Diatomaceous Earth (DE) powder is not earth at all. It is fossibized microscopic one-celled plants (phytoplankton) called diatoms that lived in the oceans and lakes. DE is mined, milled and processed into a lot of different types for multiple uses. People that use DE are killing pests naturally, without harsh chemicals.
Under a microscope it actually resembles little shards of glass (spiney honeycombs). When the mites crawl, come in contact with or move over the razor sharp edges in the powder, their exoskeleton is punctured by physical action (not chemical action), DE starts absorbing the body fluids dehydrating and causing them to die. Realistically speaking, DE should be used long enough to catch all newly hatching eggs or mites. If used outdoors for mite control in run areas, sleeping areas or play areas, reapply after each rain.
Filtering and filler are two of the main uses: pool grade is used in swimming pool filters to clean, this type is toxic as it has been treated with chemicals and heat. Pool grade will harm any person or animal that ingests it, so it is of the upmost importance to stay away from using this grade in or around the home.
Food Grade DE has NO chemical toxicity and parasites, mites or similiar can not build up a tolerance to it. Because of it's physical and mechanical manner, food grade DE can even be used internally for worm control. Click here for daily recommended food grade diatomaceous earth feeding dosages.
Internal feeding of food grade DE helps eliminate most internal worms and parasites.
External applications for dogs and cats: Lightly rub food grade DE into pet's coat, fur and bedding to dehydrate fleas, lice, mites, etc. Dust them lightly, but thoroughly, as in order to kill the parasites. It is not advised to be heavy handed with the DE, as some people have reported having problems with their vacuum. (it has been said that DE does not kill flea larvae)
Food Grade DE is EPA approved to be mixed with grains to control mealworms, outdoor pests or crawling insects. Diatomaceous Earth is USDA approved for animal feed storage, internal and external usage.
Food grade DE has also been used 1 cup to 1/2 gallon of water (will turn into a "whitewash") to paint fruit tree trunks to keep ants off. It is best to use a backpack or outdoor sprayer to apply. It will also eliminate problem infestations of mites, flies, aphids, fire ants, ticks, cockroaches, snails, slugs, spiders, beetles, sting bugs, thrips and fungus on dirt, grass, wood fencing, decking, etc. Just don't forget it may turn the area white.
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