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diatomaceous earth

 
                                
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So I listened to Paul's podcast about D.E. and read his article but I still have a few questions. What exactly does it mean to "use gobs of the stuff"? I have ants farming aphids on my sunflowers and peach trees so I used a bulb duster to coat them... the ants are still there! In fact, they didn't seem to mind the white stuff at all. If I make the plants look like powdered donuts is that going to interfere with their photosynthesis abilities, or respiration or something? Because that's what "gobs of the stuff" means to me now.
Also, no one seems to mention that if D.E. kills bugs, doesn't that mean that the beneficial insects will die too?
Anyone have any other methods for controlling ants?
Thanks for reading!

Matt
 
Tim Canton
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i know this thread is old but no one has mentioned that if used in the garden it is not much better than a broad scale pesticide.  it will kill all the beneficials as well.  Including honeybees.        It has a place but not in the garden or anyplace it could get blown around.
 
Jami McBride
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mcmoose - I too found it hard to apply and did not effectively rid my plants of ant/aphid infestations.

I ants will just move around it, so unless you can completely coat a steam/base and the plant is not touching any other plant or fence your out of luck.

I would use hydrogen peroxide - Google it for the exact mix ratio, I don't remember it just now and I have to run.  Then spray using a garden sprayer.  Works great, doesn't block the sun and is good for your plants.
 
Angie Greene
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  Are the food grade products that are safe for animals also safe for humans?  I see one (GreenSense  http://www.beorganic.com/products/green_sense.html) that has 12% silica.

  If part of the benefit is the silica, what is the optimum percentage?

  Is there perhaps some other factor in being fit for human consumption, such as processing methods or checking for any possible contaminants?
 
Angie Greene
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  I tried this web site which has DE for human use http://www.earthworkshealth.com/products.php. ; The information on human use states that the product has a whopping 89% silica. http://www.earthworkshealth.com/human-use.php

Another supplement brand lists the minerals as PPM http://www.herbalremedies.com/diead6oz.html and silicon is a low amount.  This product has a range of minerals.

Another sites states that processing by acids and washing purifies the product to leave nearly all silica. 

More searching ..., then this http://buydiatomaceousearth.org/ ; Here, Food Grade seems to indicate for animal use.

Has anyone researched further to come to any conclusions about silica level and processing for human use?  Perhaps a range of minerals is preferred for some people, and high silica levels for other people.

Comments?
 
Angie Greene
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Well. I guess I am doing my thinking on the forum.  I did more research and have perhaps resolved my own questions.   

There is a difference between the level of crystalline silica and amorphous silica. Fresh water diatomaceous earth is better. 

More than one seller actually sells repackaged versions of a product known as Perma-Guard.  It has a range of minerals, is high in amorphous silica and low in crystalline silica. And, yep, Paul's recommended seller in his article is one of those who sells the Perma-Guard product for human and household use. 
http://www.earthworkshealth.com/products.php

Here are some links with info that helped me sort this out.

Perma-Guard web site: http://perma-guard.com/ ;

Perma-Guard analysis http://www.earthworkshealth.com/Doc/DEtech_data.pdf
Independent analysis
http://www.earthworkshealth.com/Doc/PermagaurdAnalysis.pdf

A Canadian site that agrees it is fit for humans:
Intro:  http://www.diatomitecanada.com/
Further information:  http://www.diatomitecanada.com/fsf_people.php

Agreed?

 
                              
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I first learned about DE from this site and Paul's podcast. I found it fascinating!

One thing that I've always wondered about though is how permies view it from a sustainability angle? Is it a renewable resource?

Any thoughts?
Joseph
 
Angie Greene
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vegan01 wrote:
  Are the food grade products that are safe for animals also safe for humans?  I see one (GreenSense  http://www.beorganic.com/products/green_sense.html) that has 12% silica.

  If part of the benefit is the silica, what is the optimum percentage?

  Is there perhaps some other factor in being fit for human consumption, such as processing methods or checking for any possible contaminants?



After contacting someone selling GreenSense on ebay.com, he told me that the posted information was not clear and that the product they sell is also Perma-guard.  I emailed the Perma-Guard folks and they told me that their product is clean enough for human ingestion.

