How to Use Diatomaceous Earth to Kill Roaches

Imagine walking into your kitchen and being welcomed by a gang of roaches in your sink. Or picture yourself driving in your car and suddenly feel a cockroach crawling on your leg. 

How would such scenarios make you feel? Obviously, not great, right?

Roaches are the most common pests found inside and outside your house. What’s more, they are resilient, and their excellent survival skills make it hard for anyone to get rid of them. As a result, they can be found in your vehicle, house, garage, and bathroom, making it hard for you to track their activities. 

But that doesn’t mean that roaches can’t be eliminated. There are many tips and products available that can help handle these pests pretty well. 

One of these is Diatomaceous Earth, and this article looks at how this substance can kill roaches. Keep reading for some much-needed information. 

Why Should You Get Rid of Roaches Anyway?

A cockroach may look like a pest that minds its own business, but in reality, it can be a massive reason behind bacterial infections in your house. Yes, indeed, roaches don’t bite. However, they can scratch your body through their spines and transfer the bacteria they might carry to you. 

As per World Health Organization (WHO), roaches are considered unhygienic scavengers found in the human world. That’s because roaches carry bacteria, and once the bacteria gets deposited in any food, it can lead to diseases such as salmonella and streptococcus. 

cockroach hiding in kitchen

In addition, cockroaches can cause many indoor allergies. The shedding parts, saliva, and eggs of these pests can trigger different allergic reactions. Besides, children are more prone to these allergies than adults. 

So, even if roaches don’t sound very aggressive, they still may be a top reason behind infections in your household. And getting rid of these pests is the ultimate solution to making your home healthy and clean again. 

Luckily, there are many ways in which you can kill roaches. But among them, the use of Diatomaceous Earth is one of the most effective solutions. So, in the next part of this article, let’s explore how this product can help you win a war against these bugs. 

Diatomaceous Earth-A Brief Introduction

Diatomaceous Earth is a powder-like substance created from the remains of microscopic algae organisms or diatoms. Diatoms have a skeleton made of silica, a natural substance that accumulates in riverbeds after the organisms die. 

The same silica then combines with silicon dioxide and forms a material that people have used for a long time to control pests. Today, Diatomaceous Earth is an ideal remedy to control pests naturally. Besides, this sand-like substance is also a household product found in various medicines, drinks, water filters, and paints. 

Diatomaceous Earth

Interestingly, there is also a “food grade” Diatomaceous Earth, which is beneficial and safe for consumption. So, as discussed earlier, Diatomaceous Earth is a pretty powerful substance that helps kill pests, including roaches. But how does it do that?

Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Roaches and How?

One of the best things about this substance is that it works as an effective insecticide and a preventive measure. It may sound too good to be accurate, but in reality, Diatomaceous Earth does wonders while dealing with roaches. 

Diatomaceous Earth is an abrasive substance that breaks down and absorbs essential nutrients from a cockroach’s exoskeleton. So, when the powder and a cockroach come in contact, the former successfully absorbs all the fat, water, and oil from its body. As a result, the cockroach dies from extreme dehydration. 

This substance damages the entire exoskeleton of the pest. It comes with a unique honeycomb structure that makes its way through the protective shell of the exoskeleton and absorbs all the lipids present on the outer shell. 

As a result, a cockroach loses all its body’s water and finds it hard to absorb nutrients. In addition, roaches with a broken exoskeleton are weak, making them vulnerable to other predators. 

It is imperative to note here that roaches don’t die immediately. When they walk over the powder, they carry some amount of Diatomaceous Earth with them through the hair found on their legs. 

Diatomaceous Earth is quite effective against four types of roaches that are commonly found in most homes. These are Oriental, German, American, and Brown-banded roaches. Since each has exoskeletons, the deadly powder can attack them pretty conveniently. 

Diatomaceous Earth Against Resistant Roaches

Another excellent quality of Diatomaceous Earth is that it proves pretty helpful when targeting roaches that have otherwise become resistant to various insecticides.

As per a report, the new generation of roaches is resistant to most poisons. However, Diatomaceous Earth isn’t affected by that and works differently. 

Since it features refined grains, the powder can even seep through the weakest points of roaches’ exoskeleton. In addition, the microscopic edges of the substance help break down the protective layer quite quickly, and its absorbent properties perform the killing quite successfully. 

So, now that you know how helpful Diatomaceous Earth is, gear up to use it against the roaches invading your home, car, or even garden. There is a certain way to use this substance, so read below to find that out. 

How to Use Diatomaceous Earth Against Roaches?

Diatomaceous Earth is quite versatile, making it easy to use in many ways. For instance, you can either sprinkle or spray it in the most suspected places. These spots can be behind your appliances, in your cupboard, under furniture, or even in your car.

Also, the substance is pretty easy to clean up through a vacuum cleaner. So, although it may create a mess initially, once the powder has performed its job, you can clear it up within minutes. 

Applying Diatomaceous Earth is pretty easy, and you can do it through a duster. If you don’t have one in your home, create it by making holes on the top of a plastic soda bottle. Then, fill the bottle with some dust and let the powder squeeze through the holes to reach the target points. 

