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diatomaceous earth  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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Welcome to Permies, Theresa!
Diatomaceous earth is only an inhalation hazard, not an ingestion hazard. This means that if you dust your cat with it, make sure you and the cat don't breathe it in, but afterwards, if the cat licks it off her fur while grooming it's not going to be a problem. In fact, it might be a benefit. I find that putting it in something like a salt shaker makes it easy to sprinkle where it is needed without getting a lot of it airborne. If you massage it into the cat's fur, that should make life a lot more difficult for any fleas.
 
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Ok. So I spread the DE and some Borax all over my floors (linoleum and carpet) and now I'm wondering how long it takes to start working? And how long should I leave it down?
 
John Elliott
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Let it work for a few days and then vacuum up a selected area with a vacuum that has one of those cups you can empty, like a dustbuster. Examine the contents of the cup and if you can see lots of dead fleas among all the powder (borax and DE and regular dirt) you have sucked up, then you will know that it is working. If the fleas are still kicking, better leave it down for a few more days.

Remember that the vacuuming may leave some eggs and cocoons behind, so read up on the flea's life cycle, and keep up with the DE/borax treatments until there are no longer any hatchlings that can re-infest your area.
 
Theresa Ferrari
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Ok. Thanks for all your help with this. I've noticed that we aren't getting quite so many on us tonight, but there are still a few. I'll leave it down for another day at least. Thanks again.
 
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Does anyone know if its safe to use ON the animals?



Yes, you can rub it into their fur. Just be cautious about breathing the dust particles.
 
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hello all,
I was wondering about how long it takes to kill the insects such as ants or scorpions once it gets on them? on another note:Living in Northern Az I have a little problem with the ants and have lots of scorpions but don't really want to kill the scorpions. Does this work as a border blocker to the scorpions? ie if I put a border of it around the house will it turn them away or do they not notice it until they get it on them? Was thinking this isn't that great of a scorpion repellant if they walk thru it, still make it into the house and don't die for a couple of hrs, then I still have the potential to step on one and get stung.. which I have stepped on one in my socks and it didn't sting me. Does it affect ants? these suckers(all kinds but black and red ) are such a pain and really hard to extinguish it seems. Thanks in advance for anyone's helpful responses.
 
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Hi

Our 10 year old daughter is constantly getting head lice and no matter what kind of toxic or organic gick we put on her head they re-surface within a week usually. I was wondering if DE works for head lice and if so if anyone has guidelines for using it.

Cheers

Monte
 
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Monte Goulding wrote:Hi

Our 10 year old daughter is constantly getting head lice and no matter what kind of toxic or organic gick we put on her head they re-surface within a week usually. I was wondering if DE works for head lice and if so if anyone has guidelines for using it.

Cheers

Monte



My understanding is that DE would work to kill the lice, but you cannot get it wet. Also, you don't want to inhale it. So, since you cannot get it wet and you don't want to inhale it, using it to kill head lice by putting it on your child's head would probably be a very, very bad idea. Don't forget to use food grade. My experience with head lice has been that you need to use the lice killer, pick out the nits from her head, and do a very very thorough cleaning of your entire home. And then do all of it again a couple of days later. And if you want to be truly cautious, do all of it again a couple of days after that. Also, if she's catching it from an outbreak at her school you may want to keep her home for a little while (or have her keep her distance from the other kids, at the least). But using DE isn't going to be a solution for you in this case. Sorry. :/
 
Monte Goulding
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Thanks @Daniel... sounds close to what we are doing already is the best we can do.. I think there's some kids in her class that never get treated...
 
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Location: Mid-Michigan
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DE and Torrential Rain?

My patch of French Icicle radishes has been plagued by pavement ants.
They tunnel down along side each radish top, which quickly withers.

I gave it a liberal coat of DE.... and it's been raining for days, since I did so.
Should I re-apply DE once things dry out, or will it keep working once the sun drys out my raised bed?

 
Daniel Crockett
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Audrey Barton wrote:DE and Torrential Rain?

My patch of French Icicle radishes has been plagued by pavement ants.
They tunnel down along side each radish top, which quickly withers.

I gave it a liberal coat of DE.... and it's been raining for days, since I did so.
Should I re-apply DE once things dry out, or will it keep working once the sun drys out my raised bed?



