Diatomaceous earth is one of the safest dusts to use in the home with no chemical insecticides. Instead it is made from crushed freshwater diatoms directly from the earth. Diatomaceous Earth is most effective when puffed into cracks, crevices, and wall voids where insects travel using a hand duster.
Diatomaceous Earth works by dehydrating insects to death when they either ingest or absorb it. The rough, scratchy surfaces on diatomaceous earth can literally scratch through the waxy surface that protects and insect’s exoskeleton, causing their death.
This product has exploded in popularity recently with the increased emphasis that is being placed on organic and natural pest control. DE is one of the greatest tools available to those who wish to get rid of insects but don’t want to put themselves or their families in danger of being overexposed to dangerous and toxic chemical pesticides.
Diatomaceous Earth provides long lasting control of nearly all crawling pests including fleas, bed bugs, ants, cockroaches, earwigs, mites, silverfish, spiders, and many more. It is however mainly effective on insects and other pests that have a protective outer shell, so it will not work on mammalian pests such as rodents or bats. And it cannot be used against reptiles such as snakes.
How to Use Diatomaceous Earth
Make sure that the area or areas you intend to use the product on are dry, as it has no bug killing power when it is allowed to get wet or damp. Also, you’ll want to make sure that it is evenly applied over any surface that the targeted insects might walk across, as they have to come into physical contact with it for it to have any effect on them.
Another interesting use of DE is to prevent spoilage and insect invasion of stored grains like flour.
Toxicity And Potential Side Effects
To put it simply, Diatomaceous Earth is a very safe method of pest control. Due to the fact that they are naturally occurring, the diatoms that make up diatomaceous earth are harmless against humans and pets. However, you should always read and follow the product label when using and applying the substance, as it can cause some minor skin and respiratory irritation if it is not used carefully.
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