The intro to this Kickstarter campaign says it all. With your help, I can raise funds for research into my disease, ME. Please take a look and do what you can. If it’s not possible for anything monetarily, then share the campaign with your friends and family. ALL PROFITS WILL GO TO RESEARCH AND AWARENESS.
This is the next installment of photos I find particularly intriguing and/or relaxing. If you don’t know what a spoonie is, here’s a short article that explains it.
The Internet of Things (IoT) already is making life easier for tech-savvy folks with disposable income. However, many of the devices you can set from a smartphone aren’t always useful for those of us who are home all day. The IoT just wasn’t practical for many people with chronic illnesses–until now.
Amazon has developed a hands-free, voice-activated device that does just about everything someone who is confined to bed or a wheelchair could want.
The Echo Show is a great idea for someone who is disabled, has a fatiguing illness or is otherwise unable to use their hands. I do not own one of these devices, but I’m seriously considering buying it next Monday when Amazon has its Prime Day sales.
Here’s why I think this would be great for anyone who is disabled. With the Echo Show, in no particular order of importance, you can:
- Watch Amazon Video content
- See music lyrics on-screen with Amazon Music. Just ask to play a song, artist or genre, and stream over Wi-Fi
- Play music simultaneously across Echo devices with multi-room music (Bluetooth not supported)
- View security cameras. Ask Alexa to show the front door or monitor another room with compatible cameras from Amazon and others
- See your photos
- Get weather forecasts
- Just talk to make to-do and shopping lists
- Browse and listen to Audible audiobooks
- Call almost anyone hands-free
- Make video calls to family and friends with an Echo Spot, Echo Show, or the Alexa App
- Instantly connect to other Echo devices around your home
- Stream music on Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and more
- Turn on lights or the TV, set thermostats, control Amazon Video on Fire TV, and more with WeMo, Philips Hue, Sony, ecobee, and other compatible smart home devices
Plus, Echo Show will get smarter and be adding new features, plus thousands of skills like Uber, Allrecipes, CNN, and more.
All hands-free—just ask the device.
The Echo Show has powerful, room-filling speakers with Dolby processing for crisp vocals and extended bass response. With eight microphones, beamforming technology, and noise cancellation, Echo Show hears you from any direction—even while music is playing.
FLASH: we don’t have to wait for Prime Day since they are on sale now!
I get a small affiliate fee if you purchase after clicking the ad.
Are you ready for your loved one to come home from the hospital or rehab facility?
Here are seven things to consider before the big day.
Equipment: Will you need special medical equipment, called DME (durable medical equipment) like a hospital bed, oxygen, a commode, toilet seat riser and grab bars, a bath chair, bathroom handrails, a hand-held shower attachment, transfer aids, and mobility aids like a quad cane, or a walker? Ask the nurses who give the daily care what you will need at home and have them arrange it before the homecoming. Make sure it is all ready to go and in place on the discharge day. Oxygen canisters can be kept outdoors even in the hottest/coldest climates, but the bulky oxygen generator has to be plugged in somewhere inside the house.
Routines: what changes to the daily schedule will be needed to accommodate rehabilitation or comfort care? If you don’t already have one, get a large wall calendar where you can keep track of medical appointments whether coming to you or going to them. You should receive a list of all medications and times at discharge. Sometimes there are so many things at different times during the day and night that it will be easier if you make a chart. Then you can check off when pills, inhalers, and treatments are taken. Will you need to transform the living room into a bedroom for a short time?
Home Health nurses and aides: Be sure to talk with your doctor or nurse practitioner about ordering home health care. Physical therapy is often ordered for a short time, as well. In most cases, there will be at least one visit with a registered nurse to help you get things set up. He or she can also be a resource for any and all questions. The nurse can help develop that medication chart if you are confused about it, too. Also, a home health aide may be available to help with showering or bed baths. These decisions are dictated by Medicare/Medicaid and private insurance regulations, so each situation is unique.
Household chores: Finding the time and energy to house clean and take care of the yard or do snow removal will be much more difficult while you are a full-time caregiver. Consider hiring help either from one of the many home care agencies like Visiting Angels, Seniors At Home or Safe At Home that provide light housekeeping and personal care. Craigslist can also be a source for help, but don’t forget to ask friends and neighbors.
