Can be used on pet bedding.

Flies: rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus, basil
Add several drops of any of the mentioned essential oils to a cotton ball or sponge and place that inside an air-tight container for 12 hours. Open the container and place near flies. The smell will repel them.

Mosquitoes: peppermint, citronella, lemongrass, tea tree
In 12 ounces of water, add 15 drops of citronella and lemongrass, and 10 drops of peppermint and tea tree oil. Use a spray bottle to add mixture to outdoor furniture and clothing.

Roaches: eucalyptus and tea tree oil
Add 10 drops of each oil to every 3 ounces of water and use a spray bottle on infected areas. Or soak cotton balls in mixture and place near roach entry or exit points.

Spiders: spearmint, peppermint
Add 15 drops of each oil to 12 ounces of water and use a spray bottle to douse areas where you’ve seen spiders.

Find Diatomaceous Earth at Coastal

The folks at Coastal can show you all the products that contain diatomaceous earth. Stop by today and discover why this is one of the products we love.