Diatomaceous earth: How to use for pest control – Insider

  • Diatomaceous earth is fossilized algae mud that helps get rid of bugs by dehydrating them.
  • Apply little bits of diatomaceous earth Inside the crevices round Your house and wright here bugs frequent.
  • Diatomaceous earth Might be an irritant, so maintain it amethod from extreme-visitors areas And do not use An extreme quantity of.
  • Go to Insider’s Home & Kitchen Reference library for extra tales.

Tright here are few factors ickier than realizing You’ve a pest drawback In Your house. Chemical options abound, however not Everyone seems to be snug unfpreviousing even low-grade poisons round their house, particularly if youngsters and/or pets stay tright here too.

Enter diatomaceous earth. Jesse Scaravella, proprietor of Evergreen Eco Nice Pest Administration in NY metropolis explains that It is a “gentle, siliceous sedimentary rock That is very previous and will get crumbled Proper into a very nice powder or granule.” It’d be used for A quantity of features in agriculture, water filtration, and past, Neverthemuch less It is frequently Utilized in pest control. And It’s prized for its efficacy and protectedty.  

What’s diatomaceous earth?

Diatoms beneath a microscope.


Lester V. Bergman/Getty Pictures

Diatomaceous earth is the fossilized stays of diatoms, A Sort of algae that creates 20–50% of the world’s oxygen. Diatomaceous earth is rich in minerals And will be supplyd from throughout the globe. It’s processed in Pretty a Little bit of the method for Pretty a bit of makes use of, however Definitely one of the biggest diatomaceous earth for pesticides is milled or micronized.

“Bugs require a sure diploma of humidity or moisture to thrive,” says Scaravella. That is the rationale, he says, why many insects have a season By which they’re extra lively, which Is usually extra humid.

Diatomaceous earth works as an insecticide in two strategies:

  • It retransfers moisture from their habitat, making it troublesome or inconceivable for the insects To maintain.
  • When the diatomaceous earth makes direct contact with an insect’s exoskeleton, it dries them out And might kill them.

Wright hereas diatomaceous earth Can be make the most ofd as a deterrent For many pests, As a Outcome of of its capability to dry up their local climate, It is particularly efficient for these with an exoskeleton like ants or roaches.

The biggest Method To make the most of diatomaceous earth for pest control

Diatomaceous earth is protected for crops, so It could be make the most ofd indoors and outdoors.


Helin Loik-Tomson/Getty Pictures

“Typinamey we’ll Are out tright here,” says Scaravella, “and it appears like somebody has tried to make hen cutlets with diatomaceous earth. They panicked and threw it All by way of the place.” Instead, he recommends much less diatomaceous earth, extra skillfully utilized.

  • Discover the tunnels and pathstrategies the insects use. Definitely one of many causes that Scaravella is cautious of DIY diatomaceous earth is that It is typinamey simply utilized to the final place somebody noticed the insects. “Usually, They will simply transfer Elsewright here In Your house,” he says. Expert applicators will Search For his or her tunnels and pathstrategies And Make constructive the insects are trapped.
  • Apply shut to The backside of Your housecrops for pest control. Do You’d like tor crops are attracting flies and gnats, diatomaceous earth Is An environment friendly method To discourage the bugs while nourishing the plant. That’s right, diatomaceous earth Is candy for crops as a supply of silica and a method to maintain soil moist for longer.
  • Use right devices. One factor like a muder with a nozzle enconstructives that the diatomaceous earth is extra evenly and effectively unfprevious. Rather than sprinkling diatomaceous earth on prime of an insect’s nest, blow the mud Contained in the nest.
  • Keep diatomaceous earth amethod from extreme-visitors areas. The greater It’s to kick up the mud, the extra probably It’s going To behave as an irritant to human or pet eyes and lungs.
  • For backyard use, Enconstructive to reapply after rain. Do You’d like to’re using diatomaceous earth To discourage backyard pests, It is nice to sprinkle it immediately over your crops. Just Enconstructive to reapply after rain, and know that it can harm pollinators as effectively As a Outcome of it can harm undesirable insects.  

Is diatomaceous earth protected?

Tright here are two Kinds of diatomaceous earth — meals-grade and pool/filter-grade. Pool/filter-grade diatomaceous earth ought to solely be used for water filtration features. The type You will use for pest control is meals-grade, says Scaravella, so It is “very protected, particularly with pets And youngsters.” That said, he continues, it Might be an irritant if people misuse it.

“Typinamey we’ll have Individuals with bedbugs who panic And mud diatomaceous earth All by way of the place,” Scaravella explains, “They typinamey’ll name us in because tright here’s diatomaceous earth All by way of the place Neverthemuch less they nonethemuch less really feel like they’re getting bitten. We’ll Are out tright here and tright here Are not any bedbugs anyextra, Neverthemuch less the diatomaceous earth is drying out And aggravating their pores and skin.”

Every time potential maintain away from using diatomaceous earth in uncovered areas, wright here it Might be breathed in and tracked round by people and animals Inside the neighborhood. “When It is reckmuch lessly utilized, diatomaceous earth can do extra harm than good,” says Scaravella.

Insider’s takeamethod

When used appropriately, diatomaceous earth is a protected, efficient insect repellent Produced from fossilized algae. Use a propulsion system to get it into the tunnels and crevices that pests are using to entry Your house, And enconstructive to maintain it amethod from uncovered areas.

Christine Clark

Freelance Reporter

Christine Clark is A contract author who covers specialty meals and beverage, particularly cheese and wine. She has been Inside the meals and beverage world for Barely under a decade. Christine acquired her start in cheese at Murray’s Cheese in NY metropolis, wright here she ran the education division, educating and programming packages on cheese and cheesemaking (everyfactor from wine to mezcal to chocolate to smoked fish was truthful cheese-pairing recreation).
Christine is A licensed Cheese Expert with the American Cheese Society and has taught cheese and pairing packages Across the globe. A pair of of her bylines Might be Current in VinePair, Wine Fanatic, Epicurious, AllRecipes, The Spruce Eats, Food52, and extra And she or he has been featured as a cheese professional in The mannequin Ny Occasions, Bon Appetit, FirstWeFeast, and HuffPost.
Study extra about how our group of speciaitemizings checks and critiques merchandise at Insider right here.