Safety: You may need to remove throw rugs, fasten down area rugs, install handrails on stairs, and generally remove clutter. Look carefully at anything that would interfere with a mobility aid like a walker or cane. If there will be oxygen, then a sign needs to be fastened to the front door warning there is no smoking in this house. This means no candles, either. Doorways may need to be widened if a wheelchair will be needed long-term.
Extra assistance: Someone who can pick up a prescription or get a few things at the grocery store for you will be invaluable. If you don’t have a support network close at hand, look into home delivery options.
Family Medical Leave/state programs: Medical leave is an option for people with full-time jobs that ensure the position will remain open while you take time out to care for a loved one. Talk with your human resources manager about eligibility. Some states have programs that will pay caregivers and provide funds to modify the home to accommodate medical needs. Call your county Aging, Disability Resource Center (ADRC) for information and help if your loved one is elderly or disabled.
Professional care managers are available in larger cities. For a fee, they will help with whatever is needed. Some of the areas where a care manager can assist are helping you plan and get to doctor’s appointments, helping navigate insurance and healthcare decisions, and communicating with your family and medical team. They can arrange for and schedule additional paid in-home help and set up a simplified medication regimen. Find them through a hospital or rehab facility, ADRC or use a search engine to “find care managers near me”.
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Back when I was a home health nurse I loved the challenge of caring for wounds. Once I helped a Korean War veteran heal an open sore on his ankle bone he said had been there since he was frost-bitten in 1954! Another challenging wound was a man with a pressure ulcer (bedsore) whose white knobby tailbone could be clearly seen after I removed the dressing.
Remember Christopher Reeve who portrayed Superman until his neck was broken in a horse riding accident? He died because of a bed sore. The cause of death was an adverse reaction to an antibiotic he was taking for sepsis caused by his pressure ulcer. This can simplistically be thought of as a blood infection. However, sepsis occurs when chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight an infection trigger inflammatory responses throughout the body. This inflammation can trigger a cascade of changes that can damage multiple organ systems, causing them to fail.
Although I love wounds, caring for open sores, whether caused by surgery, accident or sensation loss, is a major stressor for families and most (normal) people. Good wound care is a vital part of post-surgical recovery as well as keeping healthy and even alive. Proper wound care is necessary to prevent infection and to promote healing.
What Causes Wounds?
Wounds occur when the skin is damaged because of injury. This may be the result of mechanical, chemical, electrical, thermal, or even nuclear sources.
Skin is damaged in different ways depending upon the mechanism of injury. In all cases, inflammation (redness) is one of the first signs of injury.
Wounds are classified into types:
Superficial wounds (on the top surface layer of skin) are caused by friction rubbing against a rough surface, even something seemingly smooth like a bed sheet. They are known as abrasions or skin tears.
Additionally, many seniors take blood thinners like Coumadin® and/or low dose aspirin with resulting “bruises” where blood vessels leak into the tissue just under the skin. These obviously need protection from opening up and require prompt attention when they do.
Deep wounds, such as those following surgery, go through the skin into the underlying tissue, like muscle and fat layers.
Puncture wounds, usually caused by a sharp object entering the skin, could be as minor as a needlestick to give an injection or draw blood, or deep as a stab wound from a knife or similar sharp object.
Bites, whether human or animal, are classified as superficial or puncture wounds, depending on depth and size.
Pressure ulcers (bed sores) develop due to lack of blood supply to the skin. This is the result of chronic pressure on an area, especially over bones. This tissue compression causes a loss of blood supply to the area which increases skin breakdown. First inflammation and then sores develop when a person who is bedridden, sits for long hours in a wheelchair or has a cast pressing on the skin does not remove pressure from the area. Pressure ulcer prevention guidelines specify moving every 20 minutes to relieve compression.
Hospitals Discharge Patients ASAP
Hospitals are under tremendous insurance pressure to discharge patients as soon as possible after surgery. It’s a very confusing time for family caregivers with a discharge planner, a social worker and maybe even a wound care nurse all giving directions on the day of discharge. No wonder the many details involved in wound care are often forgotten or misremembered!
