Around the Yard

How to Use Flour to Keep Pests Off Plants

By: Tricia Craven Worley

You can use flour to stop grasshoppers and other chewing insects from eating your plants. Here’s how:

  • Place all-purpose flour in a garden duster or saltshaker.
  • Jiggle the plants to get the insects moving, then dust the insects and the leaves of the plant with the flour.
  • After two days, rinse the flour off of the plants using a fine spray from a hose to keep from harming plants.

The best time to dust the plants is in the morning while the plants are damp with dew. Do not use self-rising flour. The salts in this type of flour may damage your plants and they aren’t good for the soil.


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12 Comments on “How to Use Flour to Keep Pests Off Plants”

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  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    July 7th, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    Hi, Annie,

    Gardening questions can be tricky since the rules can change based on the region. We would suggest contacting your local Master Gardeners association.
    Master gardeners train on a range of topics so they can provide advice, at no charge, for people in their area.

    Thanks for your question, and good luck!

  • Annie Says:
    July 7th, 2018 at 11:59 am

    I read through Internet ( gardening tips) on how to get rid of insects eating the leaves of lettuce, cucumber , tomatoes leaves. Their suggested to dust the vegetable garden with equal amount of baking Sosa and flour. The second day all the leaves were burnt and wilted. Please help on how to revive them . Thank you I need help I worked so hard . Please can you answer me via my email. Please as soon as possible. Thanks.

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    June 27th, 2018 at 9:48 am

    Hi, Lynne!

    We have used this method with positive results directly on flowers. As Danny says, “Flour on flowers means no grasshoppers.” 🙂

    Thanks for your question.

  • Lynne Wright Says:
    June 22nd, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    Can grasshoppers be deterred by sprinkling flour directly on the ground of a garden, even before planting? Thank you for any help you can give.

  • Daisy Mae H. Says:
    June 18th, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    People if you salt your plants they WILL DIE! If you want to keep anything from growing on that soil then you use salt (ex. Salt sprinkled heavily on ground before placing weed barrier fabric and wetting down, rock on top for landscaping opional, keeps weeds/anything from growing where applied for a while) salting soil makes it useless to grown anything, use special plant food or minerals specifically for gardening not SALT

  • kay Says:
    June 16th, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Beware!! this will make your produce unsafe for celiacs!!

  • pat michael Says:
    August 12th, 2017 at 10:40 am

    what is the best way to get rid of Japanese beetles from blackberry bushes

  • Julie Says:
    February 22nd, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    Hi there! I am very excited to try this in our garden ? My question is, does this method actually kill the critters or just keep them at bay for the time being. Also I always feed the grasshoppers that I do snag from my garden to my chickens, so that being said, if the grasshoppers are full of flour would it still be safe to let my hens have them? Thank you ?

  • Lynn Says:
    December 25th, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Lauren, remember they said not to use self-rising flour because often it has salt in it which can damage the plants. It sounds like your use of salt might have dehydrated the leaves.

  • Lauren Says:
    September 4th, 2016 at 3:55 am

    Hi there
    I dusted some of my plants with a salt and flour mix to try get rid of cabbage worms, and now my cucumbers and squash leaves have all wilted?? Please HELP!!!

  • Mary Says:
    May 15th, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    I am looking to improve the impermeability on the outside of my home after flooding. I will appreciate your sugestions

  • Judy Lynn Kern Says:
    May 11th, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Is brown rice flour better to use

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How to Use Flour to Keep Pests Off Plants