Uses of Lime Powder for Insects

It's a natural, nontoxic element that works wonders on many levels in outdoor spaces. Lime for pest control has been a favorite for controlling flying and crawling insects as well as bigger prey. There are a few ways in which lime powder is most effective.

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Uses of Lime Powder for Insects

What Is Lime Powder?

Lime used for agriculture is made out of naturally occurring limestone that is mined from areas around the world. It is revered for its high concentrations of calcium and magnesium carbonate. Soils with low pH levels benefit from a dose of lime powder.

It not only helps the soil to rise to basic levels for plant life to thrive, but it also makes the soil an uncomfortable place for insects to hang out.

How Lime Powder Works as an Insecticide

Lime powder dries out an insect's moist body parts, making it a natural insecticide. As the tiny particles of the lime powder attach to the bodies of the insects, it suffocates them within minutes of contact.

Lime Powder for Pet Protection

Pets who play outdoors are subject to fleas that naturally hang out in long grasses, dirt piles and gardens.

Fleas love moisture and leaf debris. Make sure to rid your yard of piles of decaying leaves or branches and spread a layer of agricultural lime as a final step in the cleaning process. When the lime is raked into the soil, it will dry out the bodies of any fleas that remain as well as any fleas that are attempting to set up new digs in the recently cleared area.

Freshly cut lawns can also take a sprinkle of lime powder to rid the blades of clingy fleas hoping to find a new home.

Insects in the Garden

Whether they fly in or crawl in, lime powder in the garden can stop pests in their tracks. For sensitive areas of the garden, mix a scoop of lime powder with a scoop of ashes from your indoor or outdoor fireplace. Pour it in a ring around stalked vegetables or bunches of flowers.

Worms, snails and other insects that crawl their way up a plant's stems or burrow down into its roots are stopped cold by a ring of lime powder mixed with ash. The powder attaches to the insect's moist body and suffocates it.

This method of using lime for insect control is best for:

  • Potato beetles
  • Corn rootworm
  • Slugs
  • Tomato worms
  • Cabbage worms

Lime Powder Insecticidal Spray

A good basic recipe to keep flying bugs away from your blossoming fruit, vegetables or flower plants uses lime powder with insecticidal soap. This protects against infestations of spider mites, whiteflies, aphids and other tiny flying pests that can take over a plant and stunt its potential before you even notice there is an insect issue.

  • ¼ cup of agricultural lime powder
  • 2 tablespoons of insecticidal soap
  • 2 cups of water

Pour the mix into a 24-ounce spray bottle and label it properly. This heavy solution can be dangerous to small children and pets if ingested. Spray it on branches and leaves that show signs of pests or at the first notice of a winged insect flitting around your crops.

Lime for Rodent Control

Many people think to use lime in order to keep rodents from setting up colonies in and around the home and garden areas. Lime for pest control can be dangerous because what suffocates small rodents and causes rats to be uncomfortable can also disturb house pets when left out in large amounts.

Using lime to control rodents or snakes is best done on large properties where household pets won't come in contact with the lime powder.


Kimberley McGee

Kimberley McGee

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.