Using Diatomaceous Earth to target an insect infestation in your home, garden or business is a great choice when you’re aiming to get the job done without synthetic chemicals. The Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is deadly to most bugs, but it does present certain issues of which users should be aware.
Most notably, this fine dust can irritate your eyes, throat and lungs. Generally, these irritations can be avoided by wearing a breathing mask while lightly applying it around your trouble areas. If you over-apply it or spill it, then you may want know how to clean up Diatomaceous Earth.
Before you attempt to clean up Diatomaceous Earth, we advise you to consult the label on your DE package and review the instructions below.
If you’re trying to clean up Safer® Brand Diatomaceous Earth after using it for pest control, you have several options. But before you even apply DE, please understand that a little bit goes a long, long way. A very light layer in all the right places is all that’s needed to take down most insect infestations. In fact, if you apply it correctly there shouldn’t be enough to bother cleaning up!
Most importantly, remember this: Diatomaceous Earth is for crack and crevice treatment – don’t toss it around like grass seed.
If you need to clean up Diatomaceous Earth, first don a breathing mask and rubber gloves, and then use one of these methods:
Diatomaceous Earth is a fine, yet abrasive, powder that injures insects by grinding into the seams of their exoskeleton. As the powder continues through their shell, it enters their interiors where it wicks up their internal moisture and fatty material. The end effect is that the bugs die from rapid dehydration.
What’s great about this pest control method is that it is entirely mechanical in nature, so insects cannot develop immunities to it in the way they do with other insecticidal methods.
Be aware though that Diatomaceous Earth is not effective on all insects. Certain insects go through larval stages where they don’t have a true exoskeleton, and they won’t be injured by Diatomaceous Earth. Other insects never develop an exoskeleton, which also means the DE will be ineffective. However, the vast majority of insects do develop a hard exoskeleton at some life stage, so Diatomaceous Earth is always a helpful insecticide treatment to have around.
Above, we described how effective Diatomaceous Earth is at eliminating pests, but you may be asking “What is this stuff?” and “How could it possibly be considered an organic alternative to pesticides?”
Diatomaceous Earth is an amazing substance, and you’ll be impressed by where it comes from, too. Diatomaceous Earth is technically considered a soft form of sedimentary rock. It’s broken up and sold in powder form. But what’s really interesting is that it’s a very special sort of rock – it’s made of microscopic fossils!
No, we aren’t saying you’re using crushed T-Rex bones to kill bugs. These fossils are far more common than a T-Rex’s – they are the remains of diatoms, a hard-shelled alga found in water. Diatoms have existed since the time of the dinosaurs, and their fossils are found all over the world, including in Nevada and California.
DE is extracted through mining operations and sold for a variety of uses, most notably pest control.
Since Diatomaceous Earth is sourced directly from the ground and not artificially created, it’s considered an ideal pest control and compliant for use in organic gardening. Of course, there is synthetic diatomaceous Earth, too; so make sure you buy Diatomaceous Earth labeled “amorphous silicon dioxide.” If it’s labeled “diatomite diatomaceous earth” or made with “synthetic amorphous silicon dioxide,” then it won’t be OMRI Listed®.
Have you used Diatomaceous Earth to eliminate bugs around your home, garden or business? Was it a successful treatment? Tell us about it or ask your questions about Diatomaceous Earth when you visit Safer® Brand at Facebook. If you have specific questions about DE before you buy or while applying it, reach out to our dedicated Consumer Care Team at 855-7-ORGANIC.
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For over 25 years, Safer® Brand has been a resource for organic gardeners and growers. We proudly offer the broadest and most successful line of OMRI Listed® organic gardening, organic fungicide and organic pest control products.
It’s Organic*, It’s Effective, It’s Safer® Brand.
*For use in organic gardening.