That's the first time I've heard "food grade" associated with diatomaceous earth. It can be used to worm animals! It looks, to me, to be safe but I would still watch my birds carefully to make sure they don't like it! Here is the fact sheet I read that states it to be safe for warm-blooded animals:
The info sheet on it was interesting regarding it's use. I have used this product for about 10 years now,not in any of the manners described-but we use it for filtering purposes-Ever wondered why you notice different tastes in fried foods-clean oil or old oil?? Well you can thank that to daitomaceous earth! Thant is correct-we use it our fryers at work(restaurants) to filter the oil so we can use it again and again and again-before it finally goes bad...Considering what it does I will use it around Daisy-IMHO.
Thanks for the MSDS, Charlie. Pretty interesting stuff. I really like using it for pest problems on my plants outside. I never thought to use it for extoparasites indoors, or even around food! Amazing!
jodymurch, and others, are right - diatomaceous earth is pretty benign if you don't have an insect's respiratory system. However, the "food grade" diatomaceous earth that Catherine first mentioned does contain pyrethroids - and they are toxic compounds with kidney and neurotoxic effects (I am not a toxicologist, but I asked one last night). We control the roach infestation in our University's animal care center with baking soda, which does the same thing as diatomaceous earth - it packs into the respiratory spiracles of insects, suffocating them. We can't use any insectisides, since many of the animals are being studied for metabolic changes, and toxins would change that.