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Diatomaceous earth

Joplin, MO(Zone 6b)

ok i am posting here as well as on the pet site bc i seem to remember someone on here having allergy issues with this product... but i can't remember if i am right or who it was.. so i wanted to toss this out there & see who likes this product & if they've ever used it to control fleas or black flies. We have a LOT of no see ums, black flies that bite & fleas in our yard at the new house. I can't spray due to the chickens.. who aren't eating the things fast enough. Will this hurt the chickens? has anyone used it before for this? I know i can apply it directly to the dogs & cats including the kittens which is what we were looking for bc they are all infested horridly due to being outside on occasion. Shoot we are bit up around the ankles just from walking in the yard! Any suggestions?

Lodi, CA(Zone 9b)

It was me that hated the stuff. My chickens came down with respiratory problems soon after applying it to the coop and the birds. I could barely go near the coop for days after that.. it is horrible stuff to breathe in. I'd resort to spraying before I'd ever use it for fleas. I've sprayed for flies and I've used garden dust on the ground.. but never again will I use DE for anything but an occasional food additive for worms.. I've given it to my dog in scrambled eggs for worms. I love the stuff for that.. :)

Some people use it and never have a problem.. unfortunately, it wasn't me.

Joplin, MO(Zone 6b)

everything i have found to spray with you have to keep all chickens, cats, dogs & children off the yard for 24 hours... not happening. I can't house them all somewhere for that long.. not set up for it yet. Fleas at the new house are HORRID. I found out you don't' have to put it everywhere on the yard just some places.. my brother used it on his cows for black flies & something else. I found out it made me sneeze bc i inhaled it but it was more of a startled sneeze.. I wouldn't' put it in the coop. Just on the grass. So i wonder if that would make a difference?

Orlando, FL(Zone 9b)

I've used it outside, in limited quantities to deal with soldier flies and fleas with no real problems. The way it works is the tiny particles are sharp and cut the fleas/larvae's bodies. I always err on using less rather than more and only use it after big rains when the flies like to lay their eggs in the moist dirt.

Why not use Sevin dust? I think that stuff is safe around chickens (they say you can even use it on veggies). In fact, I think some people on here said they apply directly to their dust bath areas for mite control. I've used it for fleas inside and out and it works great.

Lodi, CA(Zone 9b)

Yup vnickdd... that's what I do... I just had such a bad experience with DE.. I use "Poultry & Garden" dust.. and love it!

Richmond, TX

Me too.

(Zone 6b)

We had sand fleas in the house once, it was miserable. I finally gave up and sprinkled seven dust on the carpet and vacuumed it up. I am sure it isn't all that safe, but it didn't kill us and it did get rid of the fleas.

Joplin, MO(Zone 6b)

my mom is highly allergic to Seven dust... i'm not.. but i'm not sure about spreading it around the yard in large amounts when she lives right next door..... might put it inside on the carpet tho & vaccume! Light for Jesus.. how long did you leave it down before you vacuumed it up?

(Zone 6b)



If your mother is allergic to it, maybe it isn't a good idea.



Joplin, MO(Zone 6b)

i could use it on the carpet.. she rarely comes inside the house. She's been trying to stay home & not crowd us since she lives right next door. She uses it on her plants.. & veggies I just have to put it out & wash them before they go in the house to her.

Tucson, AZ(Zone 9a)

You're NOT supposed to inhale DE!!! Hopefully you're getting the food grade DE, as the pool grade is much worse, but you could still get silicosis from inhaling it. If you're spraying it, be sure there are no animals around and wear a mask. Goggles wouldn't hurt, either.

What you experienced is probably not an allergy, it's very likely pure irritation, which is a completely different physiological reaction, but it is a reaction. DE can be sprayed or poured wet as a slurry and allowed to dry, which knocks the likelihood of inhaling it way down. Or sprinkled, preferably with you being somewhat upwind and there being not much wind. It's a great food additive, sprinkled into a feed bin it not only keeps bugs out but dessicates any that are already in there.

Richmond, TX

Since diatomaceous earth is so abrasive to worms and bugs, I have always wondered what it does to our animals' innards. If it irritates the lungs, could it not also be a problem for the linings of the stomach and intestines?

Lodi, CA(Zone 9b)

When you use DE in the coop and there is a breeze, or your girls stir up the shavings, there is no way to avoid breathing it.. even more so for them. That is why I will never again use it where they can stir it up. To put it in their dust bathing area must be torture to them. Even if you apply it wet, it still gets blown around in time. The benefits don't outweigh the consequences if you ask me. My flock got respiratory problems from it... Something they otherwise never suffer from.

I do use it as an occasional food additive for parasites, but for not for daily feed.

Food grade is a given. LOL

(Zone 6b)

I was thinking it must work pretty well because I spread it around in my den after I pulled up the flooring. I also put down a mixture of powdered sugar, baking soda and borax. Anyway, I had a few bugs the first part of spring, but since then, not a bug one. So, something in the combination of four worked.

Wonder if that would work for the fly problem in the backyard. I have those plastic fly traps and they seem to work fairly well.

Tucson, AZ(Zone 8a)

We have been using DE for our cats in their food for worms for over 5 years now. We have also used it for feral kittens who were saturated with fleas, we have used it for odor control in damp places..and we have 50-100 chickens here at any time and I use it in their yard without issues. If I move a chick pen and the straw smells like ammonia, I get the DE and sprinkle it over it, immediately the odor is gone and the chickens come and do as chickens do and turn it all into compost material. I know of many people on chicken forums who have been using it for years. You aren't supposed to lay it down heavily. I use a flour sifter and just sift it over the dirt. It doesn't poof up, it just mixes in the dirt as it is stepped on. We are getting another pen ready to use and sifting DE over the dirt before adding straw is a step we do to take care of things living in the dirt I may not want there, etc..the stuff works. But no, you aren't supposed to inhale it or apply it so heavily it makes clouds of stuff to breathe in.

(Zone 6b)

That's so good to know Tucson.

Tucson, AZ(Zone 9a)

ILT- the flour sifter is a great idea. I got one of those things that looks sorta like a Super Soaker only you fill the bin with DE (or Sevin, as you prefer) and anoint your area of choice. Works well, I won't use it if there's any breeze A sifter would lay down a little heavier layer and not be as inclined to be airborne as stuff from the dust gun.

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