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Diatomaceous Earth To Treat Goat Lice, Ticks & Fleas

Pest Populations Bloom In Early Spring & Late Winter

Goats can be host to two varieties of lice, both non-transmittable to humans as they are specific to the species but are highly contagious to other goats making them difficult, but not impossible, to eradicate. The two varieties of ticks goats are susceptible to are those that bite, and those who suck. Using food-grade diatomaceous earth to effectively manage and prevent a lice infestation can ensure your goats have a happy, healthy pest free life.

Early spring and late winter are when lice, tick & flea populations tend to bloom in numbers more rapidly. Whereas in the summer when you can keep your goat’s hair short, and the sun can keep pest numbers down – winter and spring infestations will likely take some additional intervention. While lice, tick & fleas are not life-threatening to healthy goats, they are uncomfortable and irritating to their skin, occasionally causing hair loss and potential anemia.

Symptoms Show Before The Bugs

A pest infestation is more often diagnosed by its symptoms rather than initial visual confirmation of the pests. If you part your goat’s hair, especially the hairs along their back, you will see small redheaded bugs with brownish or yellow bodies. Biting lice variety will scurry out of view, the sucking lice will remain latched.

Pest eggs, nits, hatch about every 7 days, so treatment should be every 7 to 10 days as well until no signs of the nits or adult bugs are present. Take the time to choose the treatment you choose no only repels lice, tick & flea but also prevents the eggs from hatching and/or thriving.

Shaving To Control, Diatomaceous Earth To Prevent

To manage your pest population, shaving your goat’s fur as short as possible. With nothing to hold on to or to protect them from the sun, and the lice cannot survive. After shaving, clean out all the old bedding in their barn. Spreading a food-grade diatomaceous earth product like our Last Crawl™ Insect DEstroyer Insecticide Powder as a physical insecticide
that will not have any effect on the goats.

While no one looks forward to a lice, tick & flea infestation, these creatures are anything but indestructible. With a little preparation, regular treatment, and cleaning of their living spaces your goats will be able to live their best pest-free lives.

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Diatomaceous Earth To Aid In Composting

Diatomaceous Earth used in a home compost pile with tolls surrounding it.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a naturally occurring substance mined from specific lakebed deposits. Made up of fossilized single-celled planktonic algae called diatoms, the silica-rich shells of these microscopic organisms give this chalk-like substance exceptional porosity and abrasive property. With many commercial, agricultural and household uses, DE can even play a pivotal role in the health of your backyard compost pile!

Below is a collection of consumer tested application methods in which consumers have used diatomaceous earth like our Stall Dry product to help them with their at-home composting.

Unprocessed manure and compost piles can play host to the larvae of many types of flies. Most, like the common housefly, are harmless, since they do not often bite humans or animals, or carry harmful diseases. Outside of utilizing the pest control power of backyard chickens, the potential for a build-up of potentially harmful maggots could potentially contaminate your composting efforts. A simple sprinkle of a food-grade Diatomaceous Earth-based insecticide will keep your compost pile happy.

Due to its inert nature, Diatomaceous Earth can also be used as a chemical-free deodorant for your compost pile. With smells often being caused by an abundance of wet ingredients like kitchen wastes and fallen fruit, the absorbent nature of DE will allow you to deodorize the pile making it easier to integrate its use into your day-to-day life. 

As it only affects hard-bodied insects, peppering a light sprinkle of food-grade Diatomaceous Earth on the top-layer of your composting bin will allow you to manage pests and fruit-flies from your compost pile while still creating a nurturing and safe environment for your worms. Many people also find adding DE to worming compost can aid in some beneficial digesting and grinding of the food for the worms while benefiting the soil as it contains many good trace minerals.

*When using DE in your working compost be sure to use sparingly and do not mix in so that it does not pull too much moisture from the worms ecosystem.

Rodents like mice, moles, and rats can wreck your garden compost in no time, and if you don’t want to harm them, Diatomaceous Earth is here to help. Rodents hate the strong smells of essential oils like peppermint and lemon citrus and as Diatomaceous Earth is an excellent absorbent. These two ingredients can be combined to create the most potent organic rodent repellent that can keep the rodents at bay when sprinkled around the perimeter of your composting bin.

