Does my marijuana plant have bugs?

A question from a fellow grower:

I am officially worried, does “Frank” have bugs?

Do you have a dog or cat? I have bad eyes, but I will take a stab at this. Perhaps a moth.

Where did you get your soil? Is it sterile, or dtorebought, or from the back yard?

Yes, I have 2 dogs and 1 cat. The soil is from my woods, very rich nutrient top soil.

It does look more like bug damage than say the typical damage from nutrient deficiencies. If you are not actually seeing bugs living on the plant or leaves and you are growing out doors, the bugs could be just visiting instead of infesting your plant. Look into a insecticide that is safe for fruits and vegetables. With a plant so young and so far from flowering most insecticides from a local garden supply that are safe for fruits and vegetables, especially the type that are safe to spray right up until a day or what-have-you before harvesting the hanging fruit are best. Once the plant is flowering, if you still need to use something, food grade diatomaceous earth is a great nontoxic insecticide powder applied to the entire plant including flowers with a hand held garden duster and that can easily be rinsed off the flowers right before harvest. Food grade diatomaceous earth is completely safe, it is added to food for all sorts of reasons especially for those wanting more calcium in their diet, as that is what diatomaceous earth is mostly made of.

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Thanks McG. I have had similar damage from dogs nipping at plants. However; Getting soil from the backyard is a good thing when it is rich fertile soil; However; Rich soil from the back yard can contain bugs.

Diatomaceous Earth actually is full of trace minerals, and pretty much covers the entire spectrum of useful healthy minerals; much like a Multi-vitamin. I buy 50 LB. bags off ebay for about $55.00.
Here are all the details. Better get a cup of coffee; This is a long one. Peace.lw

(1) 50 pound bag of Food Chemical Codex Grade diatomaceous earth. 50 pounds is packaged in a double lined paper bag.

Codex Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (aka Perma-Guard Fossil Shell Flour) has no expiration date as it is already the fossilized shell remains of the bottoms of fresh water lake beds thousands of years old.


Diatomaceous earth (DE) is the remains of microscopic one-celled plants (phytoplankton) called diatoms that lived in the oceans and lakes that once covered the western part of the US and other parts of the world. Diatoms (algae) are the grass of the oceans and lakes. Just as grass is the staple food of earth animals, diatoms are the food of the ocean or fresh water grazers. Magnified 7000 times, diatomaceous earth looks like spiny honeycombs. Diatomaceous earth is mined from underwater beds or from ancient dried lake bottoms thousands of years old. This means, diatomaceous earth has an unlimited shelf life provided you keep it dry.

Diatomaceous earth is mined, milled, and processed into a myriad of types for a large variety of uses. Filtering and filler are two main uses but diatomaceous earth also ends up in paints, cosmetics, drugs, chemical insecticides, etc. Because the milling produces different sized and shaped particles, it is important not to use the filtering type for agricultural purposes.

Pool filter grade diatomaceous earth has been heat and chemically treated and will poison an animal or human who ingests it, so it is always of utmost importance to only obtain food grade diatomaceous earth to use in and around your household. Our diatomaceous earth is organic OMRI listed Food Chemical Codex Grade. It is a non-treated, non-calcined fresh water Diatomaceous Earth. It comes from fresh water lake beds and is mined, crushed, sifted, bagged, pure white in color and contains less than .5% crystalline silica. There are food grade diatomaceous earth products that are yellow or tan in color which indicates higher iron content. Those which are gray in color contain more clay.

DE is EPA approved:

  •   To be mixed with grains to control meal worms as well as other pests and has been exempted from tolerance requirements as an inert, inactive ingredient in chemical pesticides
  •   For treatment of indoor and outdoor crawling insects

DE is USDA approved:

  •   As an anti-caking agent for animal feed

DE is FDA approved:

  •   For internal and external use and has a rating of food chemical codex grade


Kittens - 1/2 teaspoon
Cats - 1 teaspoon
Puppies - 1/2 to 1 tsp.
Dogs under 35 lbs. - 1 teaspoon
Dogs over 35 lbs. - 1 tablespoon
Dogs over 100 lbs. - 2 tablespoons
Cattle, Dairy Cows, & Hogs - 2% of dry feed ration
Chickens - 5% in feed
Goats & Sheep - 2% in grain
Horses - 1/2 to 1 cup in daily ration
*Humans - 1 to 2 heaping tablespoons daily

Internal feeding of food grade diatomaceous earth helps eliminate most intestinal worms, though possibly not all. It’s also excellent when fed daily to keep down fly loads, since food grade diatomaceous earth is eliminated from the body, exactly the way it went in, it helps reduce the manure odor and kills flies that come in contact with it.

Mix in animal feed or grain and/or feed free choice. Our goats, fowl, and dogs eat it free choice.

*Some recommend to dose humans by mixing food grade diatomaceous earth in a glass of water before bed or first thing in the morning, well before breakfast, to allow diatomaceous earth time to move through and absorb toxins from one’s digestive tract without interfering or absorbing nutrients from foods or liquids. Some report great results consuming 1 tsp. in a glass of water prior to each meal, 3x/day. Others prefer to take it at bedtime so DE can work while they are sleeping.

I take my DE in ½ cup of water, stir well and quickly drink. Our employees take their daily dose mixed in orange juice, coffee, smoothies, or protein drinks.

DE has a pH of 8.0 so alkalizes the body and soil.

EXTERNAL APPLICATIONS FOR LIVESTOCK, BARNS, COOPS, KENNELS, & LITTER BOXES: We use DE throughout the barn, fowl coops, and pastures. When mucking the barn and coops, I lightly, but thoroughly sprinkle diatomaceous earth absolutely everywhere! It keeps the kidding barn cleansed and dry. In between barn mucking, I sprinkle diatomaceous earth on wet spots to help dry them out and keep flies from laying eggs.

Food grade diatomaceous earth is excellent in the fowl coops – on the ground, in nesting/dusting boxes to prevent lice and mites. Sprinkle directly on fowl feathers to eliminate mites and lice. One thorough application of diatomaceous earth has their feathers growing back immediately.

Food grade diatomaceous earth applied to manure piles keeps fly loads down/eliminated.

Dairy cow owners put food grade diatomaceous earth in burlap bags, so cows can rub against it and sprinkle themselves with DE, which helps to eliminate flies that land on them, as well as lice, mites, and ticks.

Apply to moist kennel areas to reduce odors, dry the area, and prevent pest breeding.

Deodorizing and absorption are natural functions of diatomaceous earth, so add to kitty litter to absorb odors and keep the litter box drier.

A small amount of food grade DE applied to livestock water keeps algae from growing on hot summer days. Dosage rates vary depending on your climate, humidity, and temperature.

Food grade diatomaceous earth is great for compost piles, to prevent breeding pests and control odors.

We use food grade diatomaceous earth on the barn floors at kidding time, instead of using lime which can be toxic. This helps prevent flies and other pests from breeding and keeps the newborn kids healthy, happy, strong, and free of dis-ease.

HOME APPLICATIONS: If you are building a new home, barn, or other structure that is the perfect time to use DE and apply it on the inside of the walls, in the attic, etc. to prevent pesky bugs now and in the future.

Food grade DE can be applied along baseboards, under appliances, inside cabinets and drawers, inside wall outlets, lightly in carpeting, and anywhere you are having an insect problem. Test lightly in an area of your home that you want to apply it to make sure you and your family don’t have a reaction to it, then apply or reapply as needed.

Bugs lay larvae or eggs, so DE must be left out long enough for the hatchlings to come in contact with it. You can vacuum the treated areas once/week (make sure some DE is in the vacuum bag to dehydrate any live insects you vacuum up), then reapply if needed. Since most insects have a laying cycle of 7 to 21 days, we recommend treating inside the home for at least 30 days for best effectiveness.

If the insect problem is coming from outside the home, but the insects are now residing in your home, treat both outside the home and inside at the same time for maximum effectiveness.

YARD, GARDEN, & LANDSCAPE APPLICATIONS: DE’s minerals are great for the yard and gardens. DE has a pH of 8.0 so alkalizes the soil.

Apply DE to ant hills. Small ants may require a few applications to completely eliminate them, as they burrow new hills elsewhere, after we cover their initial hill with DE, but if we keep at it, eventually they disappear. Big ants are eliminated within two applications of a reasonable amount of DE applied to their ant hill. Ants in trash cans can be controlled by either painting DE around the bottom of the trash can or sprinkling it dry around it. They’ll go elsewhere, as they do not like walking over DE. Of course, you will need to find their home to completely eliminate them, but it will keep them away from areas you put DE. Sprinkled around the house foundation keeps new crawling insects from coming inside.

