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 Post subject: Questions about DE
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:24 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:58 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Arlington, Texas
I've bought a bag of DE and want to start using it but I'd like to better understand it's use, function, and any risks before I begin.

1. I just read a post in this forum where "therealdgh" said they use it in all the cracks and crevices of their house to keep out ants and such. That's what I was intending to do but hadn't read of anybody actually doing it.

My concern with that is: in one of Howard's books, he talks about it being harmful to breathe the DE when applying it. I assume that a risk to human lungs would only be in a situation where massive amounts of DE were being applied agriculturally by broadcast method.

Does anybody know if that assumption is correct?

2. I tried to find the post (should have bookmarked it!! :roll: ) where I read that DE could be applied -- outside -- via hose-end sprayer. Maybe that's crazy and I dreamed it. Anybody know? I know that it doesn't work when it's wet but I thought you could apply it wet and then it would dry and provide pest control.

3. Is it toxic to humans? We do not have pets or small children in the equation but I wonder if it would be toxic to my husband and me if we use it indoors.

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Cara
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Take time to stop and smell the flowers!
(or... as my ladybug refrigerator magnet says
"take time to stop and eat the flowers!" :D)


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about DE
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 6:44 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2003 1:52 pm
Posts: 2017
Location: Dallas,TEXAS
If you were to look at DE under a microscope, it would look jagged and sharp. To a small, soft bellied insect it's like crawling over razor blades and it causes them to lose body moisture and die. If you breath in too much dust it could harm your lungs by being an irritant. DE will have to be reapplied after a rain also. I sprinkle it on plants that are being eaten by pests, or sometimes as a preventative measure.

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 Post subject: Re: Questions about DE
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 6:51 am 
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Location: Dallas,TEXAS
remember, we're talking about the food grade DE, not the stuff you put in your pool.

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Sandi
Texas Certified Nursery Professional
Texas Master Naturalist
Organic gardener
Tree-Hugger
Native Texan


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about DE
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 9:55 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2003 9:01 am
Posts: 961
Location: Dallas, TX
Fresh water diatomaceous earth (diatom skeletons) is not like the broken bits of salt water diatoms. They are basically intact barrel-shaped diatoms that kill insects by using the huge surface area to dehydrate the insects' cuticles causing them to die. The huge surface area also gives the detox effect and the internal parasite control when used internally. Soil Mender and DiaSource products have more surface area than any other product I have seen. Here's more detailed information from a past newsletter.
http://www.dirtdoctor.com/organic/garde ... n/id/2349/


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about DE
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 5:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:58 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Arlington, Texas
Very good!

I bought freshwater DE and will be careful when applying it dry. I doubt breathing it in will be much of a problem for us. But it WILL BE for the bugs! :evil:

Thanks Sandi and Howard!

_________________
God speed!
Cara
**
Take time to stop and smell the flowers!
(or... as my ladybug refrigerator magnet says
"take time to stop and eat the flowers!" :D)


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