Natural Diatomaceous Earth (DE)- aka, food grade diatomaceous earth is the remains of microscopic one-celled plants (phytoplankton) called diatoms that lived in the oceans and lakes that once covered the western part of the US and other parts of the world. These deposits are mined from underwater beds or from ancient dried lake bottoms.
Diatomaceous earth is mined, milled, and processed into a myriad of types for a large variety of uses. Filtering and filler are two main uses but DE also ends up in paints, cosmetics, drugs, chemical insecticides, etc. Because the milling produces different sized and shaped particles, it is important not to use the filtering type for agricultural purposes.
Pool filter grade diatomaceous earth has been heat and chemically treated and will poison an animal or human who ingests it, so it is always of utmost importance to only obtain food grade DE to use in and around your household.
Diatoms (DE) are the grass of the oceans and lakes. Just as grass is the staple food of earth animals. Diatoms (algae) are the food of the ocean or fresh water grazers. Magnified 7000x, DE looks like spiney honeycombs.
Food grade diatomaceous earth is EPA approved to be mixed with grains to control mealworms and other pests and has been exempted from tolerance requirements as an inert, inactive ingredient in chemical pesticides. Food grade diatomaceous earth is EPA approved against indoor and outdoor crawling insects. Food grade diatomaceous earth is USDA approved as an anti-caking agent for animal feed. Food grade diatomaceous earth is FDA approved for internal and external use and has a rating of Food Chemical Codex Grade.
DISCLAIMER: Any uses other than those approved by the EPA, FDA, or USDA are strictly reports of what farmers, others, and we ourselves have done with DE. Additionally, the following material is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician or vet. This information is not intended as a substitute for the reader's independent judgment and personal responsibility. Health issues are far too important to delegate to anyone else. It is highly recommended you seek information and counsel from as wide a variety of sources as possible, as in the end YOU make the decisions.
Our Diatomaceous Earth is Codex Food Chemical Grade. It is a non-treated, non-milled, non-calcined fresh water form of diatomaceous earth and is pure white in color. There are food grade diatomaceous earth products that are yellow or tan in color which indicates a higher iron content. Those which are gray in color contain more clay.
INTERNAL PARASITE CONTROL: Natural DE makes a very effective natural insecticide. The insecticidal quality of DE is due to the razor sharp edges of the diatom remains. When DE comes in contact with the insects, the sharp edges lacerate the bugs waxy exoskeleton and then the powdery DE absorbs the body fluids causing death from dehydration.
Diatomaceous earth has been used for at least two decades as a natural wormer for livestock. Some believe DE scratches and dehydrates parasites. Some scientists believe that DE is a de-ionizer or de-energizer of worms or parasites. Regardless, people report definite control. To be most effective, DE must be fed long enough to catch all newly hatching eggs or cycling of the worms through the lungs and back to the stomach. A minimum of 60 days is suggested by many, 90 days is advised for lungworms.
DE works in a purely physical/mechanical manner, not ‘chemical’ and thus has no chemical toxicity. Best yet, parasites don’t build up a tolerance/immunity to its chemical reaction, so rotation of wormers unnecessary.
*CLINICAL OBSERVATIONS OF FEEDING CODEX FOOD GRADE DE TO DOGS, O.C. Collins, DVM, Midland Animal Clinic And Hospital, Midland, TX: In clinical observations of feeding dogs over 35 lbs. 1 tbsp./day and under 35 lbs. 1 tsp./day of DE, within seven days all ova disappeared from stools. DE controlled Ascardis (Toxacara canids), Hookworms (Anclyostoma caninum), and Whipworms (Trichuris vulipis).”
*RESULTS ON FEEDING CODEX FOOD GRADE DE TO WALKING HORSE, L. Thomas, Trainer, L. Frank Roper Stables, Winter Garden, FL: "With horses fed approximately 5 oz. of DE mixed in the feed twice daily, the following results were observed: Stopped scours even on horses that had not responded to any other medications. Noticeable fly reduction. Horses showed an increase in appetites. Weight gain due to better feed conversion. Reduction in manure odor. Elimination of any internal parasites. Healthier appearance."
