What’s That White Powder?

These microscopic diatoms are the descendants of the animals that created the fossils that become diatomaceous earth.

Have you ever heard of diatomaceous earth? If you haven’t heard of it, I’m about to share with you some amazing facts about this substance that can help you avoid the use of pesticides around your house and yard.

Several years ago, I was working at Shearers, a potato chip factory. Some of the varieties of chips that they made were considered organic which meant that they couldn’t be made using pesticides even inside the factory. Therefore, the management kept everything as clean as possible. We not only had to wear shoe covers and hair nets, but as we entered the factory, we walked onto the floor by walking over a mat containing diatomaceous earth because it used a physical rather than chemical means of controlling insect infestation.

Diatomaceous Earth, also referred to as “DE”, a naturally occurring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that can be crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder formed from the fossil remains of diatoms. This dried sediment is also very high in silica and its deposits are found all around the world.

Can Use as An Insecticide

Diatomaceous earth is thought to kill insects by dehydrating them or drying them out. If applied carefully, it can be used as an insecticide for fleas and ticks on pets without harmful chemicals. It can be used for the same purpose in the garden or orchard.

Though it isn’t a chemical poisoning that causes diatomaceous earth to control insects, you need to take precautions when using this substance.

First, use only use food-grade diatomaceous earth if using this substance internally or externally on humans and pets. (Nonfood grade DE is used for other applications that do not involve direct use with humans and animals.)

Also, avoid breathing in diatomaceous earth because it is composed of small silica (glass!) particles and though it doesn’t cause skin problems, it can harm the delicate tissues within the lungs.

This is explained more in-depth in my book Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard.

It Can Be Taken Internally

In addition to being used as an insecticide, it can also be used for other purposes including taking internally.

When taken by mouth, diatomaceous earth is for treating high cholesterol, and constipation. It is also thought to remove heavy metals from the body through the digestive tract. Ingesting DE improves skin, nails, teeth, bones, and hair health.

Can be Used Externally

When applied to the skin or teeth, diatomaceous earth is used to brush teeth or remove unwanted dead skin cells. And more!

My book Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard gives much more details on how DE can be used to reduce the number of toxic chemicals you use around the house.

Now it’s your turn? Do you use DE? How do you use it?

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