For a full list of items we suggest you add to your compost bin (in addition to DE) we have sourced a list from our customers on the blog. 

Now you’re ready to compost!

Please note: Stall DRY can also be added directly to the compost to help keep down the odor and absorb any excess liquid (just be sure not to add too much Stall DRY, as you want the compost to keep a wet/dry balance).

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Backyard Chicken Care

A red chicken stands on some stumps after taking a dust bath in diatomaceous earth.

If you want your backyard chickens to lead healthy, happy lives – Diatomaceous Earth is a must-have for anyone who owns a coop and has a flock of feathered friends.

What is DE (Diamotacious Earth), and how can it help my chickens?

Food-Grade diatomaceous earth contains finely ground and processed fossilized algae commonly called diatoms.

DE has a whole array of benefits for poultry’s health, from absorbing odor-causing moisture, to increasing the strength of their egg’s shells. Diatoms are essentially very fine, abrasive particles with sharp edges that have natural absorption capabilities. When chickens excrete, the resulting manure is rich in nitrogen, especially the chicken’s equivalent of urine – uric acid. When the manure then becomes wet, the nitrogen decomposes and produces a gas called ammonia, which gives off a pungent smell. Adding DE to your backyard chicken care routine will make for happy, healthy chickens.

How do I use DE with my chickens?

Absorbent Products has produced several Diamotacious Earth products specially formulated for use with your backyard chicken coop.

To Help Control Odor

Activated Barn Fresh, Fresh Coop Odor Control available in both a resealable bag or jug with shaker lid. It is a safe and easy way to manage the ammonia odor and moisture levels present in your chicken coop.

Sprinkling your Diamotacious Earth over the freshly cleaned floor of your coop before laying down new litter is a safe and effective way to capture the moisture that naturally collects there.

To Aid In Preening Maintenance

Absorbent Product’s Fresh Coop Dust Bath encourages your flock’s natural daily preening maintenance. Keep their feathers in tip-top condition by promoting and enhancing their natural dust bathing behavior. 

Sprinkle a layer of DE over your chicken’s dirt and sand tub, and let the chickens work it in. As the chickens play and roll around in the dust bath, they will cover themselves with the DE infused sand. Fresh Coop Dust Bath is composed of Food Chemical Codex Grade (Food Grade) Diatomaceous Earth and Calcium Montmorillonite. This unique natural blend of Diatomaceous Earth helps to keep feathers clean by absorbing excess oils.

To Lay Strong, Beautiful Eggs

Fresh Coop Egg-Layer Grit is our soluble chicken grit that is essential for healthy, beautiful eggs. Soft, thin, or missing eggshells are a sign that your layers are calcium deficient. A proper egg-laying diet will ensure they’re getting the calcium they need while allowing you total control over their feed. Fresh Coop Egg-Layer Grit offers an excellent, natural source rich in calcium for chickens.

For chickens that are over 18 weeks old, Fresh Coop Egg-Layer Grit can be mixed with coarse grain or free-choice. Grit is designed to help the chickens’ digestive system function well and break down the food as it should. The grit also helps grind down the food in the gizzard, keeping their digestive system happy!

Are there disadvantages to using diatomaceous Earth?

There are a few things that will affect the overall usefulness of Diatomaceous Earth that you need to keep in mind.

  • Unfortunately, Diatomaceous Earth can become less effective when wet. Limiting use to inside the coop means that you will mitigate problems in areas with higher natural moisture levels. Proper storage is vital.
  • When using a deep litter system, be aware that DE is unable to distinguish between good parasites and harmful parasites. Using DE with a deep litter system means it will disable your deep litter system’s processes.

Diatomaceous earth is a remarkable and versatile poultry product for any backyard chicken coop enthusiast. Regardless of the size of your flock, you will be able to reap the benefits of Diatomaceous Earth each day for your chicken! 

For customers in the USA – To purchase any of our Absorbent Product’s Fresh Coop products, please visit our US distribution page to find the retailer nearest to you. 