My understanding is that it should work fine once it is dry again, but I would re-apply it, any way, in case the rains have washed it away.
 
Audrey Barton
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Location: Mid-Michigan
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Daniel Crockett wrote:

Audrey Barton wrote:DE and Torrential Rain?

My patch of French Icicle radishes has been plagued by pavement ants.
They tunnel down along side each radish top, which quickly withers.

I gave it a liberal coat of DE.... and it's been raining for days, since I did so.
Should I re-apply DE once things dry out, or will it keep working once the sun drys out my raised bed?



My understanding is that it should work fine once it is dry again, but I would re-apply it, any way, in case the rains have washed it away.



Thanks very much, Daniel.
 
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This is great info and finally something that works on my 2 dogs. I hate fleas!

I want to ask if it will dry my dogs skin out because it doesn't look like that is happening but i have heard/read that it will. My dogs love it when i put/rub it on them and they love to lick any up that spills.They like to roll in it and lay on it. This is strange but tells me that it is ok and good for them.

My experience is after applying the fleas on my pets die within 2 days.I use a flea comb and the fleas are easy to remove and squish.

Anyways thanks for the article and the thread.
 
steward
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This might be a stupid question but do you put the DE on the ground/soil near the plants that are infested, or just all over the plant, leaves and all?

 
Cassie Langstraat
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Also I had a friend ask me if this would work? It has Calcium Bentonite in it and I can't see "food grade" on the packaging. So I am just really not sure. Could someone answer this for me?

Diatomaceous Earth with Calcium Bentonite
 
Cassie Langstraat
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One more thing, I have some people telling me it is going to kill all the bugs in my garden and that is bad. Like even the bees? Is this true? Any help on my last three posts would be great.
 
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I purchased some DE online; ad says Food Grade (FG), receipt says FG but it does not say so on the bag, nor does it say Pet Safe as reviewed on Amazon (same brand). Can I be sure it is actually FG? It seems like it usually says so on the package. It's called "Insect Dust", says "do not contaminate water, food or feed by disposal", and the word "pesticide" is mentioned 2x in the hazard section. It contains 85% DE Silocon Dioxide, 10% other element dioxides & 5% moisture. It's St. Gabriel's Organics. I am very suspicious that it's actually FGDE. BTW I have since found the 50 lb bag of FGDE at a farm store. Thanks for your expertise.
 
Daniel Crockett
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Jani Reser wrote:I purchased some DE online; ad says Food Grade (FG), receipt says FG but it does not say so on the bag, nor does it say Pet Safe as reviewed on Amazon (same brand). Can I be sure it is actually FG? It seems like it usually says so on the package. It's called "Insect Dust", says "do not contaminate water, food or feed by disposal", and the word "pesticide" is mentioned 2x in the hazard section. It contains 85% DE Silocon Dioxide, 10% other element dioxides & 5% moisture. It's St. Gabriel's Organics. I am very suspicious that it's actually FGDE. BTW I have since found the 50 lb bag of FGDE at a farm store. Thanks for your expertise.



I have no first-hand experience with these products with which to advise you on your purchase, however "common sense" would dictate that, if you've found the 50lb. bag of Food Grade DE at a farm store and you find the bag you purchased online to be suspicious, dispose of the smaller bag and purchase the 50lb. one you know is the product you want. If it were something that didn't have the potential to cause serious illness (if it's not Food Grade) I might say something different. However, when in doubt, assume it's poisonous.

Hope that helps. :/
 
Jani Reser
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Thanks... I did further research, called the company & demanded a refund. They do not recommend for use on pets, veg. gardens, etc, but have reviews online from people who have. Very misleading advertising which could be harmful. I am guessing they won't post my review but the BBB have been notified.
 
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When we use something simple like DE to get rid of our bugs in the yard, aren't we getting rid of all bugs, both pest AND beneficial? When we look to use a broad spectrum insecticide, natural or chemical, we're taking our yard out of balance.

I must be missing something but this seems like a basic "out of balance with nature" solution. I understand non-chemical... help me understand how having a yard devoid of bugs is a good thing?
 
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How is DE best applied for outdoor use?
 
