What Is Diatomaceous Earth?
What is Diatomaceous Earth? Simply put, Diatomaceous Earth (DE), a.k.a. Fossil Shell Flour, is a naturally occurring, somewhat soft, sedimentary rock made up of the fossilized remains of single-celled, hard-shelled algae called diatoms.
Highly porous, it is very light and, depending upon how finely it is ground, can feel gritty, similar to pumice powder, or extremely powdery, more like high-end talc. There are two forms of Diatomaceous Earth: crystalline (heat-treated and non-food-grade) and amorphous (food-grade).
In its crystalline form, D.E. is used in swimming pool filters, as a light abrasive in cleaning products, as an absorbent ingredient in commodities like cat litter, as a thermal insulator, and even as a stabilization agent for TNT. It is not safe for consumption; it's utilized in manufacturing processes and is regulated by OSHA.
In its amorphous form, food-grade D.E. is used as a natural pesticide/insecticide. Very effective against a host of home and garden insects, including arthropods and nematodes, it controls fleas and ticks. It can even be ingested as an anti-parasitic for livestock, pets and their owners. It is used commercially, and is also used by homeowners and apartment dwellers. It is approved for organic gardening and, depending upon its intended uses, may be regulated by the EPA, the CDC or the FDA.
The list of diatomaceous earth benefits is extensive:
- DE is remarkably safe for use around your family and pets.
- DE contains 14 trace minerals, improving livestock and pet health.
- DE eliminates worms & parasites in horses, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, rabbits, chickens.
- DE is a natural and amazingly safe insecticide and repellent.
- DE can be used topically on livestock and pets to control fleas, ticks and lice.
- DE has been proven to be effective against bedbugs.
- DE can be mixed with feed and/or grains to absorb moisture.
What is Diatomaceous Earth? It's what your neighbors, friends and family are reaching for to control life's most noxious pests.