What is Diatomaceous Earth Dust (DE)?
Diatomaceous Earth Dust (DE) is a mineral-based insecticide consisting of the remains of fossilized microscopic algae-like plants called diatoms. The diatoms lived in oceans and lakes. The diatoms are mined from underwater and dried lake beds and then ground into a powder or dust. Diatomaceous Earth Dust is a broad-spectrum pesticide used to control crawling insects. DE is the active ingredient in products such as JT Eaton’s Kills Bedbugs and Crawling Insects Powder, and Mother Earth Dust.
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Where is Diatomaceous Earth Dust used?
Diatomaceous Earth is approved and registered by the EPA for use against indoor and outdoor crawling insects including ants, fire ants, fleas, ticks, bedbugs, cockroaches, box elder bugs, carpet beetles, centipedes, crickets, earwigs, grasshoppers, millipedes, scorpions, silverfish, spiders, termites, lice, flies, worms, slugs, and snails. It is completely non-toxic to humans and pets and can be applied most anywhere insects are found. Food grade DE is also approved by the EPA to be mixed with grain to control mealworms.
How does Diatomaceous Earth Dust work?
Diatomaceous Earth is a natural product and is not poisonous. It works because the diatom remains act as razor sharp knives to the exoskeleton of an insect, leaving scratches and cuts in the waxy outer covering. The DE powder is then absorbed into the body fluids and causes dehydration and death within hours. DE is a long-term residual substance that is activated both by contact and ingestion. A benefit of this non-chemical pesticide is that insects can’t develop immunity. DE also acts as a repellant causing insects to stay away once it is applied. Diatomaceous Earth Dust works best when combined with other insecticide treatments.
How safe is Diatomaceous Earth Dust?
Diatomaceous Earth is safe for humans, pets, wildlife, birds, and fish. It can be rubbed directly onto a dog, cat, gerbil, or bird to kill fleas and mites. Although it is non-toxic, always apply as directed using a mask to protect against the drying agent temporarily effecting mucous membranes in the nose and mouth. DE can also cause drying to the skin, feet and hands. Do not get DE in eyes.