In most cases, if the wound is not considered complex, teaching is done at the time of discharge. A home health nurse will usually be assigned if the wound is complicated, such as performing wet-to-dry dressings several times each day. However, while a home care nurse keeps the patient as their primary concern, they are required to teach a family member–or a paid caregiver–how to change the dressing. Private insurance and Medicare/Medicaid will not pay for a nurse to stay in the home beyond a specified number of days after discharge.
In addition to surgical wounds, several other populations almost routinely (unfortunately) develop open sores that are specific to who they are. People who are unable to move in bed or in a chair easily often develop bed sores, also known as pressure ulcers. (Waaay back when I was just a nursing assistant, they were also known as decubitus ulcers.)
Diabetics and other people with neuropathy can develop open sores in the areas with poor sensation, like feet and lower legs, due to not feeling an offending pebble in a shoe or a bump on the shin. Preventing more open sores is a vital part of home wound care.
Proper Wound Care Procedure
- If there is any pain or discomfort with dressing changes give the patient (I’m using patient as a stand-in for the wordier but politically correct terminology of “person with a wound”) pain medication about half an hour before starting. Medications can range all the way from acetaminophen (Tylenol®) to morphine. The nurse will be able to help you decide how much pain medication to give. If the wound is particularly worrisome for the patient, ask them to practice deep breathing relaxation exercises as you do the dressing change.
- Gather all the equipment you will need. This includes the tape and dressings needed, gauze squares, saline, ointments, wound packing material, clean or sterile gloves, and any other item(s) as instructed by the nurse. Lay the materials on a clean surface in the order they will be used. Do not put dressing materials on the bed. This area is considered “dirty” from a wound care point of view–even if the sheets were just changed.
- WASH YOUR HANDS. Even when wearing gloves, it’s still important to cleanse your hands before and after touching a wound. Bacteria easily travel between your hands and the wound. You can use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Scrubbing hands to the tune of the Alphabet Song (♪A, B, C, D, E, F, G♫) ensures you spend enough time to do it correctly.
- Follow the wound care written instructions given at the time of discharge.
- Additionally, remove the old dressing only after you have all supplies ready to go and the patient is medicated for pain or discomfort. Wounds need a warm and moist environment to heal. Healing is postponed if the wound is left open to the air for even a minute longer than necessary.
- Slowly lift the corners or edges of the dressing or tape. If it sticks to the skin, dab the edges with an adhesive remover, a moistened gauze pad, or a moistened paper towel.
- Hold down the skin surrounding the bandaged area. Gently and slowly remove the tape or dressing. Lift the tape across the skin rather pulling away from the skin.
- Lift the edges of the dressing toward the center of the wound, then gently lift it from the wound. If the dressing sticks to the wound, soak it with saline solution to help loosen it.
- Carefully place the old dressing into a plastic trash bag (or grocery bag) and tie it closed. Put that bag into a second plastic bag and throw it away. You can put all the packaging from the new dressing in the bag, too.
- Remove the gloves and wash your hands again.
Challenges With Chronic Wounds
Any wound that doesn’t heal easily and remains open for weeks after most similar wounds heal is considered chronic. These are among the most difficult to successfully treat. Chronic wounds can occur when:
- surgical wounds reopen or don’t heal completely
- when the skin breaks down because there is too much pressure over a bony area, called a pressure ulcer or bedsore
- there’s injury over a vein or artery in an area with poor circulation, called a venous or arterial ulcer
- there is a loss of circulation and sensation due to diabetes, called a diabetic ulcer
Many hospitals have specialized wound care clinics staffed by nurses, nurse practitioners, and physicians. These health care providers are certified in wound care and work solely with these types of chronic wounds and ulcers. They have access to up-to-date research and technology, such as hyperbaric oxygen chambers and the latest wound care dressings.
Remember, don’t forget to ask questions when the nurse is instructing you! Discharge planning has become an increasingly more important part of the hospitalization. Fines are levied for hospitals who have too many readmissions. And if the wound in question doesn’t require hospitalization, STILL don’t let the nurse get away until you have ALL your questions answered and concerns met.
