|Nasty Japanese beetles|
There is a well known organic pest control called diatomaceous earth, which is basically fossilized remains of creatures that are ground into a fine powder. This works as a 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.
|Flea beetles and their damage|
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...
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|
Grind them into a powder using a food processor or coffee grinder. I found a coffee grinder at a garage sale for $1 and use that as my dedicated eggshell grinder now.
|Grinding eggshells in old coffee grinder|
The coffee grinder does a great job of grinding the eggshells into a powder. When I used the food processor, 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.
After the eggshells are crushed, you can take them out to the garden and use them right away. To help control Japanese beetles or other pests, sprinkle the powder directly on the beetles.
|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.
|Japanese beetles don't like the eggshell powder|
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.
|Eggshell powder on plants|
For slug, snail and flea beetle control, sprinkle the eggshells around the base of the plant as well. Eggshell powder sprinkled on and around plants will need to be reapplied after a heavy rain.
|Sprinkle eggshells around base of plant to 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 powder (oops!). It can be a messy job.
|Making a mess with the powder|
Store the unused powder in a dry location.
|Store 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 out eggshells.
Do you use eggshells for pest control in the garden?