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How Long Does Diatomaceous Earth Take to Kill Insects?

darkling beetle

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28 responses

  1. roberta

    can i use de in my carpet cleaner?

    November 2, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    • Hi Roberta,

      I assume that you would like to use DE in your carpet cleaner to help kill insects?

      Unfortunately we have never heard of diatomaceous earth being used in this way before nor have we tested it using this method.

      DE will not work well to kill insects when it is wet (if the carpet cleaner you are referring to is a liquid). We have heard of many people mixing the product with water and applying it wet (mostly outside) then leaving it to dry, as the DE will return to its original form and continue to work once it is dry however, the product will not function the same when wet.

      November 5, 2012 at 11:21 am

  2. ara Allennova

    I have to tell you – if your DE were my boyfriend, I would marry it. Or him. Whatever. My poor, sweet dog died a few weeks ago. I grieved and punched my pillow and yelled at the heavens to send a sign that he was OK. Superstitions be damned, fleas started jumping on me, weeks after Trouble was in the big doghouse in the sky. What? No host? Am I a take out menu for the bloodsuckers? True to his name, Trouble left me fleas.
    Clearly, he had the last laugh for having his jangle-dangles snipped all those years ago.
    I digress.
    Not being a tractor type of girl, I felt slightly out of my element among the cattle prods and overalls at the farm-supply store. But I soldiered on, in search of this Holy Grail of bug killer. Don’t get me wrong, there was a moment or two through this underground railroad of secret pesticide where I was tempted to turn back; slack-jawed Deliveranceville types were all too eager to show me their tools. But D-Earth? You were worth it, Baby.
    I used the ex’s remote control helicopter and crop-dusted the apartment by attaching a baker’s sifter [I’m quite handy in the kitchen.] Had to reload a few times, and un-jam the chopper from the ceiling fan, but acheived a nice, even dusting. And who could argue with the scent of a lightly smoked ham permeating the digs? If you haven’t noticed it, DE gives off a bouquet of slow cooking, right in between mesquite and hickory. Which means [I think] that unlike other pesticides, you can probably relax about worryng if the next three generations of your progeny will be born with flippers. Or be republicans.
    I haven’t even told you about the fleas, have I?
    Day 1: I stomped the DE a little deeper into the carpet. Fleas, within a few hours, appeared to become retarded in their jumping abilities. Variable: They *may* have been watching political ads.
    Day 2: I panicked a little. Fleas appeared to have redoubled their efforts to jump on me. Desperate to escape the DE? I felt a little sorry for them. I caught three, and decided to run some tests. All three released in bathroom sink after getting a good bite from my ankle.
    Flea 1: covered in dry DE. Juvenile delinquent. Smaller than others.
    Flea 2: Made a paste of DE plus H2O and made him sit in it. He squirmed and waited for his father to pick im up.
    Flea 3: Put him in a tiny puddle with free-floating DE. Excellent swimmer. Jumped an had to be repositioned.
    Flea 2 was the first to surrender, and went on to meet Trouble within a five minutes. Flea 1 PRETENDED to die and when I first inspected him after five minutes of being covered in dry powder, he did not move. Suddenly, he jumped. He made it all the way to the floor without injury before recapture. How he could do that but be summarily dispatched by powder is something our military needs to look into.
    Flea 3 had an excellent breast-stroke and languished in his puddle for a good long time. He appeared ready to order an umbrella cocktail and so I ended the testing.
    General Impressions: Trouble’s fleas are DYING. This is good, because I find them disgusting. Did you know fleas can carry bubonic plague? That was also known as the Black Death in Europe. Worn with the right accessories, black can be a wonderfully flattering shade, but not when it is because you are dying from a flea bite.
    So, I don’t know how you managed to create this little miracle of microscopic Ginsu knives that slice and dice these bitches up, but I love you. Now, don’t go crazy and jack up the price or anything. Just keep on keeping on.

    July 31, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    • Heather

      Love it!! ;)

      August 7, 2012 at 7:24 am

    • Mel

      You are hysterical. I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. I can definitely relate.

      September 10, 2012 at 9:38 am

      • Thank you. I aim to please. But the story is true. However, it did take a little longer to kill the fleas than I thought. And I got a new dog and he does not have fleas!

        September 10, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    • donna

      just was wondering how long it took to be completely flea free inn the whole house

      October 8, 2012 at 10:52 pm

      • ara Allennova

        Donna, Patience and an offering of blood orange on a silver platter to the god of parasites, Pariticus. About two weeks. Vacuum, then vacuum again. If little trails of DE are left behind, and they camouflage with the carpet, I would let them be. For extra coverage I bought an all natural clove oil based insecticide and sprayed lightly. I did NOT put my new dog on a flea drug from the vet because I think they will just sell any chemical they can if you’ll buy it. He still does not have fleas. The fleas here were not a horrible infestation, but definitely annoying and bad enough that I would not want to have guests over. If you don’t mind powdery footsteps for a few weeks, then try the DE.

        October 9, 2012 at 2:47 pm

      • Hi Donna,

        This will depend on the extent of the infestation as well as other factors including humidity, etc. In most cases that we have heard about individuals are able to get rid of the fleas within a week or so however, if you have a very severe infestation this may take longer.

        October 9, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    • OMG! Not only are you an excellent writer, but FUNNY too! How did you get to be so talented!? Thanks for the laughs, and the detailed info. :)

      Sorry about the loss of your puppers. Any dog would be lucky to have you as a parent.
      Blessings on you.

