Image: FotoHelin – Shutterstock.
Diatomaceous earth is a component that is present in many insecticides. However, it has wide uses in industry and in the home. Know its usefulness for the garden, to remove lice and as a dewormer, among other uses.
Diatomaceous earth is made up of the fossilized remains of very small aquatic organisms called diatoms. Their skeletons contain a substance known as silica. For many years, diatoms accumulated in the sediments of bodies of water. In fact, silica is mined from these areas.
Silica is a colorless compound that contains silicon (Si) and oxygen (O2). There are various forms of silica such as sand, emerald, quartz, feldspar, mica, clay, asbestos, and glass.
Silicon is a compound of silica, but it does not exist in its pure form. Normally reacts with water and oxygen to form silicon dioxide. Most of diatomaceous earth is made of amorphous silicon dioxide.
There are a wide variety of products that contain this ingredient. The most common are insecticides but it is also present in skin creams, food, drinks, paints, water filters, medicines. When it is used for the food industry, it undergoes a purification process.
Uses of diatomaceous earth.
It causes insects to dry out and die by absorbing oils and fats from the exoskeleton’s cuticle. It acts mechanically, therefore insects cannot generate resistance, which is the case with chemical products.
It is biodegradable, therefore it can be used in orchards and public areas. It usually has excellent results against aphids, ants, caterpillars, nematodes, whiteflies, mealybugs, slugs and snails.
It can be used to control pests inside the home. In this way, the use of products with toxic components that are dangerous for children and pets is avoided if they are not used correctly.
For terrestrial pests, mix soil earth with diatom as follows: 40 grams per square meter.
You can use it in the following way. If you have aerial pests, mix 100 grams of diatom for every square meter of soil, making adjustments based on the size of the pest.
Other functions of diatomaceous earth
Dewormer for cats and dogs.
Dissolve a tablespoon of diatomaceous earth in a liter of water. Helps to eliminate fleas. If the pet has ticks, apply the powder on the insect.
Diatomaceous earth is a bactericide and has a high absorption capacity. Eliminates odors and bacteria. It is recommended for use in the cat litter box.
1% diatomaceous earth is added to the shampoo. Leave to act for 10 minutes. Rinse with enough water. Apply once a week for three weeks.