For customers in Canada – Fresh Coop products can be purchased on or please give us a call at 1-800-667-0336 or email us at We would be happy to help!

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Protecting the Harvest

Protecting the Havrvest


Fall is upon us once again.  For millennia, this season of harvest means it’s time to store the summer’s abundance for a long dark winter ahead.  People have used granaries for over eleven thousand years; archaeological excavations in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea have revealed storage structures at least that old.  In today’s world, grain storage can vary between a few pounds and several thousand tonnes, depending on the facility.  Large or small, grain storage can pose problems that are minimized by careful planning and preparation.

Structural hygiene is an important first step in good grain management.  Buildings, structures and grain bins should be well-maintained and inspected regularly for signs of pest intrusion and excess moisture problems. Eliminating weeds and shrubbery from the outside of granaries will reduce pest harborages. Sealing any cracks and crevices in and around grain bins is crucial to prevent intruders. 

One of the biggest threats to successful grain storage is excess moisture, according to the University of Kentucky – College of Agriculture.  Wet or damp grain will rot, and spoilage can spread quickly throughout a bin. The Grains Research and Development Corporation of Australia recommends treating stored grains with diatomaceous earth (DE) as a protective measure. 

Using DE has the dual advantage of controlling both moisture and insects.   The microscopic porous structure of DE is sponge-like, absorbing moisture from grains. This absorbent property is also effective as an insecticide.  The mode of action is mechanical, not chemical; DE kills the insects by desiccation, after abrading their waxy exoskeletons.

The use of diatomaceous earth can reduce or eliminate the need for strong chemical fumigants.  These insecticidal gases are very useful for grain protection.  However, they are toxic, must be applied by trained professionals, and can only be used after an infestation has occurred. DE treatments can help prevent insects, and in turn the need for fumigation.  In cases like this, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure!

Interestingly, our long tradition of grain storage has had a profound side effect for human-animal relationships.  It is widely theorized that wild cats first became accustomed to humans via rodent-hunting around grain bins. Both species soon realized the advantages of cooperation: cats provide the pest control and in return are rewarded with shelter, protection and affection.  The human-feline love affair has continued since.

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Cleaning up diatomaceous earth

Cleaning Up Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is an effective, safe insecticide product for getting rid of unwanted pests like bed bugs, fleas, and other crawling insects. Since diatomaceous earth does not have an expiration date, placing the DE in areas where insects may gather and where you would not necessarily notice the product such as crawl spaces, cracks and crevices, behind baseboards and . Once the diatomaceous earth has dehydrated the exoskeleton of these insects, you can remove the DE by following the easy steps below:

First, clean up may not actually be necessary, as many people will leave diatomaceous earth in and around their homes for indefinite amounts of time. Diatomaceous earth will continue to be effective as long as it remains dry. Leaving it alone works best when it is used in inconspicuous, out of the way areas like wall voids, crawl spaces, behind baseboards, and inside cupboards. In areas that you would like to clean up, try some of the following tips:

Before starting to clean, remember that although DE is considered safe to use around pets and humans, like any other dust, it may be irritating to eyes and lungs in large amounts. Many people suggest wearing a mask and glasses when cleaning up for this reason.

Carpets, Rugs, or Other Soft Surfaces

Diatomaceous earth is often used to control bed bugs, so it may be spread on carpets, bedding, rugs, and other upholstered items. Clean up of these types of surfaces is often best achieved by vacuuming the diatomaceous earth. Since DE is a sand material, it can be abrasive to vacuum cleaners with filters. You don’t want to destroy your vacuum cleaner, so it is recommended that you use a shop vac or filterless vacuum. Shop vacs are great because they have powerful suction and can handle the DE without any problem. If you decide to use a filterless vacuum, go about it slowly so that it does not clog your machine. If you still do not feel like the area is clean, after vacuuming thoroughly, you can use a carpet cleaner to finish the job.

Hard Floors

Hard surfaces like tile, hardwood, granite, cement, etc. are fairly easy to clean up. Using a damp towel or a mop, you can simply just wipe the excess away. When you are applying diatomaceous earth, it should be just a fine dusting of product, so wiping it up should not be difficult. After wiping, you can shake off the towel outside or in a garbage can, and then wash it.

