ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why I use Diatomaceous Earth in my home and garden

Updated on April 6, 2014
Because many farm animals eat grass, I used diatomaceous earth in the yard instead of Sevin dust in animal habitats.
Because many farm animals eat grass, I used diatomaceous earth in the yard instead of Sevin dust in animal habitats. | Source

What is Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous earth, also called DE, is a cream-colored powder that is the fossilized remains of ancient marine phytoplankton.The benefits of DE in the garden, home, and yard are numerous.

How DE Works

Although DE contains some beneficial trace minerals, it is almost pure silica. Under a microscope, DE appears to be glass shards. DE gets under the shell of any beetle-type insect—such as fleas and cockroaches—and then dehydrates the insect and the insect dies. Because this is not a chemical effect, but rather is a physical one, there is no resistance buildup like there is with chemical poisons. However, it does not harm mammals.

The Benefits of DE in the Garden

1. I use in the garden because it dries out unwanted bugs and insects. It can absorb one and a half times its weight in water and will dehydrate these insects. When wet, DE is not effective against unwanted bugs, but if not washed away by heavy rains, it will work again once it dries out.

2. I sometimes will put a ring around young plants because bugs do not like to cross a DE barrier. This prevents cutworms from girding my plants.

3. When my garden is attacked by flea beetles, I outline my garden with DE.I just sprinkle it around. To make a shaker container, I use a quart mason jar. I take a canning lid, poke holes into the top, and screw it into onto the jar filled with the DE and sprinkle away!

4. I sometime make liquid slurry of DE and spray on damaged plants. I am careful not to spray the DE on any blooms or blossoms because even though DE will not kill earthworms it can kill honeybees and ladybugs.

The Benefits of DE in the Yard

1. I sprinkle DE around slugs and snail trails.

2. I dust it on anthills.

3. Sometimes during epidemic infestations, I dust my entire lawn to get rid of mites, chiggers, crickets, and other lawn pests.

4. I spray wasp nests and ant trails with a mixture of DE and water.

The Benefits of Using DE Inside My Home

1. I squirt, shake, sprinkle and spread DE anywhere in my home where I find cockroaches, silverfish crickets, ants, flies, and carpet beetles. Because it is nontoxic, it is safe around children and pets.

2. To prevent bedbugs, I sprinkle my mattress with DE.

3. I sprinkle DE in my home-stored grains to keep them dry and bug free. I add 1 cup for five-gallon buckets of wheat or rice or one teaspoon to each quart jar of these grains. I could wash the DE off these grains when I am ready to use them, but I do not because they are safe. Not only is DE safe, but DE also provides me with 27 trace minerals.

The Benefits of using DE in the Kennel

1. Instead of using chemically toxic shampoos and powders or an equally toxic flea collar on my pets, I just rub DE into my pet’s fur to dry out any fleas.

2. I mix DE in my pet and farm animal food. DE will not only keep the food free of insects but it will keep out moisture and prevent mold as well. It does not injure animals. In fact, it has the added benefit in that it kills internal parasites. Again, because it contains 27 trace minerals, it is an added benefit for my pets’ health.

The Benefits of Cleaning with DE

1. I use DE to deodorize garbage can and the refrigerator. I sprinkle it in my shoes to reduce odor there. If I find bugs in the garbage, I sprinkle some DE into a can. There is no more bugs, no more odors.

2. If I had a cat, I could use it in the cat litter box.

3. Because DE is micro-abrasive, I make a paste for scrubbing. It is even gentle enough for polishing silver.

3. I use DE to dry up greasy spills. I just sprinkle it on the grease. The DE absorbs the grease and all I have left to do is to wipe it up.

4. I deodorize my carpet by sprinkling DE onto it. I let it sit for about half an hour and then vacuum. If I had house pets, I would get the added benefit in the fact that it kills fleas.

A Word of Caution Concerning DE

In the house and garden, however, DO NOT use diatomaceous earth packaged for swimming pool filters. Use only food grade DE. DE that is not food grade may contain excessive amounts of crystalline silica. If there is more than 0.01% of crystalline silica in the DE, according to OSHA, it is a potential carcinogen. Only by buying food grade DE will you have the guarantee that the DE you have has less than this amount of crystalline silica. In addition, it is a good idea to wear a filter mask when handling this dusty product because inhaling DE may cause lung problems if inhaled over long periods.

Reap all the Benefits!

Using food grade DE around the house to help protect you, your yard, your pets and your livestock. with all these benefits of food grade diatomaceous earth, you'll wonder why everyone isn't using it.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • cygnetbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Cygnet Brown 

      7 years ago from Springfield, Missouri

      Thanks for the thumbs up everyone!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi cygnetbrown, I have used this in my garden too! I have not used it for any other purpose, and I was glad to see your caution, that one should use a filter mask when handling it, as it is dusty, and has silicone slivers.

      I had no idea it could be used for so many different purposes. Especially interesting for gardeners!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      There sure are a lot of uses for diatomaceous earth. I heard about it once a long time ago - probably in Mother Earth magazing of the 70s -and forgot all about it. Voted up and shared.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We used this extensively last year and it works as well as you say it does. Good job my friend! This hub gets my seal of approval. :)

    • torrilynn profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi cygnetbrown,

      i never knew what you meant by diatomaceous earth

      until i read your hub about it and the benefits of using it in

      your garden. thanks for the info and great advice.

      voted up


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)