Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) 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 diatomaceous earth 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 diatomaceous earth 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, diatomaceous earth looks like spiney honeycombs.
INTERNAL PARASITE CONTROL: Food grade diatomaceous earth makes a very effective natural insecticide. The insecticidal quality of diatomaceous earth is due to the razor sharp edges of the diatom remains. When diatomaceous earth comes in contact with the insects, the sharp edges lacerate the bugs waxy exoskeleton and then the powdery diatomaceous earth absorbs the body fluids causing death from dehydration.
Food grade diatomaceous earth has been used for many years as a natural wormer for livestock. Some believe diatomaceous earth scratches and dehydrates parasites. Some scientists believe that diatomaceous earth is a de-ionizer or de-energizer of worms or parasites. Regardless, people report definite control.
Food grade diatomaceous earth works in a purely physical/mechanical manner, not chemical and thus has no chemical toxicity. Best yet, parasites dont build up a tolerance/immunity to its chemical reaction, so rotation of wormers unnecessary.
*CLINICAL OBSERVATIONS OF FEEDING CODEX FOOD GRADE DIATOMACEOUS EARTH 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 DIATOMACEOUS EARTH 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 food grade diatomaceous earth feeding rates:
Kittens - 1/2 teaspoon
Cats - 1 teaspoon
Puppies - 1/2 to 1 tsp.
Dogs under 35 lbs. - 1 teaspoon
Dogs over 35 lbs. - 1 tablespoon
Dogs over 100 lbs. - 2 tablespoons
Cattle, Dairy Cows, & Hogs - 2% of dry feed ration
Chickens - 5% in feed
Goats & Sheep - 2% in grain
Horses - 1/2 to 1 cup in daily ration
*Humans - 1 heaping tablespoon daily
Internal feeding of food grade diatomaceous earth also helps eliminate most internal worms, though possibly not all. Its also excellent when fed daily to keep down fly loads, since food grade diatomaceous earth 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.
EXTERNAL APPLICATIONS FOR LIVESTOCK, BARNS, COOPS, KENNELS, & LITTER BOXES: Use DE throughout the barn, fowl coops, and pastures. When mucking the barn and coops, lightly, but thoroughly sprinkle diatomaceous earth absolutely everywhere! It keeps the barn cleansed and dry. In between barn mucking, sprinkle diatomaceous earth on wet spots to help dry them out and keep flies from laying eggs.
Food grade diatomaceous earth is excellent in fowl coops on the ground, in nesting/dusting boxes to prevent lice and mites. Sprinkle directly on fowl feathers to eliminate mites and lice that alrady exist. One application of diatomaceous earth has their feathers growing back quickly.
Food grade diatomaceous earth applied to manure piles keeps fly loads down/eliminated.
Dairy cow owners put food grade diatomaceous earth 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.
A small amount of food grade DE applied to livestock waterers keeps algae from growing on hot summer days.
Food grade diatomaceous earth is great for compost piles, to prevent breeding pests and control odors.
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 diatomaceous earth 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 food grade diatomaceous earth regularly.
· Do NOT get diatomaceous earth 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.
· NEVER use pool filter grade DE around animals. It can poison or kill them.
· Remember, DE will kill beneficial insects as well, so use accordingly.
You should be able to find it at a local feed store or on-line.