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You may have never heard of diatomaceous earth, but for many people, it is the secret weapon in dealing with ants, roaches, bed bugs, and many other pests. With just a little bit of information, you may find that diatomaceous earth is the last piece in your pest control puzzle.


diatomaceous earth

A sample of food-grade diatomaceous earth


What is Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is the fossilized remains of small sea creatures called diatoms. These remains are mostly made of silica, which is ground up into a fine powder. It has microscopic sharp edges that make it deadly to insects. Diatomaceous earth is known as a desiccant because it cuts into the waxy outer coating of insects and absorbs their moisture and oils. This causes them to slowly dehydrate and die. Since DE is a physical method of control rather than chemical, pests cannot develop resistance to it.

Is Diatomaceous Earth Safe?

Diatomaceous earth is a method of pest control that is safe for humans and pets, so it is popular among organic gardeners and people concerned about chemical exposure. In fact, diatomaceous earth is used in such things as toothpaste, skin care products, and even foods. Like any dust, however, you want to avoid breathing it in because it can irritate nasal passages and the lungs. You should also be sure to use diatomaceous earth that is intended for pest control or labeled as food-grade. Pool-grade diatomaceous earth should not be used.

How is Diatomaceous Earth Used?

Diatomaceous earth is particularly effective in dry areas that are hard to reach. It can be puffed into cracks and crevices using a bellow-style hand duster. Likewise, it can be used behind outlets, behind light switches, in wall voids, and many other places. Diatomaceous earth can also be sprinkled around the perimeter of homes (inside and out) and in gardens. This kills insects that walk through it and forms a protective barrier to keep insects away. If DE gets wet, it will no longer be effective and should be reapplied.

What Pests are Controlled by Diatomaceous Earth?

DE will be effective against nearly any insect. This includes things like beetles, fleas, mites, roaches, bed bugs, ants, earwigs, most spiders, and many other pests.

Is Diatomaceous Earth a Stand Alone Solution?

Diatomaceous earth is a wonderful weapon in dealing with pests, but in major infestations, it is most effective when used in conjunction with other methods. Most experts agree that a well-rounded, multi-faceted approach will be most effective in the long run. This includes the use of desiccants like DE, as well as things like traps, contact aerosols, and residual sprays. One thing you can do to keep your home pest-free is to have regular pest control treatments done by licensed companies and supplement with DE where needed. If you are in need of pest control in Tulsa, Springfield, Little Rock, or Northwest Arkansas, Midwest Pest Control is the answer. Our expert technicians and 100% satisfaction guarantee make Midwest Pest Control your best choice. Contact us today for more information.