The other option for cleaning DE from hard surfaces is to sweep it up. If sweeping is causing a lot of dust in the air, you can use a spray bottle with water to lightly moisten the diatomaceous earth so that the particles won’t become airborne so easily. After sweeping, just throw it away.

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Can A Mining Company Truly Be ‘Green’?

open pit mining

In a word – yes!  Just like our friend Kermit sings, being green ain’t easy…but it’s big, and it’s important.

Absorbent Products strives to be green by lessening our environmental impact wherever possible. We achieve this through careful planning and continuous improvements in our properties, our plant, and our products.

Our properties include 4 different mine sites in 2 countries from which we source our raw minerals.  These are dry-mine surface operations with no runoff or tailings to contaminate the undeveloped areas in which they are located.  Waste is minimized as we use over 98% of the mined materials.  All our mines conform to air quality and environmental regulations.  Reclaimed areas of our Red Lake property have been restored ahead of schedule and are now used as productive grazeland for cattle.

In our plant, we are always chasing the next efficiency.  We meet or exceed our prescribed air quality standards.  Upgrades to our machinery and optimization of our burner have allowed us to significantly reduce our consumption of both electricity and natural gas. Through process analysis and design we have minimized forklift and motor vehicle movement throughout our facility, further reducing emissions. We influence our customers, many of whom are large-volume national retailers, to reduce packaging and choose options that have lower environmental footprints for their brands.

You’ll find a wide spectrum of uses and applications throughout our products, from pest control to animal feed additives to livestock health management.  All our products are derived from natural, minimally processed minerals. Many of them are registered for organic agriculture; in fact, Absorbent Products has 28 different listings with the Organic Materials Review Institute and proudly supplies large organic operations.

Our PMRA- and EPA-registered insecticides are organic-appropriate and work through a mechanical mode of action rather than a chemical one.  As a result, insects do not develop a pesticide resistance, and there are no harmful residues lingering after treatment.  Non-toxic diatomaceous earth products like Stall Dry, Fresh Coop and Barn Fresh control odour and moisture in stalls and pens, making both animals and their human caretakers more comfortable and improving the retention of nutrients when composted after use.  Some of our items are even repurposed from other materials.  For example, our Wundercat and Stall Dry pine pellets are made of reclaimed waste wood, and our Can Blast blasting medium is comprised of ground recycled glass.

At Absorbent Products, sustainability and stewardship are defining values.  We are proud to be green, and we continue to invest in research and development so we can provide the very best products with the smallest environmental impact.

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That TICK-lish Feeling

ticks can cause lime disease and rocky mountain fever

Enjoying the great outdoors is popular with millions of North Americans. Our vast continent is blessed with an abundance of wilderness and there are lots of different ways to experience it. One downside to outdoor activity is picking up unwanted hangers-on…like little arachnid hitchhikers!

We are speaking, of course, about ticks. Although the tick family has many different subspecies, they all have several characteristics in common. Being arachnids like spiders, ticks have eight legs instead of six. They do not jump or fly. All ticks rely on blood for food. Most often this is mammalian blood, but ticks are also known to parasitize birds, reptiles and some amphibians. If a tick cannot find a wild host, it will move on its the next best opportunity, which is often a human or pet. Once a tick attaches itself to a host, it will consume from 200 to 600 times its own body weight in blood, growing many times its size in the process. Some ticks secrete a cement-like substance to help them attach to their host for a longer feed.

Not only unpleasant, ticks can also carry diseases, most of them bacterial. Lyme disease has gained a great deal of media attention, but other illnesses such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can also result from tick bites. However, these diseases are not transmitted immediately, so early removal of the tick can be key in preventing illness.

Preventative steps can be taken to minimize the chance of tick bites. Around the home, keep lawns clipped short and garbage secure. Reduce or eliminate clutter and objects where rodents may nest and discourage wildlife on your property as much as possible. Where there is wildlife, there will be ticks! Diatomaceous earth can be sprinkled in a light layer around the entire perimeter of the home to prevent any ticks (and other crawling insects) from entering. Diatomaceous earth is a physical insecticide that kills invertebrates like arachnids by desiccation.

