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Diatomaceous Earth = Magic Unicorn Dust

 
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Location: KY
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(If you have not read Paul's article http://www.richsoil.com/diatomaceous-earth.jsp then you should go read it - I will wait for you here

I love food grade diatomaceous earth. My family loves diatomaceous earth.

What makes DE so magical that my 6 year old son will remind me that he has not had his "dirt" today and ask me for some DE?

Here is where the magic lies for me: If I could condense down millennia of climates, micro climates, weather patterns, flaura, fauna, geological changes, polar shifts, ice ages, etc. etc. and put them into a mug and drink them every day, what would I be drinking? Magic Unicorn Dust? No. Diatomaceous Earth. Yes, of course.

DE is mined from the earth. Each DE mine is unique because it articulates the geological history of that specific region. Each DE mine has its own "brand" of DE that has high silica , but also unique trace mineral content that can only be found from that specific mine.

Our family has used just about every "brand" of DE that is out there. For us, we decided on the DE that has a high level of calcium bentonite (volcanic ash) in it because the miracle of calcium bentonite is almost as great as that of DE.

Regardless of which brand of DE you like best, I am sure that you will find it about as magical as unicorn dust.






 
pollinator
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I had heard of fairy dust. I wasn't familiar with the idea that unicorns made dust as well.

I'm planning to try some DE.
 
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Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
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Justin Wood wrote:(If you have not read Paul's article http://www.richsoil.com/diatomaceous-earth.jsp then you should go read it - I will wait for you here

I love food grade diatomaceous earth. My family loves diatomaceous earth.



Yep. That is a really good article too. I had not thought of eating the stuff, but maybe I will now. How do you disguise it and could it damage the enamel of my teeth?
Because it has to be dry to be effective, I was looking for a place where the chickens would have access that stayed dry. They have a favorite spot in the yard where they scratch and roll in the dirt. In the summer or in between rain spells, I do that. I have placed a roof over that spot and they love it. The rest of the time, I use it in the nest boxes of the chicken coop. My girls don't have lice or worms and their coat is nice and shiny as a result. The rooster was more of a problem because he never goes in the nest boxes and I've never seen him roll in the dirt. I suppose he must sometimes but I wanted him to have some too. At night, when he was roosting, I sprinkled a good handful on his back. He did not object. I think I'll keep doing that when I think he needs it. I have sprinkled some on the floor too but I hate to throw it away along with their sawdust bedding.
 
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We use it in the lapidary(making big stones into little precious stones)we use it for polishing stones when the price of the usual chemicals go up too high.  Put on the polishing laps(leather discs or denim discs)onto the machine.  Put some of the powder in a bowl and spray with water.  Use a toothbrush to apply to the polishing cream to the disc.  Turn on the machine and press the stone against the leather disc.  When the powder dries out use the toothbrush to apply more wet powder to the disc.  Continue working until the stone is polished.  This is a rather quick explanation but you will get the general idea of the application.  Have been doing this for 30 plus years.
You can use it in a rock tumbler but the tumbling powders are much superior and come in various grits.  It is only used when you don't have something better to work with.
 
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Location: Eastern Great Lakes lowlands, zone 4/5
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I read about diatomaceous earth a while ago and re-read Paul's article on it now. It does sound awesome. I always wondered though, isn't it as not-practically-renewable as fossil fuels given it is produced over geological timescales and then mined?
 
Posts: 149
Location: NE ARIZONA, Zone 5B, 7K feet, 24" rain
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Justin Wood wrote:
What makes DE so magical that my 6 year old son will remind me that he has not had his "dirt" today and ask me for some DE?



While it's uses are many, I would warn people not to think of it as an everyday item to consume, and probably would not get kids thinking it's magic candy.  Eating it every day is totally unecessary, and some say the abrasive nature of the powder will break down the mucous lining of organs, including the intestines.  

For effective parasite usage, I would recommend it about once a week for a severe probem, and maybe once a month while there are no parasites visible and no symptoms.  Parasites are easily destroyed and it takes time for them to re-establish in your system.

I love it as an insect barrier and have used it to get rid of crickets, roaches, grasshoppers, JJapanese beetle grubs, scorpions, and other insects with an exoskeleton.  

Bed bugs is my number one favorite use.  I sprinkle a little on a pillow case and sheets, as I've had them bite my wife at even large hotel chains.  It does not seem effective on anything small, or anything large.
 
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We dust our dogs with DE during flea season, works great.
 
gardener
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Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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When we replaced carpet with tile we put a layer under the baseboards of each room.  No ants in those rooms even when wet weather has driven them inside in other areas.
 
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I love DE. Great in the house or outside for creating a barrier that critters won't cross -when it is dry.

20 + years ago I rented a room to someone who brought in a flea infested kitten. I dusted the entire house with DE. I also put shallow pans of oil under the night lights in every room, and the fleas jump at the lights in the dark, fall into the oil - :) . I kept it up for 2 months just to get through all their cycles. Chemical free and flea free. Cover the dog/cats nose and mouth, and mine, and rub in their coat.

Put a solid line of it behind kitchen cabinets/appliances or anywhere ants or other unwelcomed critters may try to gain access.

On dry ground put down a perimeter and slugs and other crawlies won't cross it.

Here is where I get confused - my understanding is when it gets wet it stops working, so it has to get wet in the digestive tract - no? How is it effective when it is consumed?
 
Dean Howard
Posts: 149
Location: NE ARIZONA, Zone 5B, 7K feet, 24" rain
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It's not so much that DE stops working when wet, but as used outdoors, rain will tend to settle it/ dilute it/ push it into the ground.  It's the sharp bones of tiny creatures and is effective when swallowed... maybe more effective when used in a glass of water, yet seems to work well in chicken feed, horse pellets, dog food and the like.  Nearly all graineries put it in with the grain.  It's not like we can choose to avoid it.  Just sometimes our parisites get out of control.  It's the absolute most effective thing we can use on parasites and super low-cost tout-bout... or ta boot, as the english say.
 
Lee Gee
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In another post - https://permies.com/t/99272/critters/Dust-bath#818458  -  Redhhawk confirms DE is ineffective when wet.

DE doesn't do anything when it gets wet but when it dries back out it works again, this is because food grade DE is so fine a powder and it is the sharp cutting edges on the diatom that do the damage to insects.

- Redhhawk

How is Magic Unicorn Dust effective internally, or during any application, when it is wet?
 
Bring me the box labeled "thinking cap" ... and then read this tiny ad:
Dairy Farming: The Beautiful Way by Adam Klaus
https://permies.com/wiki/43161/Dairy-Farming-Beautiful-Adam-Klaus
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