Monday, September 9, 2013

At war with the soil Gnats using DE

Listen to this post as an Audio Blog

~ The soil is a bit sour.  I have been dealing with some soil gnats by regularly using 'Safe Soap' the last couple of days and it seems to work for a while and then they are back. I am letting the soil dry out as much as I dare between waterings. Since bringing Caven into the house he does not need nearly as much water so this helps.

~ I am going to try some of the solutions found here. First, since I have some and I see how it could work, I am trying an 3/16"-1/4 inches worth of food grade Diatomaceous Earth on the top soil.  

 ~ I also set a lid of vinegar on the pot soil. This seems to be getting a few adults that fly into it but I am not overly impressed.

 ~ I can see how the 'DE' should work. For one thing it will soak up some moisture from the topsoil. But the DE does need to be mostly dry as this is when it is dangerous to insects. It drys and irritates their skin like glass shards. They can NOT crawl up through the dry DE. When wet, DE is not as effective, although I do not see them crawling through the layer to any eggs in it even when wet. :)

~ CAUTION: Use only food grade DE. Use a mask when applying. Let soil dry some before applying.   Turn all room fans off while applying  Apply slowly with a sifter or perforated spoon. Use a mask. While not dangerous if ingested wet, it IS dangerous to breath. It is like glass shards to the lungs(and Gnats) when dry. Wet DE is no longer as effective. When DE dries it is again most effective. Don't let all the cautions overly scare you. After all the cautions are dealt with, remember it is chemical free, natural, cheap, and effective against insects.

~ Side Note: We have used DE cautiously and successfully against a major flea infestation one year. It worked great but you have to work hard to clean the carpets later. And it left the whole room with an earthy smell for some time.  

For the reasons given above I see this remedy being very successful.... I will update my progress.

UPDATE: Sept 16,2013I have won the war with the soil Gnats using the DE.

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