Millions of years ago, tiny-single celled plants called diatoms settled on the beds of oceans and lakes after dying. Over the years, the organisms formed layers and became fossils.
Fast forward to now, we mine these diatoms and grind them into a soft powder that has a plethora of uses.
One of these uses is to successfully kill and eliminate cockroaches from homes.
Believe me when I say that diatomaceous earth can easily be used as a supplementary and sustainable pesticide alternative that will effectively get rid of cockroaches.
Read on to find out how this seemingly harmless soft, white powder can transform into a robust cockroach killer.
Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Roaches?
Diatomaceous earth, when used in its purest form, has the ability to absorb lipids.
Though the diatomaceous earth, also called D.E, may be soft to our touch, it looks like sharp shards of glass when seen under the microscope.
Combined with the small size of each particle and the sharp nature, it quickly penetrates the exoskeleton of cockroaches.
Once underneath, it absorbs the oils and fats from the cockroach and damages its cuticle.
This will induce the roach to shed the exoskeleton, which will expose its soft inner body to the harsh environment.
With the loss of its cuticle, liquids in the body are flushed out.
How to Use Diatomaceous Earth to Kill Cockroaches
Diatomaceous earth is a powdery substance that can kill segmented organisms with an exoskeleton like arthropods on contact.
This means that insects like roaches and beetles will have to walk over the powder or be dusted with it for the diatomaceous earth to work.
Hence, you will have to patient and wait for around 2-4 weeks for the diatomaceous earth to kill the roaches.
But there is no doubt that killing cockroaches with diatomaceous earth is one of the best DIY solutions which is also safe, sustainable and effective.
So, read on to know what to do if you want to kill cockroaches with diatomaceous earth.
- Diatomaceous earth does not work when it is wet. So, ensure that you have cleaned and dried your house. Do not apply on areas that are damp or wet always.
- Locate all the spots that roaches would frequent. This would usually be near sources of food. Look near dustbins, under refrigerators, pantry, food cabinets, and any dark places.
- Killing cockroaches with diatomaceous earth would take longer with a sustained source of food. It would be in your best interests to block any access to food.
- Ensure there are no holes in food containers or gaps on your dustbins. Keep cleaning up crumbs that may have fallen on the ground, and don’t feel lazy to take out the trash.
- Now, spread a thin layer of diatomaceous earth over the roaches’ usual hangout spots. Sprinkle it, use a duster or apply it using salt shakers or paintbrushes.
- Make sure not to lump it in a pile because the roaches will avoid it like the plague and just escape to other havens in your house.
- Assess the damage- scout for other areas in your home that the roaches might be biding their days in. Roaches can actually live for weeks without food and survive a week without water. So, always be wary and calculate your next move.
- Apply the powder consistently to the areas that are most infamous for being cockroach hangout spots.
- And voila, you can do the final check-up of your house. The roach infestation should have died down by now.
- To ensure that the roaches don’t find their way into your home and make themselves comfortable again, locate any entryways and holes. Seal up these holes and make sure the gaps under doorways are not large enough for a few roaches to slip through.
Precautions to Take While Using Diatomaceous Earth
Although pest-grade diatomaceous earth is non-toxic, it is still a pesticide. It would be best not to play around with the diatomaceous earth to avoid any side-effects.
To ensure that you stay safe while using diatomaceous earth for cockroach control, make sure that you:
- Use a mask; if inhaled, it can block your airways and cause irritation.
- Diatomaceous earth has multiple grades: Pest grade, pool grade, and food grade. Make sure you buy the proper diatomaceous earth and follow the instructions that come with it.
- Do not apply diatomaceous earth near doorways or windows. A draft of wind is enough to kick it up and spread it all over the house and in places you don’t want it to be.
- Clean the places that you have applied diatomaceous earth on frequently using a wet cloth or vacuum cleaner.
- Diatomaceous earth can block the filter of vacuum cleaners easily. Clean out the filter often to make sure the vacuum does not choke.
And there you go! You are all set to kill cockroaches with diatomaceous earth.
2021 is the year that has reminded us more than ever that we need to adapt to more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices.
Using diatomaceous earth for cockroach control is the safest and most non-toxic alternative to eliminate them indefinitely.
As long as you are careful and follow the instructions mindfully, you can surely use diatomaceous earth without worrying too much about its effect on the environment and your family because they are harmless, efficient, and barely cost anything.
Have you used diatomaceous earth to kill roaches? How was your experience? Let us know below.