Ever wonder how to control insects without using toxic, chemically-based insecticides? Has it ever occurred to you that there is a very valid reason that you should vacate a house when you spray Raid or “bomb” the place to get rid of the pests? Do you really think that the residue is completely gone once you return?
Enter Diatomaceous Earth. Sounds like dirt or dust, but in actuality it is a fossil (another name for it is “Fossil Shell Flour”). It’s made up of microscopic little shells of diatoms, a one-celled type of algae. These fossilized shells have tiny little points, which puncture an insect’s exoskeleton and dry them up, killing them. In this way, Diatomaceous Earth is a mechanical insecticide, not a chemical one. Because of this, insects cannot become immune or resistant to Diatomaceous Earth. On the downside, Diatomaceous Earth will kill all insects – even good ones – so it should be used carefully!
Diatomaceous Earth has little to no health effects to humans or pets as long as it has not been treated for use in such things as swimming pools – look for “Amorphous Freshwater Diatomaceous Earth” and a “silica-content” of less than 1.5% to ensure that it is safe to use on pets or around people or farm animals.
In fact, Diatomaceous Earth is used in some livestock feed to kill any bugs that might eat or ruin the feed before it can be fed to the animals. Diatomaceous Earth is so safe, the livestock just eats it with the food! It actually can kill worms or parasites that live inside animals as well as the pests that bother them on the outside.
Try Diatomaceous Earth next time you have a little bit of a bug problem instead of using chemical sprays and other toxic products. You (and the Earth) will be glad you did!