What is the deal with FG diatomaceous earth? Studies/articles please? Safety?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Chickadooo, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. Chickadooo

    Chickadooo Chirping

    Sep 4, 2018
    I see some people use it as a preventative, some use it only after their chickens have already gotten lice. I've read that it can be dangerous for people with asthma and not to use it around children. So whats the dealio? Should I be using this in my chickens dust baths or not? It seems like a good idea to prevent bugs, but I have asthma and I have a 9 year old in with the chickens daily. I know that if the coop is well ventilated it "shouldnt" be a problem.. but I would rather be safe than sorry. Maybe Ive been reading articles about Non food grade DE and Food grade DE and thats whats confusing me? .. Is FG safer to be around and breathe in if it were to dust up? ***Can anyone provide some links to studies or articles?
    KSH1, EggWalrus, puffypoo and 3 others like this.
  2. Feathers Brady

    Feathers Brady Songster

    Jul 15, 2018
    Central Illinois
    Hi chickadooo!:frow
    food grade DE is what I use but sparingly, I put some in a duster squeeze bottle and go around the perimeter of the coop also in various spots in the run where the girls like to dust bath. I don't use it daily, mayb once a month. Sorry I have no real direction or amounts , I have never had bug issues so I must be doing something right. Also, I always wear a dust mask when dealing with DE or just cleaning the coop. :thumbsup
    EggWalrus likes this.
  3. There is no evidence that Diatomaceous Earth a.k.a. DE is lethal to chicken mites and lice. Just like there is no evidence that Easter rabbits delivers colored hard boiled eggs on the first Sunday, after the first full moon, after the Spring Equinox.
  4. Broodygranny

    Broodygranny Songster

    Mar 23, 2018
    Any type of dust in your lungs is not good. Use a dust mask when using any type of dust for preventing or treating mites. I dont think chicken mites like dust in general. I have sprinkled some DE in favorite dust bathing spots for chickens, but if I suspect they have mites I dust with permetherin. I have even heard of people using ashes from a wood stove in dust baths as prevention.
  5. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Throw out the DE... it is very ineffective in many environments (especially humid) on an many things. To me it is an over rated, over used, false sense of security that can be harmful not JUST to the user but also the birds, the environment, and so on... I realize most my link are mostly from the same site... but I still consider them valid...




    Lisa from Fresh Eggs Daily lost my readership when she stated that she WORMS with DE... What a load of crap with tons of viewers blindly following her ignorance... why not spend the money for before and after fecal floats... to PROVE if it works or not. According to the following link... it does NOT work as a worming agent in cattle studies... duh, it doesn't work when wet like all the inside of the body is...

    The IDEA of prevention is nice... but you can't prevent what you don't have... so not having to deal with something doesn't ACTUALLY mean you are preventing anything. You may or may not be. Some locations simply don't have the same conditions or loads... when I lived in the city, NO issues. Now in the Pacific Northwest where wildlife abounds... I deal with their issues on my land. Dealing with something isn't what makes a bad keeper... NOT dealing with it if you know about it, would.

    Best prevention... don't invite wild birds or animals to your yard, good flock nutrition, rodent control, and don't bring in unknown fowl from another pasture or location... standard dirt baths rock... turns out, molting is ONE way birds help rid themselves of parasites. :)

    Oh and for me... it isn't just about when you are applying this dangerous stuff to you birds that counts... EVERY time I see them shake out a big cloud fills the air... for yourself, my dogs, bees, other flock members and CHICKS to try and recover from! :sick

    NO thank you. :tongue

    Guess it's clear I am in the anti DE camp. My reasons are clear, but to each their own. :cool:

    And I really don't care whether food or industrial grade... food grade has what maybe extra clay (or something) removed from it... I still consider it ALL to have possible toxic effects. :pop

    ETA: what is removed is Silica... that doesn't change the (alleged) micro cuts being made to every surface it touches.
    KSH1, Geena, Folly's place and 15 others like this.
  6. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Permethrin is a very effective product, when used correctly. :thumbsup