I’d love to know what my readers thought of this. Was it too medical? Was it helpful? What else would you like to see me write about?
Gary from https://plantcaretoday.com/ contacted me a while ago to ask if I’d be open to publishing this article on AsWellAsICanBe. After looking at his website and the great information contained there, I was happy to do so.
I should add that I am aware of and use food-grade DE that I purchased and use years before Gary got in touch with me. I sprinkle it in my garden and occasionally mix some in my pets’ kibble. Since I no longer live in the South, the many issues with Palmetto bugs (aka flying cockroaches) and other endemic pests are not an ever-present problem in the frozen tundra of northwestern WI. Therefore, I don’t use as much DE as I would if still lived in Charleston, SC. (Although hubby and I plan to become snowbirds this winter. Anyone reading this south of the Mason-Dixon Line or bordering on Mexico who wants to trade houses to experience winter is free to contact me.) 😉
Here’s Gary’s guest post on DE
Diatomaceous earth(DE) is a very common product with a wide variety of uses in industry, around the house and yard. Even though you may never have heard of Diatomaceous earth, you probably have used DE and consumed it a standard ingredient in quite a few personal care products and food items. DE has value as a supplement, a drying agent, a soil additive and an effective home and garden pest control agent. In this article, we will focus on using DE to control insect pests around your house and garden. We will also provide important information on the dangers of chemical pesticide use. Read on to learn more.
Why Not Use Chemical Pesticides?
Chemical pesticides (poisons) are the only substances purposely released into the atmosphere for the purpose of killing things. The suffix, “cide” is Latin for “kill“, and pesticides are used to kill rodents, fungus, insects, and weeds in a wide variety of settings. For this reason, they can be found almost everywhere. According to the website, toxicactions.org, over 5 billion pounds of pesticides are used in the United States annually. They can be found in every aspect of life including our food, water, air, and soil. This is very bad news as pesticides have been found to cause problems such as:
* Reproductive Difficulties
* Endocrine Disruption
* Developmental Delay
* Kidney Problems
* Liver Damage
Children Are Especially At Risk
Pesticide contamination is problematic for adults and especially problematic for children. Children are exposed to pesticides from the moment of conception and continue to be exposed at home, at school, and at play. The chemicals found in pesticides cause developmental delay and can cause problems as serious as brain damage.
Although some proponents of chemical pesticides say that when used properly and in the right amounts these substances present little or no threat, the fact is they build up. They are everywhere, and they are unavoidable. We are exposed to them every day through inhalation; in the food we eat; in the water we drink; through skin contact and even through our eyes. People who work in farm settings and those who live near industrial farms are at tremendous risk for illnesses and other problems caused by contact with chemical pesticides.
Wildlife and the environment, in general, are under great threat due to contamination caused by chemical pesticides. Neonicotinoids are especially harmful to important pollinators such as bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths and other insects. This category of pesticide is also extremely dangerous to small mammals such as bats and also to reptiles such as lizards.
Why Keep Using Chemicals?
There’s lots of money in pesticides. As the companies making these poisons continue to put more lobbying pressure on the government to reduce regulations and increase the use of pesticides, we can expect the problems they cause to increase exponentially if we continue to buy them and use them. Luckily, we can vote with our pocketbooks and simply choose to learn about and use natural alternatives to benefit our own health and the health of our planet.
It’s easy to see that using pesticides has an extremely negative effect on people, wildlife, and the environment, but are pesticides necessary? The simple and accurate answer to that question is “No!” The fact is, it is not possible, necessary or even desirable to kill off all pests. All things in nature have some use and reason for being. It is entirely possible to control pests using natural means and a mindset that is aimed at coexistence–with rather than extermination–of the animals we term pests.
There are a number of ways to replace common household pesticides with all-natural alternatives that work just as well or better. When you adopt this way of thinking and choose to stop using pesticides in your own home, yard, and garden you can become part of the solution rather than remaining part of the problem. When you make this positive, proactive choice you will also save money while protecting the health and well-being of the environment, your loved ones and yourself.
Why Is Organic Pest Control Better?
