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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, it could be FR as fighting Box Elder Bugs has been cutting into my play time. I applied some food grade DE along the fence line between my bastard, lazy neighbor's yard/weed farm/Box Elder Bug preserve & my back yard using a squeeze bottle, which slowed-down the migration. The damn bugs have a fondness for doing the nasty in the gravel of my RV parking space & on my pram cover, so I want to dust the entire gravel area. I have sprayed the critters down en masse using a hose-end sprayer & Dawn which kills them until it dries but I'm looking for a control that is passive yet benign to pets, birds, & the environment & food grade DE appears to be a sound option. Has anybody applied this stuff over a larger area? I'm thinking of perforating the lid of a coffee can & using using it like a big salt shaker. Any better ideas out there?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm intimately familiar with Kaolin, but DE isn't as messy & is very effective at killing crawling insects with an exoskeleton via dehydration. it controls ants quite well, also. I'm just seeking the wisdom of experience from anyone who may have applied it before on a larger scale, but thanks for the input, Red.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's a thought, Mike, but I think the holes may be too large. I also considered a flour sifter. When I treated the fence line the other day, I used a ketchup squeeze bottle (and wore gloves, long sleeves, goggles & a dust mask, since that stuff is both a fine dust irritant & a desiccant), but now I want to "mine" the gravel where the little suckers gather & date. I found a hand-cranked blower with extension tube that has potential, but the reviews weren't totally positive & I'm a miserly devil, lol. Thanks for expanding my options though; thank "The Gardener" for me, please? On the plus side, I've become quite proficient zapping those that I find on the fence & house walls with my Bug-a-Salt gun shooting from the hip. Seems I have a knack for morphing a problem into fun . . . practice, practice, practice . . .

Oh, and the PITA tree rat wouldn't succumb to the lure of peanut butter in a souped-up rat trap (I shimmed the tail springs making it stronger & quicker for a clean dispatch.), but it is no longer with us; he encountered a lightening-quick Hank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Jim - where are you purchasing the DE?
I bought a 4# bag locally - Ranch & Home in Pasco. They carry it for folks who have chickens (for dusting the coop, killing lice & drying fecal matter.). It's much cheaper on-line - 10# of FOOD GRADE DE for under $15, but I wanted to try it first. Make sure you buy the food grade stuff! Folks also use it in juice or water as a detoxification methodology. On ground-crawling bugs, the sharp edges of the particles cut their exoskeleton & bugs succumb to dehydration. You can also apply it wet, but it isn't effective until it dries & it tends to plug sprayers since it is suspended, but not dissolved in water & reports say it isn't as effective when applied that way. It's a fairly inexpensive & human/animal/environmentally-friendly but not bug-friendly substance; it has the consistency of flour. Folks use it to combat roaches, fleas, bed bugs, etc. Pretty amazing stuff! I used it to eliminate a carpenter ant nest in a dead Maple tree root; poof & now they're gone. It will also prevent wasps from nesting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I drilled holes in a coffee can lid & proceeded to test with small bits, working my way up. A #25 drill bit seems to create just the right opening. I dusted all of the devil bugs' favorite hang outs & courting arena. The stuff works - I dusted a sugar ant insurrection last night & that was that. I'm glad I found something that won't harm my dog or birds, kills & repels unwanted insect pests, is easy to apply, non-toxic, & is quite inexpensive. I imagine that the 4# bag I bought will last me a while. If I could find sufficiently-small micron screen to line a small coffee can & lid, I'm wondering if this wouldn't make an efficient, inexpensive desiccant for a gun safe, since it scavenges moisture so well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Any idea on price?
When I buy it next time, I'll purchase 10# on-line; I've seen food grade DE for < $15. Most health food stores carry it in smaller quantities, but they're almighty proud when they price it. I keep the bag I have in a spare, air-tight dog food bin I no longer use. I'll probably get a Gilmour pump with extended wand for dusting overhead areas where wasps like to nest, too.
 
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