Diatomaceous Earth for Cockroaches
If you have roaches in your home, you can safely remove them without utilizing harsh chemicals that could be a danger to your health. There are plenty of natural substances that you can use for roach removal, including diatomaceous earth. It doesn’t take long for it to take effect, and it’s incredibly affordable to use all-around your property. Wondering how you can utilize diatomaceous earth for your roach problem? Let’s discuss.
What is Diatomaceous Earth?
A collection of dust particles made from the shells of ocean organisms called diatoms, diatomaceous earth, is very similar to the consistency of sand. Diatoms are part of our natural environment, as they have been around for more than 200 million years. While it can be used as a pesticide, it’s also found in all kinds of household products. Paint, personal products, food, and more are made from various grades of diatomaceous earth. If you’re consuming it in food, you will be using higher quality earth that is extremely safe. The type you’ll buy to address a roach problem will usually be a lower-quality product that is more affordable, but you should avoid it for personal use.
Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Roaches?
You can use diatomaceous earth to kill roaches and other insects that include ticks, bed bugs, fleas, etc. Some people choose to use it around their home as a preventive measure against insects coming in. The powder is very abrasive, and it can break down the exterior of the roach’s shell. As it does this, it dehydrates the exoskeleton of the roach. There is also the potential for the roach to walk through the powder, remaining on their legs. They will take it back to their nest, where it will cause major problems for the colony of roaches over the next little while.
How to Use Diatomaceous Earth for Roaches
Diatomaceous earth is incredibly safe to use in your home around children and pets, and it’s easy to distribute. When you’ve left it for a few days, you can vacuum it up and go about your day. You’ll want to choose the type of diatomaceous earth you’re using based on where you’re going to put it. If you’re going to sprinkle a lot of it around your basement or attic, you can choose a lower-quality product that’s more affordable.
Opt for a food-grade product if you’re going to be using it on your kitchen counters, in your bathroom, etc. Use a pest control duster to apply, liberally applying the DE to the areas where you think roaches are located. You want to get a thin layer of the product in various areas and avoid placing large piles all around.
Keep in mind; diatomaceous earth needs to be in a dry location for it to work properly. If it gets wet at all, this will affect how well it will kill roaches. If you’re going to be using it in your basement, make sure you have the humidity-controlled down there. Roaches usually like dark spaces where they can safely hide, like furniture.
Put your pesticide down in areas like the backs of your cupboards, behind your appliances, around baseboards, and in the cracks where your foundation meets your basement floor. Roaches are pesky creatures, and they can fit themselves into all kinds of small spaces. The interior spaces in your walls may have roaches hiding in them, so try to apply some of the DE into any small holes that you find.
How Long Does it Take Diatomaceous Earth to Kill Roaches?
Unfortunately, DE doesn’t work the same way that chemical pesticides work. While you would love for the roaches to die on contact, it can take up to 2 to 3 weeks for the process to take full effect. Once the cockroaches have moved through the DE, the process of breaking down their exoskeleton will begin.
Breaking down that waxy exterior isn’t a fast process, but the cockroach will eventually become dehydrated and malnourished. They will die, and they will likely have taken some of the DE back to their nest. This will affect the other roaches as well.
Diatomaceous Earth vs. Boric Acid for Cockroaches
While there are pros and cons for both diatomaceous earth and boric acid, diatomaceous earth is the safer option that you can use. Especially if you have children or pets around, you’ll want to be careful about what you’re spreading. Since you can consume DE in certain products, you can trust that food-grade DE will be safe to have around.
While you may be finding cockroaches on the inside of your home, you can treat the exterior of your home as well. Diatomaceous earth can be applied in your garden, around your home’s foundation or in your landscaping. Because of its sensitivity to moisture, you’ll want to watch the weather.
Target a few days where there isn’t going to be rain or high levels of humidity in the air. Don’t be frustrated if you need to reapply. Staying on top of your cockroach problem is ideal for making sure you take care of all of them, but also so they don’t come back.