One of my friends used to work with horses. She had a farm and a stable. She loved horses. She and her husband worked hard every day to care and provide for the eight horses they had. Her husband had to undergo hip replacement surgery and the thought of her taking care of the horses, stables, children, and her husband while holding down a full time job seemed herculean to me. So… I offered to assist with the horse stall cleaning and feeding for the six weeks her husband was out of commission. ( I am neither a saint nor stupid… although I was called a saint and felt stupid for all the work I did not realize would be accompanied by such a an offer.)
I did learn quite a bit… every day whilst making up the food troughs for each of the eight horses (with a wonderful hand made chart that allowed me to follow instructions to a T.)
One such lesson was the benefits of diatomaceous earth. What? I know. What it is, in terms that I found the most beneficial, is a safe alternative for insect and parasite control.
It is derived from freshwater fossil organisms. Diatomaceous Earth is the finely ground fossils of prehistoric fresh water diatoms. Again, huh? Basically, it is the powder from diatomite’s that have been around since prehistoric times. Diatoms are plants that have been built into deep chalky deposits of diatomite. The diatomite is mined and then ground up to a very fine powder… looks and feels like talcum powder. What is boils down to be is that it is a mineral based pesticide.
Diatomaceous earth is deadly to insects. It is a powder dust with microscopic razor sharp edges (not to us… way to small and we are way to big to feel its effects). The razor sharp edges cut through an insect’s protective coating. It attaches to the waxy shell of insects and larvae, ripping holes; causing said insects and larvae to dehydrate and die.
To insects DE is a lethal dust with microscopic razor sharp edges. These sharp edges cut through the insects’ protective covering drying it out and killing them when they are either dusted with DE or if it applied as a wet powder spray. If they ingest the DE it will shred their insides.
How is this prevalent? What on earth can diatomaceous earth be used for?
Uses for diatomaceous earth- takes on “Raid” characteristics and kills bugs dead.
Imagine an invisible barrier that you cannot cross, and if you do cross, you will slowly die. That is one way to use Diatomaceous Earth- as a barrier to control such insects and larvae as adult flea beetles, mites, fleas, ticks, bedbugs, snails and cockroaches. Sprinkle a light layer in the areas where you have seen an infestation and in areas you do not want to see an infestation. Areas such as under stoves, cabinets, garbage cans and window sills.
Is this dangerous? It sounds pretty icky… but it is not. Diatomaceous kills physically not chemically; therefore, no lasting damage is done to an animal’s tissue. It targets microscopic insects, and larvae not animals.
On my handy little hand written instruction sheet included adding a tablespoon to each of the horses’ food. My friend was adamant that it kept the horses’ parasite and mosquito free as well as kept fleas at bay. Fleas?
Remember I am involved with cat rescue and we intake cats infested with fleas all the time. Yes, before entering a foster parent’s home each cat is given a capstar and advantage.
People are under the impression if you flea treat a cat, or any animal, that is enough. Since I learned about DE, I also wash their bedding with it as well as sprinkle some in my car once a week to ensure death to these pesky little buggers. I do not want them in my house. Do you? I also do not want them inside my animals… tapeworms are the result of ingesting fleas. I also have started sprinkling some in our cat’s food as well. What have I noticed, it that their coats are shinier, and their eyes are shinier.
My mother called me today to tell me she took the family cat to the vet today because she was scratching so bad she seemed to have lost have her fur. Every month I go home and flea treat all her animals; last month, at the start of summer, I recommended flea bombing the house, and well as the farm vehicles, to provide greater protection against fleas.
I am going home this weekend loaded with my diatomaceous earth and I will be sprinkling it all around her home and the farm vehicles as well as the cat’s bedding.
I used to love those “Raid” commercials… kills bugs dead. Well. I am older now and I still want to kill bugs dead. This works in my home. It worked in my friend’s home. It will work in my parent’s home as well. Cats, horses, dogs, and cows… not being infested with insects and larvae… that’s what on earth I use DE for.