DE School
The Health Ranch,  44 Lost Moose Bend Rd, Whitehall, MT 59759   All Rights Reserved
You will find various uses, claims and suggestions of use with regard to DE.  But  as a producer it is not legal to make certain “claims”.  This page is is for your own personal information about this amazing natural mineral! ****Remember when purchasing DE the Label is the Law, as a producer we are only allowed to say certain things on the label, and required by law to say certain things on the label, the EPA, USDA, and FDA all have labeling regulations that must be adhered to.

Farm - Ranch - Home - Commercial - Industrial

The Health Ranch

"Safe & Natural Rescue from Chemical Overload!"  Premium Diatomaceous Earth

Welcome to  HERO DE School!

Questions, Answers and Facts Concerning Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

“I heard that you are not suppose to ingest DE it will cut up your insides because its so sharp”

Well if you believe that, I have a great view of the ocean from my place in MT....NOT! If you look at a diatom under a microscope you will see that it is a cylinder, that looks like chex cereal, it is extremely small, and is about the consistency of superfine cake flour.  Compare that to a grain of salt or sugar, which are extremely jagged and sharp!  The salt and sugar look like they would cut you up!  But they don't. The confusion lies with how DE works as an insecticide.  DE is very absorbent, meaning it drys things out.  Insects unlike humans, have an exoskeleton, with a waxy protective coating.  When a bug crawls through DE or gets it on them, it scratches off this waxy protective coating, just like soap  breaks the surface tension to release dirt.  This protective coating once gone, allows the bug to dry out and die of dehydration.  IT DOES NOT DO THAT TO HUMANS!  OR ANIMALS!  We are warm blooded and do not have exoskeletons.

Why is your HERO DE Premium?

Our DE is from one of the top rated mines of superior quality in North America.  It is known for its purity and the fact that it contains <0.1% of crystalline silica, according to OSHA has zero impact, is safe and non-carcinogenic.  Anything greater than 2% Crystalline silica is dangerous. Our DE  has a scientifically greater pore volume/surface area, making it a better insecticide and desiccant and odor neutralizer. Our DE is OMRI Certified and is 100% organic, because it comes from an ancient Fresh Water, (Amorphous) Deposit, it is simply uncontaminated by hazardous chemicals, herbicides, or other contaminants.
"I've only been using DE for one week, I have had all the vertebrae in my neck fused and have had constant pain for the last 5 years radiating down both arms...but now its gone!  Only one Week!  And I have noticed that seasonal allergies are not kicking in, can't wait to see what will progress over the next few weeks!"  T.Schneider, Bonners Ferry, ID "I sprinkled DE around our cabin, for ant control, within one week, we don't have any ants."  J.Bean, Gallatin Gateway, MT

I Heard that DE can Kill Bee's and Beneficial insects, is that true?

Bee's can be affected by DE, but the good news is that Bee's naturally avoid plants treated with DE, and if they do come in contact with it, they have special hairs on their bodies that trap the DE and they can rapidly vibrate their wings to dislodge it.  That being said, if a bee is saturated in DE they will most certainly die.  Bees contaminated with DE do not infect the rest of the hive, they usually die before they return and because DE works on a mechanical action vs. a chemical action, they cannot infect the rest of the hive like poisonous chemical pesticides. Worms, are not harmed by DE, in fact many worm farmers use DE in their soil as a beneficial worm farming technique. DE will harm such bugs as lady bugs or other beneficial insects, so either dust your plants when these bugs are less active, or avoid areas that you know they gather.

How often do I have apply DE to my plants?

As long as DE is kept dry, or not washed away it is always working, if you have a sprinkler system, and  the DE Dust is getting washed off you will have to reapply to affected plants once you are done watering.

How often do I have apply DE around my house?

As long as DE is kept dry, or not washed away it is always working!  If you dust your crawl space, attic and it stays dry, it will continue to perform.  IF you sprinkle it around your house or in areas where it will be washed away by heavy rain or sprinkler system, you have to reapply. You can make a slurry of DE and spray your foundation or exterior cracks with DE.  The ratio is ¼ cup to 1 gallon of water, you can use a spray bottle or  sprayer or hose attachment.

It Says Not to exceed 2% of feed on the label, how do I feed this to my pets or livestock?

The USDA has a special label law that requires this on all food Grade DE.  When feeding livestock, DE can be fed “free choice”, as a natural mineral they do not consume more than they need.  Simply place it in a bucket, or tub feeder and put it in a place they naturally forage for. For specific feeding schedules, add 2lbs of DE to 100lbs of feed.
Kittens - 1/2 teaspoon Cats - 1 teaspoon Puppies - 1/2 to 1 tsp. Dogs under 35 lbs. - 1 teaspoon Dogs over 35 lbs. - 1 tablespoon
Cattle, Dairy Cows, & Hogs - 2% of dry feed ration Chickens - 5% in feed Goats & Sheep - 2% in grain Horses - 1/2  cup in daily ration Humans - 1 heaping tablespoon daily

Daily recommended food grade diatomaceous earth feeding rates:

Is DE Safe?