We mix food grade diatomaceous earth with water to paint our fruit tree trunks with it, like a white wash. The DE keeps ants OFF our fruit trees. 1 cup applied to ½ gallon of water works well. Be sure to stir frequently as the DE settles to the bottom. Good as a white wash for wood fencing too.

1 to 2 cups per gallon of water can be used to apply diatomaceous earth in a backpack or hose end sprayer for problem infestations of mites, aphids, fungus problems, etc. Food grade diatomaceous earth will turn whatever you paint or spray with it - white – so it may look like a “white” winter at your place.

Food grade diatomaceous earth will not destroy earthworms, if applied to the top of the soil in worm farms and the worms are allowed to work it into the soil on their own. It is actually beneficial to the worms and compost just make sure to allow the worms to do the work and do not bury/smother them in the DE.

OUTDOOR BUGS AFFECTED BY DIATOMACEOUS EARTH: Ants, fire ants, caterpillars, cut worms, army worms, fleas, ticks, bed bugs, cockroaches, snails, spiders, termites, scorpions, silver fish, lice, mites, flies, centipedes, earwigs, slugs, aphids, Japanese beetles (grub stage), bed bugs, fruit flies, corn earworm, cucumber beetles, corn borer, sting bugs, squash vine borers, thrips, loopers, etc.

Pests that lay eggs may require a second application to catch the hatching eggs.

MINERALIZATION: Natural food grade diatomaceous earth contains 15 trace minerals: calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, copper, zinc iron, phosphorous, selenium, etc. People note shinier coats, better overall health, better production, etc. in their animals who are fed food grade diatomaceous earth regularly.

FLY CONTROL: Used daily, DE helps eliminate our fly population. Sprinkle DE on livestock when flies are present. Dust barns, coops, after mucking, and dust top of manure/compost piles. We feed it daily to all dogs, cats, fowl, and livestock, so it comes out in the manure of each animal and prevents flies from growing in the manures.

Farmers hang burlap bags full of diatomaceous earth for the cattle to rub against and keep themselves dusted, which eliminates flies, mites, and other pests that land on them.

Diatomaceous earth can be put in a backpack sprayer mixed with water to spray your barn or coop buildings. Reapply DE when rain or water washes or wind blows it away.

GRAIN STORAGE & PROTECTION: Codex food grade diatomaceous earth is a healthy non-toxic alternative to chemical contamination of stored grain. When the grain is to be used, food grade diatomaceous earth can be easily removed, but need not be. Since it is “food grade”, makes no difference in taste or cooking quality, and adds 15 trace minerals. Suggested grain storage use: 1 cup of DE will protect 50 #’s of grain – 5 cups of food grade diatomaceous earth will protect 300 #’s of grain – 7 lbs. of DE will protect 1500 #’s of grain or seeds. One source advises only 1 to 2 #’s of DE per ton of grain.

A study done by ACRES, USA, Inc. advised that after 12 months of storage, the food grade diatomaceous earth treated material had 15 insects, compared to 4884 for malathion and 16,994 for untreated grain.

DIATOMACEOUS EARTH DETOX & CLEANSING BENEFITS: Food grade diatomaceous earth has been reported in scientific literature to absorb methyl mercury, e-coli, endotoxins, viruses (including poliovirus), organophosphate pesticide residues, drug resides, and protein, perhaps even the proteinaceous toxins produced by some intestinal infections. Food grade diatomaceous earth detoxes the body.

There are some features about food grade diatomaceous earth that correspond with its ability as both a digestive aid and a colon cleanser. The honeycomb skeletal form of diatomaceous earth is found, under microscopic evaluation to reveal a tendency to become filled and clogged with hard debris such as intestinal scale. Food grade diatomaceous earth has not been found to cause any insult to the mucosa or barrier wall.

Diatomaceous earth has a negative charge and bacteria has a positive charge, wherein it is believed by some that food grade diatomaceous earth sweeps bacteria out of the body by trapping it in its honeycomb shaped skeletal form.

We use diatomaceous earth to clean sinks, water troughs, etc., as it cleans like borax making clean up around the house, barns, kennels, and pastures quicker and easier.


· Dehydrates internal & external worms and parasites

· Controls bugs: fleas, flies, ants, bed bugs, ticks, mites, lice, aphids, silver fish, cabbage worms, spring tails, etc.

