Imagine calling upon the power of creatures who lived millions of years ago to help defeat some of the most annoying pest infestations suffered by modern man. However, this is far more of a reality than a fantasy thanks to the discovery of diatomaceous earth or DE. Whether you're suffering from bed bugs, fleas or even cockroaches, the use of diatomaceous earth may be one of the most effective natural pest control methods. While this is common knowledge within the pest control industry, many consumers are unaware of exactly what this product is and how it eliminates pests.
What is Diatomaceous Earth | A General Overview
In the most fundamental sense, diatomaceous earth is the fossilized remains of a microscopic organism, known as diatoms. These single-cells creatures are related to phytoplankton, but most closely resemble algae. As these creatures flourished, they began to form unique formations in the shape of ribbons, fans, zigzags or stars. As these single-cell organisms died and were implanted on the seafloor, they began the long fossilization process. Due to its unique cellular structure, which was made of transparent silicon dioxide, the shape and structure of these organisms remained intact.
In modern society, the silica deposits leftover from these organisms is mined throughout oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams. But why are these fossilized deposits so unique? While roughly 26 percent of the Earth's crust is made out of silica, this compound alone is not capable of producing the desired pest-control effects.
However, silicon dioxide compounds are another story. Because this compound is not naturally found in nature, in order to collect this mineral, it must be mined from deposits.
Although this compound has been studied and utilized for various purposes for years, its first use as a registered pest control product wasn't until 1960. Since then, its use has spread throughout the world as one of the safest, most effective means of naturally eliminating a variety of pest issues.
What Products Use Diatomaceous Earth?
Throughout the past several decades, the use of DE has reached into nearly every product. In fact, there are over 150 different products that utilize diatomaceous earth in some fashion. While the majority of products with this compound are solid dust, there are unique formulations where DE is used in pressurized liquids and wet able powders. Outside of the pest control industry, where DE is registered to be an effective treatment for bed bugs, fleas, ticks, spiders and crickets, there is a myriad of non-pesticide products that utilize DE.
Products, such as toothpaste, beverages, medicines, paints, water filters, and certain foods call upon diatomaceous earth; primarily as anti-clumping material. While pest control DE can be harmful if consumed in large doses, "food grade" DE is available. This form of diatomaceous earth must undergo a purification process in order to be safe for human external or internal use.
How Diatomaceous Earth Works Against Insects
Unlike the majority of pesticides, which call upon the extermination power of toxic chemicals, diatomaceous earth is not toxic or poisonous. In order for it to be effective against insects, it does not have to be consumed. Rather, the sharp, glass-like construction of these compounds enter the internal cavities of insects.
Immediately upon contact, DE begins to absorb the fats and oils from the cuticle of the insect exoskeleton. Because of its abrasive texture, absorption occurs at a rapid pace. In the most basic sense, the diatomaceous earth severely dehydrates insects from the inside-out, which results in death. In order for DE to remain effective within its application areas, it must remain dry.
Diatomaceous Earth | Concerns and Considerations
Although this compound is not poisonous if its instructions are not carefully followed it can irritate your skin or respiratory airways. Because of its microscopic nature, the biggest concern is accidental inhalation. To prevent this from occurring, it's best to wear a face mask during the initial application. Because of its abrasive nature, if the dust gets in the eyes it can cause irritation. Therefore, it may be wise to wear goggles. While its drying action can cause skin irritation, washing any exposed skin with water can prevent extreme irritation or dryness.
Should you accidentally swallow diatomaceous earth, you shouldn't be too concerned. Even if a large amount of this compound is internally consumed, very little is actually absorbed by the body. Although crystalline diatomaceous earth can accumulate throughout your lymph nodes and lung tissue, the majority of pesticide products use very small amounts of crystalline DE.
Overall, diatomaceous earth is an exceptionally safe and effective means of controlling a wide array of pests. When compared to most commercially-produced pesticides, its safety, cost-effectiveness, and ease of use far outweigh any potential drawbacks.
Let us at Bed Bug Store assist you. All our products come with a 90-day 100% satisfaction guarantee. We have been relieving customers of their bed bugs for over 15 years. Our products are also 100% all-natural, chemical and pesticide-free. The smell you notice when using our solution, is the fresh scent of peppermint.