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Diatomaceous earth is made from the remains of diatoms, which are tiny organisms that lived in rivers, streams, lakes and oceans. Diatom skeletons are made up of silicon dioxide, a combination of silica and oxygen. Silica is very common in nature and it makes up 26% of the earth's crust.

Diatomaceous earth is very abrasive to an insect's exoskeleton, causing them to dry out and die. Diatomaceous earth is used in a variety of settings, including indoor applications for controlling bed bugs, fleas, cockroaches, and carpet beetles.

Information about Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth Fact Sheet (Web | PDF)

If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email at npic@ace.orst.edu.

Last updated October 09, 2023