· 15 trace minerals – excellent for animals, humans, plants, and soil

· No feed withdrawal for milk or feed animals

· Decreased mastitis

· Reduced scours

· Decreased mortality

· Better feed conversion

· Helps detox heavy metals, e-coli, bacteria, viruses, etc.

· Promotes shinier coats, skin, nails, hair

· Digestive aid

· Colon cleanser

· Helps stop feces, dirt, and rock eating

· Digestive aid

· Better production

· Eliminates pests in stored grains

· Reduces manure odor

· Drying agent

· Reduces moisture and pests in barns, coops, kennels, litter boxes, compost piles, and other moist areas

· Anti-fungal properties – good for garden fungal growth, ponds

· Reduces overall animal stress

· Cost effective

· DE health benefits mean reduction in vet bills, feed bills, and disease

Food grade diatomaceous earth works in a purely physical/mechanical manner, not ‘chemical’ and thus has no chemical toxicity. Best yet, parasites don’t build up a tolerance/immunity to it, so rotation of wormers is unnecessary.

People often ask if it is safe, since it is labeled “Codex Food Chemical Grade Diatomaceous Earth”. This Codex rating was obtained because DE is safe for internal consumption and thus is labeled “Food” grade, BUT since DE “acts” like a chemical by dehydrating insects, it is exceptionally useful in organic farming, gardening, and home pest control. The “Chemical” Grade rating tells us it can be used like a chemical (since it simply dehydrates insects), but is safe for internal consumption as well. Without the “Chemical” rating, those wanting to use it for flea, tick, fly, ant, or other insect control would think it’s only useful as a feed supplement in food, so it was labeled “Chemical” grade since it acts like a chemical, but it is NOT a true chemical like a pesticide or insecticide. It is perfectly safe for oral consumption.


· DE manufacturers who work in diatomaceous earth mines 5 days/week advise inhaling it is not a problem (tho of course, don’t be snuffing it) and we have not had problems when inhaling DE in small amounts. IF you have asthma or some other lung ailment, either wear a mask or be very careful when using food grade diatomaceous earth.
· Do NOT get diatomaceous earth in the eyes. DE is drying to the eyes, so do NOT put it out when you or your pets are downwind of it. DE is drying to your skin, hands, and feet, just as it can be to your pets.
· Do NOT use heavily in carpet. Some advise too much DE causes vacuum problems.
· NEVER use pool filter grade or any diatomaceous earth other than those labeled “Food Grade” for yourself or your animals. It can poison or kill them.
· Some people experience a healing crisis (detox reaction) when beginning DE consumption. If this occurs, reduce the dose, till your body is cleansed, and then increase to the RDA.
· Remember, DE will kill beneficial insects as well, so don’t put it on your flowers where the honey bees go and use wisely.

DISCLAIMER: Any food grade diatomaceous earth uses other than those approved by the EPA, FDA, or USDA are strictly reports of what farmers, others, and we ourselves have done with diatomaceous earth. Additionally, the following material is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician or vet. This information is not intended as a substitute for the reader’s independent judgment and personal responsibility. Health issues are far too important to delegate to anyone else. It is highly recommended you seek information and counsel from as wide a variety of sources as possible, as in the end YOU make the decisions.
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is not EPA registered to be used as a pesticide in the state of California or Texas. We can ship to California, but we just need to inform you it does not have an EPA approved label. We cannot ship Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth to Texas.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Yeah, what Latewood said, lol. It works kinda similarly to boric acid, but without being toxic like boric acid can be.

Thank you everyone for the feedback. Frank’s new leaves are OK, perhaps the bugs moved on as I cannot see any.

My dogs and cat are always sniffing around the plant, If I spread diatomaceous earth around the base, am I endangering the kids?

Thank you ever so much.

No it shouldn’t be a problem as long as they are not getting tons of the stuff deep in their lungs, which could happen with sand easier when the shove their noses deep in and sniff around. And this stuff is even safer than regular fine sand if inhaled. I hope no one is a hypochondriac, but just so you understand how safe DE is, I’m linking a description of a disease caused by too much sand. For those a little prone to worry, to get this disease you would pretty much have to live an entire lifetime in a dust storm ridden desert dune environment, so even the regular dune-buggy riders and beach visitors are very safe. However this is also something people need to be aware of when working with perlite. Learn About Silicosis | American Lung Association