Uses for Food Grade Diatomacious Earth

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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April 23, 20140 found this helpful

You should be extra care full when using Diatomacious Earth as it is a very dangerous product for human or animal health when it is inhaled. It is as dangerous as asbestos or silice for the lungs and produces the same effects. Use masks when using the product. Do not breath when opening the bags. Do not put the product in places where it will be carried in the air by wind or ventilation. Read carefully the use instructions and get yourself informed on the ways Diatomacious Earth kills larvae or bigger animals (usually by causing internal bleedings). And most of all use the product within its range of action and do not innovate. As far as human health is concerned there is not a single use of Diatomacious Earth than can not be replaced with a well tested and long known remedy.

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December 29, 20180 found this helpful

Use as a nutritional supplement in drinks or smoothies? Not in my lifetime.

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