It’s Monday night and I (T) am already reminiscing about how great this past weekend was. It was the annual cousin reunion on the hub’s side of the family. Somewhere around 70 family members got together for three days/two nights of good company, good food, and good fun. The family has been doing this annual reunion for 20 years now – pretty amazing right? I’ve been part of the gathering for 1/4 of the time and it’s been a blast each year.
So the reunion always takes place on a campground… which is more like “glamping” than camping, ya know, cabins, flush toilets, electricity, the works. Some of the cousins even bring their Keurigs to start the morning off just right… hilarious and brillllllllliant!
This year as we were sitting around the campfire an interesting topic arose… ticks. Yup, those nasty little barb-headed brats that burrow into your skin and leave you paranoid about Lyme Disease. Tick. The word alone can send you into a frenzy of itching and feeling squirmy from head to toe.
So why did the topic of ticks come up? Well we had 5 dogs from various parts of the family chilling out with us all weekend and sure enough, one of the beautiful little canines had a tick latch on. The discovery of which became an invite for an open dialogue about various experiences with ticks. The discussion ensued for half an hour. We heard stories about finding a tick on someone’s scalp in bed, to watching a tick crawl across a computer screen, to what tool is most appropriate for removing them, to how to prevent ticks from latching on. It was then that I casually mentioned the use of diatomaceous earth and received a number of confused faces paired with many vocalized “huh?” sounds. It hit me then that if many of our family members didn’t know the numerous benefits of diatomaceous earth, perhaps others didn’t either. So let’s chat about this little powerhouse of a substance!
Diatomaceous earth is made from diatoms… these little fellas, aren’t they cute?
It looks like a white powdery substance that feels almost starchy yet soft. It’s important that should you decide to try it out, you purchase food grade diatomaceous earth. It should be white in colour. It is natural and safe to use with humans and animals (remember I am not a doctor, I am simply reiterating what I have learned from reading up on it).
I first learned about it from my mom when she sprinkled in topically onto our two Newfoundland family dogs to prevent ticks from latching on. She very brilliantly put it into an icing powder shaker and sprinkled fine amounts onto the dogs and then rubbed it around. She did this about once a week as ticks can be found anywhere… leaf piles, sand, forests… anywhere your dog walks!
So how does DE work? Well under a microscope the particles have sharp little edges (that cannot be felt by humans, dogs, etc.) but can cut into the shell or body of ticks, either deterring them from latching on or eventually killing them. This means that it is also a natural and effective deterrent for fleas as well. I have even used it on my raspberry bushes after a good rain to get all those shiny little beetles off since they like to destroy my berry bushes. I looked into the many uses of diatomaceous earth and it turns out that it is even good for digestive issues like diverticulitis or intestinal parasites. I know some people who even work it into their diet regularly for optimal health.
Have you ever used or consumed this awesome natural substance? If so, we would love to hear how you use it and the positive effects it has had on your life. I can tell you that being from a family who grew up camping, I am no longer afraid of ticks since I guard myself and our two pooches with diatomaceous earth. Sprinkle it on, rub it around, enjoy a nice walk in the forest and be stress-free about those bothersome and potentially dangerous little creatures called ticks!
***Hopefully all this chat about ticks won’t keep you up at night or leave you with dreams of having 22 ticks on your ankles like it did for me the night of the campfire!***