If you have a garden at home, you may need pesticides to control pests, and kaolin spray is a pretty good alternative. It mainly contains kaolin clay or kaolinite, a type of mineral that has multiple functions. Reportedly, in China, controlling pests with the substance has been done since 2000 B.C.E. The latest studies have proven that the spray can even improve the photosynthesis process and works well at reducing bugs and diseases on plants.
What is Kaolin?
The pest-controlling spray is linked to China clay or also well known as kaolin clay. The mineral is used in fine china and porcelain production and the manufacturing of paint, paper, heat-resistant materials and rubber.
Kaolin clay/kaolin/kaolinite got its name from a Chinese hill known as Gao-ling (Kau-ling) or “high ridge”, where the pure clay was mined for the first time by some French Jesuit missionaries in the 1700s. Today, the uses of kaolin clay extend to pest-control material in the garden.
The Origin of Kaolin Spray
In nature, many animals generally avoid insect bites and parasites by taking “dust baths”. It has been that way for thousands of years, and it goes the same as well with pest control in the gardens. In China, beginning from 2000 B.C.E., mineral-based dusting has been used to eliminate insects on plants. Since then, people have been using many types of minerals for pest control in their gardens.
Nowadays, we mix kaolin with 1-6% water content, stickers and spreaders to make a spray that can effectively be used for agricultural insect and disease control. Scientists started their studies on this in 1999, finding that the spray leaves particle layers proven to be beneficial on plants and pest reducing.
Some variants of kaolin spray can even create a form of reflective white membrane all over the surfaces of your plants. It can enhance the photosynthesis process and cut back the plant stress being exposed to U.V. heat—by reflecting the infra-red light spectrum, resulting in improvement on the plant crop and fruit quality. Not to mention that the white coating can also protect the whole plant from insects and diseases.
In the U.S. and some other countries, kaolin sprays are commonly used not only for pest extermination but also for protection against U.V. radiation. Commercial products of this spray are mostly used in the western part of the U.S. to control pests on pear trees and to protect apple trees from sunburns. In fact, in other parts of the world, the spray has been widely known to solve pest problems of pomegranates, citrus fruits, and also vegetables.
No worries, kaolin is harmless to human health and has been well known for its multiple uses in many industries such as paint, paper, and pharmaceutical.
How Does Kaolin Spray Work?
As previously mentioned, kaolin as a pest control spray can protect pests and sunburn on plants. It doesn’t stop there, though, because kaolin can also improve fruit colors. It works by creating a thin, white-powdery layer that wraps the entire fruits and leaves on the plants. This layer is responsible for glueing and irritating insects, ending their scavenging over the plant fruits and leaves.
Even though this treatment is not always effective on all types of plants against all pests and diseases, it still does a good job on average. It works out especially well on plants such as zucchini, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, cucumbers and squash to defend them against:
- Cucumber Beetles
- Colorado Potato Beetles
- Squash Bugs
- Flea Beetles
- Japanese Beetles
- Apple Maggots
- Stink Bugs
- Codling Moths, and other similar pests.
The treatment will also prevent damaging birds from coming for some tasty bugs as their food. You may either buy a spray or make your own yourself at home.
How to Prepare & Use the Kaolin Spray
To prepare and use a kaolin spray, you have to mix all the substances thoroughly and apply them with a sprayer so that the mixture can be spread evenly on the whole parts of your plants. This spray should be applied before the pests come and can be used until it is time to harvest. The yields have also to be washed before being consumed.
The following methods may help you mix kaolin and other substances to form a natural pesticide:
- Mix 1 liter of kaolin clay and 1 tablespoon or 15 ml of liquid soap with 7.5 liter of water.
- Apply the mixture on your plants every 7 – 21 days for four weeks at the least.
- The spray should effectively work out after 3 applications if the mixture has been made in the same doses.
How Often Should You Apply the Spray?
Speaking of application, you should then plan to apply your spray solution after making it. Apply it to your garden plants at least twice a month. Otherwise, you will have to spend all day getting rid of pests yourself. Please, keep in mind that you have to spray the solution evenly onto the plants as even only a leaf left behind could still invite the pests to come.
Next, you also have to be careful when watering your plants. It is best not to use a sprinkler as you could wash away the kaolin layers on your plants. Just water your plants close to the soil since this way will also help prevent fungal infections.
For additional information, you can always check out when it is time to reapply the spray. It is when the fine white coating on your plants:
- It starts to wear off
- It gets washed away by a heavy pouring rain
- When some new leaves begin to grow
The Benefits of Choosing Kaolin for Your Pest Control
There are some benefits of deciding to use kaolin clay as your pest control alternative, such as:
- It is non-toxic, so it is harmless to you and your family
- It protects your soil well
- It protects beneficial insects for your gardens
- It also protects the water and air in your environment from the pollution of chemical pesticides
Now that you have known quite a lot about kaolin spray. Get your spray at many online shops, or you can also make your spray with the ingredients mentioned above.