Food Preservation

Post SHTF Pest Control



Pest Control

Pest Control

You can have enough food stored to ride out whatever Armageddon may come, but it won’t do you much good if it becomes infested with insects.

Sadly, most of the items that are available to take care of any infestations are almost as harmful to you as they are to those pesky critters.

So what do you do to keep roaches, ants, and weevils from making a meal out of your survival food?

One thing that I have personally found that works is Diatomaceous Earth.  Diatomaceous earth or D.E. is a fine white powder that to us feels much like talcum powder, but to an insect it is like walking over broken glass.

The powder is made up of ancient fossilized shells and silica.  It works by cutting through the waxy coating that insects have over their entire bodies.

As the coating erodes the insect is no longer able to hold water and quickly begins to dehydrate.

The best thing about D.E. is that unlike chemical insecticides, the insect cannot build up a tolerance to diatomaceous earth and it never expires.

Keeping this stuff around can help to stave off an insect invasion that would otherwise render your food supplies inedible.

The only drawback is that this is a mechanical insecticide, which means that it has to physically come in contact with the insect in order to work.

Essentially, you would need to sprinkle it anywhere that the bugs are likely to cross.

For roaches, this means under and on top of cabinets as well as around sinks, where they would go for water.

Ants are particularly tricky as they tend to avoid the stuff.  You can fool them by adding a big of corn starch or sugar to the powder and sprinkling it on top of the mound, they will think the D.E. is food and swallow it, drying them out from the inside.

If you choose to keep Diatomaceous earth around, make sure that you only get the Food Grade version of it and not chemical or pool grade.  Using anything other than food grade can be toxic and should never be used around food.

The brand that I use is Perma- Guard, they are EPA certified for use against a bunch of critters that would be interested in your food cache.

Do you have any other suggestions for Pest control in a post SHTF scenario?  Let me know!

Want to know more? Check out these related articles from our site:

Beneficial Insects for Garden Pest Control

How to Repel Pests with Essential Oils

Plants That Repel Insects and Pests

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  1. SchemaByte

    December 10, 2012 at 6:05 AM

    DE is awesome stuff. I recently wrote up pyrethrum, which was used by the Chinese back in the day to keep their stored grains safe. It decays quickly though, so for long term storage I’d still recommend DE as you wrote up.

  2. Rex

    December 10, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    D.E. is also good for keeping the moisture out of things like gun safes and ammo storage containers. It can also be used to kill fleas by spreading it on your carpet. It sinks below the carpet, to the pad, and when the flea egg hatches, they die of dehydration.

  3. Honey Badger

    December 11, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    Sugar and borax mixed together is a great ant killer.

    Mix 1/4 cup hot water with 1 tablespoon of borax (available as 20 Mule Team Borax in the laundry section)or boric acid (pharmacy) and add 1 cup corn syrup or honey. Mix all together and pour into jar lids. Put the lids in areas you’ve seen ants- check every few days and add a drop or two of water to keep the syrup from drying out. Ants will eat an amazing amount of the syrup (until they’re all dead).

    I’ve used diatomaceous earth for fleas on our St. Bernard quite successfully. Supposedly works as an antihelmenthic (wormer) too.

    I might try DE mixed with sugar for roaches as well, if they were a problem for us. It can also be mixed with cereal products (grains either whole or ground) to control infestations in your stored products. Harmless when eaten, but be careful of the breathing the dust.

  4. Ron C. Nelson

    December 11, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    I would suggest “BORIC ACID”-in powder form, (DO NOT let it get wet
    This is absolutely inert to humans, pets and vertabrates. It will only kill EXOVERTABRATES. Actually if you mix it with H2O you can wash out your eyes if you have an infection or irratant.
    Boric Acid is to exovertabrates much like Sulfuric Acid is to humans. It will literally eat the exo-skeleton of insects.
    Boric Acid is what is used in A L L mattresses to act as a fire retardant, to slow or stop fires. It is also one of the chief ingrediants in fire extinguishers.

