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Diatomaceous earth for Insect control in the tropics  RSS feed

 
Nik Turetski
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Hi
I live in the rain forest in Hawaii and I'm interested in using diatomaceous earth for insect control in the garden. However, I am wondering if it is effective in highly wet environments or if the powder needs to be dry to work?

Thanks
 
thomas rubino
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Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Hi Nik; Hard rain could wash it away,and it will not work for everything but it will work. Wet or dry the structure of D.E. does not change.  I feed 2%  per 1000# of feed to my pigs, and my cup of coffee every day has a big spoon full in it !
 
Colin Peckham
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Location: Ballina, NSW Australia
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Hi,
I live in Ballina NSW Australia, which is sub tropical, and we have both native and imported Gheckos, and its the imported ones that recently got on to the circuit board of our air-conditioner and short circuited it, which cost a lot to fix up. Do you think that Diatomaceous Earth could be effective in this situation. 
 
thomas rubino
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Hi Colin;  I am not familiar with geckos, we don't have any here in Montana , except the one selling car insurance.... D.E. works best on very small critters ... i'm thinking that a gecko is to big and i'm afraid that all you would do is deworm your invading gecko... making him a healthy gecko... not what you had in mind....  Do cats kill geckos ?
 
Andrew Cavanagh
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Diatomaceous earth is only effective when it's dry and it's only effective against insects.

It won't have any effect on geckos (although if insects are getting into a dry part of your circuit board and you put diatomaceous earth in there it could help).

We live in a tropical environment just like Hawaii and we use Diatomaceous earth inside where it's dry...on window sills to stop ant invasion and on a tray around the pets feeding bowl to stop ants and other insects.

It's really only useful outside in the dry season.


There are other pest control solutions for the tropics.

Desmodium (a nitrogen fixing legume and ground cover) and other fragrant herbs like Thai Basil planted in amongst your edibles can help confuse pests.

Look up "push pull farming" to get an idea of how effective a simple ground cover like desmodium can be at confusing pests.

Also mulching with a grass like lemon grass or citronella grass helps deter some pests too.

Having a complex multi culture of different species with plants spaced randomly everywhere also helps (instead of putting all your edible plants of the same type in a big row where the pests of that plant can go along breeding and eating).

Chickens, ducks and quails can also help if managed well.

And just staying on top of infestations early on with high value crops using simple methods like knocking pests into a hot bucket of water to kill them.

You only have to kill enough pests early enough to stop out of control reproduction and destruction of your plants so the predators of those insects can do the rest of the protection for you.
 
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