Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth or also called diatomite or kieselgur/kieselguhr is a fossil mineral that has formed from the microscopic shells of dead diatoms. Diatoms are an important component of the plant plankton of the world's oceans and account for over a fifth of the biomass produced by photosynthesis. Since the Cretaceous period, very thick sediment layers of up to several hundred metres in height have therefore been formed in lakes and bays from the petrified algae shells. Important extraction areas in Germany were the L├╝neburg Heath and the Vogelsberg.

Effect and application

Diatomaceous earth has a strong hygroscopic (water-attracting) effect and can dry out damp areas. When used repeatedly, the fine powder prevents the nesting of insects (mites and insects) in places that are difficult to access, as the powder greatly limits the mobility of these microorganisms. Due to its unique crystal structure, diatomaceous earth has the ability to absorb liquids and other substances to a high degree. To protect themselves from drying out, insects form a fine, waxy lipid film on their body. If household pests such as ants, silverfish, woodlice or cockroaches come into contact with the fine particles, they try to get rid of them immediately. The diatomaceous earth adheres to the body of the animals, penetrates the joints and body orifices and perforates the insect skin. Eventually they dry out and die. It is therefore a purely physical effect.

If you regularly powder stables, cages and places where pets spend their time with diatoms, you will create a better climate in the stable and also bind any moisture that is produced. For the pets themselves, it ensures a much lower infestation of parasites such as mites or fleas.

The powder can be used sparingly. Use the fine nozzle to sprinkle the powder directly into the breeding grounds and habitats of the pests. It can also be sprayed into the cracks and joints of floors or masonry. The powder should be left for a few days, or repeated more often. 

Other uses

The mineral is found as a polishing agent in toothpastes, in baby food and it is used as a cleaning filter material in the production of beverages and water treatment. Because of its strong drying effect, diatomaceous earth is also often used in damp houses.

Safety advice

Diatomaceous earth is completely harmless to humans and their pets if used properly. Contact with the skin is not dangerous; it can simply be washed off with water. The powder should not get into the eyes or on mucous membranes; here it can cause irritation. Again, rinse well with water. Do not inhale the powder and always keep it out of reach of children.

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