What does diatomaceous earth kill?


10 Years
Jan 25, 2013
I know NOT internal parasites, cause its been in their food and when I wormed them with another wormer I had a load of roundworms come out.
BUT we have a million red ants that loved my grain bins. Put some in there and in 2 days they were gone.
So my specific question is this: would DE kill worm eggs that are in feces? From what I understand this is all part of the cycle and they hatch from there. I saw what it did with the ants and hoping I can stop the worm cycle or slow it down.
DE if you use the right types seems to do well on worms, it has to be food grade DE to work, and usually mixed with water is the best way to dose it. i do not use DE myself, im not organic and i dont have the time to keep dosing it. i used to throw some in the bedding as a preventative.

as far as scattering it around your coop, new studies are showing it may do more respiratory harm than good by killing insects. it has been linked to some silicosis and lung cancer in humans, im guessing it happens in chickens too.

to use organics is not always safer, its one of the ways we are mislead as consumers. But, its your choice to make.

this thread talks about worming, and may give you some better ideas of what to use.
It is not what anyone should rely on for a wormer; wetting it destroys its cutting ability and the inside of a chicken is what? Wet.

It will slowly kill soft bodied insects and dry out wet areas as it is a dessicating agent. That is one reason why you should NEVER add tons of DE to the feed. You can harm your birds on the inside if you overdose them with DE-one study found the intestines of birds literally dried out from overuse of DE.

If you add a cup to a 50# bag of feed and stir it around (not 2% ratio, just one cup to the entire bag), it will keep insects from setting up housekeeping and soak up moisture in there and will help dry out the wet areas under the roosts. If you dust your birds with it, it will kill lice, though it's not instant like poultry dust. I know from personal experience because I had one rooster come to me absolutely infested with them and that is the only thing I used on him while he was in quarantine, including removing his old bedding, replacing it with new and dusting that with the DE as well as his tush and under his wings. If I had had an entire flock infested along with their coop, I would not have relied solely on DE to fix the issue as it cannot get into cracks and crevices effectively. It is not great with mites around the head because you cannot dust their eyes and nares without harming the birds. A friend recently was losing chicks to anemia from mites and was dusting with DE until she said it looked like a cocaine bomb went off, but it didn't fix the issue. I told her about Orange Guard citrus based spray which is safe to use in the coop and will saturate cracks and crevices.

I've used DE for the entire time I've had chickens and will continue to do so, however, I do not expect it to do things it simply cannot do.
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You can buy it at ACE Hardware and if they don't have it on the shelves, they can get it. It is used to kill almost any insect. Even works on termites when sprayed directly on them and smells super nice, too.
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bear foot farm is right, i guess i should have used my head on this one..... i have never used DE for worms, i have added it in my bedding in the past for lice and mites prevention. i was never sure of how well it worked, i did notice a decrease in them spreading when i used it; but not a significant drop in the populations on the chickens. i switched to 7 dust, it seemed to work well; but it just didnt last long, i also worried about breathing it in myself. so i tried tobacco, tobacco is very effective against worms, lice, and mites. drawbacks, its really easy to overdose and can actually be worse for your chickens than the parasite was.

my flock is my own collection, but is more commercial in nature as we do sell eggs and chicks. keeping illness including parasites out of our flock is very important to us. we switched to ivomec, i would not recommend this on chickens i plan on eating, i never use it on cornish rocks that we grow for our own meat. i can say is that about 7 days from the first application, we didnt see many pests at all. im not sure i would recommend this for a small personal flock though.

since we have badmouthed DE, there is a study done on how it affected aluminum poisoning in chickens. it did not help with aluminum poisoning, but chickens who were fed small amounts of it had better feed to weight ratios, and had better bones - so it may have a good side effect.

thank you bear foot farm for calling me on that, it is never my intention to give bad advice.
I use it to clean my kitchen counters and to cut the grease on my stove.  Even a piece of knotty pine makes a very good pesticide if you hit the pest over the head with it. 

You use a insecticide on your stove? Ok up to you. I think I'll pass on hitting them all over the head lol :lol:

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