In using the natural and non-toxic product diatomaceous earth, it is important to know how to spread it most effectively arond your yard and over the grass to get the maximum coverage and not waste the product and your energy. Some people have never used diatomaceous earth for pest control, and if you are not familiar with it, then you might want to look it up online for more information. It is safe to use around pets and children, as long as there is no prolonged breathing in of the product. Like any dust, respiratory problems could occur if care is not taken to treat your grass and plants when there is no one around but you.
Sprinkling diatomaceous earth by hand is wasteful and painstaking, not to mention messy and less effective due to poor coverage. There are several websites that carry this product, but this one is offering free shipping right now (7/14/09) so that might save you some money. This machine can spread other dusts, and the fixture that comes with it aims the dust so you can get targeted areas.
Things You'll Need
Dustin-Mizer or other dust sprayer
Diatomaceous earth or other garden (yard) dust
Read the directions that come with this applicator. The Dustin-Mizer comes with instructions for it's use to make it most effective.
Fill the hopper with the dust and make sure your yard is empty of pets and people.
Check which way the wind is blowing. Spray in the same direction to carry the dust the most distance, and to avoid inhaling it. If the wind (breeze) is not blowing, diatomaceous earth will stay suspended in an area for up to a minute or two. Even the slightest air movement will carry it. In a room, I give it a couple of hours to settle. It is very effective on fleas and areas where there are mosquitoes and flies. Since it also works on ants, I focus on the base of my house, and also under plants and mulched, stone paths and porches.
Store the diatomacious earth in a garden shed, tool shed or utility room when you are finished, as the light powder can be messy.
Diatomaceous earth can be purchased at most garden centers or online. I like ordering it online because I can get it in larger bags.
Diatomaceous earth is very fine, and as such will stay suspended in air for some time. Do not breathe it in if you can avoid it. Remember that this product is indiscriminate in it insect killing properties due to the different way it controls insect, which is through physical impact, not chemical. As such, use it discriminately and only when necessary.