Yesterday I called home right after one of my grandsons had fallen into a bowl of diatomaceous earth sitting on the porch. He had heard his Uncle Walt refer to it as poison, and he was panicking. He thought he was going to die.
Instead, it became the basis for a science lesson on diatoms. I had thought they were microscopic animals. Turns out they are algae. I think I will have to look into this more. They are beautiful! Could be as interesting as the photos of snowflakes.
I will never forget the first time I saw one of Snowflake Bentley's photos in a copy of National Geographic. I was absolutely fascinated.
At any rate, the diatomaceous earth - dried diatoms - is very helpful in combating fire ants. Whenever I put it on a mound, they go away. Of course, they often just move to another part of the yard. I've been considering sprinkling it over the entire yard to encourage the ants to think of this as a hostile environment; but I'm not sure what effect it would have on other insects.
How grateful I am that I garden organically, and therefor my grandson had nothing to fear.