joycenbruce
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Diatomaceous Earth Question

Is is okay to use Diatomaceous Earth in a compost pile to rid it of earwig bugs?

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rainbowgardener
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DE in compost?

Why do you need to get rid of the earwigs? They are harmless in the compost pile. If you are concerned about it, if you soup up your pile so it runs a little hotter (i.e. turn/aerate it, water it, add more greens, especially manure, grass clippings, coffee grounds) they will go away. But they will go away anyway when the compost is finished; there's no more food for them then. I don't have earwigs in my compost (that I know of), but I do see the occasional cockroach. All the above applies to them too. But pill bugs (aka sow bugs), cockroaches, earwigs are detritovores. They are all part of the process of breaking the vegetable matter down.

I think the diatomaceous earth in the compost would be harmful to other creatures, at least the pill bugs, etc. Apparently is does not harm earthworms, so that part is ok.

joycenbruce
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Diatomaceous Earth

Thanks for your reply. I will just leave them be to do their work. I have seen posting that mention filtering compost before using. Do you filter yours and what type of filter is best?

Thanks again,m
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rainbowgardener
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screening compost

Some people screen (not filter, difference would be size of openings, filters are usually things like coffee filters with very small openings, screens are things like window screens with bigger openings; couldn't put compost through a filter) compost, just to have a finer textured product, which is most important if you are using it for starting seedlings. I don't screen, I just pull any sticks out and crumble it up a little.

Generally people that screen, use what ever they have on hand that works. Type screening compost into the search box at upper left of most pages and you will find several threads about it. Here's what one person said:

I do screen mine through a sifter I've made from half-inch mesh plastic fencing, mostly so I can take out the big sticks and things easily. But if I'm digging a big planting hole for something, I don't bother with screening.
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8123

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Earwig bug control with diatomaceous earth

Yes earwig bugs will be controled by using diatomaceous earth. https://www.gardenharvestsupply.com/product/diatomaceous-earth-food-grade
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rainbowgardener
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Yes, so they will, as well as other bugs that might be in your compost... all of which have a reason to be there as they are part of the process of breaking down the materials in the pile. Also, I'm not sure the diatomaceous earth will break down in the pile, so when you spread the compost around the DE could still be there, shredding malign and beneficial life alike. I have used DE when I was having a bad slug problem, but I don't like over use of killing bugs, especially beneficials.

I still don't see any reason to do this.

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rainbowgardener wrote:Yes, so they will, as well as other bugs that might be in your compost... all of which have a reason to be there as they are part of the process of breaking down the materials in the pile. Also, I'm not sure the diatomaceous earth will break down in the pile, so when you spread the compost around the DE could still be there, shredding malign and beneficial life alike. I have used DE when I was having a bad slug problem, but I don't like over use of killing bugs, especially beneficials.

I still don't see any reason to do this.
You used DE on slugs? Did it work?

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rainbowgardener
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DE is a traditional remedy for slugs. I had more of a slug problem than usual due to our excessively rainy spring and summer. That also meant that the DE kept getting washed away. I wasn't as diligent about reapplying as I could have been. Even so, it definitely did help. My pepper plants were getting turned into swiss cheese. Using the DE allowed new leaves to grow undamaged or nearly so.

paul wheaton
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Any guesses as to why slugs don't like DE?

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rainbowgardener
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It cuts open their undersides and they leak fluids and dehydrate, sort of the slug-gish equivalent of bleeding out...

https://www.organicgardening.com/feature/0,7518,s1-2-9-1502,00.html

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gixxerific
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rainbowgardener wrote:It cuts open their undersides and they leak fluids and dehydrate, sort of the slug-gish equivalent of bleeding out...

https://www.organicgardening.com/feature/0,7518,s1-2-9-1502,00.html
I have heard of sand doing the same thing.

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