In conclusion, buying Perma-Guard from that or another company is the best food grade diatomaceous earth for human ingestion.
 
tim rew
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I just recently tried using DE in my kitchen to deal with our ant problem. At first, it seemed to work great. The ants hate it, and will wander about confused because they sure aren't going to cross that awful stuff that just appeared along the path. But after a while, they just start walking around it. And I feel like we've ringed the kitchen with it, under the baseboard heaters, under the edges underneath the cupboards, in the doorways, but now the ants walk up the walls to get around it!
Is it effective if you rub it on the walls with a wet cloth? I did that in one spot and they seemed to think it was yucky and turned around, but can you get it thick enough to really stop them? I'm not sure I really want to coat all the walls in the stuff, but then again, the ants are pretty bad too.

Also, do ants make nests indoors? I don't know what variety ours are... they are about 1/8" long, black, and all the same size. Outdoors the same ants seem to like the apple tree leaves.
 
Jami McBride
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Yes, this is the problem I had with ants in my garden. 
They would just find a different route to install their aphids, moving around the DE, even from plant to plant avoiding the stem covered in it.  However, stopping their route into my house was doable.  You see they would always come in through the heater vents, surround those in DE and they had real trouble. 

Also if you can determine what they are going for in your house food/water/sugar - you can add DE around those things or even add it to the sugar jar, this will send them packing when their goal becomes a source of trouble.  After learning this I would add DE to the dogs food dish and not put any on the floor or vents, in less than an hour the ants were all gone and would not try again for about a year.

Sorry about your ant problems, all the best.
 
                    
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In her book, 'Going Green with diatomaceous earth How-To Tips' author Tui Rose, a concerned mother and registered nurse, says:

"It is interesting to note that the mineral diatomaceous earth is made more readily available for human ingestion in Europe, China, and other countries around the world.  DE is used in the health industry as a supplement for various purposes.  Although the FDA in the USA has not approved it for human ingestion,  people have been using food grade diatomaceous earth in a powder form or capsules for colon cleansing, detoxifying, and as an anti-parasitic.  DE is also used to sooth burns and insect bites, and it is used in some cosmetic products such as face-masks and scrubs."

It is also a safe, effective, all natural mineral, food grade insecticide - Mother Nature’s very own creation.  You can find this book at ALivingEarth

 
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Thanks.  Very informative book.
 
                    
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So you are the author of "E---Bug Killer You Can Eat".  I've actually read that article many times.  It is so nice to be in touch with the author himself.  Nice to meet you.  I love that "bug killer you can eat" phrase.

This is from someone who has many allergies including chemical pesticides, I go into into asthma then into pneumonia every time the crop duster flies over my house and dust the adjacent farm field,  DE has been a miraculous blessing to me.  I have my house dusted with DE all the time (I'm positive my house sits on the biggest ant hill there ever is) and I have had no problem.  Whereas the chemical pesticide continue to bother me long after the dusting has stopped; like for 6 months? 
 
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mcmoose wrote:
So I listened to Paul's podcast about D.E. and read his article but I still have a few questions. What exactly does it mean to "use gobs of the stuff"? I have ants farming aphids on my sunflowers and peach trees so I used a bulb duster to coat them... the ants are still there! In fact, they didn't seem to mind the white stuff at all. If I make the plants look like powdered donuts is that going to interfere with their photosynthesis abilities, or respiration or something? Because that's what "gobs of the stuff" means to me now.



Have you read my ants and aphids article?


Also, no one seems to mention that if D.E. kills bugs, doesn't that mean that the beneficial insects will die too?


Yes, they will.

 
paul wheaton
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vegan01 wrote:
I emailed the Perma-Guard folks and they told me that their product is clean enough for human ingestion.


There are lots of sources for stuff that is fit for human consumption.  Tui Rose is emphatic that there are sources that have much less crystaline silica than others.  And less is important.

