Diatomaceous Earth on the Homestead: How to use it

It took me a while to learn how to pronounce Diatomaceous Earth (die-a-toe-may-scious earth) but despite it’s complicated name, it’s a must-have item on the homestead. This powdery substance can be used in many ways around the homestead from protecting your flock from nasty insects to keeping your pets flea-free.

Add Diatomaceous Earth to your homestead toolbox. It has many uses both on the homestead and in the home.

Add Diatomaceous Earth to your homestead toolbox. It has many uses both on the homestead and in the home.

What is Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous earth is made from fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard shelled algae. It is a naturally occurring soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that is crumbled into a fine white powder.

How to use Diatomaceous Earth on the Homestead

The most popular use of Diatomaceous Earth is as a natural pesticide, but this all-natural powder can do much more than that. Read on to find out how to use this wonderful product on your homestead. Always make sure you are using food grade DE. Also, be sure to wear a mask when working with DE in large amounts. While it poses no threat to humans, you should avoid breathing in the fine dust.

Protect your flock

Keep pesky bugs away from your flock, your home and even your dog with Diatomaceous Earth. How this abrasive powder works is that is slices through the outer layer of fleas, ticks, mites and worms causing them dehydrate and die.

To protect your flock add DE to dust baths and food, sprinkle underneath bedding and inside nesting boxes. You can also sprinkle DE around your coop to keep bugs away. To feed it to your flock, mix 1/2 teaspoon per dry cup of feed, mix in and give to your flock. Feeding DE helps control any internal parasites and worms.

Diatomaceous Earth can be used in a similar manner for different types of poultry including turkeys, geese and ducks.

For more tips on keeping your coop clean visit this post.

Protect Pets from Fleas, Ticks, Mites and Lice

You can also use DE to help keep your pets healthy and happy. DE can be applied to dogs in two ways: internally and externally. Externally, DE is used as a preventative for fleas, ticks, lice and mites. Sprinkle lightly onto your pet and work the powder into their coat, especially around the ears and belly. Avoid contact with their face. It is recommended to apply Diatomaceous Earth every two to three days during tick season. Internally, DE can be used as a natural dewormer and will help with roundworms, pinworms and tapeworms. To feed DE mix 1 tsp per 25 lbs. of body weight into your pet’s food. It is recommended to feed for 30 days to eliminate worms and any larvae.

Diatomaceous Earth can be used in a similar manner with other homestead animals including cattle, horses, goats and sheep. Make sure you are using food grade DE such as this one from DiatomaceousEarth.com.

Protect Your Garden from Pests

Diatomaceous Earth does a great job at keeping pests at bay around your homestead, including in the garden. Keep unwanted bugs away from plants by adding DE to your garden toolbox.

Diatomaceous Earth can protect your plants from pesky insects. Simply sprinkle on the leaves after a watering or rain. It can also be used around the roots to prevent slugs from attacking stems.

Diatomaceous Earth can protect your plants from pesky insects. Simply sprinkle on the leaves after a watering or rain. It can also be used around the roots to prevent slugs from attacking stems.
Photo by Erica Mueller

Have a slug problem? Sprinkle a ring of DE around your plants to keep them away from your crops.

Aphids attacking your crop? Act fast by watering plants and then sprinkling with DE, ensuring to get underneath the leaves. Also sprinkle DE at the base of plant to make sure you get any aphids trying to flee the scene.

You can also apply DE around garden beds and on top of soil to keep pests at bay. It works on a number of insects including slugs, aphids, beetles, aunts and squash bugs. While DE poses no threat to human health, it can be easily washed off before consumption.

As a Beauty Product

Diatomaceous Earth, while an effective pest control product, is also a natural abrasive. It can be added to homemade toothpaste recipes as well as face washes to provide a gentle abrasive for teeth and skin. According to DiatomaceousEarth.com, you can mix DE with water for a simple facial cleanser or simply add it to your favourite cleanser for some gentle exfoliation. To make your own, simply add DE to water to form a paste and apply it to your skin avoiding the eyes and mouth. Leave on for two minutes and then wash off. To avoid drying out your skin, use this every couple of weeks.

