Food grade diatomaceous earth or DE is used in food as a drying and anti-caking agent. However, there are other ways to use diatomaceous earth as shown below.
For Controlling Garden Pests
Dust your garden plants with DE following rain, heavy dew or irrigation. Applying it on seed beds and seeds will keep bugs and other pests away. This provides nourishment to the soil, boosting its water retention capability.
Make sure you wear a mask when dusting DE on plants. The dry powder can also be applied on livestock to keep parasites away. You can keep mites away from chicken by dusting the area where the chickens take their dust baths.
For Controlling Pests in the House
DE can also be sprinkled in the areas in the house where pets sleep. This will keep fleas, ants and roaches away. You can also apply it in areas your pets frequent.
You will need about ½ pounds of DE per 1000 sq ft. You can also put these dust powders on the coats of cats and dogs every couple of weeks to get keep pests away.
Other Ways to Use Diatomaceous Earth
DE can also be dusted on hen’s roosts and their nest boxes. If there are fly maggots pestering cattle, fill dust bags with DE. Let the cattle rub on it. You can also spray it on manure piles. Any fly maggots that come near it will be killed. Sprinkling DE on your lawn will keep away ants, grasshoppers, grubs and cinch bugs.
Do not use DE near blooming flowers because it will harm the bees too. It may be used on plants until the day of harvest. No harm will come to livestock if they eat it.
Aside from dusting, DE can be used in a spray mixture. Combine ¼ to ½ cups of diatomaceous earth with one gallon of water. Add one teaspoon of liquid soap. Now you can spray this on plants and the lawn.
Many people find this approach more practical when managing large areas. Spraying is also ideal when you are trying to get rid of caterpillars atop trees. If there are borers on the trees, increase the amount of DE.
Another way to use diatomaceous earth is as food supplement for pets. Just add a teaspoon everyday to the meals of large dogs. For cats and small dogs, half a teaspoon will be sufficient. It will help keep various pests away.