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Uses for Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

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Fleas, other insects, and parasites can be controlled with this natural substance. This is a guide about uses for food grade diatomaceous earth.


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By 9 found this helpful
September 10, 2013

Food Grade Diatomaceous earth will kill fleas, ticks, bed bugs and almost any other insect. If taken internally, it will also rid your dog of worms and parasites. It must be FOOD GRADE not the kind sold at pool supply companies.


You can dust it on your dog to kill fleas instantly, put it in your yard to treat it, and can also treat bedding and any other areas in the house.

I took in a dog that was on death row at a shelter to foster and he had ticks and fleas. We dusted his entire body with the Diatomaceous earth and within hours he was bug free. At the same time our 12 yr. old German Shepherd had bad worms and the Vet wanted him to take 3 type of medications that cost over $150. I started our GSD on D.E. (Diatomaceous Earth) and at 4 weeks his stool sample was clean and no signs of worms. The Vets office was shocked.

My husband and I also take it daily as 85% of people have parasites.

This site has a lot of information on using D.E. for both humans and pets. You can buy it anywhere as long as it is FOOD GRADE. I purchased PermaGuard D.E. as it was considered one of the best. I make no money from any of these sites.



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By 1 found this helpful
September 4, 2016

I keep my food grade diatomaceous earth in a shaker bottle. I often shake it on the the litterbox. This does two things, it gets the cats to lick it off their paws, and also it kills any bugs that try to get in the litter box.

I also sprinkle it anywhere I see bugs in the house, and on their canned food when I feed them in the morning.

Make sure you do not buy pool grade, but that you buy food grade Codex, DE. I buy mine from Tractor Supply.

Here is a great website with information on DE:

Have a great day, and I have enjoyed seeing all the pictures of pets that ThriftyFun pet-parents have posted!


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By 1 found this helpful
November 13, 2015

I found a cheap and easy way for spreading food grade diatomaceous earth. A squeeze bottle makes it easy to dust under leaves and hard to reach places to kill bugs. It works really well in the chicken coop for getting into the places any chicken lice could hide. It also works well for killing fleas in the carpet. Just buy a plastic condiments squeeze bottle, add some diatomaceous earth, and squeeze away. It has quite a range too! The one I bought was $0.80 at a local store. I like the squeeze bottles with a cap, so that it stays dry between uses.


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By 0 found this helpful
April 15, 2014

Diatomacious Earth (D.E.) is fossilized hard shelled algae. It has many uses, it is non toxic, and amazing! It's used in many things and may already be in your home in your tooth paste as a mild abrasive agent.

D.E. is used in a wide variety of ways. Make sure you buy the food grade D.E. The other grade is for doing things like filtering pool water. It is not as safe as food grade and comes in large chunks not a fine white powder like the food grade kind. D.E. is abrasive on a microscopic level. It pierces the skin and shells of invertebrates and anything with an exoskeleton. The bugs do not die instantly but slowly dehydrate. This makes it great for pest control.

Here are some uses:

  • Chickens: If you have chickens then using D.E. is simply a must! Sprinkle it in all cracks and crevices before putting bedding down and then add some after. Being sure to get it in the nest areas too. This helps kill off and prevent red mite infestations which are a common problem with keeping outside birds.

    Put some in any dust bath areas your birds like to bathe. You can also leave a litter box with some D.E. in it for the chickens to bathe in. It cleans their feathers and kills any lice and mites.

    Use it as an additive mixed in with their feed or treats. This helps kill internal worms. Chickens eat bugs and even mice (yes they are known to kill and eat mice!), so this helps keep their insides worm free. I sprinkle some on their food. With wetter foods like lettuce, apples, or kitchen scraps they seem to notice it less. I give it once or twice a week to keep my birds' insides worm free.

  • Dogs and Cats: For dogs and cats it is a great flea control. It kills fleas on your pet and inside houses. The trick is to sprinkle it in a thin layer on all carpets a couple times a month. Keep in mind it does not kill the fleas instantly. You can even sprinkle it directly onto your dog or cat. Move your hand slowly against the grain of their fur and sprinkle it close to the skin. Be sure to get the chin, around the ears (but not in their ears), and some worked in around the face, pits, and paws. It is best to do with a damp finger or cloth for their face to avoid irritation. Be sure to avoid their eyes and noses. This is usually best done outside of the house as it can leave a white film everywhere. Also sprinkle it in their bedding to help kill fleas there too.
  • Gardening: In the garden, you can use a special D.E. spreader. (It's bright yellow and looks like a mini leaf blower). There is also a great model that is a hand crank spreader. You fill the end with D.E. and it spreads it with a high velocity. The faster you crank the stronger the spreader spews out a fine cloud of D.E. Using it in the garden will kill a wide variety of pesky insects. Be sure not to use it in flowers where bees are present. D.E. can kill bees and lady bugs which are beneficial helpers in the garden.

