From what I have heard, there are no dust baths on the market that have been tested to be safe for birds? I have never heard of diatomaceous earth though. Would be interested in seeing what others have to say
I used DE as an herbal anti-parasitic in my horses' feed, I also eat it daily to detox my body, and it is also used as a topic anti-parasitic on *****, etc. So it IS non-toxic. I just wanted to talk to budgie-specific people and not just to my friend who does rescue and rehabilitation with a number of species.
Let me know what you guys find out I'm not a big fan of using chemicals or anything of that nature on or in my own body, let alone for my little budgies !
DE is the fossilized remains of diatoms, it is non toxic and used for everything from filtration to killing cockroaches. Basically it is a high percentage silica powder. Two theories I have heard, It is small and sharp and actually causes millions of abrasions and that kills off the pest, the other is that it absorbs fats from the outer layer of the pest and causes them to dehydrate. Either way, it kills fleas, bedbugs, practically anything in the bug world. And it is used in humans for de-worming.The only thing I have every heard bad about DE is that it can be a carcinogen, due to its extremely small size it can cause respiratory problems if it is breathed in. I have not used it in years, and have not kept up on the latest, so that may have been dispelled. but as I stated before it is mostly silica, and that is never good to breath.
I agree with Arlene - there should be no need to use it on the budgies themselves. I know people who use it on dogs and cats - but dogs and cats also do fine with flea powder. It is a powder, and thus a potential irritation to the respiratory system. So I personally would not use it, and certainly not simply to prevent something that did not exist. Nor would I use it in the room around my birds for the possibility that if disturbed by a fan or other movement that it might become airborne.
In my 30 years of housing birds, including in Florida when they lived outdoors a lot, I have never once had a bird with any parasite or insect problem either internal or external. I would rather use ivermectin if it were verified that the bird had something like mites, or the appropriate treatment for whatever internal parasite existed if one was confirmed.
As for DE, it is a very effective natural insecticide. It is made from the crushed fossilized remains of diatoms, and will kill any insect with an exoskeleton that comes into contact with it. While it seems powdery to us, the shells of the diatoms are very sharp and will cut the insects exoskeleton causing them to dehydrate and die. So it is effective on any insect with an exoskeleton such as a flea, tick, bed bug, etc. It is good for placing around baseboards or wherever insects will crawl and contact it.
It can be purchased, amongst other places, at stores such as Home Depot and Lowes. There are two types: 1) swimming pool grade and 2) human grade. For purposes of insecticide, the human grade type should be purchased. It is actually an ingredient in 'Bisquick' for any of humans that have ever eaten that... we have consumed DE.
*Edit - whoops - was typing at same time as Mike!
PS: I prefer Camicide if needed as an insecticide around the house - safe around the birds, although I still remove them from the room - and it is not for applying to the birds themselves.
Last edited by Robin's Nest; 01-09-2011 at 11:33 PM.
We keep Poultry as well as the other birds and have found this to be the only truly effective method for getting rid of mites in the cages. Whilst we can ivermectin the birds themselves we can not do the cages (although I have recently come across a wash with ivermectin but have never tried it).
As for bathing the budgies in it I would not as they bathe in waster, chickens/ quail etc that do dust bathe yes I add it to their sand for them and also put it on them myself.
For the Budgies I use it in the cages and around the cages as a preventative measure and I have never had any problems with it. It is very good to get into the corners of the cages and I always put it under the tray where my paper goes then when I put the paper in and fold it to the right size I turn it over so there is always some on top of the paper as well as underneath.
It can also be used in food to get rid of any bugs that may be in the seed, especially good if you store a large amount in one go. It also has health benefits to the birds themselves.
It does basically pierce the skin of the bug and bleed them dry.