How is diatomaceous earth a “pet friendly” solution to pest control, yet it’s recommended not to breathe it in?

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If I applied it to my home my pets would definitely smell it at least once and inhale it. So how exactly is it pet-safe?

Trying to find the best solution to get rid of some cockroaches I found in my bathroom without endangering my 3 cats.

In: Biology

13 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

DE is pet safe.

It contains silica, which isn’t super healthy to breathe in long term and can be irritating to breath in short term. But to cause permanent damage to your pets they would have to breathe in a lot of it and over a long period of time. Still, try to keep your pets out of the areas where you’re spreading it out since it can irritate airways.

It’s pet safe because the means of action. It damages the exoskeleton of creatures that have that (so that they start to leak body fluids), and your pets don’t have an exoskeleton.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Diatomaceous earth wouldn’t work on cockroaches. First, before you just start dumping random poisons in your house with no research or expertise, find the source of whatever the cockroaches are feeding on and eliminate it. It may be hard to find. You might have to pull the fridge and the oven out from the wall and mop up whatever has been collecting back there.

Or, like if you live in a multi-unit apartment, you may never find the source. In that case, you would apply roach bait in places that roaches will feed on it but your cats can’t reach it. And even if your cats do reach it, it doesn’t matter, because the active ingredient in roach bait (fipronil) is the same ingredient in Frontline flea medicine for cats. Except the roach bait is over 100 times less concentrated.

And before you just go squirting roach bait all over your house, at least go read an article at something like do your own pest control .com or one of those about how to do it correctly. Pesticides are perfectly safe when used as directed. But if you don’t know what you are doing, it’s pretty easy to poison a whole ecosystem for miles around you.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Pet friendly is not the same as works for every single pet on the planet

Diatamacous earth is used as a supplement and can be eaten (small controlled quantities) without harm; the main issue is breathing it in

Anonymous 0 Comments

Basically any fine powder is bad for you if inhale lots of it, even if it’s 100% chemically and biologically inert. It’s just not good to fill your lungs with dust. But as long as you’re not pouring out piles of it and then standing in the resulting cloud before it settles, the risk is minimal. One snootful won’t poison your pets, though it might make them sneeze.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Just addressing the safe, but don’t breathe it in. There are many chemicals you encounter that are safe but you shouldn’t breathe it ( like water). Smelling the scent of a product is very different from breathing in all of the active ingredients while they’re airborne

Anonymous 0 Comments

In addition to what others have said about breathing it in being the dangerous part, consider the alternatives as well. Either you spray bug killer (which if your cat steps in it and then licks their paws, they would ingest that) or you fumigate the house, which your cats definitely can’t be in.

So while there is a slight danger from breathing it in, the extremely low risk of problems is far better than the high risk of ingestion of toxic bug killers.

That being said, Harris roach tablets seem to be pet safe as well and won’t leave nearly as much of a mess and may even help kill the nest. That may be worth looking into for you over the diatomaceous earth.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because it’s effectively ground up sea shells usually so relatively non-toxic to humans but still not exactly the best thing to inhale

Sand isn’t particularly toxic to humans either but if there was a cloud of it in the air I probably wouldn’t want to breathe it in you feel me

Anonymous 0 Comments

Dust in lungs is bad but not acutely poisonous, like some pesticides are to non-mammalian pets like fish, birds, and reptiles. And of course, there are invertebrate pets as well, including spiders, molluscs, insects, complex system terraria, and anything that can be kept in an aquarium like corals, sea stars, urchins, and sponges.

Anonymous 0 Comments

DE is more irritating than typical dust since it’s made of diatom shells, which are typically broken or spiky, but over not seen any evidence it causes permanent effects (see asbestos or beryllium). Just avoid storing large quantities into the air

Anonymous 0 Comments

THey sell it at farm stores as a livestock feed additive. WHat is up with that?