Cassie Langstraat
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So I find that a lot of people are not really up for reading this entire thread so a bunch of questions get re-asked. Which is TOTALLY fine and amazing. BUT, Paul's podcast about DE just got re-released for free so I bet a lot of these questions could be answered by listening to that. Here it is.

Podcast 004: Diatomaceous Earth
 
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Location: Wisconsin
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I searched for millipedes and came up with no result. Anybody think this stuff would control my millipede problem. Chckens are on the agenda maybe next year, im sure they would gobble them up but wondering if sprinkling this stuff would take them out, they seem exoskeleton-ey?
 
Posts: 517
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Can natbordet explain the huge procedurerne between Europe and America? The link in Pauls article is like $22/50 pounds vs £55/4 kg = $92/9 pounds. I realise that Europe is often more expensive than US, but this is mad!
 
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From what I have read Food Grade DE must be dry to be effective on insects. I was wondering if a person were to use DE in a glass of juice, and drank it, would it then
become ineffective in killing internal parasites because it would be "wet". Is this correct? Tank you!
 
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I would LIKE to know that if you eat the Diatomaceous Earth! WILL it stop the bedbugs from biting you!?!
 
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Location: Delaware, USA
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@ Jonathan

Eating DE will not do anything for bugs. I doubt that it would even do anything for worms in your gut. It may have other beneficial effects when ingested, but it will not do anything for bugs.

DE works on bugs chiefly by cutting their chitinous exoskeletons. Being cut, or abraded, the insect then dehydrates and eventually dies. Insects that groom are the most susceptible to DE.

Bedbugs do not groom. They do not dehydrate easily. They get all their hydration from the blood they ingest. A fully fed adult can live for over a year without feeding again.

The best thing to do for bedbugs seems to be a regular routine of activities that control and eventually eradicate the pests. Given the insects durability, these routines may need to be kept up for a long time. With heat being the best weapon, the best timing for bedbugs eradication would seem to culminate in the summer months.

Wash bedding frequently. Wash in hot water. Dry bedding at the highest heat setting on a clothes dryer. If you hang out your laundry, or even if you use a dryer, bag the bedding in a black trash bag. Leave the bag in the sun or stash it in the car. High heat kills the pest. Freezing will work also, but you must get to 20° F or less.

Use beg bug traps. This is actually my own idea based on observations. Bedbugs like to hide in small spaces. I notice they love to hide in the books I sleep with (I fall asleep reading each night). Make "books" from white paper and leave then about the room, in the bed, etc. Collect them every so often and bake them in the oven before reuse. Incidentally, bedbugs will survive 2 minutes in a microwave oven.

Lastly, keep a roll of scotch tape on the night table. Use a plain white sheet on the bed. The adults are easy to spot. The nymphs are tiny, perhaps 1/10th of a pin head. When you see a bedbug moving on the sheet, stick it up with a spot of tape. Fold it over to seal the pest inside. Bedbugs seems to emerge about an hour or so after you get in bed. Set an alarm to wake you for bedbug patrol. Dispose of them by baking or burning.

If you must get rid of furniture (the solar baking method could save an expensive mattress) then spray paint "bedbugs" on it so someone else won't be tempted to take it and feed the critters elsewhere.

OK, so I've now given a lot of info on bedbugs. I would love to hear from others who have had success getting rid of this pest.
 
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How good is this brand of food grade DE? I was told by someone from the company that their product has less than 1% of crystalline silica...
 
Niel Hern
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Never mind, I just went ahead and bought the Nature's Wisdom brand.

It's been six days: I've been combining 1 heaping tablespoon in an 8 ounce glass of water and have been drinking it every morning on an empty stomach. How long should I be waiting until I eat something? Has anyone else been getting green stool? I am currently taking an iron-free multimineral and will start taking a multivitamin soon. Would this interfere with the diatomaceous earth, or vice versa? Could it be harmful for me?

So far, I've been fine for the most part. The queasiness I've experienced on and off after drinking the DE-water concoction has been minor, although I can say that yesterday and today it's been stronger and I've even felt a little dizzy. I don't know if it's just a coincidence, but I also feel like I haven't been as tired as I usually feel and my chronic indigestion has calmed down.
 
