Having children has taught me to look at bugs differently especially spiders
I have learned to appreciate their incredible skill and beauty the picture above is an Orb Weaver this beauty with her legs stretched out fully would be slightly larger than the palm of my hand, she is completely harmless (to us) and does a marvelous job catching unwanted flies from above our outside garbage.
However several of her less appealing relatives have taken up residence on the ground behind the bin creating their telltale diagonal web tents which are perfect to show off their infamous red hourglass markings. Spraying some nasty chemicals outside to rid ourselves of black widows I have no problem with but I found myself in quite a quandary when a similar web appeared by the fire place in the sitting room, this unwanted visitor had most likely hitchhiked inside a log.
Having children and cats finding something that is both safe and effective is of paramount importance.
Then I discovered diatomaceous earth (DE)
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is made up of the fossilized remains of plankton; it looks like an off-white talc powder. It can kill any bug with an exoskeleton easily, but is safe for any mammal to eat.
When insects or arachnids, including fleas, centipedes, black widow and brown recluse spiders, come in contact with diatomaceous earth Particles of DE scratch and abrade the spiders’ bodies and the spiders dry out spiders within days after they come into contact with the sharp prehistoric particles.
Keep DE dry before using, as water will make it ineffective. Also make sure you buy food grade DE instead of pool grade DE as the latter contains up to 70% crystalline silica, a substance known to be carcinogenic with sustained use.
DE that ends up in your vacuum cleaner bag may be good, too, in that it will help to kill any live insects present in the bag.
It is recommended to wear a mask as you do not want to breathe in those fine particles.
I used an old bulb syringe to puff dust into crevices and liberally sprinkled it around our outdoor shoe cupboard.
I’ll keep you posted on how my bug battle goes!
Has anyone else tried DE? Any tips? Has it been effective?
I worked at a pet supply store for a while, and ran into this product this past summer. Fleas were SO bad and everyone was looking for a solution. One of my customers used DE on his carpets and around his whole yard outside and found it to be very effective.
I have used this product when I lived in south Florida. Because of the overwhelming humidity there fleas and especially ticks are a problem. This stuff does exactly as you describe: it creates a dry environment and dries out these insects. It pretty much eliminated the tick problem, most of the fleas as well.
Oh good, that’s great news about the fleas, I’d love to stop having to give the cats the nasty chemical treatments
Great article and very helpful ! Where can I buy Diatomaceous Earth (DE)? Is this the brand name?
Hiya, I just did a search and ordered it online. Mine doesn’t have a brand name
Reblogged this on sharonsdarrow and commented:
This is a great post! I knew about the product for outside, but there are excellent suggestions for safe use inside the house.
Thank you for a safe method of ridding insects!
Thanks for posting, I will definitely look into it as we have a tick nest in our garden.
Hi, someone suggested that I mix this DE in a spray bottle with water to spray on plants and garden to get rid of bugs…but you say once wet it becomes ineffective? http://lovelyseasonscomeandgo.wordpress.com
Does it work for scorpions?