Diatomaceous Earth is an excellent low-cost, multi-purpose insecticide. As it works, not through poison, but through damaging an insect’s exoskeleton, it is harmless to humans and can be safely used around and even in food. DE has no discernible flavor, contributes additional minerals to the food and may have other health benefits. When purchasing, be sure that you are getting food grade. There is a different grade used for pool filtering that is not recommended for human consumption.
In your food storage:
- Add 1 cup for every 25 lbs of grains, beans, nuts, flour or pasta you store. Sprinkle a thin layer of DE (a sieve works well for this purpose) in the bottom of the bucket, then pour in 3-4 inches of your food. Repeat this layering process until all the food and DE are in the bucket. Seal lid and roll bucket around a few times to help treat all the food.
In your home and kitchen:
- Sprinkle in and around kitchen cabinets and shelves, particularly in places where insects have been a problem in the past.
- Pull out large appliances and sprinkle a thin layer underneath. You will only need to do this once!
- If your animals have brought fleas into your home, DE can help get rid of them. Sprinkle pets’ bedding and carpeted and upholstered surfaces. Allow to sit for 4-12 hours and then vacuum thoroughly. Repeat as needed.
In your yard and garden:
- Sprinkle in your garden beds to eliminate many crawling insects. You will need to refresh occasionally as it will eventually work its way down into your soil.
- Create an insect barrier around your home by sprinkling around your home’s foundation and crawl spaces. Refresh exposed areas occasionally.
For more information on food storage uses, click here.
For more information on additional uses, click here.
Watch a video to see a method for dusting a large garden quickly and efficiently.