Incredible Minerals Today

I'm tired of bugs but I have a secret DE insecticide weapon

Posted by Julie Brown

Aug 4, 2015 2:46:00 PM

brit1  My horse Brit, happily munching breakfast.

Supposedly from all the reports you read, this is a bad year for bugs. In the West, they say we have more bugs because it was a mild, dry winter. In the East, they say we have more bugs because it was a longer, wetter winter. Whatever. All I know is that I hate bugs. And snakes. And anything I can do to not see either species is just fine by me.

Yet, I picked a hobby that is intrinsically associated with bugs. Horses! Usually by this time of year I’ve had it with the flies and can’t wait for the first freeze to kill them all. Usually, I have fly masks and fly sheets on my horses and spray them daily with a 14-day fly spray, knowing that the chemical-based fly spray can’t be good for them or me.

But this year is different. I have a secret weapon – diatomaceous earth or DE, the microscopic skeletons of prehistoric algae that dries out and slices up insects like a samurai swordsman.

I used DE at my barn last year, but I think I started too late in the season and didn’t use enough. Now I’ve got it down. This year, I started using DEsect, EP Naturals OMRI listed (organic) product in May, and I use more of it. Every morning after I feed the horses and clean the barn and corral area, I arm myself with a small bucket of DE. I sprinkle it all over the manure pile until it’s white. I use it on any wet spots around the corral. I put it in the horses’ stalls in wet spots in addition to the shavings. I put it around the feed barrels where spiders like to hide. I’m a regular barn girl bug killing machine with my DE!

So, has all my effort paid off? You bet. Until last weekend, I hadn’t seen any flies. That’s incredible this late in the summer. Now we have some flies - I think caused by the thunderstorms & rain we’ve had lately, but they’re not terrible. I’m putting fly masks on my horses during the days, but no silly looking fly sheets and I’m using very little fly spray.

I haven’t seen any spiders or webs around the feed barrels, either. We haul our manure to our neighbors compost pile. Our neighbor is happy because the DE that’s in the manure will make for an amazing garden material.

I haven’t seen any snakes yet. Yay. However, I did unearth a nest of yellow jacket wasps when I was pulling weeds the other night, and I’m still itching like crazy from the stings. Tonight I’m going after them – with DE! And maybe a blowtorch.

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Topics: DEsect