Inland Bearded Dragons wants to introduce to you a new product, Diatomaceous Earth (DE), to help guard your reptiles from illness and pests. Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is the remains of microscopic one-celled plants called diatoms that lived in the ocean and lakes that once covered the western part of the US and other parts of the world. These deposits are mined from underwater beds or from ancient dried lake bottoms thousands of years old. This means Diatomaceous Earth (DE) has an unlimited shelf life provided you keep it dry.
I started using Diatomaceous Earth a year ago to control fleas on my Dogs and Cats as I heard it was not a pesticide but a natural ingredient made from water. As I am not a user of pesticides or any poisons in my home I thought I would check it out. It is shown to be great internally and externally to rid your pets of any parasites by a natural process of dehydration due to its physic-sorptive properties. The fine powder absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insects’ exoskeletons, causing them to dehydrate.
I read numerous great stories of how DE worked for dogs and cats but nothing for reptiles. As a Breeder of Bearded Dragons I decided to see if it would work the same for them. I had a dragon that had stopped eating and was not doing too well. The medicine available does more harm than good most of the time I found, plus is hard to measure and apply so I do not use it. I put a little DE powder (about ¼ tsp.) into some warm bath water and put the dragon in to soak for about 10 minutes. I repeated it the next day and then for the next two days I only bathed with warm water. The dragon must have ingested some in the water as he started to eat after and within the week was fat and healthy. I also sprinkle a small amount of the (DE) on their greens every month as a preventative measure after the initial 2 day bath. As I feed a lot of dragons I put about 1 tablespoon per large container of greens but if only feeding one just a pinch will do. Since “DE” is a dehydrator you need to make sure they have plenty of water or greens when using it. Also be careful not to get dust in their eyes or nose as it can cause irritation.
If trying on a different reptile just use a pinch to see if it will work for them as I have only tried internally on Bearded Dragons, Uromastyx and Sail Fins with no problem. I have not tried on my Sulcata Tortoise because of the shell as I am not sure how it will affect her as she is both exoskeleton and endoskeleton. It has a dehydrating effect on exoskeletons so did not want to chance it. As I have not used on all reptiles you will be using at your own risk so start with small amount and do baths.
I also had problems with ants getting into my reptile room and some even got into my tanks which will kill the dragons. I sprinkled some (DE) on the ground and under the newspapers in the tanks that had ants and within a few hours all the ants were gone including the ones in the tanks. I removed the newspaper and powder from the tank as I did not want my dragon to breath in the powder if he decided to bury under the newspaper. The ants never came back. I don’t know what happened to them but it worked so I always keep it close by. You can use (DE) outside as a barrier if you keep any tanks outside for sun. I put a barrier all around my baby tubs and nothing will get in them. For mites I would bathe the reptile in warm water with a ¼ teaspoon of (DE). Get them wet all over to get rid of the mites on them. Mites hate water. While the reptile is out of the tank, clean the tank good and dry out completely. Sprinkle (DE) inside the tank and push into all the corners. Vacuum out all visible dust but do not wipe out. Return reptile to the tank. Repeat the baths and cleaning a second time if you still notice mites.
If using for your other animals here is the rule of thumb for how much. It is really good for internal parasites, good digestion, beautiful coats and nails. You can mix into their food.
Cows/Horses get 1-2 oz per day
Sheep/Goats/Hogs get ½ oz per day
Cats get ½ teaspoon per day
Large Cats – 1 teaspoon per day
Kittens – ¼ teaspoon per day
Dog 100/lbs+ – 2 Tablespoon per day
50-100 lbs – 1 Tablespoon per day
Under 50 lbs – 1 teaspoon per day
Mini Dogs – ½ teaspoon per day.
Birds – I sprinkle ¼ teaspoon on their seed and a pinch in water and I sprinkle some in the nest boxes and on their feathers too
Other helpful uses for Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Metal Cleaner: Make a paste with (DE) and water to make a metal polish. Also makes an inexpensive soft scrub for the shower, sink and faucets.
Face Mask and Cleanser: Mix (DE) with water to make paste. Apply to face in circular motion until face is covered. Leave on for 2 min and wash off with warm water. Will exfoliate and tone.
Teeth Cleaner: Sprinkle small amount of (DE) on your toothpaste and brush as normal. Will make your teeth feel like you just came from a dental cleaning.
Garage/Driveway Oil Stains: Make sure area is dry, then cover oil stain completely with (DE) and let sit for 24 hours. Scrape off excess with metal spatula or paint scraper and dispose.
Refrigerator/Freezer Odors: Leave open box or jar filled with (DE) in refrigerator like baking soda. Dispose every week or so.
Foot Odors: For fresh smelling shoes put some (DE) into the ends of two knee high stockings and tie a knot. Put one in each shoe until ready to use then remove until you take them off again and reuse.
Carpet Stains: Cover stain with (DE) and work lightly into the carpet. Let set for at least 2 hours and vacuum up.
Garbage Can Odor: Sprinkle a cup into bottom of trash cans to deodorize. Also gets rid of bugs and larvae that may be present.