When you choose organic pest control methods you are making use of time-honored, natural ingredients that strive to integrate cultural wisdom, available natural resources, biological and mechanical solutions to address problems with pests. These methods safeguard your health while helping to conserve biodiversity and support ecological balance.
There are lots of different ways to control pests in the home, yard, and garden with a combination of products such as essential oils, boric acid, vinegar, insecticidal soap and more. These ingredients are far safer and far more affordable than any commercially prepared chemical pest control. When dealing with insect pests outdoors, predatory insects are often engaged as a natural means of control. Indoors, essential oils such as rosemary, sweet basil, eucalyptus, catnip, and cedar are often added to carriers such as water, vinegar and/or oils to create sprays and other natural insect killing or repelling products.
The focus of this article is diatomaceous earth, an affordable, versatile, natural pest control product that is very popular, useful and extremely safe to use. Diatomaceous earth can be applied lightly indoors or outdoors on an as-needed basis and will continue to work as long as the weather stays dry. One popular type of DE that is specifically made for the purpose of combating insects both indoors and out is Perma-Guard Diatomaceous Earth. While this product does provide some excellent information on its packaging, it should be noted that its price per pound of product is a bit higher than other offerings of 100% DE.
Why Food Grade DE Pest Control
Food Grade DE is an all-natural product classified under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act as being safe for use in the home.
This all-natural, dry powder is made of diatoms. These are the fossilized remains of single-celled algae. This very fine, white or light tan silica powder presents insects such as:
* Dust Mites
* Clothes Moths
* … and more
… with razor sharp edges that cause damage to their exoskeletons. The substance also absorbs the protective oil from the surface of the exoskeleton.
How Does DE Work?
The cell walls of diatomaceous earth are made of silica (the main component of glass). This makes the individual particles sharp, abrasive and damaging to insect bodies. It is also effective against soft-bodied gastropods, such as slugs and snails if distributed in a thick line that forms a physical barrier. DE will not kill these creatures, but it will prevent them from entering “off-limits” areas.
For insects, the combination of exoskeleton damage and the drying effect causes the pests to dehydrate and die. This is not a speedy process, but if you keep DE distributed consistently in areas where pests are a problem you will see a steady decline in your pest population. Because DE’s deadly powers are physical rather than chemical, insects cannot build up immunity or resistance to it. No matter how long you use diatomaceous earth, it will continue to be effective against insect pests of all kinds. This is a definite benefit when compared with chemical pesticides.
Uses For Diatomaceous Earth
It primarily works like a pest control powder which “eats through” the exoskeleton of insects and dries them out. Moreover, since the DE works on a mechanical level more than a chemical one, the insects do not develop any resistance to diatomaceous earth. This becomes an eco-friendly alternative for killing insects as you can avoid using toxic sprays and insecticides. In general, DE can be used for many purposes, but for a garden, it is primarily used as a pesticide or insecticide. They also denote it as natural bug control. Insects like:
* Snails & Slugs
* Cockroaches… and others can be treated with food grade DE in our gardens.
ONLY USE Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth as a pesticide for vegetable production. This method is very popular among folks who are a fan of natural remedies. When we talk about the environment, the basic component is silicon which makes up most of the rocks, sand, and land of our Earth. It is also a component of fish bodies or marine animals naturally.
Moreover, since DE does not work on a chemical level, there is no question of it degrading or dissolving in water or vaporize to pollute the air, causing damage to the environment. It’s environmentally friendly.
How To Apply DE In The Garden
1. Dry Method
Fill a container (like a parmesan cheese container) to use as a shaker for the powder. Garden duster applicators are available as well. Avoid creating dust, it can harm your respiratory system. Wearing gloves and masks is a must, especially if you have allergies and breathing issues.
Dust the dry powder on the plants. Experts suggest the best time is morning and evening when the plants have a little dew on them. The moisture helps retain the powdered DE. The powder is not effective when wet but when it dries up, insects begin to “experience” its effect. Applying a thick layer of DE at the base of plants helps keep slugs, snails or squash bugs away. Be sure to apply DE on the upper, as well as the underside, of all plants for best effects. Reapply powder after it rains because it will get washed away.
