Using Eggshells As Organic Pest Control
It is well known that diatomaceous earth is a natural pesticide. It comes from fossilized remains of creatures that are ground into a fine powder. The product functions as a pesticide by settling into beetle shells, which are like bits of glass, which kill the beetles. Snails and slugs will also die if they walk over it.
It turns out ground eggshells can also be used for this purpose. Since I eat a lot of eggs, I have plenty of eggshells. It means I can get the benefits of diatomaceous earth completely free! Oh yeah, pest control is such a necessity!
How To Make Eggshell Powder For Your Garden
It is possible to use eggshells for many things in the garden. Therefore, whether you plan to use eggs as organic pest control, or if you plan to use them in other ways, the steps are the same for making organic eggshell powder. This article will explain how to prepare eggshells for gardening and give you detailed information about each step.
There are steps to follow for cleaning and drying eggshells, processing eggshells into powder, and using eggshells in organic pest control. You can even store leftover eggshells or eggshell powder for use in the garden.
Many people have asked me how I clean eggshells before crushing them, but I don’t actually fuss too much about this. If the eggs still have yolks or lots of egg whites left in the shells, I will give them a quick rinse with water before drying them.
In the meantime, if they’re already fairly clean, I don’t bother cleaning them because I’ve never had a problem with my eggshell powder stinking. During this process, my advice for clean eggshells would be to make sure they are rinsed with water and dried before crushing them.
You will need to dry out eggshells before crushing them, so don’t skip this step. You can use a variety of methods for drying eggshells. Similar to my method of cleaning the eggshells, I also don’t use fancy equipment for drying them.
My method is to simply spread them out on paper towels and leave them on the counter for a few days. To dry an abundance of eggshells I throw them in a paper bag and then store them in the pantry, where they dry out within a few days.
If you choose to place your eggshells in a paper bag, make sure that the eggshells do not get stacked. You should make sure they have a loose fit in there, otherwise it will slow down the drying process, and they may even mold or stink (I honestly haven’t had this problem with my, but some people did).
Also, I have heard of people drying eggshells in an oven on low, but I have not tried this, so I am unable to comment directly on it.
Grind Eggshells Into Powder
During this drying process the eggshells will become brittle and will break easily so you can be sure that they’re ready to be ground into powder. You can use a small food chopper grinder to grind eggshells to powder. You may have to crush the eggshells up a bit before grinding them, so you can fit more in the grinder at once.
Usually I just crush up my eggshells quickly in the paper bag or the paper towel before I put them in the grinder. However, I have found that coffee grinders work best for eggshells. It is very easy and convenient to grind the eggshells into powder in the coffee grinder.
After using a mini food processor, I found that the shell pieces were more substantial than they were after grinding them in a coffee grinder. While there is still grinding action taking place in the food chopper, it is not as fine as it would be with the coffee grinder.
For those who only have a mini food processor, you can use that in place of an eggshell grinder. For those without one, I recommend you purchase a cheap coffee grinder to use as an eggshell grinder.
How To Use Eggshells In The Garden
In the garden, you can use eggshell powder to control pest insects right after grinding them into powder. Sprinkling the powder directly on pest insects will provide organic pest control.
I use this on Japanese beetles. They particularly dislike it, and they will begin to squirm and move around. It won’t kill them right away, and sometimes they will fly away, but they will die in time.
It’s recommended to sprinkle eggshell powder directly on the specific pest you want to control rather than using it in a spray. Eggshell powder will kill any type of garden beetle, so be careful! I don’t recommend scattering it throughout your garden, because you may end up killing beneficial insects by mistake.
Sprinkle crushed eggshell powder around plants’ bases to prevent slugs, ants, and flea beetles. The eggshell powder applied around plants needs to be reapplied after heavy rains.
When applying the eggshell powder, use caution if you are wearing dark pants, and don’t wipe your hands on your pants while doing it. That could cause a mess.
How To Store Eggshells For Garden Use
You can store unused eggshell powder in a dry location so you can use it in the garden later. Just keep the powder away from moisture. You can keep them in a pantry, fridge or freezer if you like. I keep mine in my garage.
The eggshells can be used in the garden in a number of ways, including composting them to add calcium to the soil, or adding the powder directly to your garden beds.
Using eggshells as a natural pest control method in your garden can be very effective too! If you don’t have access to eggshells, you can buy diatomaceous earth for a reasonable price too.
Breaking up the eggs shells – and letting them break down – is actually quite easy. If you dry them out, the remaining eggshells can be turned into a soil amendment or compost ingredient. As for using them to control pests, I think we should try them out and keep you updated.