Originally Posted by cgmccary
ivan3 wrote:It cuts down on the fly concentration as well.
I found that DE had no effect on flies. The flies actually increased while I was using it. I was using the DE in the food at 2%, in their dust holes, nest boxes, intheir litter. After I found mites, I snowed the run with the stuff.
I also did my own experiment. I took a hen infested with northern fowl mite. With a dust pistol, I covered her at skin level with food grade DE only. She shook & a cloud of DE drifted through the air. While some mites might have been killed (as if she had taken a dust bath in regular dirt), the mites survived & thrived. Mixing the DE with sevin dust & rotenone of portions 1/3 each & dusting the hen, I found that the mites were significanntly reduced but not totally eliminated.
Treating the hen with Ivermectin drops on the skin of neck killed all the mites.
I do not have a problem with weevils but my chickens like eating them along with the beetles. I observed DE having no effect on large wood roaches whose body surface area is significant. I release ladybugs, green lacewings, praying mantis, the fly eating wasps & nematodes.
When I was speaking to the science of DE, I was primarily referring to the ridiculous claims made that it is an effective "wormer." Parasitic worms have evolved over a very long period of time to invade & inhabit their host. A little DE is not going to "shred" a parasitic worm in a chicken's gut (neither will sand). Normally, there is a balance of worms in any outdoor environment at any time. Healthy chickens keep these parasites at bay. When something else puts stress on your birds, the worms, being opportunistic, may override that natural balance (and that is when you see them).
Breathing silica particles by an animal with lungs may be harmful to that animal over a long period of time as silica is an irritant. If your chickens aren't living long lives anyway, this shouldn't be a concern for you.
Use DE if you want as I see it as rather benign to most creatures. I just believe you are wasting your money. There are many of us who haven't been using DE and we are not having any problems with parasitic worms, mites, lice or flies as well. I know poultry keepers/ breeders who have never used DE and no more problems than someone using it.
DE completely kills all flies in and around my henhouse. I have not seen a fly in months and I spend a lot of time in and around the henhouse with my cheekens. My cheeken's feed is dusted with DE also, and I have had no problems with mites, flies, or internal parasites. It's my experience and I would not be without this product!