How To Use Diatomaceous Earth | Garden & Home

Diatomaceous earth is every experienced gardener’s best-kept secret. It’s one of the easiest ways to naturally get rid of pests in your garden and your home. If you’re curious about how to use this awesome product to kill off unwanted pests in your home, keep reading. 

Gardeners love this product because it’s a natural, effective, and inexpensive way to protect plants from harmful pests. You can buy it from most hardware, garden stores, and even Amazon. Our editors recommend keeping some on-hand as the first line of defense against any pests you come across in your home. 

Also Read: Diatomaceous Earth Guide 

How Diatomaceous Earth Works

Diatomaceous earth is made from fossilized remains of aquatic animals. These remains create a naturally occurring silica compound that will kill off the pests. Although it appears as a flour-like dust, the silica grinds away at an insect’s exoskeleton. This slowly dehydrates the pest until it’s dead.    

It is not toxic to humans or pets. However, there are some precautions you should take, including:

  • Wearing gloves, as it can dry out skin.
  • Wearing a mask, as inhaling any substance can be harmful.
  • Using only food-grade diatomaceous earth.

There are three grades of diatomaceous earth available. The only one you should use around your home is food grade diatomaceous earth. 

This is especially important if you plan on using this product on yourself or your pets and livestock. Food-grade diatomaceous earth contains 84% silica. Higher amounts of silica can be toxic to humans. 

Also Read: 5 Natural Pest Control DIYs

What To Use Diatomaceous Earth For

Most of us have already used diatomaceous earth without even realizing it. It’s a common ingredient in foods, skin care products, toothpastes, paints, and even medicine. Recently, some people have found great benefits to using diatomaceous earth as a natural gut cleanser. Before ingesting diatomaceous earth or doing a cleanse, consult with your doctor.

It’s a super versatile ingredient you can use basically anywhere in your home to protect against pests. Sprinkle a small layer around your cabinets, window sills, baseboards, pet beds, or other places pests frequent. 

There are several uses for this product, including:

  • Removing parasites from human and pet bowels.
  • Protecting animal and livestock coats from ticks, fleas, and lice.
  • Decreasing mastitis and increasing milk production in livestock.
  • Creating healthier, odor-resistant coats on animals.
  • Controlling flies in homes and barns.
  • Preventing spiders, ants, and scorpions from entering your home. 
  • Treating bed bug infestations.
  • Deodorizing garbage and composts.

Diatomaceous Earth For Pest Control

You can use this product on almost anything in your home. It’s non-toxic, so you don’t have to worry about kids or pets coming across it or even ingesting it. It is very messy product and can be harmful in large doses, so always store away carefully. 

Use diatomaceous earth to protect against pests anywhere they occur. Since this product is safe for humans to ingest, you can use it in more sensitive areas that you can’t use that can of RAID in. 

Pest often build up immunities to chemical products, but since diatomaceous earth works externally to break down the exoskeleton, it’ll never build up any immunity to

Diatomaceous Earth For Pets and Livestock

If you have livestock, diatomaceous earth is a great natural solution to keep harmful insects, parasites, and parasites out of your pen. It’s great for deodorizing pens and eliminating flies. 

Diatomaceous earth is also great for eliminating fleas and ticks on your pets. You won’t have to worry about using harsh chemicals on your pet with diatomaceous earth. For our full breakdown on using diatomaceous earth against fleas, check out our blog here. 

Diatomaceous Earth For Personal Health

Since diatomaceous earth can be used to break down the exoskeleton of pests, many people have used it against parasites and worms. This product doesn’t have a distinct smell or taste. Most users mix it into water when using it in a cleanse. 

People have found other health benefits, such as better digestion, relief from joint pain, and stronger hair and nails. Consult with your doctor before using it for health purposes. 

How To Use Diatomaceous Earth

To safely use diatomaceous earth to combat pests in your home, garden, and pet, follow these tips. Start by making sure you bought the food grade level. With your mask, gloves, and application device, apply the product sparingly to anywhere pests frequent. 

Timing out when you should apply your diatomaceous earth is key to getting rid of pests effectively. 

To get a full description of how to use diatomaceous earth safely on your pet, check out our blog here. 

Dry Application

The best way to apply diatomaceous earth is applying the powder directly. To do this, you’ll need some rubber gloves, a mask, and something to apply the product. You can use any of the following items to apply this product:

  • Puffers
  • Turkey basters
  • Paint brushes
  • Flour sifters

This product is quite powdery. Keep a dust buster on hand for easy clean-up. Since this product is safe to use around kids and pets, you only need to wipe it down with an everyday cleaner.

Use puffers and turkey basters to apply to large plants, on bed bug traps, and on your pet. This keeps the diatomaceous earth targeted and easy to clean up.

Use large or small brushes to apply a thin layer to your entryways and window sills. This way, the diatomaceous earth is the first thing a pest touches when it enters your home.

For larger areas, such as gardens, use a flour sifter to evenly spread your diatomaceous earth.

Wet Application

Diatomaceous earth needs to be dry in order to work effectively against pests. You can apply it in a wet formula, but it will need to dry before it’s effective against pests. Applying this product wet initially is great if you’re worried about the product flying off in the wind. 

Experienced gardeners will apply this wet formula to coat plant leaves. This allows the plant to absorb the water and later protect against any pest who dare nibble on the leaves. To make your own wet applicator, mix:

  • ½ cup of diatomaceous earth
  • 2 cups of water

Pour the slurry mixture into a spray bottle and spray onto garden plants. Remember the product will take a few days to be in effect. 

We found this method wasn’t as effective as applying it dry. We wouldn’t recommend this method, but it would be helpful when trying to get your diatomaceous earth to stick to plant leaves.

Also Read: How To Get Rid of Gnats In Your Home