Daily recommended feeding rates:
Kittens - 1/2 teaspoon
Internal feeding helps eliminate most internal worms, though possibly not all. It’s also excellent when fed daily to keep down fly loads, since DE is eliminated from the body, exactly the way it went in, it helps reduce the manure odor and kills flies that come in contact with it.
Mix in animal feed or grain and/or feed free choice. Our goats, fowl, and dogs eat it free choice.
*Some recommend to dose humans by mixing DE in a glass of water before bed or first thing in the morning, well before breakfast, to allow DE time to move through and absorb toxins from one’s digestive tract without interfering or absorbing nutrients from foods or liquids. Some report great results consuming 1 tsp. in a glass of water prior to each meal, 3x/day.
EXTERNAL APPLICATIONS FOR DOGS & CATS: Lightly rub into pets coat, fur, and bedding to dehydrate fleas, lice, mites, and ticks. Dust them lightly, but thoroughly, as in order to kill the parasites, they must come in contact with the DE. Note, external application can take up to 72 hours to dehydrate external parasites.
Lightly sprinkle in household carpet. Leave for 2-3+ days, then vacuum. Please do not get heavy handed with the DE in your carpet, as I have heard from some people advising it causes problems with their vacuum.
EXTERNAL APPLICATIONS FOR LIVESTOCK, BARNS, COOPS, KENNELS, LITTER BOXES: We use DE throughout the barn, fowl coops, and pastures. When mucking the barn and coops, I lightly, but thoroughly sprinkle DE absolutely everywhere! It keeps the kidding barn “cleansed” and dry. In between barn mucking, I sprinkle DE on wet spots to help dry them out and keep flies from laying eggs.
DE is excellent in the chicken and fowl coops – on the ground, in nesting/dusting boxes to prevent lice and mites. Sprinkle directly on fowl feathers to eliminate mites and lice. One thorough dusting of a bird is enough to eliminate mites and lice. Just make sure to dust the nesting boxes and the ground as well for added assurance that the mites won't spread to the rest of the flock.
DE applied to manure piles keeps fly loads down/eliminated.
Dairy cow owners put DE in burlap bags, so cows can rub against it and sprinkle themselves with DE, which helps to eliminate flies, that land on them, as well as lice and mites.
Apply to moist kennel areas to reduce odors, dry the area, and prevent pest breeding.
Deodorizing and absorption are natural functions of DE, so add to kitty litter to absorb odors and keep the litter box drier.
A small amount applied to livestock waterers keeps algae from growing on hot summer days.
Great for compost piles, to prevent breeding pests and control odors.
YARD, GARDEN, & LANDSCAPE APPLICATIONS: DE’s minerals are great for the yard and gardens.
Apply to ant hills. Small ants may require a few applications to completely eliminate them, as they burrow new hills elsewhere, when we plug their initial hill with DE, but if we keep at it, eventually they disappear. Big ants are eliminated within two applications of a reasonable amount of DE applied to their ant hill. Ants in trash cans can be controlled by either painting DE around the bottom of the trash can or sprinkling it dry around it. They’ll go elsewhere, as they do not like walking over DE, so you’ll need to find their home to completely eliminate them, but it will keep them away from areas you put DE. Sprinkled around the house foundation keeps new crawling insects from coming inside.
We mix DE with water to paint our fruit tree trunks with it, like a white wash. It keeps ants OFF our fruit trees. 1 cup applied to ½ gallon of water works well. Good as a white wash for wood fencing too.
1 to 2 cups per gallon of water can be used to apply DE in a backpack or hose end sprayer for problem infestations of mites, aphids, fungus problems, etc. DE will turn whatever you paint or spray with it white – so it may look like a “white” winter at your place.
