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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.

General Questions about
Diatomaceous Earth

General fact sheet image
Fact Sheet

FAQ image
Is 'food grade' diatomaceous earth okay for pest control?

bed bugs
Don't let pesticides make your
bed bug problem worse!
Q & A

Don't distress over
uninvited guests (roaches)!
Q & A

Pestibyte headphone icon
Don't distress over
uninvited guests (roaches)!

(2:06 min., 3.85MB)

If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email at npic@ace.orst.edu.

Last updated November 9, 2015

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