When out of doors, wear light colored, long sleeved shirts and pants; not only does this make the dark ticks more visible, it will help prevent bites. Check people and animals thoroughly and frequently when outside and after coming home; especially around faces, feet and wherever the skin folds. For dogs and cats with very thick or long coats, you can use a hair dryer on its lowest setting to part the fur for inspection. You can also dust a light sprinkling of food-grade diatomaceous earth on and around the pet’s bedding and resting areas. Because of the physical mode of action, this is safe for people and animals but lethal to the ticks.

To find out more information and a multitude of uses for diatomaceous earth, be sure to check out our website at

And get yourself outside!

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Diatomaceous Earth: Complicated Name, Simple Product

Diamaceous. Diamotaceous. Dy-ma-may-shus. Dytomacious. Dimaceous. Deatomayceous. Dymacious.
Just what on Earth are we talking about?
Here at Absorbent Products’ British Columbia head office, we have heard just about every variation of ‘diatomaceous earth’ from folks throughout North America. It seems rather counterintuitive that such a simple substance should have such a complicated name. No wonder it’s so commonly referred to by its easiest form – ‘DE’!
The proper term is diatomaceous, pronounced “DI-a-tom-AY-shus”. The origin of the word is straightforward. The first part, “diatom”, is the name of the single-celled algae whose billions of skeletal remains forms the product. The second part, “-aceous”, is a Latin-derived suffix meaning “belonging to”, or “of the nature of”.
DE was identified in Germany in the 1830s, but it has been used by humans for various purposes for centuries. With such a long history, DE has become known by several different names, including:
Kieselgur (or kieselguhr) – the original term in German for DE, this is derived from kieselalgen, German for ‘diatoms’.
Diatomite – specifically, this is diatomaceous earth that has been lithified, or turned into sedimentary rock. Diatomite can be milled into many different particle sizes of DE, from chunky cat litter to insecticidal powder.
Fossil shell flour and dinosaur dust – like fossils or amber, DE is the product of creatures that lived and died millions of years ago.
Silica, also known as silicon dioxide – often used when referring to pure DE. Silica (chemical formula SiO2) is the main component in the algal skeletons that make up the DE. Silica is also an abundant compound in Earth’s crust, and an essential life-building block for most organisms.
No matter how you refer to it, or how you pronounce it, diatomaceous earth has many benefits and uses in pest control, agriculture, animal feed, pet care, and in industrial applications. You can see and learn more about our complete line of DE products at

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Does Red Lake Diatomaceous Earth Have an Expiration Date?

Expired meter

Red Lake Earth (RLE) is a food chemical codex grade diatomaceous earth product that is registered for use in livestock feed as an anti-caking and flow agent (not to exceed 2% of total diet).

This product does not have an expiration date. As long as it is stored in a cool, dry area, it is good for an indefinite period of time. In fact, Red Lake Earth can even become wet and be used after it is left to dry! Once dry, the product will return to its natural state and continue to work as it did before it became wet.

A date stamp can be found on RLE packaging however this stamp is not an expiration date but rather the day that the product was packaged.

Red Lake Diatomaceous Earth is an all natural product. The age of the product does not affect its ability to function therefore a new bag of RLE will be just as effective as an older bag.

Image by no more cockroaches

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How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth

When using diatomaceous earth for pest control it is helpful to be creative in your application methods. While many people simply use their hands or a scoop to sprinkle the powder in the cracks and crevices of their homes and throughout their yards and gardens, others come up with interesting and more efficient methods of applying the product. Below is a list of creative applicators that can be found or made with simple supplies that you may already have at home.

  • Panty hose
  • Burlap bag
  • Salt shaker
  • Ketchup or mustard bottle
  • Flour sieve
  • Colander
  • Mesh strainer
  • Coffee can with holes in the lid
  • Stiff broom
  • Leaf blower
  • Aeration fan
  • Makeup powder puff

If you’ve developed a creative method for applying DE to your home or garden let us know!