    It is very cheap and can be purchased in any wal mart or department store like Do It Best, or hardware stores.

    Good luck
    The 44

  5. Hunt Foster

    December 11, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    I would be very caucious about spreading DE around.
    It is basically a fine silica powder, if one inhales it it can embed in the lungs and could induce silicosus, think asbestos and it’s effects.

    • Joe

      December 11, 2012 at 3:18 PM

      This is very true when it comes to the filter grade DE, if you are using the food grade diatomaceous earth this should not be a problem. The reason it is worse with the non food grade DE is that it is chemically and heat treated to increase the amount of crystaline silica, this is what causes silicosis, I would caution anyone that has heavy allergies and asthma from using it without a mask, simply because it has the same effect as breathing dust. This is what I have found in all of my research, does anyone else think otherwise?

  6. ron

    December 17, 2012 at 5:44 AM

    thanks to everyone for some really great idea’s, i need them.

  7. Richard

    December 22, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    So how do you use it. Put in your rice or bean containers for example? How much? Do you then eat it when you prepare the food or how can you remove it from the stored food?

    • Joe

      December 22, 2012 at 2:05 AM

      there are quite a few ways to use it, you can put it down as a physical barrier, or you can put it in your stored grains

  8. The One

    December 31, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY: That disclaimer being issued I would like to add that DE is also good for stabilizing dangerous homemade explosives like nitroglycerin and nitro-methanol in a SHTF scenario. Guhr-dynamite I believe is the name for it. Handy stuff in emergency situations.

  9. Terri

    January 4, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    Just started using doTERRA essential oils. Lemongrass oil works against pests and fleas.

  10. Geoff

    January 17, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    I feel the most important thing about Food Grade DE is being overlooked here…I take 1heaping tablespoon in the morning, and one again in the afternoon mixed with water because it’s health benefits are nothing short of incredible. It is a great natural detox and digestive system cleanser, including the colon. It also helps your body to produce callogen for healthier skin, and another nice benefit is that fleas and ticks just don’t want to bite you. It also boosts your immune system and kills intestinal parasites, as well as strangthening your aorta and helping your lungs to rebuild tissue. It’s also been proven to kill cancer, a scientist won the pullitzer back in the 30’s for proving that. Be very careful not to inhale the dust….it will dry out the membranes in your nose and won’t be good at all if it makes it to your lungs. Here is a link to all the benefits of FGDE…, and for some testimonials check this link…, I have been using this stuff for going on two years and you can’t even overdose on the stuff….it’s all natural, although the maximum effective doseage is 3 tbsp a day, any more will just pass through the system. You can also make a paste out of it with water and use it to clean your teeth, a facial scrub, etc…and if you can get your pets to eat it you won’t have to worry about fleas and ticks. Tha best thing of all…I picked up a 50lb bag at my local feed store for a whopping 34 bucks!!!

    • Geoff

      January 17, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      Oh, and I forgot to mention that it also boosts your energy level and you don’t want to take it anytime near bedtime..Iwould recommend you give at least 6 hours between your last dose and bedtime, unless you want to the flecks on the ceiling for a while, lol. When just starting out don’t be surprised if 2 things happen during the first couple weeks…you might lose up to 15 lbs as all that crap stuck in your intestines and colon are cleansed out…and it make you feel a bit rough during that time. If it’s too uncomforatble step it down to 1 TBSP a day for the first couple weeks. Oh, and you can also ass it into your baking and recipes for a healthy twist.

      • Teresa

        March 27, 2014 at 10:18 PM

        I totally agree. I have been using DE for alomost 3 years. Besides the benefits Geoff mentioned I have healthy fingernails & toenails. My hair has returned to it’s natural color of strawberry blonde and I’m almost 60. People ask me what am I dying my hair with. I just tell them it’s natural!

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