DE is diatomaceous earth. It is used as a "dust" to help keep mites off chickens...also as an odor control somewhat. Some use it for worming by putting it in food. Get "food grade only" DE. There is a lot of info here if you click on Learning Center at the very top of the page or across the blue strip click on Search and type in DE for all sorts of info.
I use it and I really like having it around. It also helps with ants around the house.
Diatomaceous Earth all-natural product made from tiny fossilized water plants. DE is a naturally occurring siliceous sedimentary mineral compound from microscopic skeletal remains of unicellular algae-like plants called diatoms. These plants have been part of the earth's ecology since prehistoric times. 30 million years ago the diatoms built up into deep, chalky deposits of diatomite. The diatoms are mined and ground up to render a powder that looks and feels like talcum powder to us. It is a mineral based pesticide. It works by litterally cutting thru the exterior of insects and causeing them to dehydrate and die. DE is approximately 3% magnesium, 33% silicon, 19% calcium, 5% sodium, 2% iron and many other trace minerals such as titanium, boron, manganese, copper and zirconium. Diatomaceous Earth is a natural (not calcined or flux calcined) compound. Diatomaceous Earth is a natural grade diatomite. However, the continual breathing of any dust should be absolutely avoided.
This DE is not the same thing as the DE used in swimming pool filters. Pool grade DE is Diatomaceous Earth produced for pool filters and it is treated with heat, causing the formerly amorphous silicon dioxide to assume crystalline form. Pool grade DE should never be used for pest control. Swimming pool DE ranges from 60% to 70% free silica!
How does it work?
To insects DE is a lethal dust with microscopic razor sharp edges. These sharp edges cut through the insect's protective covering drying it out and killing them when they are either dusted with DE or if it applied as a wettable powder spray. If they ingest the DE it will shred their insides.
Comes with complete instructions for use on insects, flea and lice control, bed bugs, grain storage, parasite control in animals (use in feed) and fly control.
What insects can DE be used for?
Diatomaceous Earth may be used as a barrier to control adult flea beetles, sawfly, coddling moth, twig borer, thrips, mites, cockroach, slugs, snails and many other insects such as:
Aphids, thrips, earwigs, silverfish, and ants. Can be used for bedbugs, cabbage root flies, carrot root flies, fleas, pillbugs, ticks and is helpful in dealing with fungus gnats. Indoor and Outdoor Application: Sprinkle a light layer of DE in areas where pests frequent, including under stoves, cabinets, sinks, garbage cans, window and door frames and sills,
entrance ways, sewer pipes and drains, and in cracks and crevices. Repeat treatment as needed.
Carpet Beetles: Thoroughly dust along baseboards, carpet edges, under furniture, carpet, and rugs, and in closets and shelving.
Bedbugs: Take apart bed and dust joints and channels. Dust any hollow tubing and the interior framework as well as the mattress and all cracks in the room.
Fleas: Thoroughly dust carpets and pet's bedding and sleeping areas, as well as cracks and baseboards. It also can be rubbed into your pet's fur.
Flies: Thoroughly dust areas where flies frequent (walls, straw bedding, livestock pens). It also can be applied to livestock coat as an insect repellent/contact insecticide.
Fly Larva: Keeps fly larvae from developing in manure, which makes a significant reduction in the fly population.
Diatomaceous Earth - Experimental Feeding
of Codex Food-grade Diatomaceous Earth
to Zoo Animals
A mixture of feed incorporating 2% diatomaceous earth was sent to three zoos for evaluation. John Ball Park of Grand Rapids, Michigan; Brookfield Zoos of Chicago Illinois; and Buffalo Zoo of Buffalo, New York. John Ball and Buffalo Zoos reported that their black bears on the special feed showed a better coat and clearer eyes. The primates fed at the Brookfield Zoo displayed a pronounced improvement in both appearance and behavior. Stool samples taken at all three zoos showed an absence of any internal parasites - adult or egg. Parasites in these animals were present prior to using the diatomaceous earth food mixture.
Are there any safety concerns with DE?
Yes, you must wear a dust mask when applying it as it can irritate the mucous membranes in the nose and mouth. Once the DE dust has settled it won't bother you.
NOTE:Both swimming pool grade and natural diatomaceous earth come from the same fossil sources but they are processed differently. The natural grades are mined, dried, ground, sled and bagged. The pool grade is chemically treated and partially melted and consequently contains crystalline silica which can be a respiratory hazard. Thus, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT ONLY NATURAL DIATOMACEOUS EARTH BE USED FOR INSECT CONTROL. This non-crystalline silica is not a hazard as the human body apparently can dissolve it.