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Image ID: corp2365, NOAA Corps Collection
Photographer: Dr. Neil Sullivan, USC
Fossil Shell Flour: DE or Diatomaceous Earth has many uses. The EPA has approved it as an anti-caking agent in animal feed. In addition, DE is approved by the FDA for internal and external use as a Food Grade Chemical.
If you are bothered by any of the following pests, DE is a good way to fight them: ants, bedbugs, box elder bugs, carpet beetles, centipedes, crickets, cockroaches, earwigs, fleas, grasshoppers, millipedes, slugs and silverfish.
Diatomaceous Earth is odorless and nontoxic and looks like white powder. It is composed of finely milled fossilized shells of minuscule organisms called diatoms (image at right). The powder has an abrasive quality similar to pumice with very high porosity. The porosity allows it to absorb moisture easily.
DISCLAIMER: Any food grade diatomaceous earth uses other than those approved by the EPA, FDA, or USDA are strictly based on what others reportedly have done. The information that follows is not intended as a substitute for a veterinarian’s advice, nor is it a substitute for your judgment. It is best if you inform yourself and make decisions based on what you learn.
Because of the pumice-like quality of fossil shell flour, it has been used to deter insect pests. If you are bothered by any of the following pests, DE is a good way to fight them: ants, bedbugs, box elder bugs, carpet beetles, centipedes, crickets, cockroaches, earwigs, fleas, grasshoppers, millipedes, slugs and silverfish.
Indoor and Outdoor Application: Sprinkle a light layer of Diatomaceous Earth in areas where pests frequent, including under stoves, cabinets, sinks, garbage cans, window and door frames and sills, entrance ways, sewer pipes and drains, and in cracks and crevices. Repeat treatment as needed.
Since this is food grade Diatomaceous Earth, it can be taken internally. Internal and external pests and parasites tend to be worse in animals with mineral deficiencies or other health issues. DE may be fed on a continuous basis to larger livestock for both parasite control and mineralization. DE is an excellent source of organic silica and a few trace minerals. The animal’s digestive system is not harmed by its passage; in fact, it has been proven to aid in the absorption of calcium and magnesium. Both calcium and magnesium are used in the body to build bones, teeth, connective tissue, and regulate muscle and blood flow. Since low Magnesium can lead to Grass Tetany in cattle, DE may be an added option for prevention, along with other prophylactic measures. DE can be part of any balanced mineral program in livestock.
Parasite Control for Livestock: For effective use, the DE must be fed long enough to catch all the newly hatching eggs or cycling of the worms through the lungs and back to the stomach. A minimum of 60 days is suggested at 2% of dry weight of the grain ration. If livestock or horses still test positive, increase the dosage. More will not hurt; too little will not help.
|Cattle, including dairy cattle ||2% by weight of dry ration |
|Calves ||4 grams in morning |
|Chickens ||5% in feed |
|Goats ||2% of weight of grain |
|Hogs ||2% of weight of feed ration |
|Horses ||1/2 - 1 cup in daily ration |
|Sheep ||2% of weight of ground grain |
Parasite Control for Pets: If you have pets, DE may be used for parasite control. However, it should never be given to very small pregnant animals such as cats, guinea pigs, etc. It may be given daily.
|Kittens ||1/2 teaspoon |
|Cats ||1 teaspoon |
|Puppies ||½ -1 teaspoon |
|Dogs under 35 lbs ||1 teaspoon |
|Dogs 35-50 lbs ||2 teaspoons |
|Dogs over 50 lbs ||1 Tablespoon |
|Dogs over 100 lbs ||2 Tablespoons |
- IF you have asthma or some other lung ailment, either wear a mask or be very careful when using food grade diatomaceous earth as it is a fine powder.
- Because DE is drying, do NOT get it in your eyes. Be sure to apply it on animals or around them to avoid their eyes, too.
- Do NOT use in carpet. DE can cause vacuum problems.
- NEVER use pool filter grade or any diatomaceous earth other than those labeled "Food Grade" around animals as it is poisonous.
Perma-Guard Diatomaceous Earth MSDS Sheet
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