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An Explanation of Diatomaceous Earth Uses

Updated on August 20, 2013

An introduction to the many uses of diatomaceous earth

A couple of years ago, I had no idea with diatomaceous earth (D.E.) was. I came across a post about it in a forum as I was searching for some relief from an ailing stomach. I'd read that a couple of people were using it to "cleanse" their digestive system so I decided to do some research.

Little did I know, I was about to stumble upon something of a wonder powder! D.E. is well known in the industrial world. They have been using it for years to take care of filtration, as an absorbent, as a fire retardent, as an anti-caking agent, and in hydroponics.

But it's not just for industrial and commercial use. There are so many every day ways to use it around the house.

  • Diatomaceous earth is a great all natural pest control: use it to get rid of fleas, ants, and bed bugs
  • Feed it to your pets as an all natural dewormer
  • Take food grade diatomaceous earth as an all natural detox

Diatomaceous Earth uses


What is diatomaceous earth?

It is and the naturally occurring fossil remains of a millions of microscopic algae called diatoms, which are a type of phytoplankton. Diatoms are organisms that naturally live in water environments like oceans, lakes, streams and rivers. Over time, they accumulate and their fossilized skeletons can be mined, collected, and used.

Diatomaceous earth is made up of silica deposits because the fossilized skeletal remains of diatoms are composed of silica.

D.E. is also widely known as fossil shell powder or fossil shell flour.

How to use diatomaceous earth for human and animal consumption

Only food grade D.E. should be used in your home. Other types are potentially toxic to you and your pets because it can be heat and chemically treated, or filled with substances that are harmful for human and animal consumption. Please remember, if you plan on using D.E. get only food grade diatomaceous earth.

Where to buy diatomaceous earth

It's actually not difficult at all to come across the food-grade variety. Though I've always had to purchase on the internet because I haven't been able to find it locally, it's readily available for economical prices. One place that comes to my quickly is It has a lot of food grade options, usually sold as 10 lb. bags, for right around $10 bucks. Pretty good deal in my opinion!

Diatomaceous earth detox

Many people use the fossil shell powder to get rid of any possible toxins and parasites that they feel they may be carrying. The philosophy is, we cleanse and de-worm our pets, why wouldn't we do the same ourselves?

The reason it is so safe and has such little side effects, is because the way it works is completely mechanical. The diatom skeletons actually have quite sharp edges. When they come into contact with any parasites, they damage the parasite's outer layers so much so that they dehydrate and die.

This is a common use for livestock but has been getting progressively more popular as a natural wormer for humans and their pets. It is also said to be more effective than chemical dewormers because it kills parasite eggs, unlike chemical wormers.

Beyond de-worming, diatomaceous earth can be a good way to get some minerals that you be missing out on in your diet including: selenium, zinc, copper, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Diatomaceous earth detox instructions

  1. Adult human - 1 tablespoon
  2. Cats - 1 teaspoon
  3. Kitten - 1/2 teaspoon
  4. Large dogs (over 100 pounds) - 2 tablespoons
  5. Medium dogs (over 35 pounds) - 1 tablespoon
  6. Small dogs (under 35 pounds) - 1 teaspoon

D.E. should be mixed with water; humans should drink at least 8 ounces of liquid. Animals can be feed D.E. daily. Humans should take it for at least 60 days.

Food grade diatomaceous earth

My experience taking diatomaceous earth

I started off slowing taking about a 1 teaspoon per day in a large glass of water. I tried it because I was desperate to find something to help my ailing stomach, my IBS. I'd read lots of reviews on the internet, where people were talking about all the health benefits and how their digestive systems had improved tremendously.

I took it for about one month then I stopped. I stopped because I was constantly feeling dehydrated and constipated. Maybe I didn't give it enough time and maybe my gut was so irritated already that it was just a bad time to introduce something so harsh into it.

I still keep D.E. to use around the house. There are a lot of other uses for it, including pest control, which I will go over later on.

I'd even consider trying the diatomaceous earth detox once again. First, I'll make sure that I'm not currently dealing with any IBS flares.

With that, I'll leave you with some personal experiences of others who have tried diatomaceous earth for themselves.

This woman had only positive things to say about diatomaceous earth

Another diatomaceous earth experience

Keep the bugs away with diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth as non toxic safe pest control

Another great reason to keep diatomaceous earth around is that is an all natural, non chemical way to deal with fleas, bed bugs, flies, ants, and many other insects that infest the inside and outside parts of our homes.

Here's a list of the bugs you can get rid of using diatomaceous earth: all types of ants, all types of worms, caterpillars, lice, flies, slugs, corn borer, fruit files, bed bugs, spiders, fleas, cockroaches, ticks, termites, beetles, and many more.

If it's an insect that you're trying to get rid of, fossil shell flour will probably work.

Diatomaceous earth fleas


Using diatomaceous earth for fleas

D.E. is safe to use on the coats of your pets.

Start with lightly rubbing the powder throughout your pet's fur. Also add the powder to your carpets, furniture, and pet beds. Make sure that everything is dusted completely.

Remember D.E. works mechanically, and so will need to come directly into contact with the insect in order to dehydrate it.

Diatomaceous earth is also a bed bug powder

In the same way that fossil shell flour can be used to eliminate fleas and ticks on pets, it can be used to successfully eliminate bed bugs.

Start by ensuring the bed is away from any other furniture or walls and that the sheets cannot touch the floors. Around the legs of the bed, sprinkle the D.E. This way, when bed bugs try to get on the bed, they will come into contact with the powder and die. Now dust the powder onto the mattress and covers. Don't forget to powder the carpets in the rooms .

Repeat this process each week for one month.

Please leave a comment on your experience with diatomaceous earth. Thank you!

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