Diatomaceous Earth safe? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-17-2007, 03:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My roommate got diatomaceous earth, and the label says to work it into the carpet and furniture all over the room(and use a mask when doing so), and then vacuum 3 days later. I remember reading stuff online about it being unsafe to breathe, and I'd rather be extra cautious since I have a little one(1.5 years) who is always playing on the floor. Is it really safe to do this? Would just setting it out in a shallow box or pan not work?
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Old 05-17-2007, 04:43 AM
 
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It freaks me out. I wouldn't use it around my kids...ever. I'm also a chemical phobe so everything except vinegar and baking soda freak me out : What I've read is not good but I'd just pop it into the search engine here and see what links you hit.
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Old 05-17-2007, 12:01 PM
 
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I've heard that it is very dangerous to breathe in. In terms of adults, I think adults could take special precautions to minimize their contact/breathing in. In terms of toddlers...I think they generally just get everywhere...so I can't think that would be a safe thing to have them around them.

What is she trying to treat, fleas?

Perpetually breastfeeding or pregnant ENFP mom to a lot of kids...wife to a midwestern nice guy...living in tropical paradise...pink cats and homebirths rock!

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Old 05-17-2007, 02:32 PM
 
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there's so many different kinds of DE. Make sure you use amorphous DE, which doesn't contain crystallized silica, that is the dangerous component of many forms of DE.

Misti, mom to DS (12), DS (9), DD (3), and Mr. Man (October '10)!

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Old 05-17-2007, 03:42 PM
 
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I wouldn't use it like that. I used it on my kitten who was like 5 weeks old and covered in fleas, poor thing. I did it outside and it was really hard to avoid breathing it in. I also put it in his food which was easy. (He had tapeworms too.) But I wouldn't EVER use it around kids like that, leaving it in the carpet for 3 days. Not even the amorphous kind.
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Old 05-17-2007, 04:08 PM
 
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I wouldn't use it on the carpet that a babe was crawling on. What are you using it for?
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Old 05-17-2007, 04:28 PM
 
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I heard the vets caution against using it (it used be be used for fleas - cuts up theri excosceleton and makes them dehydrate) because it also can cause damage to the cornea, etc.
So no, I wouldn't want my baby crawling around in it.
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Old 05-17-2007, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yep, for fleas. Their dog is being treated with Advantage but he stays outside and we have a separate infestation inside that we're trying to get rid of.
Thanks for all the replies.
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Old 05-17-2007, 05:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RockStarMom View Post
Yep, for fleas. Their dog is being treated with Advantage but he stays outside and we have a separate infestation inside that we're trying to get rid of.
Thanks for all the replies.
If the dog is being treated with advantage (as are all other pets, right) it is only a matter of time before all the fleas die.

Why don't you just wash any pet bedding and vacuum a couple times a day for a week or so?

Perpetually breastfeeding or pregnant ENFP mom to a lot of kids...wife to a midwestern nice guy...living in tropical paradise...pink cats and homebirths rock!

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Old 05-18-2007, 02:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The dog stays outside, so the fleas are basically living off of us, in the house.
So it turns out my roommate used the DE last night...argh...she says she ground it into the carpet so there are no particles that the kids can get to...I've been keeping socks on my daughter and making sure she doesn't sit/crawl/lay on the ground in the living room. And we'll vacuum tomorrow. Sigh.
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Old 05-18-2007, 12:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RockStarMom View Post
The dog stays outside, so the fleas are basically living off of us, in the house.
So it turns out my roommate used the DE last night...argh...she says she ground it into the carpet so there are no particles that the kids can get to...I've been keeping socks on my daughter and making sure she doesn't sit/crawl/lay on the ground in the living room. And we'll vacuum tomorrow. Sigh.
They can't live off of you...seriously. What you are seeing is the flea cycle completing. I looked it up after I wrote to you....they have the same info written about it on about.com. As long as the dog was treated with adcantage (or some other monthly flea treatment) and you vacuum a lot for a couple of weeks/wash the dog bedding the fleas would have been eliminated. :

Honestly, I would be flipping P.O.'d at your roommate. Is she not patient enough to vacuum frequently and wait a week or two? Personally, I'd rather do that than use something that poses a risk to a child.

Perpetually breastfeeding or pregnant ENFP mom to a lot of kids...wife to a midwestern nice guy...living in tropical paradise...pink cats and homebirths rock!

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Old 05-18-2007, 04:41 PM
 
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I've found that using the DE on a carpet doesn't work too well. I still had fleas, despite following the container's directions to a tee (I used Flea Away DE powder). Plus, it didn't work too well on Daisy, my cat either. All it did was made her sneeze a lot, even though I didn't use hardly any around her face.

If you are wanting something a little more natural than the OTC products, There is some flea drops called Nature's Guardian that PetSmart sells that are pesticide free (they use special herb oils to kill and repell fleas).
Since my cat get's reactions to most OTC flea drops (even Frontline and Advantage), I use a oral flea medicine called Program that you put in a cat's food once a month. It makes it to where the flea eggs can't develop (sorta like birth control for fleas). Capstar is another pesticide-free oral flea medicine, that you can give a cat or dog as often as once a day or as infrequent as once a week. It only kills adult fleas. www.jeffers.com and www.upco.com both sell these 2 flea items.

Jessie
(single mommy to Emma, 3 years and Angela, 2 years): : :
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