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Diatominous Earth

Home Forums Champions’ chat Diatominous Earth

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    A question. When I kept chickens I used to use a natural product called diatominous Earth or diatom in the cracks of the hen house, it’s a powder that breaks down the shells of red mite it can also be used as a natural flea treatment for domestic pets.

    I was just wondering if it would be safe to use it in the joints of a hedgehog house after its annual clean out to help reduce the number of fleas, ticks and flea eggs in the nesting.

    It’s such a natural product I cant see it would cause any problems. I just wondered what the experts felt or if it’s even been voiced before.


    It can potentially be dangerous if inhaled as it consists of two different types of silica and long term exposure is not recommended. Although it is used in many applications and there are food grade versions respiratory masks are required when handling it in large concentrations/enclosed spaces.

    More info here (see the safety considerations):

    Although it would be great to find a solution to the fleas and ticks hedgehogs always seem to be plagued with I’m not sure it’s a good idea to put this stuff in the confines of a hog house where the hog is potentially going to be breathing it in.

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    Hi jackietb

    I wasn’t familiar with diatominous earth, so looked it up on the internet and reached the same conclusion as Bushsnuffler. From what I read, I would be concerned about the hogs breathing it in as they would likely be in the boxes quite a long time, especially during hibernation. Also I wouldn’t like the thought of them ingesting some of it by mistake. But that’s just my thoughts. It might be worth asking the BHPS, to see what they think.

    But boiling water is pretty good at killing the eggs of fleas and ticks, so probably a safer bet and fairly easy with a small box, like a hog box. Maybe not so easy with chicken houses.

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