How to Use Diatomaceous Earth to Eliminate Insects

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Diatomaceous earth, a fossilized compound used to kill insects, is one of the most powerful non-toxic solutions there is. Especially when you want to kill insects in your home, particularly fleas or bedbugs, it's great to know how to use it safely. Follow these tips to learn how to make it work for you.

Things You'll Need

  • Pure, food-grade diatomaceous earth
  • Paintbrush or applicator
  • Be sure you purchase pure diatomaceous earth (DE), or at least a bug-fighting product that lists it as its main ingredient. Also be sure the solution is food-grade, as pool-grade can be detrimental to human health.

  • Survey your space and where the problem is. If there's a problem in a particular room, take that into consideration. It's also best to move furniture away from the wall.

  • Dip the paintbrush or duster into the container of DE. Remove the excess by tapping the brush against the side of the container. Apply it to the baseboards and around other troubled areas. Avoid putting the solution in front of air conditioners or fans.

  • Be mindful of where the solution is being applied. It's best to use on wood and in other crevices where bugs can hide. Avoid applying it to paper, although electronics are fair game.

  • Spread the powder enough so you don't leave a white coating on the floor or on objects. Insects can spot large amounts of DE and will avoid it.

  • Avoid vacuuming for a few days. When you do vacuum, be sure to reapply DE until you have no more bug issues.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid applying in areas where fresh air can move the DE around or where there will be a lot of foot traffic. For bugs entering the home through the door, apply a foot or two away from the door.
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