Diatomaceous Earth is one of the most common natural pest control substances known to gardeners and homesteaders. This fine white powder is the bane of insects everywhere! As a mother of two little boys, a pet owner, and an organic gardener it is very important to me that the pest control we use in our backyard is safe for the whole family. DE is by far my most-used organic pest control agent!
What is Diatomaceous Earth?
In short: ground up fossilized remains of tiny organisms.
From the National Pesticide Information Center:
Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms. Their skeletons are made of a natural substance called silica. Over a long period of time, diatoms accumulated in the sediment of rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans. Today, silica deposits are mined from these areas. source
How Does Diatomaceous Earth Work?
While DE may look like powdered sugar, the tiny particles are actually quite abrasive. When a soft-skinned insect comes in contact with diatomaceous earth, the substance scratches their skin and causes them to dry out and die. The insects that aren’t bothered externally are exterminated when the insect cleans itself and ingests the DE.
How to Use Diatomaceous Earth for Pest Control
When everything is dry, sprinkle DE liberally on problem areas. You can sprinkle directly on your plants, around the perimeter of your house, gardens, and yard, or even add to your chicken’s dust bathing areas to help manage mites! When I lived on a farm we put it in our animal’s feed. The scratchy dust won’t bother a large mammal, so it’s safe for them to ingest in small quantities, mixed with their feed, but you probably wouldn’t want to have them inhaling large amounts as with any dusty substance, it could effect their breathing.
DE is safe to get on your skin. It’s even safe to eat. I haven’t consumed any personally, but many people do! If you’re worried about consuming it after using it on your vegetable garden, just rinse your produce before eating it.
Jessica Buchanan says
I love reading your articles, I’ve learned so much!
What a fantastic giveaway!!! LOVE DE and since I’m dying to get some chickens this is like my dream prize. :)
Great ideas for DE uses.
Chris S. says
I knew about DE for garden pest but didn’t know you could use for the chickens. :)
Harlen Dyer says
I hard about the giveaway from your newsletter.
i heard about this giveaway from your newsletter. :-)
My family and I are in the process of buying a ten acre plot where we hope to start raising animals and growing crops. This chicken coop would be a fantastic way to begin being more self sufficient!
I read about in in my email.
I would love to be able to raise my own chickens. We use a whole lot of eggs and usually get them from a neighbor down the road but it would be great to collect our own.
DE is such a great, safe pest controller! I use it when ants overrun the house foundation, but I didn’t know it could be used for chickens and mite control. I’m just learning about chickens now! Thanks for the post.
Found out about this by email newsletter! I have been wanting chickens! I think if I won this gorgeous coop my husband would get on board ☺
debra t hill says
lots of very good information and tips for those of us just beginning.
Laura P. says
Thanks for the e-mail letting me know about this great giveaway!
Michelle in OK says
I discovered this morning that I am going to have to rebuild my chicken coop. All this rain has broken through the roof and the supports are saturated and flaking apart. :-( But, if I win a new coop, I can skip that step this spring! Yay!
My mom sent me a link, thats how I heard about it, we just bought a house on 3 acres and I want to have chickens so I would love to win this!!!
Jill Young says
Our family uses Diatomaceous Earth all the time! We use it for pest control, flea killer, gardening, and our pets. We had just been talking about adding a chicken coop to our growing homestead. Love the article.
Got your email, excited about these items! We’re starting from scratch :/ :)
It would be awesome to win this chicken coop!
Working on building a chicken coop now. Wanting to learn as much as possible before getting chickens.
I’ve always wanted to raise chickens.
money always been tight. Would love to have the opportunity.
We could use a coop so i could get chickens started. Its something i have wanted to start doing.
We are getting chickens soon. Yippy
What a great package – thanks for posting it!!
Gail Gardner says
I used 150 lbs of Diatomaceous earth during a couple years in Texas when grasshoppers could eat a huge squash plant down almost to the ground. Not a single leaf left – they even ate the stems! At night the tops of the fence bordering the garden and yard were solid grasshoppers like bumper-to-bumper traffic along the top fence edge and even lower down on the fencing.
I used a 4 lb grain scoop to fill a big strainer and then shook it over ever plant, powdering them like you would put powdered sugar on a cake. Between that and grasshopper bait on all four sites I could keep damage to a minimum – but run out of bait or fail to powder daily and there might not be a garden left by the next morning!
I almost never enter a giveaway, but I want to support getting the word out about this natural pest control method.
Michelle H says
Oh! My 10 year old daughter would love this. She’s been wanting chickens for two years now. We have had to put it on hold until other necessary expenses could be taken care of.