You can also add DE to your existing toothpaste to attack bacteria and keep your mouth clean. Wellness Mama has a great recipe for making your own toothpaste with DE.

As a cleaner

That natural abrasion is not only good for keeping your skin soft and your teeth white, it also works to keep your homestead clean. DE can be used on its own with a little bit of water to scrub down countertops, stainless steel and silverware. For a stronger cleaner, add DE to a mix of vinegar and dish soap. DE is also gentle enough that it can be used to scrub toilets.

DiatomaceousEarth.com has a great post on using DE as a household cleaner.

You can also use DE as a natural deoderizer for garbage cans, carpets and shoes. You can also use DE in place of baking soda to keep your fridge smelling fresh.

Diatomaceous Earth can also be used as a natural pest control inside the home. Simply sprinkle the powder around doors and windows to keep bugs away.

As a Supplement

Food grade DE contains about 14 trace minerals but it is largely made up of amorphous silica. Reported health benefits of adding DE to your diet include: better digestive health, regulates the bowel, detoxifies, colon health, cholesterol reduction, better food absorption, better night’s sleep, clear skin, strong teeth and gums, healthier hair and nails, lessens joint and ligament pain, helps arthritis, energy boost, soothes burns and insect bites, clears rashes, reduces acne.

Making DE a part of your diet is easy. Simply add 1/2 tsp of DE to an 8 ounce glass of juice or water, stir and drink. Diatomaceous Earth can cause dehydration so be sure to drink lots of fluids throughout the day. It is recommended to start with a low dose of 1/2 tsp which you can slowly build up. It is recommended you not exceed 1 Tbsp per day. For best results, consume daily prior to eating.

Win with DiatomaceousEarth.com and The Homestead Bloggers Network

Now that you’ve learned the great uses of Diatomaceous Earth on your homestead, you have a chance to win some of this great stuff along with some amazing prizes. The Homestead Bloggers Network has teamed up with DiatomaceousEarth.com for an amazing giveaway with some great prizes up for grabs, including a brand new coop. All you have to do to enter is visit my Facebook page and follow me on Pinterest for a bonus entry.

Contest is open to residents of Canada and the United States.

Diatomaceous Earth has many uses on the homestead. Read on to learn the benefits of this 100% natural product and for a chance to win some DE and great prizes.

Win one of these great prizes with the Homestead Bloggers Network and DiatomaceousEarth.com

Prize 1: The Tavern Backyard  Chicken Coop ($449 value) and 10 lbs of DE

Prize 2: iPad Mini ($249 value) and 2 lbs of DE

Prize 3: Family Preparedness Seed Vault ($149 value) and 5 lbs food grade DE

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is generously sponsored by DiatomaceousEarth.com and The Homestead Blogger’s Network. 

9 thoughts on “Diatomaceous Earth on the Homestead: How to use it

  1. Michelle says:

    I’d love to win the chicken coop since we are trying to be more self sufficient. And I have always wanted to try DE and so glad for the info. I volunteer with dog rescue so need to make sure they all stay pest free and this would be great for the old and special needs ones especially. Thanks for a great website!

  2. Michele says:

    I need this, pronto, for slug control!! My ‘Tom Thumb’ lettuce is going to be down to a nub if the slugs keep at it! 😉 Thanks for the head’s up!

  3. I have seriously be under utilizing DE! This is a great post, I’ve got all kinds of ideas on how to use my DE now 🙂

    Thanks for sharing at the Homestead Blog Hop!

  4. Teresa Garrett says:

    HI, I came across your blog and I love it!!
    I can’t find where to put my email address in so I can subscribe to your newsletters.
    Please let me know where it is so I can start getting your newsletters. 🙂
    Thank you have a good day.
    Teresa

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