2. Wet Method
Dissolve 4 tablespoons of Diatomaceous Earth powder into 1- gallon water jug. Seal the jug tightly and shake until the powder is dissolved. Fill a spray bottle or garden sprayer with the DE mixture.
Spray plants with the solution but NOT until they are dripping wet. Be sure to cover the undersides of leaves for maximum benefits. Once the plants dry the residue left behind looks like a thick layer of powder coating the leaves. The “wet” method is best suited where windy conditions are present.
Masks and gloves are essential here too. Some people also prefer wearing goggles while spraying the powder.
How To Use DE Around The House
Using DE is simplicity itself. Apply a light dusting. Look for areas that are frequented by insect pests and simply sprinkle DE lightly in these areas.
Indoors, apply it to the back of cabinets, and your baseboards, behind wall sockets and other nooks, crannies, cracks, and crevices where insects hide.
Outdoors, sprinkle it around sensitive plants or dust plant leaves lightly to impact all manner of insect pests. When insects come in contact with the substance, it sticks to them and effectively kills them.
DE will not attract insects, so in some instances, you may want to combine it with a substance that will attract pests to it. If you are trying to draw insects, you can mix it with dry bait, such as sugar. This can be an effective treatment on ant hills. Apply a thick line when dealing with slugs and snails.
Keep your powder dry!
It’s important to remember that DE is not effective unless it is dry. If you sprinkle it outdoors, you must remember to replenish it after rainfall. And do not use in damp areas.
Before reapplying DE indoors, you should clean up your previous application. Depending on where you have applied the substance and how much is present, you can sweep it up with a whisk broom and dustpan, use a damp towel to wipe it up, or use a shop vac to vacuum it up. Do not use your regular household vacuum cleaner as the coarse substance can be very damaging to the motor.
Even though DE is non-toxic, you may want to wear a dust mask, eye protection, and gloves when applying it or cleaning it up. Remember that it is a dusty and very drying substance, so it could cause some itching and discomfort if you are in contact with it for an extended period of time.
Make DE & EO Insect Repellents
There is one instance in which you would use DE damp. You can use it as a base to make essential oil insect repellent stations. When you do this, you are not using the DE to kill insects. You are just using it as a medium or carrier to deliver the scent of the oil. Some people use cotton balls for this purpose, but DE holds the essential oil scent longer and can be reused indefinitely, so it is a better choice.
Begin by making a paste of DE and water. Add a strong smelling essential oil such as lemon or cedar oil or oil of lavender. Mix the essential oil in at a rate of about a dozen drops per ounce of DE and water paste. Put this mixture into small jar lids. Place these in out-of-the-way corners and under furniture where insects might hide. Replenish your stations monthly with a few drops of water and essential oil.
Is DE Safe To Leave Out All the Time?
For mammals, food grade diatomaceous earth is not only safe it is also desirable. It is commonly added to grains, pet food, and other dry food products as an anti-caking agent and to help prevent insect infestation. Food grade diatomaceous earth imparts a number of health benefits, and it is often added to natural personal care products such as toothpaste. Many people use it as a dietary supplement, and the silicon it contains is said to be helpful for strengthening bones and improving the quality of skin, hair, and nails.
When used as a supplement for poultry, DE helps control intestinal parasites and results in hens laying larger and more nourishing eggs with stronger shells. Additionally, when used as a dust bath for poultry DE helps control and even eliminate bird mite infestation. It also makes a nice dust bath for pet birds and chinchillas.
Food grade DE is safe to eat and can even be used as a deworming product for your pets. Talk with your veterinarian about the amount to use. Generally speaking, DE is safe when used as a flea powder on cats and dogs. Some farmers hang burlap bags of it from barn rafters so that livestock can bump against them to dust themselves as protection against flies. As long as you are sure to get food grade diatomaceous earth, it will pose no threat to you, your pets or non-insect life.
Be aware that food grade DE does not discriminate between beneficial insects and non-beneficial insects. Be careful where you put the product. Avoid areas frequented by beneficial insects. You don’t want to damage your populations of bees, ladybugs, butterflies and other desirable insects.
