The interest and use of diatomaceous earth among agriculturalists and naturalists continues to increase due the numerous benefits that this versatile product can provide, without the concern of harsh toxins and chemicals. But what exactly is diatomaceous earth and how does it work?
The name diatomaceous earth comes from the fact that this natural product is made from the fossilized remains of tiny single-celled, micro-organisms called diatoms. They can be found where large bodies of fresh water existed over millions of years ago. When these organisms died, their skeletal remains settled to the bottom and became fossilized. It is the fossilized exoskeletons of these diatoms that create diatomaceous earth and provide natural benefits to agriculture and animals.
Under a microscope, diatomaceous earth resembles a honeycomb. It is this porous structure that allows DE to absorb various pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fungi and other harmful organisms and substances that can harm animals. The sharp edges of the fossilized diatom also function to lacerate the exoskeletons of insects. The powdery DE then absorbs their body fluid causing them to die from dehydration.
The benefits of diatomaceous earth are numerous and include the ability to: