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Introducing Diatomaceous Earth or Diatoms into your indoor hydroponic grow room

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Diatoms have been around on our planet for a very long time, evidence shows even maybe before the Jurassic period. Diatoms are microscopic algae that live in both fresh and salt water. They are major contributors within the food chain and they are most probably the major source of new energy in our ocean’s ecosystem. A unique feature of diatom cells is that they are covered with a cell wall made of silica called frustules. Diatoms are capable of absorbing dissolved silicate from the environment and transforming it into elaborate solid structures.

Diatoms under a microscope

Diatomaceous earth is a 100% natural, is non-toxic and is a safe substance even for human consumption. Diatomaceous earth is mined from the ground and is a powder produced from crushed Diatom fossils. These fossils are the skeletal remains of Diatoms. These remains cut the insects and their waxy outer shell covering their bodies. Diatomaceous earth scratches through this shell causing the insect to dehydrate, leading to eventual death.

Diatoms are used for pest control and as an insecticide within farming and agriculture for its protective benefits. In fact Diatomaceous earth has been used in Asia to control insects in farming for over four hundred years. It only takes a few days for most insects to die from contact with Diatomaceous Earth. Diatomaceous earth is crushed and grounded into a fine powder and observed through a microscope, the Diatom’s particles resemble bits of broken glass. Deadly to any insect but completely harmless to animals, fish, fowl or food and is safe to use indoors even around the kitchen as well as outdoors, and in your garden. In fact it is even used in some toothpaste, or on people’s bed mattresses to eradicate bed bugs, and can even be massaged into your pet’s fur and their beds to kill fleas and ticks.

Diatomaceous Earth is effective against many types of insects like ants, aphids, broad mite, red spider mites, ticks, fleas, fruit fly, green fly, caterpillars, black fly, slugs, silverfish, and snails to name but a few.

Diatoms are best used as an insect preventative, and should be strongly considered especially if the floors of your indoor grow room is on carpet. If your unable to remove the carpet in your room (as mites love carpet and is a ideal breeding/hibernating ground for them) when constructing your grow area/room, there is a way around this by thoroughly dusting your Diatoms along skirting boards, carpet edges, under furniture, carpets and rugs and in even inside your cupboards and shelving etc.

Diatomaceous Earth resembles talc

Another way to utilise Diatomaceous earth is by sprinkling it around the base of your plants, this will deter and stop any insects coming up through your soil. The other useful way to use Diatoms is by dusting/spraying it onto your plants leaves and stems. There are expensive dusters and powder sprayers on the market but if you’re strapped for cash the alternative is to wear a mask and cover your hands with the Diatomaceous earth and simply clap your hands around and near the plant you’re working with. A little pain staking task and may take some time but its well worth the trouble.

So remember Diatomaceous earth, the next time you cleanse your indoor garden set up and want that added bit of security or insect repellent. It can be considered as the barbed wire for your indoor hydroponic grow room against insects. Lastly Diatomaceous earth can be used alongside most other insect repellents and should be introduced into your preventative regime.