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