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Lice & Other Parasites - Cheaper Alternative to Poultry Dust PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 08 August 2008 17:54

A cheaper alternative to poultry dust is good old Derris Dust, from your hardware shop or nursery. Contributed by Magicducks, Koorawatha NSW

After posting this handy hint there was some concern about the safety of Derris Dust, so I did some research.  There seems to be conflicting information about the safety of Derris Dust, the active ingredient is the organic substance Rotenone extracted from the Derris root. It seems that the reason for the confusion is that there are two different products, Carbaryl Cabbage Dust with the active ingredient Carbaryl, which has been banned from poultry use by the APVMA due to its carcinogenic properties, and Derris Dust with the active ingredient Rotenone which is also dangerous if not used correctly.

The advice when dusting poultry with any chemical is to strictly follow the safety precautions as specified by the manufacturer of the chemical you are using. This might include wearing dust-proof goggles, PVC or rubber gloves and coveralls, and where an inhalation risk exists, wearing a Class P1 (Particul ate) Respirator. If you are in doubt about the safety of any product, don't use it at all.

The official report from the APVMA: Uses of carbaryl in home garden, home veterinary, poultry and domestic situations see the official report on the APVMA website here: FINAL REVIEW REPORT AND REGULATORY DECISION

A study conducted in 2000 found rotenone fed intravenously caused Parkinson's disease in rats. For details see the story at

ChookNet Admin

... some poisons advice on Derris Dust from FreeRangeChooks of Montagu, Tas:

good old Derris Dust, I hear what you're saying but I have nursery and I use good old Derris Dust, this product is a carcinogenic causing bleeding ulcers of the stomach in mammals and birds this is what it does to bugs and caterpillars and Deris dust will do the same to you and any other animal that ingests the dust, in any way.

This is very dangerous product just to throw around freely if you use this method then I would suggest a breathing mask each and every time you then enter your chook shed (flapping chicken wings will lift the dust for 6 month or more after application)
The wrong use of poisons is the main reason that deris dust has now been reduced to 20% of active ingredient of cabbage dust
when years ago was 80% of active ingredient.PLEASE BE CAREFUL WITH POISONS they can kill ya

Some information on Carbaryl from
Carbaryl may cause mutations (genetic changes) in living cells. It is a possible teratogen & may damage the kidneys and nervous systems. Within the stomach produces N-nitrocarbaryl, a well known carcinogen, Non-hodkins Lymphoma, brain cancer.

... and some information on Derris Dust from the product MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)
Trade Name: Organix Derris Dust
Product Use: Controls certain insect pests according to the label.
Creation Date: July 2004
Revision Date: May 2008
Section 2 - Hazards Identification
Statement of Hazardous Nature
This product is NOT classified as hazardous according to the criteria of ASCC Australia.
Not a Dangerous Good according to the Australian Dangerous Goods (ADG) Code.
Risk Phrases:
Safety Phrases:
SUSDP Classification: None allocated
ADG Classification: None allocated. Not a Dangerous Good.
UN Number: None allocated
Emergency Overview
Physical Description & colour: Off white powder
Odour: Mild odour
Major Health Hazards: No significant risk factors have been found for this product.
Potential Health Effects
Data suggests that this product should present no significant problems to typical persons if used as intended.
Skin Contact:
This product is mildly irritating to skin.
Eye Contact:
This product may irritate eyes. However, it is unlikely to cause any more than mild transient discomfort. It is also unlikely to cause any significant lasting effects.
Data suggests that this product should present no significant problems to typical persons if used as intended.
Carcinogen Status:
ASCC: No significant ingredient is classified as carcinogenic by ASCC.
NTP: No significant ingredient is classified as carcinogenic by NTP.
IARC: No significant ingredient is classified as carcinogenic by IARC.
Section 3 - Composition/Information on Ingredients
Ingredients CAS No Conc,% TWA (mg/m3) STEL (mg/m3)
Rotenone 83-79-4 0.75% 5 not set
Other non hazardous ingredients secret to 100% not set not set
This is a commercial product whose exact ratio of components may vary. Trace quantities of impurities are also likely.


Comments (1)
1 Thursday, 26 February 2009 09:46
an old boy told me years ago to sprinkle a good handful of regular salt in the layer boxes- we had lucerne in these, a great recyclable gotta have- and go with the salt when she's sitting on worked !! never any lice.
good husbandry is the answer to preventing most problems.
if you bring in new stock- quarantine!!

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