Diatomaceous Earth and Boric Acid Insecticide.

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Durgan, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. Durgan

    Durgan Well-Known Member

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    http://alsnetbiz.com/homeimprovement/boric_acid.html Boric Acid
    I am going to experiment with Diatomaceous Earth and Boric acid powder to make my own powdered insecticide. The mixture will be 20 to 1 Diatomaceous earth to Boric acid powder. Proportions picked as a reasonable practical experiment. The diatomacious earth is primarily to bulk out the boric acid.

    My reasoning goes like this:
    Diatomaceous earth is not regarded an insecticide,since there has been little to no research done, and the so called supporting evidence is anecdotal.
    Boric acid is harmful to many insects which are similar to those encountered in the garden, and this is well documented.
    Powders are often irritating to insects. Wood ash for example simply because it makes their inhabitant uncomfortable, hence they tend to move on.

    So my home made insecticide will have some poison, some anecdotal support from the diatomaceous earth, and also the powder effect. This cannot possibly be more harmful than many of the commercial products sold for insect control.

    Bugs that cause damage to my plants are the ubiquitous flea beetle, Cabbage butterfly, Japanese beetle, and Colorado potato beetle. Reducing the effects of the first two would be a great plus.

    Dispensing will be by using my recently purchased Duster.
    http://www.durgan.org/URL/?FCWDO 6 January 2012 Garden Dust Sprayer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  2. GoinHome

    GoinHome Well-Known Member

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    Well, if you dust with DE, be careful, don't do it when its windy and don't kick a lot of it up, it isn't good for your lungs. You might want to wear a good mask with indwelling respirator valve.

    However, it is well known, a fact, that DE is deadly to insects with a hard exoskeleton. That is not anecdotal. Tears them up like thousands of tiny razor blades.

    A dust-free method of applying DE to your plants is to mix it in water and spray it on. When the water dries the DE will remains, you will see its white/gray color on the leaves and plants.

    Don't know about putting boric acid in water, though, I am not familiar with that.
     

  3. themamahen

    themamahen Well-Known Member

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    Boric acid is commonly used as an eye wash so would be effective in water and a lot safer to injest than common pesticides IMO Please update up and let us kow how this works out , Im very curious.
     
  4. Durgan

    Durgan Well-Known Member

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    I bought a dust sprayer to dispense the powder, which appears to be ideal on my testing the unit. I, too am looking forward to the results in the garden come June. http://www.durgan.org/URL/?FCWDO 6 January 2012 Garden Dust Sprayer.

    I ordered two cans of boric acid from the drug store.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
  5. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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    I would stick with just diatomaceous earth. It is true that borax will also kill insects, but it is about as effective as DE, but you wouldn't eat borax. Nor would you want to get borax on your skin.

    I think borax is a smart thing for controlling mold in some places, but it is not nearly as safe as DE.