Follow the links on my article.  I will always have the best source there.  The source I have listed there now has about 70% to 90% less crystaline silica than permaguard stuff.
 
tim rew
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Jami McBride wrote:
Also if you can determine what they are going for in your house food/water/sugar - you can add DE around those things or even add it to the sugar jar, this will send them packing when their goal becomes a source of trouble.  After learning this I would add DE to the dogs food dish and not put any on the floor or vents, in less than an hour the ants were all gone and would not try again for about a year.

Sorry about your ants problems, all the best.

Thanks... I reengineered my DE strategy this morning, generously dusting the surface of the shelves in the baking cabinet, and completely ringing the kitchen sink. I figure it will get wet there, but should dry out again and be effective most of the time. We'll see how that works. Those are the two biggest hot spots for the ants... funnily enough the ones that get in the cabinet seem to all die trying to break into the honey. Maybe I should just leave those little honey bears all around the kitchen, then I can come back and find all the ants have killed themselves trying to squish their way in under the cap.
 
tim rew
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Well, just as a status update, the ring around the sink and the dusting of the baking cupboard seems to have done a very good job on the ants. They seem to not die if they've come into the sink area, but they never go back out once they come inside the ring... I think they realize they'll die outside of the wetness of the sink... They tend to just huddle under things doing nothing. They're absolutely finished with the baking cupboard, so that's good. The ridiculous heat/humidity over the weekend didn't help anything, but finally getting everything nice and clean yesterday did. If only we can keep it that way, I think the ants will probably give up.
 
paul wheaton
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Teresa Green
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I found DE thru your website in early July this year.  I originally ordered it to kill bugs.  I had been praying to God to help me find a solution to my health problems.  The more I read about the DE the more I wanted to try this stuff for health reasons.  Wow!!  I am diabetic.  I have been addicted to sugar all of my life which contributed to my obesity.  I have lost 28 lbs. but still have a way to go before I reach my goal.  My craving for sugar is managable now.  My blood pressure has lowered to the point I don't have to take most of my BP meds anymore.  I was taking 4 pills a day.  Now I take one.  As soon as I go to the doctor I will probably stop that one and also stop my blood sugar med.  I haven't had a high sugar reading since starting the DE.  My fingernails and toenails are white again.  The whites of my eyes are brighter and not bloodshot.  My teeth sparkle and seem to be whiter.  I have more energy.  My digestive tract is working wonderfully.  I am really amazed at the difference DE has made in my life.  I mix it in with my favorite drink and swallow it down like that.  I also give this stuff to my animals.  I have goats, cats, a dog, chickens, and a duck.  Thank you so much for your very informative website.  I will say you are a lifesaver! 
 
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Wow, I knew I was saving the world, but now it appears I am saving actual lives.  Very cool!

Maybe you will stick around on these forums and be part of our community?
 
Jackson Barnett
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trjgreen wrote:
<snip>
My craving for sugar is managable now.  My blood pressure has lowered to the point I don't have to take most of my BP meds anymore.  I was taking 4 pills a day.  Now I take one.  As soon as I go to the doctor I will probably stop that one and also stop my blood sugar med.  I haven't had a high sugar reading since starting the DE.  My fingernails and toenails are white again.  The whites of my eyes are brighter and not bloodshot.  My teeth sparkle and seem to be whiter.  I have more energy.  My digestive tract is working wonderfully...
<snip>


Tell me, how much are you taking? and how? Once a day, 2x/day... ?

So glad to hear it's working such wonders for you!
 
Teresa Green
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I am taking 1 teaspoon 3xday mixed with about 4 ozs. of my favorite no calorie drink.  I understand the recommendation is 1 tbsp. 1xday unless trying to lose weight.  Then do the tsp. 3xday.
 
Jackson Barnett
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trjgreen wrote:
I am taking 1 teaspoon 3xday mixed with about 4 ozs. of my favorite no calorie drink.  I understand the recommendation is 1 tbsp. 1xday unless trying to lose weight.  Then do the tsp. 3xday.


Thank you!

I've started taking 1 Tbsp 1x/day since reading the article and this thread... My local seed'n'feed knew what I was talking about and had it in stock! Woo-Hoo!
 