      October 12, 2012 at 9:52 am

      • ara Allennova

        You are so sweet. Thank you. Trouble is on a better place now. I do love my doggies! You are more than welcome for the info. It really is true, even the testing part wih the three fleas.
        I’m waiting to be discovered…someday I might actually finish my manuscript and send it to an agent :)
        Blessings on you and all you love. May your fleas die quickly.

        October 13, 2012 at 9:30 am

    • sue kennedy

      hilarious and helpful!

      January 3, 2013 at 9:51 am

  3. Gypsy Girl

    how long should you leave DE on floors and furniture when dealing with fleas? and, should you reapply after vacuuming the first application?

    July 21, 2012 at 9:16 am

    • Hi,

      Due to the fact that Red Lake Diatomaceous Earth is not yet registered for this use, we have not done any in-depth testing with fleas to see how long it might take to eliminate an infestation. However, most people when using the product for this purpose, will leave the powder down for at least a week. After this time monitor your results. If you do not see the results you want leave the product down for another week (or until you reach your desired result).

      Please note: the product will continue to be effective as long as it is present. Therefore the DE does not need to be re-applied unless rinsed, blown or vacuumed away.

      Hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any more questions!

      July 23, 2012 at 8:36 am

  4. Can DE completely rid a person of bedbugs if just using this method only, as well as washing all fabric material? Can this also kill a majority of bed bugs living in a sofa? How can I treat my sofa with DE?

    July 19, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    • At this time, Red Lake Diatomaceous Earth is not registered as a natural insecticide therefore we have not tested the product against bed bugs in different circumstances. However, many people do use the product for this purpose and from what we hear it is very effective. In most cases individuals have been able to use diatomaceous earth to eliminate bed bugs however, in the case of a very severe infestation it is best to consult a professional.

      The insects must come in direct contact with the DE powder therefore it is important that the product is applied properly and in any area where the bed bugs may be hiding. In order to treat their homes for bed bugs, most people will apply the product around their baseboards, in the cracks and crevices around their house as well as on the bed frame and even in the seams of the mattress.

      In order to treat a sofa, sprinkle the powder in the seams of the sofa. Please note: while we have never heard of any problems with the product simply being vacuumed up after it has been used, it may be a good idea (if you have a light colored sofa) to test a small area before applying the darker colored DE to the entire sofa. As well, if you are going to be sitting on the sofa after applying the DE, you may want to cover it with a sheet or other barrier. DE helps to kill insects by dehydrating them and therefore it can be a bit drying to the skin if you are going to be in direct contact with it for a long period of time.

      I hope this helps!

      July 20, 2012 at 8:28 am

  5. Kathleen King

    Will DE work on spiders?

    May 4, 2012 at 10:22 am

    • Hi Kathleen,

      Diatomaceous earth works well to kill most crawling insects however, we have not tested our product on spiders.

      In order for the DE to kill an insect it must come in contact with their body. Due to the fact that some spiders have long legs that keep their bodies from touching the ground, it may be difficult for the DE to come in contact with the insect. This is not to say that the product will not work, but you would have to test it out to be sure. If possible, it may help to dust the spider directly with the diatomaceous earth.

      Let us know how it goes!

      May 4, 2012 at 11:31 am

  6. Pingback: Using Red Lake Earth to Keep Insects from Entering Your Home « absorbentproductsltd

  7. Pingback: The Effectiveness of Diatomaceous Earth: Insect List « absorbentproductsltd

  8. Luella N.

    Yes, I will also be using DE for my food storage items such as flour, sugar, rice, etc.
    I put the DE directly in these dry food products and mix it in, not too much but enough,.

    Also, I dust the food shelves with DE to further protect my food storage.

    December 17, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    • Diatomaceous earth does work well to protect stored food items from insects and is often used in livestock feed for this purpose however, food grade diatomaceous earth should not be in the end product of any food that is meant for human consumption as there are currently no diatomaceous earth products that are registered for human consumption. However, we are aware that, regardless of these regulations, many people do consume food grade diatomaceous earth. This is at their own risk and we advise that they utilize various research methods and use their own discretion when making the decision to do so.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:24 am

  9. Luella N.

    I would like to liquify DE so that I can spray it on infested items by a variety of dust mites, various insects, like on my ironing board, the cracks in my floors, etc.

    I sure would like to know if I can use it this way.

    December 17, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    • Hi Luella.

      You can mix DE with water and use it as a spray however the mixture will have to dry before it will work. Diatomaceous earth kills insects by lacerating their exoskeletons with the razor sharp edges of its particles and must be in its dry form to do so. Therefore once you spray it on you will have to wait for it to dry before it will be effective. For water to DE ratios and other information on applying food grade diatomaceous earth for use as an insecticide, please see Red Lake Diatomaceous Earth: Garden Application

      December 19, 2011 at 8:15 am

  10. ERBarren53

    How would you apply DE to kill Darkling Beetles in a 42′ x 500′ poultry house? Do you use a blower, a drop spreader or what? How much DE does it take to treat one house this size?

    November 10, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    • Food grade diatomaceous earth can be applied at a rate of 1oz per 65sq ft. In order to cover a house of this size you will need to use a whole 20lb bag of DE. Many people simply use their hands or a scoop to apply the diatomaceous earth however in order to cover such a large area the applications that you have mentioned will probably be most efficient.

      November 14, 2011 at 10:45 am

  11. Does Diatomaceous Earth kill scorpions?

    October 6, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    • Diatomaceous earth will work well against most crawling insects however we have not tested our product on scorpions therefore you would have to conduct your own test to measure its effectiveness.

      October 11, 2011 at 9:48 am

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