What is it?
There are two different grades of Diatomaceous earth (DE); Food grade and Pool grade.
Food grade diatomaceous earth is safe to use for the home, yards, and animals.
Pool grade diatomaceous earth is altered by high heat and is only safe to use in pools. This should never be given to animals.
DE is a naturally occurring siliceous sedimentary mineral compound from remains of tiny fossilized water plants called diatoms.
These plants have been part of the earth’s ecology since prehistoric times. 30 million years ago the diatoms built up into deep, chalky deposits of diatomite. The diatoms are mined and ground up to render a powder that looks and feels like talcum powder to us. It is a mineral based pesticide.
DE is approximately 3% magnesium, 33% silicon, 19% calcium, 5% sodium, 2% iron and many other trace minerals such as titanium, boron, manganese, copper and zirconium.
It is 100% ecologically safe to the environment and non-poisonous to man and animals. In fact, if you’ve eaten anything made with flour, you’ve most likely eaten DE.
It’s used in commercial grain storage as a means of natural, poison-free insect control.
Are there any safety concerns with Diatomaceous Earth?
Although it is totally non-toxic to ingest, you must wear a dust mask when applying it as it can irritate the mucous membranes in the nose and mouth. If adding it to feed, avoid breathing in the dust and use in a well ventilated area and mix into moist food before feeding.
Once the DE dust has settled it won’t bother you.
Animal Use – Suggested feeding and application rates:
Horses – 1/2 to 1 cup in feed daily
Dogs – 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon daily in moist food
Cats – 1 teaspoon daily in moist food
Chickens – 5% in feed
Goats – 1% in grain feed
Diatomaceous earth can be used as a dust or spray for control of bed bugs, fleas and other insects in buildings, on pasture, crops and trees.
The most important thing to do when using food grade diatomaceous earth to treat fleas or bed bugs is to ensure it is applied in all the places they love to hide.
· Around the borders of all the rooms in your house
· Along the door frame
· Under all furniture
· Any gaps in the walls
· On all sides of mattress & base
· On edges of sofa cushions, as well as under them
· Around the edges of the carpet
· Behind picture frames & mirrors
It is best to leave the DE for two to five days before vacuuming up and applying a second coat. By vacuuming every few days, you help to get rid of eggs and dead insects.
To use as a spray – Mix up to 1kg of DE with 4 litres of water with a wetting agent. Be sure to keep mixture agitated.
Trees – Sprinkle liberally on the ground around base of fruit trees. Tree trunks can also be painted with a mixture of DE, water and a wetting agent. This will inhibit migration of various fruit flies (maggot stage). When a spray is desired, refer to spray rates.
DE is completely harmless to animals, fish, fowl or food.
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