                                                
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Tim Eastham
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I bought some of the food grade DE to try and get rid of fire ant hills in my backyard.  I waited until the dew had dried (10am), disturbed the nest to make them crazy mad, and then dumped gobs (probably 3 or 4 cups) of DE on the nest.  I have done that for multiple days but to no avail.  They just build their nest higher on top of the DE.  Has anybody else had success killing fire ants with DE?  If so, is there a trick to it?

I am thinking of grabbing a bunch of the ants into a jar and trying to use it on them as an experiment.  I am not sure if I am not killing them or if there are so many I just can't tell.  The thing about fire ants is that they have multiple queens so they can really crank out the kids if needed.  Plus, the nests of fire ants can contain a LOT of ants - more than most ant colonies.  They may just be surviving because of numbers.  Do you think I should just keep hitting them with it?
 
Yvonne Silver
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Charles ABatey wrote:there are some studies that have been linked elsewhere on this site that talk about how sand of a certain size (16grit) can be a barrier to termites because it is too big for the termites to easily haul away, and not big enough to support tunnel structures spontaneously on its own. This technique is supposedly used in surrounding foundations, or other areas where wood is in contact with soil. I forget the suggested thickness, but basically since you would want these areas to be as dry as possible anyway to prevent rotting, you would have to engineer a dry space via hill slow, ditches, french drains, or what have you. then surround your buried wood with this 16 grit sand , and the termites, according to this study, wouldn't be able to get through. i will try to find the link that i saw earlier and repost it on this thread.

so my thought was that if you mixed some diatomaceous earth with this sand barrier, it would be an added safeguard. so if the termites do find a weak spot where they could haul away sand or get it to form tunnels, they would also find DE in that spot, further limiting their expansion. And with regard to the wetness issue, as i mentioned before, you are going to want these areas to be as dry as possible anyway, so hopefully there will be limited moisture to mess with them. also since the sand would naturally drain well, it ought to dry out quickly.

i dont know if becoming wet then re-drying affects the effectiveness of DE but it seems to me since the stuff is formed by little ocean creatures in the first place, that even if water while present limits their effectiveness, once the water is gone (dried up) it shouldnt have permanently altered their structure. (of course the possibility exists that due to their microscopic structure, and water's incredible attractive strength at such scale that once wet it may take a very long time for the individual diatoms to become dry, even if the surrounding environment is. This is only speculation, i have no expertise in this matter, just trying to think of all angles)

So anyway, I have not tried this, nor have I tested the sand barrier method alone, simply read about it. However it just seemed to me that it might be a good fit. All just theoretical, any refinement would be welcome. and if anyone is in a position to test this theory, i would love to hear how it worked out, because alas i am not currently able to test it myself.
I saw online where the 16grit sand did stop termites. I believe they discovered this in Australia and have been using it successfully there for some time. I am sorry that I do not remember the sites I saw it on. Perhaps if you do a search for termites and Australia or something of that sort it would come up? I believe someone in the US was using it also, but I have no idea where that site was.
 
Faith Smith
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Tim Eastham, I used cedar mulch to move fireants away from the house,where I gardened, & near the garage entrance. Then I marked the mound that isn't in my way with a metal yard art stake. So a handfull on top of the mound moves them, but doesn't kill them. Fai
 
Connie Kuramoto
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Diatamaceous earth kills bugs, yes it does! It does not discriminate between "good" bugs and "bad" bugs, so kills worms, ground beetles (who eat slug eggs), microscopic soil mites responsible for decomposition and more! It is not a sustainable practice. Build up your soil properly and grow crops suited for your soil and your area and you will not have insect infestations.
 
