Diatomaceous Earth has long been known for its pest-repelling qualities. Even though it is a very fine powder and soft to the touch, on a microscopic level it is very abrasive and actually cuts the exoskeletons of insects. The damage to that protective exoskeleton is enough to dry out and kill the insect. While diatomaceous earth is a threat to bugs, it is completely safe to use around humans and animals. Be sure to only use food-grade diatomaceous earth, as the type designed specifically for pool care is toxic to humans and animals.
There are many ways to use diatomaceous earth on your homestead. One of the best ways is by sprinkling some in your chickens’ dust bathing areas. The DE on their feathers will help prevent mites and other parasites from harming your chickens. You can also sprinkle DE in your nesting boxes and throughout your coop and run areas to further your pest prevention protocol.
Many backyard poultry owners use diatomaceous earth to help prevent internal parasites by adding DE to the flocks' feed at a rate of 1 pound of DE to 50 pounds of feed.
For more information about DE and it's uses, check out our blog post.