How to Use Flour to Keep Pests Off Plants

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.


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

  2. 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!!!

  3. 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.

  4. 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 ?

  5. 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

  6. 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.

    • 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.

  7. 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.

    • 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!

  8. Something is eating all my newly planted geraniums…. biting off the flowers (no evidence left behind) and leaving the stems. No damage to leaves. Dirt on the deck around planter. Also, last year I put my spathyphillum out on the deck and some critter bit the stems right at the leaf level and left the leaves all over the deck. Even though I plant plants that are supposed to keep the critters away, something is still getting at them. There are shallow holes dug in my yard, too. Could these be related? I live in an area with lots of woods, meaning squirrels and other critters. Any help?

  9. I need help. Caterpillars a.have decimated my basil plants. What can I use to deter them?


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