OUTDOOR BUGS AFFECTED BY DIATOMACEOUS EARTH: ants, fire ants, caterpillars, cut worms, army worms, fleas, ticks, cockroaches, snails, spiders, termites, scorpions, silver fish, lice, mites, flies, centipedes, earwigs, slugs, aphids, Japanese beetles (grub stage), fruit flies, corn earworm, cucumber beetles, corn borer, sting bugs, squash vine borers, thrips, loopers, etc., etc.
MINERALIZATION: Natural Food grade DE contains 15 trace minerals: calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, copper, zinc iron, phosphorous, selenium, etc. People note shinier coats, better overall health, better production, etc. in their animals who are fed DE regularly.
FLY CONTROL: Used regularly, DE has pretty much eliminated our fly population here. Sprinkle on livestock when flies are present. Dust barns, coops, after mucking and throw on top of manure/compost piles. DE is our only fly preventative. We no longer use or need fly bags, fly predators/parasites, fly tapes, or sprays.
Farmers keep hanging burlap bags full of DE for the cattle to rub against and keep themselves dusted, which eliminates flies that land on them.
DE can be put in a backpack sprayer mixed with water to spray your barn or coop buildings. Reapply DE when rain or water washes or wind blows it away.
GRAIN STORAGE & PROTECTION: DE is a healthy non-toxic alternative to chemical contamination of stored grain. When the grain is to be used, DE can be easily removed, but need not be. Since it is “food grade”, makes no difference in taste or cooking quality, and adds 15 trace minerals. Suggested grain storage use: 1 cup of DE will protect 50 #’s of grain -- 5 cups of DE will protect 300 #’s of grain -- 7 lbs. of DE will protect 1500 #’s of grain or seeds. One source advises only 1 to 2 #’s of DE per ton of grain.
A study done by ACRES, USA, Inc. advised that after 12 months of storage, the DE treated material had 15 insects, compared to 4884 for malathion and 16,994 for untreated grain.
MORE DIATOMACEOUS EARTH BENEFITS: Food grade DE has been reported in scientific literature to absorb methyl mercury, e-coli, endotoxins, viruses (including poliovirus), organophosphate pesticide residues, drug resides, and protein, perhaps even the proteinaceous toxins produced by some intestinal infections. DE detoxes.
There are some features about DE that correspond with its ability as both a digestive aid and a colon cleanser. The honeycomb skeletal form of DE is found, under microscopic evaluation to reveal a tendency to become filled and clogged with hard debris such as intestinal scale. It has not been found to cause any insult to the mucousa or barrier wall.
DE has a negative charge and bacteria has a positive charge, wherein it is believed by some that DE sweeps bacteria out of the body by trapping it in it’s honeycomb shaped skeletal form.
There is no withdrawal period when given to milking or feed animals. No toxins. Decreased mortality, increased milk production, decreased mastitis, better feed conversion.
DIATOMACEOUS EARTH CAUTIONS:
· DE manufacturers who work in DE mines 5 days/week advise inhaling it is not a problem (tho of course, don't be snuffing it) and we have not had problems when inhaling DE in small amounts. If you have asthma or some other lung ailment, we suggest wearing a mask when applying DE.
· Do NOT get DE in the eyes. DE is drying to the eyes, so do NOT put it out when you or your pets are down wind of it. DE is drying to your skin, hands, and feet, just as it can be to your pets.
· Do NOT give to very small pregnant animals such as cats, guinea pigs, etc. and do NOT feed continually to babies or small animals such as cats, hamsters, etc. DE can be fed on a continuous basis to larger animals and livestock for continuous parasite control and mineralization.
· Do NOT use heavily in carpet. Some advise too much DE causes vacuum problems.
· NEVER use pool filter grade DE around animals. It can poison and/or kill them.
· Some people experience a healing crisis (detox reaction) when beginning DE consumption. If this occurs, reduce the dose, till your body is cleansed, and then increase to the RDA.
· Remember, DE will kill beneficial insects as well, so use accordingly.
DIATOMACEOUS EARTH BENEFITS SUMMARY:
· Natural wormer – eliminates many parasites without chemicals