What is Diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth is a biological diatomaceous earth, non-toxic and made from crushed and ground fossils of diatoms (a type of algae).
It is an all-natural, environmentally friendly product with no chemicals or pesticides. It leaves no stains/marks and is biodegradable.
Diatomaceous earth is often used to reduce odor by binding ammonia; it absorbs moisture and is a natural desiccant, keeping the environment clean, dry and fresh. A dry environment reduces the risk of infestation by, for example:
- Fleas, Mites and Insects
- red mite
Insects, lice, mites and fleas have an armor that ensures that they keep enough moisture inside. The diatomaceous earth has sharp edges and opens the armor of the animals when they walk over the powder, this ensures that the moisture is sucked out, so that the insects and mites dry themselves.
Diatomaceous earth is not effective against caterpillars such as cabbage worms. Because of their thick sticky slime layer that helps them travel safely through sandy soil, DE is also not harmful to earthworms. That means you can safely use a light dusting of DE in a worm compost bin that has become infested with mites, fungus gnats or ants. Diatomaceous earth is considered relatively safe for bees - when applied correctly, in moderation and not in direct contact with them.
Where can it be used?
Diatomaceous earth is often used in the chicken or pigeon coop as organic material. This makes the room a lot more hygienic. But did you know that it can also be used in the garden? Diatomaceous earth is an excellent material for this. You can also dust DE directly on infected plants yourself. However, that poses more risk to wandering bees. Bees are least present and active in the evenings, so that is the best time for DE application. Avoid applying DE during windy conditions.
How do you apply it?
- Sprinkle around places where insects gather, such as drinking and feeding troughs, cracks and seams, on the floor and apply throughout the entire animal enclosure.
- Use for dust baths, nests and perches. If the wall is rough, it can be powdered onto the wall with a brush or dustpan.
In the garden:
- The easiest way to use diatomaceous earth in the garden is to simply sprinkle it on the surface of the soil, around the base of plants, under potted plants or other areas where pest insects are present.
- Mix diatomaceous earth with water and spray around desired areas. Shake regularly to prevent lumps from forming, as the powder does not dissolve.
CAUTION: Diatomaceous earth is a dust-like material with which you must be careful not to get it in your mouth or eyes. Due to the extremely strong moisture absorption, it can cause irritation to your eyes and throat. So always wear a dust mask and glasses. Prevent dust formation.