Insecticidal potential of zeolite (Clinoptilolite)

Since the discovery of Zeolite, its potential properties have been used in many different beneficial applications. Clinoptilolite zeolite has been studied as a foliar application and has shown success in reducing infestation by several common pests including: maize weevil (Sitophilus Zeamais), wheat weevil (R. dominica), cigarette beetle (Lasioderma serricorne), sawtoothed grain beetle (O. surinamensis), rice weevil (S. oryzae), polen beetle (Meligethes spp), and red flour beetle (T. Castaneum). In this study, powdered zeolite is applied as a foliar insecticide and its effects were measured.


Rice weevil on hulls of rice.

rice weevil (Sitophilus oryzae) (Linnaeus, 1763)
Photographer: Joseph Berger

Clinoptilolite zeolite was most successful in reducing the number of rice weevil (S. oryzae) and red flour beetle (T. Castasuem). Results after 21 days of contact with all zeolite dosages of (0.25, 0.50, 075 g/kg)  showed highest mortality rates with rice weevil (S. oryzae) at 97-100% and red flour beetle (T. Castasuem) at 94-100%. Another study showed similar results in the success of reducing the emergence of beetles in organic agriculture. Clinoptilolite zeolite was used to control pollen beetle (Meligethes spp), after two or three treatments the reduction of the beetle reached 50 to 80%. Additionally, studies showed success using zeolite as a foliar application on chickpea grains, with a 16% reduction of cigarette beetle (Lasioderma serricorne).

In conclusion, the benefits of using natural zeolite as a foliar pest control include thermal stability, zero chemical residue, and increased pest mortality rate. As a consequence zeolite has also been recognized as safe for human consumption. Specifically, it can be used on crops and agriculture safely (FDA GRAS Listings, 2006). Additional environmental conditions have an impact on the insecticidal effect of zeolite. The insecticidal potential of zeolite, therefore, merits further study.


1. (PDF) wholepaper. ResearchGate Available at: (Accessed: 1st January 2019)

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