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  • Anyone Use Kaolin Clay Spray?

    So, my small, rural town is having an infestation of Biblical proportions of leaf footed bugs. I’ve never seen anything like it in all the decades I have lived here. You hear them buzzing in trees when you go outside. You see tons of them flying around when looking out the windows. Man, if it’s not one thing, it’s another! 😣

    So, in looking at things to protect my fig trees from them, one of the suggestions is kaolin clay. I need something that I can use for a lot of trees, over 100 at the moment. The good thing is that they’re all small right now, so I can also use row covers once I get some sort of frame structure up. The other good thing is that the bugs do not seem to be going after my fig trees at the moment, just have found a few on them, but they are all over the juniper trees in my area. (They did eat all my vegetable plants though.)

    I’m trying to take preventative action while I can for the figs to hopefully prevent a major problem. I’ve never used kaolin clay spray before, and am currently doing research online about it. But, I thought I’d ask here if anyone has used it before.

    How well did it work for whatever your purpose was? Did it have any detrimental effect on your trees or plants or on the fruit? What did you use to apply it? Any other tips?

    Thanks in advance for your help!
    𓂃𓂃☽︎​ᨏ𓂃High Desert Foothills𓂃ᨏ☼​𓂃𓂃
    Zone 9ã • Southern CA

  • #2
    I’ve never used kaolin for plant related stuff. Kaolin is pure clay powder. Porcelain has the highest kaolin composition in ceramic clays we use. I don’t know if the kaolin for plant use has been fired or if it’s raw. If it’s raw clay it’ll slake and melt away as soon as it gets wet. If it is raw you might be able to get it a lot cheaper going to a ceramic supply company. I’ve bought EPK (type of kaolin) for glaze making before and I think a 50lb bag was $20 or $30.

    My warning on using kaolin is the same as diatomaceous earth powder. Silicosis is a real threat. The particulate from silica powders can stay suspended in the air for up to 4 to 6 hours. Since you’ll be outside you’ll probably be ok after 45 minutes or so. But while you’re spreading it I would strongly recommend you wear a respirator and safety glasses.


    • RosyPosy
      RosyPosy commented
      Editing a comment
      This is good information, thank you!