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One of the most underrated products out there, Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is something you’ve probably never heard of. Diatomaceous Earth is a form of marine deposit, made up of fossilized diatoms. Composed of biogenic silica, it is usually obtained as a white powdered compound.
What makes diatomaceous earth special is its detoxifying capability. Unlike other sources of silica, DE is easily absorbed by the body. This gives various health benefits like increased bone density, dental health, and fight aging. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. Diatomaceous earth also carries a negative ionic charge, which eliminates free radicals.
Apart from the health uses, Diatomaceous earth has numerous uses in home and garden. Read on to know how you can utilize this miracle dust in your home and garden:
10 Brilliant Uses of Diatomaceous Earth
1. Kill Insects Safely
DE is great for killing insects safely at home. The structure of Diatomaceous Earth creates micro ruptures on the bodies of insects. These tears result in the gradual drying of the fluids in the insect. This subsequently leads to its death in a matter of days.
To achieve this, simply dust areas with the powder and let it work its magic. Since Diatomaceous Earth is non-toxic to humans and pet, you can use it as often as you’d like.
2. Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are hard to catch, and most insecticides present in the market leave a foul odor in their wake. Add to that the harmful chemicals present in it. A safer and much affordable option is using Diatomaceous Earth. Simply sprinkle the powder in the problem areas and leave it for a few days. The end result will be a pest-free home without any odor.
Note: It works only on adult bugs. So you’ll have to wait for another generation to hatch before being completely free of pests.
3. Kill Fleas and Ticks on Dogs
Fleas and ticks seem to be a pertinent problem for all pet owners. If left untreated, they can lead to a painful experience for both you and your dog. Protect your dog from becoming a host to these parasites by brushing on a coat of Diatomaceous Earth on their fur coat. Your dog will thank you.
Note: Be careful to not let it enter the eyes and nostril of your dog, as it can lead to mild irritation.
4. Keep Bugs Out of Food Supplies
A safer substitute to chemical preservatives, Diatomaceous Earth can be used to ward off bugs from food grains. Mixing the powder into the product will make sure that it remains pest free. As diatomaceous earth is safe for consumption, it can be safely mixed with edibles. Plus, it can be easily washed out of grains making it convenient to use.
5. Defeat Indoor Ants
Ants are quite difficult to get rid of, as they are creatures of habit. Turn this into your advantage by lightly sprinkling some Diatomaceous Earth on their path. And they’ll never come back. As a precaution, also use Diatomaceous Earth near windowsill, doors, and corners, to solve the problem at its root.
Since DE is perfectly safe even for consumption, it makes a great alternative to borax.
You may also like: 31 Brilliant Uses of Borax in the home (especially cleaning)
6. Kill Garden Pests
You can also use Diatomaceous Earth to zap out pests from your garden. Diatomaceous Earth is perfectly safe for use on plants. It’s even safe to use on food plants. All you need to do is sprinkle it on the pest or spread some on a plot, it’ll clear up your infestation in days. As an extra measure, use it to fill up the cracks and crevices which can act as potential houses for these insects.
7. In the Compost Pile
Diatomaceous Earth works as a double agent in the compost pile. As an insecticide, it makes sure no harmful parasites thrive in the mixture. On the other hand, it will not kill worms and other essential organisms that are beneficial to the compost. On top of that, it will also minimize the odor produced by the composting process.
8. Get Rid of Anthills
Anthills are quite common, and over time can lead to severe colonialism. If you find one in your backyard or garden, a box of Diatomaceous Earth will be enough to root it out. Remove the top of the anthill with a shovel. Now, stir the inside of the mound with a handle of the shovel or a stick.
Once you’ve got a rhythm going, apply DE to the mound. To complete the process, cover the remains with a coating of DE. Also, sprinkle some DE in a 1-foot radius around the anthill.
9. As an Oil and Grease Cleaner
You’ll be surprised at how nifty the absorbency of Diatomaceous Earth can be. From oil spills to grease stains, Diatomaceous Earth can pick up everything in a matter of seconds. No elbow grease needed.
Another potent ability of this powder is to absorb odors. This comes in handy when the source of the odor is persistent in nature, like a kitty litter. You can also dust some Diatomaceous Earth on carpets, rugs, mattresses and over other large surfaces to eliminate the stink.
10. Keep tarnishing at bay
Owners of silver articles are well versed with how quickly silver can tarnish when left out in the open. To maintain the original glimmer of silver, keep it covered with Diatomaceous earth in a protective layering. Diatomaceous Earth absorbs the tarnishing elements present in the environment. This makes sure that your silver item is always in top-notch condition.
Side Effects of Diatomaceous Earth:
- Diatomaceous earth is non-toxic and usually does not have any serious side effects.
- Those with a sensitive respiratory passage should keep an eye out for mild irritation due to inhalation of dust.
- It is advisable to keep this away from the reach of infants and children, as they are more likely to experience these effects.
- Long term exposure may lead to respiratory issues. However, this is reported only with the use of crystalline forms of diatomaceous earth. Food grade is amorphous in nature and does not hold the same concerns.
- For pets, no issues are observed even when it was ingested internally.
Is Diatomaceous Earth Safe for the Environment?
For the environmentally conscious, there is no need to worry. Diatomaceous earth does not contribute to pollution of any kind and is nontoxic to most fishes, animals, and aquatic invertebrates.
Speaking of trees, your garden will benefit immensely from the presence of diatomaceous earth in the soil as it helps in retaining water and nutrients. Diatomaceous earth is utilized as a supplement to replenish the earth so that it can sustain farming for human consumption.
Hence, diatomaceous earth seems to pose no major threat to any natural element, whether as an ecosystem at whole or its individual elements.
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