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I found a product in the 'home depo' equivalent where I live (Israel) that says it is 100% silicon dioxide.
Is this DE and can I use it for bed bugs?
Thanks guys
 
Niel Hern
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Elisheva Cohen wrote:I found a product in the 'home depo' equivalent where I live (Israel) that says it is 100% silicon dioxide.
Is this DE and can I use it for bed bugs?
Thanks guys



The kind sold at Home Depot and similar stores is not the food grade, safe-for-human-consumption kind. The food grade kind should have less than 2% of crystalline silica. The kind that isn't food grade is generally used to clean pools. The food grade kind can be consumed by humans and some animals and can be used to kill bugs.
 
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My three favorite uses for DE are to kill the squash bugs in the garden (which even my Guinea Fowl won't eat). Works great if you just sprinkle 1/2 cup all around the base of each plant. It has to be repeated once a week, or after heavy rain or watering.
I do have chickens and I sprinkle liberally in the chicken house, including the roosts, nesting boxes, walls, and floor. Good on their favorite dust bath areas as well.
The third one is for anyone building a new home or remodeling an older one: sprinkle DE inside the wall cavities, around the tops of the foundation/sill plate, and under and behind the kitchen and bathroom cabinets. No bugs...ever...in your home. Before I knew about DE, I used Boric Acid inside the walls. It works, but not forever. I don't know why, humidity may reduce the effectiveness of Boric Acid (Roach Pruff). And some people have issues with using Boric Acid at all. Boric Acid will kill plants, apparently. DE has worked in my 20 year old vacation cabin which is usually empty. No spiders, no ants, no roaches, and the little bit I sprinkle on the window sills keeps the inevitable flies under control as well. It used to go by the name of "stone flour" or "rock flour". Great stuff. I question the effectiveness of mixing it in liquids or eating it. The "sharp edge" quality is gone once it is wet. So don't think you can mix it in a pump sprayer and spray your plants. A "garden duster" is perfect for it, though. I have dusted it in crawl spaces, in the garden, in the chicken house, in the attic, etc. When I need to clean out an area like an attic, I try to dust it a week ahead, No surprise spiders running around when you move boxes!
I use this duster:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dustin-Mizer-Garden-Duster-with-Deflector-use-For-Insecticide-or-Garden-Dusts-/181245542342?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a33137fc6
It's a little more expensive, but the dust can be focused on a specific area rather than just out into the air all around.
 
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Hello Permies forums,

I'm a junior in high school at Christ Chapel Academy in Virginia. This semester I'm conducting a research project about pest control (specifically DE). As part of our project we must contact experts with experience and knowledge in our area of research.
After researching DE I became interested in DE's insecticidal properties against different insects. However, though I do have a general idea of the insects vulnerable to DE, like those discussed in this thread and on the RichSoil website, I do not know good examples for testing DE. For example, I am planning to test DE against crickets, mealworms, and ladybugs as examples of orthoptera, destructive larva, and beetles, respectively. I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could recommend to me whether these insects would be good for testing DE or not. I'd happily and appropriately attribute any contributions to the forum in my project.

I appreciate any help - I've looked around, and it seems like expert advice is difficult to gather in a relatively short time period.
 
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I live near a DE mountain area. If you were to get D rocks and smashed them, would it ba safe as food grade?
 
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id the D.M. i ineffective when wet- then how does it work in a digestive tract that is loaded with fluids? If it is a calcium (hard) substance- wouldnt it still be sharp wet? would it not work like wet sand paper and still cut?

it worked well on my headlights removing the yellow film-- while wet...

so will it work wet? can i dump lbs of it around my chicken coups for calcium supplementation and bug killing

what are your thoughts?-- teh only time it didnt work super great was killing fleas on my dogs-- and they were walking around like socks loaded with chalk-- it did help- but they were by no means
flea free- until they got washed with dawn and repowdered.
 
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Has anyone had any success using the Food Grade DE for Ghiardia? Have a basset that has been on meds for years for it and nothing has helped. We just started yesterday trying this.
 
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Yes it will remove the mucus and bacteria from the the intestinal lining and beware your poo will turn green - if it turns yellow or has green little floating balls in it - my research has told me that it is cleaning the bile duct, liver, gall bladder..
 