Use Only Food Grade DE
Remember to only use food grade DE. There is pool grade diatomaceous earth available, but this is not the same thing.
This substance is intended only for swimming pool filtration. It contains a lot of crystalline silica and is not safe to come in contact with or to consume. The difference lies in the production methods used to create the two types of DE. Pool grade DE is prepared using a process known as calcination that incorporates very high heat levels. This process transforms the silicon dioxide content into crystalline silica, which is extremely dangerous to the health of both animals and humans. For this reason, this type of DE must only be used for swimming pool filtration. It has no other purpose.
Food grade diatomaceous earth is also known as Food Chemical Codex Grade DE. In order to be considered safe for consumption, DE must comply with specifications regarding its heavy metal (e.g. lead and arsenic) content. Food grade DE is not calcined and is made up mostly of amorphous silica. It should contain no more than 1% crystalline silica. The mineral content of the product affects its coloring. Most DE is very pure white, but the presence of naturally occurring minerals can cause the product to vary in shade from light brownish-gray to white.
Do Natural Pest Control Methods Really Work?
Yes, non-toxic pest control does work; however, it doesn’t work in the same way as chemical pesticides. It’s important to understand that when you use natural pest repelling and controlling ingredients you must take a holistic approach. This means combining natural methods and being very consistent and persistent. Unlike chemical pesticides, natural products don’t kill off vast swathes of insects and other pests all at once. Furthermore, organic products don’t usually have a residual effect. For this reason, most organic pest control products need to be applied frequently for best results. It is also smart to use them in a rotation and/or in combination with each other to prevent having your pests build up a resistance to them.
When you spray an insect with a chemical pesticide, it dies on the spot. Conversely, you may observe insect pests walking right through DE seemingly unfazed. Don’t despair! It takes a while for the DE to damage the insect exoskeleton and decimate the critter!
As a matter of fact, a number of factors affect the speed with which DE works to kill off insects. The size and type of insect is one very important factor.
Additionally, the ambient humidity levels and the particle size of the DE may affect the speed with which it works. Temperature also plays a role, as does the level of infestation. It naturally takes quite a bit longer to deal with more insects. Generally speaking, you may see significant results within 24 hours of proper application of DE. This is especially true with very small fairly soft-bodied insects such as bedbugs, dust mites, bird mites, termites, black ants, and red ants. Leaving the DE in place and replenishing it as-needed will reap greater results within a week’s time.
Large, tough insects, such as merchant grain beetles can take as long as three weeks to deal with. Likewise, it can take a couple of weeks to deal with heavy silverfish infestation. I found that it also takes several weeks to eradicate a palmetto bug infestation, too.
It is important to remove any clutter, manure, leaves or other items that may be sheltering insects such as silverfish and beetles. This will help ensure that the insects make good contact with the DE. When dealing with especially pervasive pests, such as bedbugs, you must clean thoroughly and use a combination of methods of natural pest control, such as DE, essential oil sprays, heat and sheer diligence to ensure you have eliminated all eggs, larvae, and adults.
No matter what kind of pest you are dealing with, keep a close eye on the infestation. If you feel that the insects have been completely eradicated, you may wish to clean up the DE completely and not reapply it. However, keeping a light application out at all times will not hurt anything and can certainly help prevent a re-infestation. This is especially true of very persistent insects such as bedbugs, fleas, and ants.
DE Is In Many Household and Personal Products
Diatomaceous earth is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). For this reason, it is included in hundreds (if not thousands) of products for household and personal use. Among these are more than one-hundred and fifty products intended for pest control. In addition to its pest control value, food grade DE is also useful as a dietary supplement to help:
- Deal with parasite infestation in humans and pets
- Improve bone, joint and ligament health
- Detoxify and remove heavy metals
- Enhance colon and liver function
- Benefit skin, hair and nail health
- Improve immune function
- Increase energy levels
Food grade DE is easy to find at your local animal feed store or online, and it is amazingly affordable. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay a couple of dollars a pound. This amount will last you ages, even if you use it to dust your house and yard and supplement your pet’s food and your morning smoothie. A little bit of this safe, all-natural product goes a long way and can do you, your family and your household a world of good.