Are you struggling to cope with pests and are looking for a quick and easy solution to your problem? If so, using diatomaceous earth for termites and other bugs might be the best solution for you.

But, what is diatomaceous earth? Does diatomaceous earth kill bugs? Can you use it on your own to reach an effective solution? We will answer all these questions for you so that you can have a stress-free approach to dealing with termites in your home. This article will help you minimize the damage caused by the pests and get rid of them for a long time. So, let’s get started.


What is diatomaceous earth?

Diatomaceous earth or DE is formed from the remains of freshwater phytoplankton or algae that existed in prehistoric times. Over the years, they adapted to their surroundings and formed exoskeletons based on silica. As these creatures died and piled up on top of each other, they were converted into fossils. These fossils changed over time to form the sedimentary rock known as diatomite.

The rock is mined from riverbeds and lakes. It is found in stretches or colonies of water, similar to algae in the modern-day. It was first used as a component for dynamite but found its way into the toothpaste and polish industry upon discovering its abrasive qualities.


Types of DE

On the market, you will find diatomaceous earth in two forms. The first is known as pool grade DE, which has been calcinated or exposed to high temperatures. This turns the silica dioxide into crystalline silica. While these processes increase its filtration qualities, pool grade DE is harmful to the human respiratory system.

The other form of DE is food grade. As the name suggests, it is used as a dietary supplement. However, prolonged exposure to food-grade DE can also cause lung damage.

Of the two, food grade is used as a pest control solution since it is easily available and helps deal with various pests.


How does diatomaceous earth work?

If you have the chance to observe DE under a microscope, you will see cylindrical objects with barbs covered all over them. These barbs cause wounds in the bodies of the insects that let body fluid out. Being an absorbent, it also absorbs the fluid excreted, which kills the insect by drying it out.


What kind of bugs does diatomaceous earth kill?

Once applied in the proper place, diatomaceous earth takes at least a few hours to kill insects. But better results are observed a few days later.

It takes DE a day or two to kill ants and bed bugs. Darkling beetles or silverfish might take 1-3 weeks to completely disappear after application. Insects such as fleas and cockroaches are also susceptible to DE and will be controlled once used around the house.


Does diatomaceous earth kill bugs instantly?

No. It takes diatomaceous earth a few hours to start affecting bugs and killing them. The quickest to fall victim are ants, with an average timing of 16 hours being reported. But while it doesn’t affect bugs right away, it is a very effective, accessible, and inexpensive long-term solution for households.


How do you apply diatomaceous earth at home?

This section will tell you how to apply diatomaceous earth for ants, termites, fleas, and other bugs that might invade your household.

Before applying DE to kill the insects, you need to do some research. Find out potential gaps where the insects might try to get in and cracks from where water might come.

So, here is a simple 5-step process that shows you how to use diatomaceous earth for ants, cockroaches, bed bugs, ants, and other bugs that might invade your house:

  1. Identify the problem and where it is coming from. Find the pests’ location, and familiarize yourself with the kind of insect you’re dealing with. These are usually places where vacuum cleaners and brooms can’t reach.
  2. Spread the DE by forming a line in the location where the insects will likely cross. Apply the line behind furniture or appliances and use goggles and a dust mask if you have sensitive eyes and lungs.
  3. Monitor the movement of the insects and re-apply the diatomaceous earth if they change their tendencies.
  4. Ensure that the diatomaceous earth layer is dry and thick. Diatomaceous earth wet application does not work. It needs to be dry and absorbent to operate effectively.
  5. Do not sweep, vacuum, or soak the DE layer once it has been applied for at least the next few days.


How to use diatomaceous earth indoors

When using DE indoors, ensure that it is applied in places where cleaning is less frequent. Moreover, ensure that you don’t tamper with the layer once it has been used.

How to use diatomaceous earth outdoors

Using DE outdoors is a little more work since you’ll have to reapply the line regularly since it will get removed again and again. Also, you’ll have to reduce moisture as much as possible before applying DE outdoors. Otherwise, it won’t work properly.


Are there any risks in using DE?

Now that we have discussed how to spread diatomaceous earth for ants and other pests is an effective solution for pest control. The main reason diatomaceous earth is so popular is that it is all-natural and not toxic for humans or pets. So, you don’t have to worry about it affecting children or pets in the household.



Using diatomaceous earth in termites, ants, and other bugs can be almost completely removed from your household quickly and inexpensively. Since DE is all-natural, you don’t have to worry about your family or pets’ side effects in the house. But remember that the line needs to be dry and thick so that it catches insects in their tracks. In any case, it is best to contact professionals in case of an infestation so that you can deal with the problem with the most reliable service.