Nancy Dobrinski
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My favorite use for DE is adding it to my chicken's feed (just a little dusting from a sifter into an ice cream pail of feed, and swish it around). I've read it prevents intestinal worms and have never seen any worms in their poo (I use no other treatments) so I think it works. But even better than that, the DE passes through into their poo and flies will NOT land on it. I have absolutely NO FLIES in/around my coop and run, with 10 chickens in an 8' X 16' run. I similarly dust the litter in their coop and it seems to keep things very dry in there, even through the long winter of confinement. I dust a little into their nest boxes to discourage mites. Yes, it is dusty in there, but I have had chickens for 5 years and have never had one develop any respiratory problems. I am careful to wear a damp bandana around my face when I shovel it out in the spring. I do compost the litter so I suppose it is finding its way into my compost, but since it is in the SOIL and not on the blossoms, I don't worry about harming beneficials. I have read that it has no effect on earthworms, and in such small proportions, I can't imagine I will ever get enough of it into my garden soil to create a problem.
 
Joan Fanning
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I had heard about DE in some of my holistic, & natural remedies for dogs & cats, but never persued it because it wasn't advertised as other flea & tick control for animals. I was doing an internet search for a animal friendly insecticide for my back yard, & came across a website dirtdoctor.com. On that site it gives ways to apply DE like mixing a 1/3cup to a gallon of water or something to that affect, anyway the point was that you could put it in a hose connected sprayer and spray it on like any other pesticide sprayer, it also said that it would be rendered useless until it dried & at that point it retains its useful mechanical killing properties. It also said that this kind of application was better to get into the underside of leaves and into tight places, I'm in Ca. appling DE this way would be beneficial for me on a warm day it would dry right away. If what the dirt doctor site says is true about the DE keeping its initial properties after reverting back to a dry state. This is of course after I take back the Uhh, uhh DE for pool use, thats what I get for asking someone else to find out the nearest place I could find DE in my area(my sister) she called all over found that nobody had it in stock in the Sacramento, West Sacramento, we ended up driveing 30min away to an Orchard Supply in Woodland, Since she did the same research I did, I thought she new that we needed foodgrade DE & me being in a hurry didn't pay that much attn. to what the guy in garden supply put on the bottom of my cart (25lb bx) I get home (had to be home before boyfreind cuz he hates it when I go shopping, I always buy things I don't need, hey I don't get out much)& hurriedly put everything away changed clothes as to not look like I left the house. It was 2days later when I found out I bought the wrong stuff. So when I find a new supplier (I'll probably try the one you mentioned in your podcast Azure Standard I think it was)I'll start over. Also if you recall that one of the uses was as a polishing compound when made into a paste, I would think that same principle would apply to putting it into livestock feed, & in humans foods, the abrasive properties for colon cleansing, as well as the trace minerals absorbed by the body would make DE a beneficial supplement for anyones diet, but i'm no Dr. so people would want to refer to their veterinarian, & there M.D. before trying this. Thanks J.Fanning
 
John Meshna
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Thought I'd post an update to the diatomaceous earth posts. We've been selling diatomaceous earth/Fossil Shell Flour for years quite successfully. People have been using it for deworming, killing fleas, ticks, bed bugs you name it.
This past winter we sold a fifty pound bag of it to a housing authority in New York. A few weeks after we sold it we got a threatening letter from a state regulatory agency threatening me with huge fines and jail time for doing it because apparently to use it for pest control it now has to be labeled by the EPA for that purpose. The new EPA registered product is exactly the same thing. Soon after that letter showed up we got a visit from our department of agriculture because the mole who sent the letter to us called the EPA in Washington DC. So now, we've had to reconstruct our web site and add pages for the new product and take down all the pest control information from the main DE page. This has tanked our sales because I think the whole labeling thing and confusion has caused people to think that the product is some how different and maybe toxic which it isn't. We got a similar correspondence from a Dept.of Ag. guy out in Indiana about neem oil. now, even neem oil has to be registered for pesticide use and needs a different label for farms and home gardeners. All of this puts a financial burden on smaller companies and that is the outcome the corporations are looking for. Instead of participating in the strong, growing market for organics, corporations like Monsanto are using their financial power to buy politicians and get their moles planted in state and federal agencies to regulate the hell out of natural products and cause confusion in the public arena. http://www.dirtworks.net/ http://www.dirtworks.net/Diatomaceous-Earth-Crawling-Insect-Killer.htmlwebpage
Just remember, fresh water DE is still fresh water DE no matter what shiny package it comes in. Neem oil is still neem oil and just as safe as ever no matter what package it comes in. Just maointain good practice as you would with anything like clean sorage areas, avoiding freezing and excess heat, keep away from children etc..
webpagehttp://www.dirtworks.net/Diatomaceous-Earth.htmlwebpage

