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is diatomaceous earth bad for composting worms (red wigglers)  RSS feed

 
Miguel Laroche
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I am raising worms right now to eventually feed my chickens and I am curious to know if DE is bad for red wigglers? If not I would encourage my source of horse manure to use it in the feed instead of commercial de-wormer and I would also use my chicken manure \ bedding \ DE in my worm farm. Thanks.
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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YES. D.E. does kill the bad guys, but being nondiscriminatory, it also kills the good guys.

There are worming medicines that do kill the bad guys in an animal's gut, but are harmless once passed through the animal's system. D.E., on the other hand, passes through the system unchanged. It is just as lethal in a pile of shit as it was in a pile of food.

 
Scott Strough
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Location: Oklahoma
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No, DE run through a horse as a dewormer does NOT hurt Earthworms. Different kind of worm. You do need to use food grade though. That is important for both the horse and the earthworms. PS Earthworms actually eat DE and use it for grit in their digestive systems. Ironically they are attracted to it. Certainly doesn't harm them.
 
Lawrence Edward
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Scott Strough wrote:No, DE run through a horse as a dewormer does NOT hurt Earthworms. Different kind of worm. You do need to use food grade though. That is important for both the horse and the earthworms. PS Earthworms actually eat DE and use it for grit in their digestive systems. Ironically they are attracted to it. Certainly doesn't harm them.


I agree with Scott. I use DE in my compost piles and the earth worms thrive just fine. I have several types including night crawlers and the red wigglers.
Btw, when using horse manure, make sure you let the compost pile sit for a week and cook before turning over. The horse does not thoroughly digest whole seed and the seed may germinate, thus creating unwanted weeds in a garden.
 
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