    I prefer the spray to the dust... as I think it's easier to use and stays ON the birds... but also I don't want to breath this dust either. However, at LEAST I would be breathing something that is PROVEN effective. It is also effective against mosquitoes and MANY other pests. Should not be used indiscriminately because just like with most drugs, pests CAN become resistant. :)
  7. Hardwood ashes are high in lye. Lye is the basic ingredient of homemade soap. Lye is caustic and it is an especially good amendment to a dust bath to both prevent as well as to cure lice and mite infestations. I don't think that hard wood ash can replace either Permethrin or Pyrethrin but Permethrin and wood ash make a good ONE-TWO knockout punch. Permethrin works for 30 days and is very inexpensive, but the organic or natural Pyrethrin is only effective for 24 hours when in the presence of Sunlight, and is only available as a dust. It is also quite expensive. A little history, Pyrethrin powder used as an insecticide is perhaps 1,000 years old, maybe longer.

    Over 200 years ago Pyrethrin was used by Napoleon Bonaparte to treat the French Army for lice. A lot of Napoleon's men died at a place in Belgium called Waterloo so I guess there are some people out there that will try and say that these unlucky Frenchmen died from insecticide poisoning but I think that lead from English and Prussian muskets poisoned most of these Frenchmen.
    KSH1, Geena, Folly's place and 9 others like this.
  8. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Thank you for this information! :highfive:

    I'm a NEED to know WHY or how type person. Things need to make sense to me. :oops: And I had been wondering what was the cause that made this work or be suggested by so many.

    Most simply say wood ash... but you specify HARDWOOD ash. Does that mean ash from a burn pile of say pine and blackberry or other random plants would somehow be less effective? :pop
    janiedoe, CSAchook, EggWalrus and 2 others like this.
  9. llombardo

    llombardo Crowing

    Mar 11, 2018
    I made the mistake of dusting my dogs with DE and the breeze was just big enough to breath it in. Not pleasant. I do still use it, but never a lot at one time or outside on a breezy day. Since I've leared my lesson, everything has been fine. I have put it in the chicken sandbox mixed with dirt, but I do it at night, mix it up really good and leave the sandbox open. By the time thry ho on and do their dust bathing, it's settled and not kicking back any dust.

    I also use it five days a month as a preventative for worms in the dogs. 14 years and no worms ever, so I would have to say it works well when used that way too. I also use it mixed with neem and yarrow powder as a flea and tick powder for the dogs. Once a month, about a couple tablespoons muxed into the fur. No fleas or ticks on them and there are lots of ticks where I'm at.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
    Feathers Brady likes this.
  10. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    So you have had fecal floats ran Before and after to confirm NO worms... since only large round worms and tape worms can be seen in droppings? Again... preventing what you may not have is just a misconception to me, not all environments are the same. :confused:

    What about studies that show it does NOT work as a wormer? Pretty sure I provided links earlier. I have even offered to pay half for before and after floats for anyone who treats that way... to get at the heart of the truth. So far, no takers. :pop

    Or the inside of the intestines are wet and the micro shard that are supposed to cut the worms are ineffective (smooth NOT dehydrating to a parasite) when wet... Besides if it IS cutting worms inside the intestines it's also cutting everything else it comes in contact with... and our animals immune system keeps repairing it, self healing bodies... science reality!

    I have had dogs the same amount of time... no worms... confirmed by fecal float and NEVER use DE, ACV, hot peppers, or any other "magic" cure all potion...

    My Vet swears I NEED to use some form of flea control in our area... yet shocked every time he can't find anything on my dogs using his fine toothed comb. A lot of things are effected simply by good nutrition and a healthy immune system. My son's dog used to face fleas terribly... BEFORE switching to a better feed. Now she even smells better just naturally!

    Please note DE is approved for use in feeds as an anticaking agent at a rate of up to 2%.

    Please share any studies you have showing DE actually works for internal parasites? I don't mean to argue... JUST to KNOW the truth... and I have an open mind to review other resources. :thumbsup

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