I’ve told her once we have a chicken coop we can get chickens; we’re shooting for next year to be able to build or purchase one. This would be a tremendous help towards getting chickens this year, which was the original plan.
I just started using DE last year and will continue to do so. Looking forward to a great gardening year!
Terry B. says
Thanks for the chance to win. I want chickens some day, and this coop is so cute!
Kristin M says
I have been trying to talk my husband into getting chickens for years. I think winning this would make him give in!
Irene Sommerfeld says
I heard about this through the newsletter. I have 4 little bantams and no coop. I am trying to build one but it’s not going well. If I won this they would have a much better house than what I could build.
I <3 chickens!
Sandy Green says
I would love to win this chicken coop for my daughter, Cathy. She wants to raise chickens. Cathy is the most giving person that I have ever met and I would love to be able to give this to her.
Deb W says
We, unfortunately, had to learn the hard way, that DE helps rid your home of bedbugs. Blech! We’d love to have chickens!
We like to use DE on all our animals.
Would love to own chickens for their fresh eggs.
We’re in process of fixing old coop/deciding if we need to build a new one. Winning a coop would be a real blessing as money is a bit tight right now. The other prizes are great too! Thanks for this chance.
Joseph West says
Great give away.
Iryna B. says
What a wonderful giveaway! Thank you! I got the news from your Newsletter
Teri A says
We plan to have chickens next spring. We would love to win a new coop. Thanks for the chance!
Cindy Trowbridge says
What a wonderful prize package, I would love to win it.
I have not used DE before, but I am VERY interested. I am always looking for ways to reduce the insect damage. In an effort to go organic I usually plant much more than I need so I can afford to lose some, but all that extra work…. uggg. I need to try this! BTW…. my flock would LOVE the penthouse digs….
Keep up the good work Erica…. your site is great!
Wayne C says
I worked hard to get the local laws changed to allow for the keeping of Egg Laying Hens, now I need a Coop to walk the talk. I’ll also give DE a try throughout my organic raised bed gardens, based on the informative article.
This looks very interesting. I am so excited about this giveaway!
This comes to my attention just at the perfect time! I’m helping my son set up his small homestead (where I shall eventually live, too, upon retirement) and this coop would be a godsend for jumpstarting the poultry production. Blessings.
One of God's says
Learned of this giveaway via your newsletter. Really hope to win as my biddies are in need of a new home. They’re quite the delight and provide enough eggs to meet all our needs and to share with friends.
I just recently started following your blog and getting into really learning about homesteading, essential oils, and self-sufficiency. I have learned so much in just a couple of weeks and am loving it!
I’m new to this way of life & these blogs are my education. Thank you! Oh, and I could sure use the coop – transitioning to the wise life takes a lot.
Brenda Jahnke says
I heard about the giveaway in your newsletter!
Carrie s says
I love DE. It is great in my garden
Mary Wilkins says
I used DE to get rid of fleas in the house a few years ago when a visitor lugged them in! Ughh
I have lots leftover and wanted to use it in my garden but am concerned that it might harm the earthworms. Does anyone know about safety in that regard? Otherwise, I will continue to just use my peppermint essential oil and water spray…
Cathy Y says
How does it help get rid of fleas? I have a dog that is allergic to them and I really hate having to use chemical drops on her, but the flea allergy is worse.
Erica Mueller says
Fleas have a tough exoskeleton, so they’d have to eat it, when trying to clean themselves, in order for it to kill them. While DE would help cut down on them, I doubt it would get rid of them completely. My parents used to mix sulphur with the DE and spread on the whole yard with a seed spreader. We never had fleas, ticks, or chiggers when they did that.
I’d try also mixing some lavender and Purify essential oils with arrowroot powder and using it like a dry shampoo on your dog. This killed the fleas on mine and afterwards the groomer said she was free of fleas! It made her smell better too. haha
If you go to earthworkshealth.com they explain how DE works in great detail. You can use it for TONS of things. The DE actually rubs off the waxy coating on the insects and that’s what causes them to die. So it will work on most insects that have that waxy outer layer. It’s really cheap and works great as absorb odors too, like in an outside trash can or as a carpet deodorizer.
We sprinkle it in our horses grain bin to kill any spiders or anything else that may get in there, plus it acts as a natural wormer for the horses when mixed into their grain. We’ve used it that way for years instead of the store/vet purchased wormer and have never had a positive worm test for the horses. You can sprinkle it on your pets bedding, or in the horse stalls/lean-to’s, etc. I like to mow the grass really short a few times during the summer and spread it around the back yard so the dogs don’t get anything. Though I still use flea and heartworm meds just in case.
But the web site lists tons of uses and it’s completely safe other than drying out your hands and you don’t actually want to breath it in or get it in your eyes obviously.