Friday, June 11, 2010

What is Diatomaceous earth and How is it Used?

Diatomaceous earth is not really an "earth". It is a product made from the fossilized remains of microscopic shells created by one celled plants called Diatoms. These plants inhabit all the waters of the earth. Some of these deposits shifted to dry land. There are different grades of Diatomaceous earth that are used for different purposes. Only use fresh water, FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous earth for humans or animals. Food Grade Diatomaceous earth is also called Fossil shell flour.

Diatomaceous earth is used as an insecticide. Its fine powder absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insects' exoskeletons, which causes them to dehydrate. It's often used instead of boric acid to control and eliminate a cockroach infestation. It's used to control insects in grain storage, and also to get rid of ticks, fleas, aphids, silverfish, bed bugs, red spider mites, and other insects in the home. Use it as a barrier against slugs and snails. Diatomaceous Earth is pure organic so it won't harm the soil, earthworms, or any animals that eat the insects that came in contact with it.
Use Diatomaceous earth outdoors in the garden, on the lawn, and around the foundation of your home. Use it in storage sheds, in your attic, basement, and under your house, To prevent termites, sprinkle in wood chips, mulch, and in dark damp areas.  Put it in the walls around insulation when building or renovating a home.
It's beneficial as a soil additive, adding nitrogen to the soil. Diatomaceous earth can retain over 6 times its weight in moisture and will release it as the plants need it.

Diatomaceous earth will also kill beneficial insects, so avoid using it where beneficial insects may stay.


Diatomaceous earth can be used as a filter medium, especially for swimming pools. It is used in chemistry under the brand name Celatom or Celite to filter very fine particles that would pass through or clog filter paper. It is also used to filter water in fish tanks, in making beer and wine, and to filter syrups and sugar.


Because of its absorbency, it's a great product to use for cleaning up spills, and it's even recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to clean up toxic liquid spills.


Diatomaceous earth is approved by the US Department of Agriculture as a feed supplement. It's used on organic vegetables and in grain storage.  That white powder wash you see on organic vegetables and fruits is probably Diatomaceous earth and it is safe to eat.  Diatomaceous Earth is used in grains, rice, oats, beans and other grains for protection from insects.  
It keeps fly larvae from developing in manure. Mix it with feed for chickens and turkeys. It makes their shells harder, dries droppings quickly and reduces odors.


Diatomaceous earth is often used in hydroponic gardens, which is a way of growing plants with mineral nutrient solutions in water rather than using soil.
It is also used in potted plants People who grow bonsai trees use it as a soil additive or even pot a tree solely in Diatomaceous earth. It retains water and nutrients while draining fast, similar to vermiculite and perlite.


Only use FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous earth (Fossil shell flour). Other grades are harmful.Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth Fresh Water (Fossil Shell Flour) is totally natural and organic and listed with OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute).
The Food and Drug Administration considers Food Grade Diatomaceous earth - generally recognized as safe (GRAS).

Human Uses for Fossil Shell Flour

As far as I can determine, there are no studies or research to prove Fossil Shell Flour is beneficial to humans, but there are many testimonials. It is suggested to mix 1 heaping tsp. with a glass of water or juice on a daily basis.
FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous earth (Fossil shell flour) is believed to eliminate parasites, stop arthritis, clean your colon, reduce cholesterol levels, regulate bowl movements, stop diarrhea, pull heavy metals form the bloodstream, and much more. In Europe, it's used to strengthen hair, bones, teeth, skin and nails.


Do not put Diatomaceous earth in a microwave.
Because of its absorbent qualities, your hands can become dry if you don't wear gloves.
If you have asthma or some other lung ailment, wear a mask or make sure you're not around any moving air.
Diatomaceous earth is drying to the eyes, so don't handle it when you or your pets are down wind of it. If you use it on your pets, put a towel over your pet's head to protect its eyes.
Don't give Diatomaceous earth to very small pregnant animals such as cats and guinea pigs.
Don't continually feed it to babies or small animals. Diatomaceous Earth can be fed on a continuous basis to larger animals and livestock.
The flux-calcined form of diatomaceous earth contains a highly crystalline form of silica. The sharpness of this version makes it dangerous to breathe and you should use a dust mask when working with it.
If you sprinkle Diatomaceous earth in your carpet to control fleas or other insects, don't use very much. Because of its powdery substance, too much may clog your vacuum cleaner.
Don't use pool filter grade diatomaceous earth around animals. It can poison or kill them. Only use food grade (fossil shell flour).
Diatomaceous earth is an interesting and beneficial product. You can do a search on the internet for places to buy it. Make sure you buy FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous earth (Fossil shell flour) for human and animal use.