Diatomaceous Earth

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Does anyone know if there are different types of diatomaceous earth? I've heard that you can use this for worming cats and dogs, but I want to make sure that I'm using the right kind. Is there a food-grade and non-food grade? Has anyone tried this before? Thanks!

-- Karen Braun (jbraun@one.net), November 30, 2001


Hello Karen, There is a food grade and it is great to mix with flour, cornmeal, etc. to kill the bugs. I guess if yo can eat it so can the cats and dogs. The food grade is more expensive and I believe is finer ground. Sincerely, Ernest

-- http://communities.msn.com/livingoffthelandintheozarks (espresso42@hotmail.com), November 30, 2001.

Yes, there is a food and non-food grade. Very important to use food-grade D.E. when controlling worms.

Let me give you a very informative link on D.E.

Diatoma ceous Earth

-- Buk Buk (bukabuk@hotmail.com), November 30, 2001.

There is a food-grade and a non-food-grade (or filter grade). Food- grade and the type you can buy for swimming-pool filters are DIFFERENT. They are treated differently - I gather the filter one is heat-treated in a way which alters its physical structure so it no longer has the little spines and daggers and edges that let the food- grade one slash insect's exoskeletons so they dehydrate. To confuse matters, they use some type in filters for wine, and I haven't sorted that one out.

It's been VERY extensivly treated in the "Pests" category in the "Older Messages" section at the bottom of this forum, after the "New Questions" section. However, you'll nead to scan the hard way - screen by screen and line by line - by eye. People's spelling of "diatomaceous" was - um, creative. Also, the subject arose in other threads whose name wasn't directly connected. Good luck.

-- Don Armstrong (darmst@yahoo.com.au), November 30, 2001.

Can anybody tell me how DE works internally? Or on softbodied insects (or parasites)? I thought DE worked only when dry and only on insects with exoskeletons. But I see it frequently promoted for internal use - and my impression has been that animal innards are wet! :)

-- Paul Wheaton (paul@javaranch.com), November 30, 2001.

Think of tiny razor blades, every where, I was told it CAN block attachment to the intestinal wall if there is enough in there. and following the passing they dry out.

-- Thumper (slrldr@yahoo.com), December 01, 2001.

DE has been used for 4,000 years. You have someone here who's been using food grade DE for years (but not THAT many!) ~ ME! -G- DE is not a poison; it slits the outer skin of the insect and then dehydrates it.

Industrial grade DE is heated/treated/ground larger than food grade. It's used in many ways, such as filters in swimming pools. It won't kill insects/parasites, but could kill your critters.

Food (codex) grade DE is 100% DE, has no additives, is not heated, and is white in color. It has the consistency of flour. It's in just about every product you put in your mouth ~ for the trace minerals (in vitamins), as an anti-caking agent, etc. I've been feeding it to my critters for years. Most know it as a dewormer, but it has many other beneficial properties. It aids in converting their feed; aids digestion; it's loaded with trace minerals; etc.

Food grade DE is sold in feed stores and organic nurseries/garden centers.

I use it on the fire ant hills. Takes care of them in no time! The DE will kill any insect that walks thru it except earthworms, which is one reason gardners like it. It also puts those trace minerals into the land. I sprinkle DE in the chook pens so there's no odor.

Many folks free feed DE to their livestock; others prefer to feed the proper amount daily. You can't overdose, but if you don't feed the proper amount, it won't work. Flies can't breed in the manure, therefore the amount of flies are lessened.

Food grade DE is approved by the FDA, EPA, AMDA, USDA.

There really is no down side to Diatomaceous Earth, except inhaling it! Like any flour type product, don't stick your nose in the bag and inhale! Folks with respiratory problems who use DE in a non-ventilated area may wear a mask.

If you have any questions, just drop me a line. No, I don't sell it! But it is one product I wouldn't want to be without.

-- ~Rogo (rogo2020@yahoo.com), December 01, 2001.

Question? Since we are on the subject of DE earth and being sharp as razor blades to insects, how would it affect chickens if they got it in their eyes since it is very sharp? What would it do to human lungs if inhaled? Just very courious.

-- Mary (marwel@microserve.net), December 01, 2001.

Mary, my livestock eat the DE and have never had a problem. Many ranchers free feed the DE to their stock. I've rubbed a handful of DE between my hands, and altho the DE will dry out the hands if not rinsed off, the result was no different than rubbing flour thru my hands. Remember, this is not something new; it has been used a very long time.

-- ~Rogo (rogo2020@yahoo.com), December 03, 2001.

It is so small that it causes less damage than sand grains on large tissue areas, and animals have a large reserve of moisture, for example when it gets in the eyes, it clumpe up and washes out easy, while breathing it is bad for you because it is so small (same as any other substance) humans live lomg enough to develop problems in the lungs that animals will not have because they reach the end of their natrual life span before the problem develops, I have even read that small amount exposure of the food grade can be broken down and absorbed in the lung tissue, but extened exposure causes silicosis. So don't breath it [and if you have any animals that live 30 or so years don't let them breath it either] ;-)

-- Thumper (slrldr@yahoo.com), December 03, 2001.

How is it that hurts worms inside an animal but does not hurt earth worms?

-- Paul Wheaton (paul@javaranch.com), December 03, 2001.

Earthworms are designed to craw over and through soil and sand particles, their skin is different they can survive short term exposure to a dry enviroment with out harm, also most earthworms are larger than most parasitic worms so the earthworms have a greater moisture resurve, if you put an earthworm in a jar of DE (or any dry powder)long enough it will die, but it will die trying to get out of the powder to a more moist area, if you have the DE on the soil and an earthworm is placed in the DE the worm will crawl out of the powder to the moisture in the soil, as it goes it will scrape off the DE and expell moisture from it's skin until it is clean again, then it will rest and re-absorb the water it needs. Wet DE causes no more harm to earthworms than wet sand, and part of the parasite control comes from breaking the life cycle of the worm while outside of the host body, by drying them out. The way DE was explained to me is that it irritates the parasites so that they pass sooner (and / or they don't attach to the gut wall) and thus dry out and die.

-- Thumper (slrldr@yahoo.com), December 03, 2001.

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