Some years ago my family was faced with a dilemma. Our new home was infested with pesky black ants. We tried all the store-bought products to no avail, so I called an exterminator. His solution was to tent the whole house and fumigate with a solution that would kill the ants. Not only would this require us to vacate the house for several days, but the cost was prohibitive with no guarantee that it would prevent re-infestation. Shortly thereafter someone brought to my attention a health food product that made outrageous claims including its ability to control pest such as ants. Since we had nothing to lose, we bought some of this natural powdery substance called diatomaceous earth and sprinkled it on the ground around our foundation. To say that I was a skeptic of such a simple solution would be an understatement! It felt like some sort of a hokey snake-oil-like solution complete with magic powder!

Within several days we noticed that there were dead ants everywhere! This stuff really works! From that day forward we have treated for ants each spring and fall in the same manner, by laying down the ring of white powder around the outside of our house. We have not seen an ant since. The plus side has been that this product is not dangerous to birds or other animals that could be exposed by eating it directly or by consuming the treated insects. It is in fact about 89% silica which is a necessary element for humans and animals, but for crawling insects it is devastating. It kills by physical action, not chemical. The tiny diatoms scratch off the insect’s waxy coating, and they dehydrate and die. Since then I have been able to pass this secret on to many folks who have suffered from this type of an infestation. We even use it successfully in the orchard and garden!

I can only testify to what I have personally witnessed, though many additional claims have been made concerning this product. It can be purchased inexpensively at most feed stores as food grade diatomaceous earth. Claims range from pest control to use for controlling worms in large animals and pets, use as a cleaner, odor fighter, metal polisher and human dietary supplement. Some claim that it can absorb the affects of heavy metals, pesticides and drug residues when used in humans as part of their regular diet. See more about this product at