Diatomaceous Earth - Knowledgebase Question

Tacoma, WA
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Question by kiwee777
March 3, 2000
Is this insecticide harmful to pets if eaten? And does it attract pets like slug bait does? I have 2 dogs and have already experienced visit to vet from slug bait poisoning to dog, so do not and cannot use anything that is harmful to pets. The diatomaceous is new to me and do not know of how it affects animals when ingested.


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Answer from NGA
March 3, 2000
You're referring to Diatomaceous Earth, a silica-type product made from the finely ground fossils of aquatic diatoms. It's a long-lasting product that you can safely use in your garden to control snails and slugs. It's not especially attractive to animals, mostly because there's no particular odor. It has a very fine texture, and is sprinkled liberally around plants you want to protect.

Diatomaceous Earth works best when it's dry, so plan on reapplying after a rain. It's available from Gardener's Supply, 128 Intervale Rd., Burlington, VT 05401 (Phone 800-863-1700) or from Gardens Alive, 5100 Schenley Pl., Lawrenceburg, IN 47025. (Phone 812-537-8650)

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