DE and shavings in the composter?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by erindubb, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. erindubb

    erindubb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2010
    Hi - I am getting ready to clean out my coop for the first time and I was wondering if I can put the old shavings that were mixed with DE for bugs and smells.....in the composter? I just want to dump all the poop and shavings in there - is that OK? I just am not sure what DE will do to the good "bugs" like bacteria in the composter. any ideas? What do you guys do?
     
  2. MrChicken207

    MrChicken207 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2010
    Caribou, Maine
    I don't see any problem with the DE affecting the bacteria in the compost. What DE does to "bugs" is scratch their exoskeleton and cause the bug to dry out. Since bacteria are built differently (no exoskeleton like, for example, an earwig or a mite) then there shouldn't be any problem.
     
  3. cutlass1972

    cutlass1972 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2009
    I believe that DE actually scratches the soft areas between exoskeleton segments and causes the insect to dehydrate due to fluid loss? I know they say putting it in livestock water is a good organic internal parasite preventative, I don't know about the microbes and such in soil? Can someone with more "know" than myself pipe up?
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
  4. cutlass1972

    cutlass1972 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2009
    wikipedia says we are both wrong.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatomaceous_earth#Pest_control

    Pest control

    Diatomite is also used as an insecticide, due to its physico-sorptive properties. The fine powder absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insects' exoskeletons, causing them to dehydrate[7]. Arthropods die as a result of the water pressure deficiency, based on Fick's law of diffusion. This also works against gastropods and is commonly employed in gardening to defeat slugs. However, since slugs inhabit humid environments, efficacy is very low. It is sometimes mixed with an attractant or other additives to increase its effectiveness. Medical-grade diatomite is sometimes used to de-worm both animals and humans. It is most commonly used in lieu of boric acid, and can be used to help control and eventually eliminate a cockroach infestation. This material has wide application for insect control in grain storage.
     
  5. vnploveschickens

    vnploveschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    I throw the poopy shavings that has DE into my compost pile. I haven't had any issues.
     

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