Yes.  But only Natural Food Grade DE, much confusion about the safety of DE is because of a lack of understanding about what DE does and the different grades of DE. Food Chemical Codex:  A confusing labeling index, because of the word “chemical”. This is a SAFETY  and purity rating system, used for labeling purposes. Insecticidal DE:  This is the same DE that is labeled  'food grade DE' much of the time, but because it is regulated by the EPA, certain warnings and uses are required by law on the label, this doesn't mean it isn't safe, however, make sure it is pure DE, many insecticidal DE's use a subpar DE and need to add a pesticide which may not be safe—such as pyrethrin, or a bait, so READ THE LABEL Carefully!  Our HERO Brand DE is only Food Grade DE! Anti-Caking Agent and animal Feed Additive:  This is the AAFCO or USDA labeling law regulation, it is the safe natural food grade DE. Pool Grade or Industrial DE:  THIS IS TOXIC!  DO NOT INGEST!   

How can one DE be safe and the Pool Grade be Toxic?

The Food Grade DE is the naturally occuring mineral deposits, mined directly from the ground, they are untampered with, no additives, not chemically or structurally altered in any way. The Pool Filter DE is ALTERED!  It has been super heated to chemically change the physical structure of the diatoms.  This is called Calcined Silica, or crystalline silica which is a known carcinogen being exposed to prolonged periods of breathing the dust.  It should not be ingested, or inhaled, and does not work as an insecticide.

So Why Does it say on the package not to Inhale, or get into the eyes, or call Poison Control?

You will find these cautions on a package of INSECTICIDAL DE.  These are labeling laws put forth by the EPA.  Look at the ingredient list, if it says:  Diatomaceous Earth,  food grade or amorphous fresh water DE, and there are NO other ingredients, it is safe. DE is a very fine dust, and just as walking down a dusty road is not a pleasant experience, neither is breathing it or getting it in your eyes, same goes for DE dust, its a only a nuisance to most people, but to others who may suffer from asthma or other breathing difficulties it can be an issue.  DE is very drying, so just as you wouldn't rub sand in your eyes, don't get DE dust in your eyes, its irritating and drying, and will damage contact lenses.

DE has over 1500 uses

We Lovingly call it "God's Dirt", or "Caveman Dirt" or "Miracle Mineral", "DE" for short Can be used in Agricultural, Horticultural, and Construction applications Natural Deodorizer Natural Desiccant Natural Preservative Natural Mold and Mildew Preventive Natural Oil and Grease Absorbent Natural Cleaner Natural Soil Amendment/fertilizer Natural De-Wormer Natural Fire Retardant Natural Mineral Supplement for Humans and Animals (Has not been evaluated by FDA or USDA) Natural Systemic Detoxifer
What on earth is Diatomaceous EARTH? Food Grade DE is also known as: Amorphous silcon dioxide Anticaking Agent Animal Feed Additive Grain Storage Protectant Inert Carrier Food Chemical Codex GRAS (Generally recognized as safe by the FDA) Once a small plant, the meadow grass of the sea, DE is the skeletal remains of a fossilized diatom, which when it was alive was an aquatic algae or plankton.  Settling to the bottom of the body of water this became a sediment, fossilizing into a soft powdery rock.  These deposits are then mined and milled into a whitish powder.  Consisting primarily of silicon dioxide, plus about 20 trace minerals. It is completely harmless to any warm blooded animal or human, but works via a natural mechanical desiccant  (drys-out) anything with an exoskeleton (bugs).  So DE literally dehydrates bugs to death!

How Does it Work?

DE works by mechanical desiccation of the bug, it is NOT a neurotoxin, or chemical. DE Dehydrates bugs to death! Bugs cannot develop a resistance to DE like they can to chemical insecticides! ANNIHILATES ANYTHING WITH AN EXOSKELETON!


When Buying DE: Make sure you get "FOOD GRADE DE".  Pool filter or Industrial DE is TOXIC!  Industrial Grade DE has been superheated, thus changing the chemical structure of the Silca and making it harmful for ingestion, or topical uses.  It is also ineffective at mechanically drying out insects. Breathing DE:  There is a lot of misinformation about breathing DE Dust.  Folks, its a dust, a fine dust, if you are going to be merrily dusting away use some common sense and put a mask on!  Just as you wouldn't go out into a dust storm, without protection, don't breathe large amounts.  That being said, it is safe while you are using it in everyday usage and also for animals, such as chickens to dust bathe themselves.  There is a lot of false information out on the net, saying you don't want to inhale it at all or that if you ingest it its not safe...all of that is false information.  Again, common sense should prevail here...if you have asthma or COPD or other breathing difficultings breathing large dust clouds isnt going to kill you, but it will make you cough or trigger an asthma attack.  Some of the other funny stuff I have read is dont ingest it, its sharp edges will cut your innards!  Pishaw!  Have you ever looked at Salt or sugar under a microscope?   As you can see from the picture, it isnt that sharp, it has more of a chex cereal appearance.  Believe me, you are eating things in your food that can and do kill people, stop being so wierd and do your research. FDA DISCLAIMER:  Content on this site is for reference and anectdodal purposes only.  It is not intended to substitute for advice from a physician or veterinarian or other health care professional.  Statements regarding DE as a supplement have not been evaluated by the FDA or USDA and are not intended to cure, diagnose, or treat, or prevent any disease.  If pregnant or nursing check with your physician regarding the use of DE.