While learning about taking care of animals on the homestead, I found that several homesteaders refer to something called DE or Diatomaceous Earth. This is a naturally occurring sand made out of fossilized algae that contains silica. Only the food grade DE can be used internally. However, it should not be inhaled. When an insect comes in contact wit DE, it removes the waxy outer coating from the insect’s exoskeleton. Without the coating the insect dies of dehydration. DE kills fleas, ants, cockroaches, spiders, and bed bugs. Farmers put it on the grain used to feed animals to kill off bugs. Even commercial farmers use it on grains for bug control.
In the video below from Appalachia’s Homestead, this homesteader talks about how she uses it for her animals. Here are just a few thing she has mentioned.
- Sprinkle on the floor of the barn
- On the nesting boxes for hens
- On the food for her animals
- She even has a small amount in her diet
While many homesteaders use it as a dewormer, I have come across a few articles saying that not enough scientific study has been done. This being said, I think most would want to go a more natural route first rather than going straight to a chemical dewormer. But please, do your research. To learn more, read “What are the benefits of Diatomaceous Earth?”