Saturday, November 7, 2009

Is Your Home Bugged?

I'm talking about the little 6-legged kinds. We live in the woods, in a wood sided house and we haul wood into our basement for the wood stove. There are a lot of bugs that like wood! Even if you aren't in such a wooden world, you might have ants, earwigs, wasps, cockroaches, silverfish, fleas, flies or a variety of little beetles and other bugs that seem to get in through the cracks and invade your privacy. There is a very inexpensive and totally harmless way to get rid of them all!

It's called Diatomaceous Earth (DE). It comes in different qualities but I would recommend using only the food grade DE. It's made from finely ground diatoms that are mined from the earth and comes in the form of a white powder. Diatoms are tiny crustaceans so it's a flour made from fossil shells. You can buy a pound of it for as little as $7 or $8, or up to around $15. You can even get it for less when you buy larger quantities. You can get it at a local hardware store, Walmart, ranch supply store or order it on line. (Update: It sells for $2/lb at our local Cenex and $17 for 50 lbs through the co-op order at Azure Standard!)

We have used DE for years to stop the ants, beetles and earwigs from crawling into our house through vents and cracks. Rather than killing the insects by poisoning them, when they come in contact with it the fine powder punctures their exoskeleton, or gets in through the joints, and absorbs the moisture out of their bodies. I know, it sounds gruesome. But is that really worse than poisoning or squishing them? I fill an empty spice bottle that has the lid with the shaker holes in it. It takes me about 10 or 15 minutes to go around the perimeter of the house and shake out a continuous line of powder. This method won't stop the bugs that fly onto the house higher up, but it will stop anything that has to crawl onto the house from the ground.

Food Grade DE is absolutely safe. You can even eat it! And many people do. You can take a teaspoon full or more a couple of times a day to absorb out toxins, kill worms or parasites and clean your bowels. People claim shinier hair, stronger nails, more energy, clearer complexions, better sleep and a long list of other benefits. It contains many trace minerals that your body needs. There's no real science to how much to take, when or how often. Whatever works for you. You should start out slowly though, because it will initially begin a detoxing process, and if your body detoxes too quickly you will feel like you have a miserable flu. Never consume anything but Food Grade DE! Others are sometimes treated with deadly chemicals.

Here are some more ways to use Diatomaceous Earth:
  • Rub it on your pets or livestock to kill ticks, lice and fleas
  • Sprinkle on your mattress to kill mites and bed bugs
  • Sprinkle on base boards, window sills, corners, anywhere bugs might go
  • Feed to your pets or livestock to de-worm or improve health
  • Aids in digestion
  • Keeps fungus from growing in the garden
  • Keep moisture down in barns, chicken coops, kennels, hay bins, compost boxes, litter boxes or anywhere else that has moisture problems
  • Mix in pet food or livestock grains to kill pests living in the grain
  • Put on manure piles to lessen moisture, odor and flies
Healthier animals are happier animals and have less vet bills. Don't keep your pets powdered in it for extended periods of time because it is a moisture absorber and will dry their skin out just like it will yours. It will also dry out and irritate your eyes like any other powder, so don't spread it outside with yourself or pets down wind. Be cautious about using it around flower beds or places where beneficial insects like bees, praying mantis and lady bugs live. My logic tells me that I'd avoid using it very much on carpet. It could cut the fibers. Like anything else, use it wisely and reap the many benefits. Here are a couple of links to sites loaded with everything you'd ever want to know about Diatomaceous Earth:
http://wolfcreekranch1.tripod.com/defaq.html
http://www.dirtworks.net/Diatomaceous-Earth.html

3 comments:

  1. What a great idea! I'll have to try it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just found out Diatomaceous Earth sells for $2/lb at our local Cenex store, and $17 for 50 lbs from Azure Standard - a co-op bulk supplier out of Dufer Oregon!!)

    ReplyDelete

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