Diatomaceous Earth: A to Z
Diatomaceous Earth (Dye-ah-toe-may-cious Earth) is hard to pronounce but it has a wide array of benefits to people and pets! So what is this Diatomaceous Earth (DE) powder that everyone seems to be talking about? We wrote up a blog post to help you understand more about the awesome effects of Diatomaceous Earth.
What exactly is Diatomaceous Earth?
DE is the fossilized remains of diatoms, a single-celled algae made of silicon dioxide. They are harvested from sediments at the bottom of oceans, rivers, and other bodies of water.
To be classified as Food Grade and safe for ingestion, they go through a rigorous testing to determine whether they have high levels of heavy metals included in the DE deposit. Only the cleanest DE makes it in to the Food Grade classification.
DE looks almost exactly like baking flour. They are very small and light so a 2kg tub of DE can last a very long time.
Diatomaceous Earth for Pest Control
The primary use of DE on pets and for people is for pest control. DE kills insects by scratching their exoskeletons with their sharp microscopic edges. When an insect has a compromised exoskeleton, they become dehydrated and can die in as little as 4 hours. Some insects you can fight against with DE include ticks, ants, silverfish, spiders, earwigs, bed bugs, and many more!
The reason DE is so popular as a method of pest control, although there are other chemicals that do the job much quicker, is that DE is not toxic. Since DE kills insects by mechanical means of ‘microscopic scratching’, there is no danger to us or our pets because well, we don’t have exoskeletons that can be scratched. DE is also safe to ingest and there are benefits to ingestion that we will be going over later.
How to use DE on Animals
Does your dog or cat have a flea infestation? You can simply rub some DE in to their coats and leave it in for as long as it takes to ensure that all the fleas are killed. We recommend giving your dog a thorough bath and a shampooing after having the DE left in their coat to get all the excess DE and dead fleas out. To make sure that no flea eggs or young fleas infest again, the dog or cat should be re-applied with DE after the bath until you are sure the house and your pets are flea-free.
Diatomaceous Earth can also be used as a preventative measure. If you are going camping, walking through the woods, or even going to the park during flea season (May to November), you can rub some DE in to your dog’s coat to prevent fleas.
How to use DE for yourself
DE can be used to help you fight against insects too! Putting DE along window sills and door sills can help stop insects from crawling in to your home and leaving some in an open container can also act as a deodorizer for your closet, fridge, cupboards, etc.
Another popular way to use DE that is not very well known in the general public is taking DE as a supplement. Diatomaceous Earth has a very high silica content. Silica is beneficial in skin, nails, and hair formation. Taking some in your water or food daily has been reported to have helped people with other things as well! Here is a list of things people have seen a benefit in with taking DE:
– The high silica contents can help organs such as heart, liver, and lungs and they are also good for tendons, blood vessels, and bones. (1)
– The silica also helps the skin, teeth, nails, and hair. DE can be made in to a paste by mixing it with water and can be used as a facial exfoliator.
– DE can help lower cholesterol and encourage heart health. (2)
Where Can I Get Diatomaceous Earth?
Here at True Carnivores, we carry several products of Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth. Come visit us and feel free to ask us any questions you may have about using DE for you or your pet. We are always happy to help and meet new people as we get customers from all over the Greater Vancouver Area coming in to buy tubs of DE.
- Martin KR. The chemistry of silica and its potential health benefits. The Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging. 2007 March-April;11(2):94-7.
- Wachter H, Lechleitner M, Artner-Dworzak E, Hausen A, Jarosch E, Widner B, Patsch J, Pfeiffer K, Fuchs D. Diatomaceous earth lowers blood cholesterol concentrations.European Journal of Medical Research. 1998 April 8;3(4):211-5.