Diatomaceous Earth For Roaches: The Eco-Friendly Roach Killer

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Cockroaches are some of the most difficult bugs to get rid of because they are resistant to most methods of pest control and are highly elusive.

However, just because getting rid of roaches isn’t easy does not mean you should continue sharing your home with these annoying pests.

Fortunately, some methods effectively remove roaches in your home’s outdoor and indoor spaces. Among them is Diatomaceous Earth (DE).

Besides being effective, Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is also natural and chemical-free, making it an excellent choice for people with pets and children and looking to be eco-friendly.

Well, let’s explore in-depth Diatomaceous Earth as a roach killer.

What is Diatomaceous Earth (DE)?

diatomaceous earth for roaches


Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a naturally occurring powdery substance from fossilized algae sediments found in water bodies. Diatomaceous earth comes from diatoms (an algae type) and is found globally.

Since these algae cells contain high silica content, the dried sediments generated from the fossils have very high silica content.

Ancient Greeks made building materials such as blocks and bricks using diatomaceous earth before its popularity rose throughout Europe, being used in different industrial uses. The different types of DE are filter-grade, diatomaceous earth with insecticide, and food-grade.

Food-grade diatomaceous earth is the safest choice for getting rid of roaches if you have kids and pets. On the other hand, use diatomaceous earth with insecticide to kill roaches outside and avoid filter-grade DE since it harms pets and humans.

Related: How to get rid of roaches overnight home remedies

How To Use Diatomaceous Earth For Roaches Inside {Step-By-Step}

how to use diatomaceous earth for roaches inside


DE kills roaches by dehydrating them. The substance just needs to touch the cockroach’s exoskeleton, and it will die from dehydration soon.

For Diatomaceous Earth to kill roaches, you must apply it in the correct places and the right way. Follow these steps.

Also Read: How to get rid of roaches in car

1. Clean Your Home

Before applying DE to kill roaches, clean your house thoroughly to eliminate anything these creatures would eat.

Therefore, sweep, vacuum, mop well, and put your food away, ensuring everything is clean, including behind and under furniture and appliances.

Also, let the home dry and remove excess moisture from your bathroom, basement, or attic using fans before application.

Also Read: Peppermint Oil For Roaches

Seal cracks to keep more roaches from entering and take care of leaks. Take note and mark areas cockroaches like to stay in using post-it notes or colored tape.

2. Apply A Thin DE Coating

Spread a light diatomaceous earth coating in crevices and surfaces you saw roach activities. These include behind the refrigerator, stove, near baseboards, under sinks, and inside bathrooms. Only treat closets and bathrooms if they do not have too much humidity.

Also Read: Homemade cockroach killer

3. Apply DE at Entry Points

Put diatomaceous earth powder at roaches’ exits and entry points like different places or cracks near sockets and wiring.

Check for cracks in the walls because pests can nest and hide there. Make sure you cover every possible hiding spot because cockroaches can hide in highly unexpected places.

4. Repeat The Application If Necessary

Leave the diatomaceous earth in the areas you applied and monitor it regularly. Reapply if necessary, depending on the infestation size and conditions. Repplication will be essential if too humid or raining.


Put diatomaceous earth in different areas roaches will cross to increase the chances of them coming into contact with DE. In addition, cockroaches will die faster if they touch more diatomaceous earth. Use diatomaceous earth to get rid of the 4 common roach types that infest homes, such as brown-banded, American, Oriental, and German cockroaches.

Also read: What Does a Baby Cockroach Look Like

How Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Roaches?

As mentioned earlier, Diatomaceous Earth eliminates cockroaches by dehydrating them. The abrasive powder breaks down the roach’s waxy layer of its hard exoskeleton, thus killing it via dehydration. It also absorbs fats, water, and oils from the cockroach’s exoskeleton.

This substance is an excellent desiccant since it is 90% silica. The exoskeleton is essential to roaches because it serves as their initial defense line against environmental stressors and predators.

The DE structure is a microscopic honeycomb that can slough through this protective layer chipping away the outer layer’s lipids.

Also Read: What to pour down drain to kill roaches

How Long Does Diatomaceous Earth Take To Kill Roaches?

The duration diatomaceous earth takes to kill roaches varies based on different factors. For instance, longer roach infestation will take longer to be eradicated.

However, on average, results will begin showing in 2 to 3 weeks. Thoroughness and patience are critical during this duration, especially since the results don’t show immediately.

Since the roaches do not die immediately after touching the diatomaceous earth, they will likely die after returning to their nests.

For this reason, you may not see dead roaches around the house, but you will notice a decline in their population.

How To Clean Up Diatomaceous Earth

After diatomaceous earth kills cockroaches, remove the DE by wiping, sweeping, and vacuuming. Wipe the surfaces with DE using a damp towel, then sweep the floors using a dustpan and broom.

Vacuum the parts with carpeting but ensure you switch the regular cleaner bags for fine particle and drywall bags.

Sweep and wipe gently to keep diatomaceous earth doesn’t get into the air in your home.


Do Roaches Take Diatomaceous Earth Back To Nest?

Cockroaches take DE back to their nests, and the other roaches there will feed on it. This makes diatomaceous earth an excellent weapon against roaches since it will act on many cockroaches within a short period.

How Long Does Diatomaceous Earth Stay Effective?

Diatomaceous earth does not lose its effectiveness, provided it stays dry.

Can You Sleep In A Room With Diatomaceous Earth?

You can apply diatomaceous earth in your bedroom and sleep in it since this substance is safe for humans and animals and 100% natural. However, note that it can irritate your eyes and skin if you inhale or touch it.


Final Thoughts

DE effectively kills roaches, so consider using it to eliminate cockroach infestation in your house. Diatomaceous earth for roaches is excellent since it is practical, safe for animals and humans, and stays effective for an extended period.

Furthermore, it is easy to apply, but remember it is not foolproof. This organic substance will also help eliminate other bugs like ants, fleas, crickets, most beetles, some grubs, bed bugs, lice, and mites.

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