    The D.E. spreader can shoot a cloud up to 20 ft. high which is great for trees and tall grasses. It also can direct the dust up or down which makes it possible to get under leaves without bending too far. It needs to be reapplied often in heavily winded areas and if it rains. It's best to spray plants well with water then spread D.E. to get it to last longer and really stick to the plant. D.E. is not water soluble, but can be knocked off the plants with rain. You can put it around a plant as a barrier to kill slugs and snails.

  • Household: There are numerous household uses of D.E. Use the spreader to blow it up under eaves and around the outside of the house to kill insects. It will need to be reapplied monthly or sooner if it's washed away by rain. Sprinkle it around doors and windows to create a barrier that will kill any insects that try to cross into the house. It is a great non-toxic alternative to sprays.
  • Nutritional Supplement: D.E. can be used as a nutritional supplement too. D.E. is mainly made of silica, a mineral our bodies need to absorb calcium. It can be mixed into drinks or smoothies a couple times a week. Silica deficiency isn't well documented yet, but one way you may notice a silica deficiency is an extreme aversion to even slight temperature changes. If going from warm to cool or cool to warm really hurts, it could be a silica deficiency. Taking D.E. twice a week or so could also help kill any type of gut worms. They happen in people too, more than we want to think about!


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February 16, 20170 found this helpful

Diatomaceous earth is very effective at killing ants. When ants' exoskeletons come into contact with it, they die. It also is relatively safe for humans and pets, making it an ideal solution for eliminating ants. This page is about using food grade diatomaceous earth for getting rid of ants.

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April 10, 20140 found this helpful

Food grade diatomaceous earth is an flea killer that is non toxic to humans and animals. This is a guide about using diatomaceous earth for fleas.

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April 10, 20140 found this helpful

A nontoxic natural insect killer that is completely safe for humans and animals. This is a guide about buying food grade diatomaceous earth.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
September 2, 2010

How do you use diatomaceous earth to preserve rice?

By Willie from Dallas, TX


September 4, 20100 found this helpful

That stuff is not for eating. It is to kill bugs. Rice keeps for years and does not need to be preserved. If you are worried about bugs getting in it, put it in a bug proof container.

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September 4, 20100 found this helpful

Using FOOD GRADE only diatomaceous earth in food storage containers, bins etc has long been the preferred way to prevent the little bugs that are found naturally in many foods including all or most grains from eating and destroying the foods intended for human consumption.

When consumed by any animal eating the grain, the diatomaceous earth will kill worms and other
parasites in the body. Just be absolutely sure you use the Food Grade quality and not that intended for swimming pools etc.

To get the best and most comprehensive information on today's use of diatomaceous earth instead of harmful chemicals, check out this website. http://www.tuir  introduction.php

Hope this helps you. I wouldn't keep house without it since we don't use bug sprays or the other harmful chemicals around our children and animals.


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December 17, 20110 found this helpful

Lilac- It is perfectly fine and safe to put in your grains to keep them pest free. Just make sure you are using food grade DE. I don't know what rice you are talking about that keeps for years, but I've seen brown rice at the store full of larvae. I've heard that brown rice keeps for about 6 months before going rancid.

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May 4, 20140 found this helpful

I would like to know if their food grade would help in cleaning your colon.

By Allen B.


May 13, 20140 found this helpful

Any fiber helps in cleaning the colon. Diatomaceous earth will kill any parasites present.

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May 3, 20140 found this helpful

Any advice for using food grade DE for getting rid of German cockroaches?

By Brad


May 5, 20140 found this helpful

We had a water leak under our kitchen sink and got German cockroaches -the first time we'd ever had a roach problem. I used borax-sugar for about three weeks with no benefit. DE took care of the problem within 3 days. I put it down and left it down for about a week before cleaning it up. That was 4 years ago, and we've not seen a roach since.

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