Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday's big excitement

My diatomaceous earth arrived!

Diatomaceous earth, also known as DE, diatomite, diahydro, kieselguhr, kieselgur and Celite, is a naturally occurring, soft, chalk-like sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder. This powder has an abrasive feel, similar to pumice powder, and is very light, due to its high porosity. The typical chemical composition of diatomaceous earth is 86% silica, 5% sodium, 3% magnesium and 2% iron.

Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. It is used as a filtration aid, as a mild abrasive, as a mechanical insecticide, as an absorbent for liquids, as cat litter, as an activator in blood clotting studies, and as a component of dynamite. As it is also heat-resistant, it can be used as a thermal insulator.

My plans for this food-grade DE have to do with keeping ticks and fleas off dogs, cats, and horses, as well as controlling fire ants and kitchen ants.

I've read so many good things about it - can't wait to see if it can do a good job here without using poisons.

P/S: I resisted the temptation to find a metaphor for DE and novel revisions. Feel free to take a shot at it if you like. :)


Matthew said...

Yay! Diatoms are amazing creatures. Can't wait to try out the diatomaceous earth with our pets. . .

Here is what diatoms look like under an electron microscope.

I bet the DE looks pretty cool under our optical microscope too. Maybe put a tiny bit of it in a drop of water and stick it on a slide. . .

billie said...

Great idea for a microscope project.

I can report thus far that it is working with ants by the kitchen sink and in the laundry room.

Also, the cats and dogs love having it rubbed into their fur.

That's as far as I've gotten with it, but so far so good!