Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Roaches? Avoiding Insecticides

ditomaceous earth background

Roach sprays and roach bombs might be effective, but many homeowners know that the toxic chemicals that these products contain can also be bad for human health. In fact, if you are not careful enough, it can be very easy for you to get poisoned or get allergic reactions from the inhalation of these products.

This is why there are a lot of people who are looking for better roach killing alternatives. They want a product that can kill roaches without containing harmful toxins or harsh chemicals that might also harm their family or pets. One of the alternatives that many people are suggesting is diatomaceous earth.

Diatomaceous earth is actually a naturally occurring substance. This soft, white rock or soil actually comes from diatoms, or algae that has been fossilized. It is typically used as an abrasive in toothpastes or in metal polishes and it is also used as an absorbent. But does diatomaceous earth kill roaches?

Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Roaches?

roach bait

Diatomaceous earth or diatomite can actually kill roaches. Although they are safe and harmless to humans, this substance is deadly to many insects. In fact, it does not have to be ingested by the insect in order to kill it properly. This is because the fine powder actually has sharp edges that can cut them.

This substance can cut or lacerate the exoskeleton of the roaches, exposing their body and allowing the roach to dry out until it dies. This substance also has physico-sorptive properties, this means that it can absorb the waxy outer layer of the roach, causing dehydration until the roach can no longer cope with it.

To be specific, the roach will actually die from water pressure deficiency. This product can kill a roach that has fully come into contact with the diatomaceous earth within 8 to 10 hours after exposure. This substance is also harmful to other arthropods with exoskeletons but it will not harm humans and pets.

How Can I Use Diatomaceous Earth To Kill Roaches?

So you can use this substance effectively, you will need to lightly dust the areas that are heavily trafficked by the roaches. You can also dust it on their nests and into their hiding spots. Since it is in powder form, it can easily go inside cracks and crevices using the right powder application tools.

You will have to make sure that the area is not damp or wet so that the substance can still stick onto the roach’s exoskeleton instead of just forming clumps on the surface. You can apply this substance using a duster along the walls and around the foundation of your house. You can also use it inside drawers.

You should also consider applying this substance along the window sills and near the doors. You can also apply it inside moldings. You can also use it inside the crawlspace but you will have to use a lot more than just a light dusting. You can pile several pounds of it and use a leaf blower to create a killing fog.

Things To Know When Using Diatomaceous Earth For Killing Roaches

baking soda

To make sure that the diatomaceous earth that you are using is effective against roaches, you will need to make sure that it is uncalcinated or that it did not go through heat treatment. This will ensure that the fine powder will still have the sharp edges as well as the dehydrating properties that can kill roaches.

You should also consider maximizing the effectiveness of this substance with the help of baits. You can lure the roaches out of hiding with fruit or other items, just make sure that there is enough diatomite in the area so that their bodies will be properly coated by it as they head towards the food source.

You should also know that diatomaceous earth is not just effective against roaches. This substance can actually be used against other insects such as bed bugs, dust mites, ants and even fleas. However, you should not expect it to kill the insects on contact since it does not have toxins.


dead cockroach

Diatomaceous earth or diatomite is a very useful ingredient in many products because of its abrasive and absorptive properties. They can also be used to kill roaches effectively since the tiny granules can be used to cut the exoskeleton of the pests. It will also absorb moisture until the roach dries out and dies.

What you need to consider however, is that it cannot kill the roaches on contact and it will need several hours for the substance to kill the roach. Diatomite however, is safe to use because it does not contain toxins and it is all natural. It is a great alternative for those that do not want to use an insecticide.

About the Author Emily Taylor

My name is Emily Taylor, gardening is my passion and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone. I know that there are millions of people out there want their backyard and garden be attractive just like their front yard, so I am here to help you create your own backyard paradise.

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