Just a note about something posted previously.. it doesn't matter if the DE gets wet. In fact adding a little water and soap to make a slurry you can pour down an ant hole is a good idea. The soap makes it stick and helps do a little smothering and once it all dries out it cakes onto everything including the bugs. You see, diatomaceous earth doesn't dissolve in water. It just gets suspended and settles out when you stop stirring it, unchanged by the water so the soap can actually help it remain in suspension a little longer too.
 
Amanda Leigh
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Hello, y'all! This is my first time posting and I am looking for advice. I started off looking for a natural flea control for my new twin puppies and saw roaches mentioned.

Recently my kitchen sink has sprung a leak underneath which I cannot aford to fix. This, apparently, drew roaches as I've lived here since I was a teen and have never seen one before (I am almost 39 now.) I am on a list for housing and a fixed income but I need a way to control these monsters until I can get out of this old mobile home. diatomaceous earth seems like a good thing, but I am only reading about ants, aphids, and fleas. Can anyone give me anything about DE and roaches?? My mom told me to get some boric acid, but I am not confortable with laying this around my counters knowing my cat is chasing after the roaches when she sees one. I also have an annual any problem, but I have always managed that just fine.

I simply cannot stand these things with my new puppies, my cat, and my 5 yr old rot/beagal. I am also sitting a cat for a friend and I need to clear this up. Honestly, I would prefer mice, at least Trinity (my cat) and Tilly can hunt those!

Thanks,
Amanda
 
Daniel Morse
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DE is a natural high for insect controll. I got my two dogs back from my ex who had passed (crack does kill people) away. My one girl was infested with vermin so bad she was half bald and bleeding. The boy was younger and not so bad off. I did have to spray with chemicals at first and bath to controll spread right off. The next day I noticed problems. The chemicals did not rid them compleatly. So, I used DE on them. GONE! The outside vermin was gone. It also helped to dry up other issues.

Please note. The chemicals were used sparingly and there are times they have to be used. I have other dogs to worry about getting infested. We got mange in the pack a wile back from a deer fresh deer hide. It ran like fire thru our pack. I used chems to help stop the dammage and DE to finish. DE works slower and is a great preventive too. But we live in the moist Midwest and dogs swim a lot. There is only so much it can do. But, it does it well.

I store grains like rice and oats in 2 qt jars and put about 2 tablespoons of DE in the jar. Shake and I have no moth problems. The dogs I mentioned before had intestinal worms so very bad. I took some of the raw ground beef and did the same with the DE. In two weeks of daily meat and DE all signs of them were also gone. Good for dad too.

We eat a small dose with the rice all the time. I have detected no issues. None of the dogs have worms. I also use a lot of garlic and good spice in our food. No heartworm or any health issues for all my dogs. Other than old age we are doing well.

I brought in some cockroaches with some bags of dog food and boxes from one of the box stores (I know I am awful but it is my only option for certain things) DE and Boric Acid stopped them in their tracks. No infestation at my house. DE is not an all works for everything, but is is a good tool and first line of defence.

By the way. My girl "Ms. Eunice" and boy "Bobo" are doing so well. Her fur has filled in and so has his. They are getting fatter and the vet is amazed. Good stuff, this natural living.
 
Tracie Germain
Posts: 3
Location: Branson West, Missouri
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Does DE work for scorpions, since they have an exoskeleton?
 
Rachel Morton
Posts: 7
Location: NW Oregon (Zone 8)
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I got DE specifically for flea and ant control. The cats get dusted on a regular basis along with the carpet. So far so good. One of the cats is allergic to fleas and he's stopped biting himself bald.

The ants is a continuing saga as they are constantly finding new ways into the house! Any info on DE causing issues with electrical areas? The ants have a wonderful nest right next to one of our outlets. We've cleaned out two nests over the past three years in the same area. Would be great if I could have DE blown in to keep them out.
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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