Diatomaceous Earth For Dogs: What Is It?
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a naturally occurring mineral found in sedimentary rocks. It is used as a dusting agent in some industries such as oil and gas production, mining, and construction. DE has been widely used since the late 1800’s to kill insects living on coal seams or other hard surfaces. Today, it is commonly used in home pest control products and cosmetics.
The main use of DE today is in household dusters to prevent the growth of dust mites and other small insects. However, there are many uses including insecticides for pets, food processing equipment, medical devices such as scalpels and catheters, construction materials like shingle roofs and concrete sidewalks; even toys!
How Does Diatomaceous Earth Work Against Ticks?
Tick bites are painful and annoying. They cause itching, swelling, redness and sometimes paralysis of the affected area. Some tick species can transmit diseases to humans such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Powas disease and others. These diseases can lead to arthritis, brain damage or death if not treated properly.
The proteins in Diatomaceous Earth kill ticks by cutting through their hard exoskeletal shells and dehydrating them. Since ticks absorb water and nutrients through their skin, this kills them quickly. In addition, since DE is not absorbed through the skin, it will not harm humans or pets.
Other Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth
DE is a great flea killer. It absorbs the oils from the flea’s exoskeleton causing it to dry out and die. Plus, since it is odorless and tasteless it is safe for pets (make sure to vacuum 24 hours later since it will kill pet fleas on the carpeting).
There are other uses for Diatomaceous Earth such as controlling ants, silverfish and other pests that get into your home or yard. It is non-toxic to people and pets.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Experimental Evaluation of the Threshold Limit∗ of Cristobalite—Calcined Diatomaceous Earth (WD Wagner, DA Fraser, PG Wright… – American Industrial …, 1968 – Taylor & Francis)
- Diatomaceous Earth Filtration of Giardia Cysts and Other Substances (KP Langé, WD Bellamy, DW Hendricks… – Journal‐American …, 1986 – Wiley Online Library)
- Dog mat (AG Burt – US Patent 1,569,710, 1926 – Google Patents)
- Malignant mesothelioma in urban dogs (ML Harbison, JJ Godleski – Veterinary Pathology, 1983 – journals.sagepub.com)
- Purification of the active phosphatase found in dog faeces (AR Armstrong – Biochemical Journal, 1935 – portlandpress.com)
- Therapy of flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) in dogs and cats: Part 2 (M Craig – UK Vet Companion Animal, 2012 – magonlinelibrary.com)
- Evaluation of five pulicides to suppress fleas on black-tailed prairie dogs: encouraging long-term results with systemic 0.005% fipronil (DA Eads, DE Biggins, J Bowser… – Vector-Borne and …, 2019 – liebertpub.com)
- Results of experiments with miscellaneous substances against chicken lice and the dog flea (WS Abbott – 1920 – books.google.com)