Cloey McCollom
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rae kirk wrote:Has anyone had any success using the Food Grade DE for Ghiardia? Have a basset that has been on meds for years for it and nothing has helped. We just started yesterday trying this.



New to this sorry for posting 2 times - giardia is basically caused from worms and the intestines not functioning correctly with soft smelly stools - some meds don't clear this up as vets/docs expect - we have a dog with the same issue who is taking it he pooped worms for several weeks - and the poo turned green part of the time - he has been having a normal poo then a soft poo , sometimes it is mucus/worms -the odor comes and goes- he has been on this for 5 weeks now but the odor and texture is better - he also has a lump ( he is 13 yrs old) the lump was bigger than my out stretched fingers could cover - not only is the poo getting better but the lump is shrinking and he lets us touch it , he wouldn't let us get close to it before - and remember we all go through detox symptoms - he might lay around and just feel icky ( I understand it can take 6 mo for our systems to completely detox and sometimes even an old bone breaks from years prior can get achey again) - our dog that would trot with a limp to run, had a huge lump on his chest and had soft poo that stunk like road kill is now actually running ( not like a puppy but you can tell joints aren't so stiff) the lump is shrinking and less sensitive and his poo is getting better ( I forgot to mention the awful breath he had which has also gotten better and his teeth are actually whiter too) - I am personally addicted to this stuff . lol - this is just what it has done for 1 dog out of 3 dogs,2 cats ,3 chickens and my husband and I - all 10 of us have had our own experiences
 
rae kirk
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Shawna McCollom wrote:

rae kirk wrote:Has anyone had any success using the Food Grade DE for Ghiardia? Have a basset that has been on meds for years for it and nothing has helped. We just started yesterday trying this.



New to this sorry for posting 2 times - giardia is basically caused from worms and the intestines not functioning correctly with soft smelly stools - some meds don't clear this up as vets/docs expect - we have a dog with the same issue who is taking it he pooped worms for several weeks - and the poo turned green part of the time - he has been having a normal poo then a soft poo , sometimes it is mucus/worms -the odor comes and goes- he has been on this for 5 weeks now but the odor and texture is better - he also has a lump ( he is 13 yrs old) the lump was bigger than my out stretched fingers could cover - not only is the poo getting better but the lump is shrinking and he lets us touch it , he wouldn't let us get close to it before - and remember we all go through detox symptoms - he might lay around and just feel icky ( I understand it can take 6 mo for our systems to completely detox and sometimes even an old bone breaks from years prior can get achey again) - our dog that would trot with a limp to run, had a huge lump on his chest and had soft poo that stunk like road kill is now actually running ( not like a puppy but you can tell joints aren't so stiff) the lump is shrinking and less sensitive and his poo is getting better ( I forgot to mention the awful breath he had which has also gotten better and his teeth are actually whiter too) - I am personally addicted to this stuff . lol - this is just what it has done for 1 dog out of 3 dogs,2 cats ,3 chickens and my husband and I - all 10 of us have had our own experiences



Thanks for sharing that info on your dog's results. It is remarkable. Hope he is cured now.

However, I must correct you in one point if I may, Giardia is not "caused from worms". Giardia infection is a waterborne infection and can be caused by parasites found in backcountry streams and lakes, as well as in municipal water supplies, swimming pools, whirlpool spas and wells. Giardia infection can also be transmitted through food and person-to-person contact. (source - Mayo clinic but you can find numerous other sources for this info on how animals and people can get giardia)

Then once the cysts are in a particular area, such as the kennel, their bedding their bodies, their surroundings (yard , house etc), they easily get re-infected and cycle starts again. We see our dog licking her bottom often and there is really no way to stop that and if she has cysts in her colon that she is expelling, she is just reinfecting herself. We don't know how our dog got giardia. It could have been from a walk in the neighborhood from a visit to the vet, etc. Once on her paws or licked form water or other places, she got infected at some point. She has NEVER had worms from day one. She came from a rescuer (a lady that rescues dogs from puppy mills) and we adopted her as a young pup. she was de-wormed before we got her. We kept up with her shots after we adopted her. She never had any type of worm. About after 1.5 - 2 years old , she developed the mucous stools and at times projectile diarrhea and we had her tested and discovered giardia. Its been a battle ever since.

We are on about week 3 of the DE. We hope it helps.
 
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