August 31 is National Diatomaceous Earth Day – What IS Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous Earth has it’s own National Day but do you know what it is?  Well, I’m about to tell you!  I use it for pest control around my house in place of chemicals, poisons and harsh insecticides.  And here’s why:

Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms. Their skeletons are made of a natural substance called silica. Over a long period of time, diatoms accumulated in the sediment of rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans. Today, silica deposits are mined from these areas.  (source)

Why use it for a pesticide?

Diatomaceous earth is not poisonous; it does not have to be eaten in order to be effective. Diatomaceous earth causes insects to dry out and die by absorbing the oils and fats from the cuticle of the insect’s exoskeleton. Its sharp edges are abrasive, speeding up the process. It remains effective as long as it is kept dry and undisturbed.  (source)

And I tell you, it’s great for bugs!  Here’s how I use it:

  • Around the inside perimeter of the garage to keep pests out
  • Under the basement stairs (another place creepy crawlies like to hide)
  • Behind the washer and dryer in the garage (because I don’t know what lurks behind there)
  • In the outside trash can – we get ants ALL over the curbside can.  Diatomaceous Earth has stopped that!  I have to replenish it every so often but it just takes a light dusting.
  • On the back porch around the door to the kitchen where ants were getting in.
  • Dusting the cat’s bedding and blankets (then washing thoroughly) when she brought in fleas!
  • Dusting the carpets (letting it sit for a while – making sure the cat was secured elsewhere) and vacuuming it up to get rid of the fleas said cat brought in.  (great article on DE and fleas)
  • Eliminating ant hills in the backyard so I don’t have to worry about G stepping in one and getting bit!

I get my diatomaceous earth from Amazon.  Harris Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth 2lb is the brand I use. 

This Diatomaceous Earth Powder Duster with 6 Inch Extension Nozzle  is great for applying the dust to cracks and crevices.

Not only is it safer than previous insecticides I’ve used, it’s CHEAPER and it’s taken the place of multiple products.  Any time you can use ONE product to take the place of 2 or 3 or more you’re saving time and money!

Happy Diatomaceous Earth Day!   I hope you’ve learned something!