Once your weapon is ready, follow the steps below to apply the dust successfully. 

Step 1-Give Your Home a Major Clean-up

You need to make sure that your home, car, or garage is properly cleaned before applying the dust. Then, mop, sweep, and put away all your trash so that the roaches don’t find any other reason to escape. They should only be attracted to the Diatomaceous Earth that you may have sprinkled. 

If you have cleaned the surfaces and appliances using a wet cloth, give them some time to dry. Moreover, if the humidity level in your attic, bathroom, or garage are above the average level, open windows or turn on the fans to reduce it. 

In addition, before you sprinkle the dust, make sure that all opened holes or cracks are adequately sealed. This is imperative to prevent new cockroaches from entering your zone. Check for any leaks in your bathroom and prepare a proper battleground before applying Diatomaceous Earth. 

Step 2- Application

Make sure that you apply a thin coating of the dust. That’s because roaches will resist stepping on a thick layer of powder. 

Dust the substance in crevices and on surfaces that contain some evidence of the presence of roaches. Ensure to apply the dust under your refrigerator and dishwasher, where the food crumbs are most likely to be found. 

You can also apply Diatomaceous Earth in your bathroom, but make sure it isn’t too humid or wet. Wet dust is ineffective against pests, so ensure to dry up every surface and target point before finally applying the dust. 

Roaches have many entry points. So, if possible, apply Diatomaceous Earth to even small gaps and holes that you may have found near window or door openings. 

You may also have holes and cracks in your wall, and these spots are the favorite hiding places for roaches. Use your homemade duster to sprinkle the dust into these cracks as well. 

Step 3- Apply It Outside 

If you have an open space with grass and garden soil, spread the dust without worrying about damaging anything. Make sure you perform this task when the day is dry and spread a thin layer of Diatomaceous Earth in the most suspected areas. 

Roaches may also be found in a crawl space right under your home. You can sprinkle a good amount of Diatomaceous Earth right on the entrance to combat them. Then through a fan, you can let the dust enter the interiors of the space. 

When performing this task, wear goggles and a mask to prevent the dust from entering your eyes or mouth. 

Step 4- Reapply and Wait for the Outcome 

Once you have applied the dust to all the target areas, you may have to repeat the process. That’s because the initial application might require a refreshing start depending on the number of cockroaches present in your space. 

Besides, since Diatomaceous Earth is a powder, the chances of it being washed out are pretty high. So if you think that the quantity of the dust has decreased within a day, reapply a thin layer. 

Step 5- Clean

After the roaches have left, clean the dust. There are many ways in which you can do that. 

  • If you have sprinkled the Diatomaceous Earth on a hard surface, you can use a damp towel and clear the dust like you would clean up flour. Once done, clean the towel separately so that any remaining dust doesn’t fall on your daily laundry or clothes.
  • You can also use a broom to collect the dust in a dustpan and then discard it in a trash can later.
  • If your applied Diatomaceous Earth has entered your carpets and rugs, the best way to deal with it is through a vacuum cleaner. Make sure to replace your old vacuum bag with a new one when removing the powder.
cockroach on kitchen cabinet

How Long Does Diatomaceous Earth Take to Work Its Magic?

It won’t be long before you see good results after applying the dust for the first time. However, we can’t advise you to expect an instant chemical bomb that a commercial insecticide might create. But the process is pretty quick, considering that the powder needs to break the exoskeleton first and then dehydrate the roaches. 

After the application, you will be surprised to spot roaches in your space. That’s not a concerning thing at all. Instead, it is a sign of a successful mission against these pests. 

Since the roaches feel dehydrated, they come out in search of water to curb their thirst. So, you will find them around more than ever, but that doesn’t mean that the infestation is getting worse. 

Can Diatomaceous Earth Kill the Eggs As Well?

While Diatomaceous Earth works brilliantly against roaches, it doesn’t kill their eggs. So, if you plan to eliminate the larvae, you will have to purchase some commercially-produced pesticides for this task. 

That said, Diatomaceous Earth does harm the nymph of roaches. So if you spot a place with plenty of eggs, sprinkle some dust around that target area. Once the eggs hatch, the baby roaches will walk through the dust and dehydrate themselves. 

Potential Dangers

Diatomaceous Earth isn’t dangerous as long as it belongs to the food-grade category. However, a filter grade or any other category of this dust can be harmful and toxic to your pests and your family members. When inhaled, it can damage the lungs, and cause breathing issues.

Moreover, since Diatomaceous Earth is a powder, the chances of it getting in your eyes and mouth are pretty high. So make sure to wear a mask and goggles during its application. Reasonable eye protection is also quite beneficial. 

Final Takeaway

No one likes to have an army of roaches invading their safe space. Be it your car or home, it is pretty difficult to bear the presence of these pests. Plus, since they carry bacteria, you can’t let them spread diseases in your home. 

So, the best solution is to get rid of roaches before any significant infestation. By applying Diatomaceous Earth to various target locations, you can eliminate these pests from your home and your life. However, consult specialists and opt for a professional pest control procedure if things go out of hand. 

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