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Subject: Diatomaceous earth and pest control

Diatomaceous earth and pest control

From: Jim Croft <jrc>
Date: Monday, May 16, 1994
As part of the integrated pest management practices to be employed in
new extensions to our herbarium storage areas, we are considering the
use of Diatomaceous Earth or Diatomaceous Silica (marketed here as
'Dryacide Sorbtive Dust Insecticide').

The intention is to apply this amorphous silica dust under benches and
in cavities where crawling insects are likely to traverse or occur, the
theory being that the silica abrades their exoskeletons, clogs their
joints, blocks their spiracles and makes life generally unpleasant, and
eventually kills them through dehydration and suffocation.  Apparently
the method is used extensively in stored grain areas.

We would be interested in hearing from any other collecting institutions
who have use used or considered this substance as part of their insect
control policy for their stored collections or office areas.

If you decided not to use it we would like to know why. If you decided
to use it we would like to know if it worked, how well, and for how

The major ingredient is non-toxic and essentially inert, however we
would like to know if there are any adverse effects on the use of this
substance both in relation to people and to mechanical equipment
(microscope mechanisms, computer fans diskette drives, etc.).

I believe Diatomite is registered as an insectide for home garden and
domestic animal use in the US.

Any advice will be appreciated.

Jim Croft
Herbarium CBG
Australian National Botanic Gardens
GPO Box 1777, Canberra, ACT 2601, AUSTRALIA
Fax: +61-6-250-9599
Biodiversity Directorate
Australian Nature Conservation Agency

                  Conservation DistList Instance 7:82
                   Distributed: Monday, May 16, 1994
                        Message Id: cdl-7-82-008
Received on Monday, 16 May, 1994

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