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Got Pests? Get Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth (pic from Rise 'N' Shine Farm)

Diatomaceous Earth (pic from Rise 'N' Shine Farm)

Meet diatomaceous earth, a totally natural, non-toxic insecticide.

It’s a fine, white powder which looks something like lime. But whereas lime is calcium oxide treated with water, diatomaceous earth is a soft, sedimentary earth made of fossilized algae. It’s abrasive to the touch, and under a microscope you can see why; it’s made of sharp, glass-like shards. Therein lies its efficacy: sprinkle it around unwanted bugs, and it’ll get into their exoskeleton, abrade the waxy layer that keeps them hydrated, dry them out and kill them dead.

On the other hand, diatomaceous earth is harmless to mammals. While you generally shouldn’t go around breathing it, you can safely dust your dogs, cats and backyard chickens to relieve them of fleas, ticks and mites. You can also dust around your house to repel sugar ants. You can dust your garden rows, too. It doesn’t work if it gets wet, so just make sure to do your dusting when it’s dry.

Food-grade diatomaceous earth can even be eaten, to no harm. Farmers mix this into grain crops to guard against mealworms and other bugs during storage. If you intend to dust your animals or use it around small children, food-grade DE is the way to go.

If you’re interested, you can read more about diatomaceous earth here, here and of course, here.


About Healing Ponds Farm

Healing Ponds is 40 acres in Buxton, OR. Our farm store, Ludemans Farm & Garden Center, is in Beaverton. We do open-pollinated seeds, pastured eggs and meats, raw milk herd shares, chicks and a lot of other things.


3 thoughts on “Got Pests? Get Diatomaceous Earth

  1. I love how Diatomaceous Earth has no synthetic chemicals, no odor or additives of any kind. It is also a completely natural product, that is inexpensive and non-toxic for humans. It doesn’t evaporate, or get old and stale. It is a natural mineral, and a very effective bed bugs killer. – Johann

    Posted by Bed Bug Killer | June 16, 2011, 12:15 pm


  1. Pingback: My Chicken Stopped Laying! « ludeman's farm & garden center - October 11, 2011

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We sell beef. 100% pastured.

We sell beef. 100% pastured. Ask for details.

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