How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth

learn how to apply diatomaceous earth

how to apply diatomaceous earth

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Diatomaceous earth is one of the best natural pest repellents in the world? Why? Glad you asked. Diatomaceous earth can kill almost any insect without using chemicals and will not harm the environment, your pets or kids. Knowing diatomaceous earth is effective is only half the battle, we also need to know how to use it. Lets spend a few minutes learning how to apply diatomaceous earth, indoors and outdoors.

Get the Right Tools to Apply Diatomaceous Earth

The two most important tools to apply diatomaceous earth are a mask and a duster (assuming you already purchased diatomaceous earth :-). These are the tools I always keep on hand and use for most of my pest control needs. After ordering these keep reading the info below for tips on how to apply diatomaceous earth.

  • Made with a medal base ande more durable and effective then other plastic models like the: Red JT Eaton Duster or the Black/Chrome JT Eaton Duster
  • This bellow is much easier to compress then competitors products like the stiff and hard model that jt eaton sells
  • This is a new and improved bellow duster best one on the market and more durable than cheap plastic dusters
  • The applicator tube measures 6.50" from the body to the end of the fine tip nozzle
  • Overall dimensions are 10.00” x 2.98” x 4.45”


Once you have a duster you need a dust mask to safely apply diatomaceous earth. The application instructions on most diatomaceous bags call for a dust mask. For brief exposure I found that a basic paper mask works well. If you expect to have prolonged exposure then you might want to look for something more advance such as respirator.

  • Use for adults’ daily travel protection, not suitable for toxic gas environment use.
  • When used properly the mask provides a ≥ 95% filter efficiency and effectively protects respiratory health
  • Use the KN95 mask to protect against PM2. 5, dust pollen and haze proof

How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth Tools Check List

Before applying diatomaceous earth make sure you have the right tools on hand and ready to go. Using the list below will help you kill moree bugs with less effort, use less diatomaceous eath, and keep you and your family safe.

  • Wear a Mask
  • Use a duster
  • Apply it sparingly
  • Keep it away from from pets and kids

Diatomaceous Earth is generally considered a safe and effective way to get rid of ticks and fleas along with many other pests. Since it does not contain any chemicals diatomaceous earth is one of the best natural pest repellents.

Three Types of Diatomaceous Earth

The first thing to know about diatomaceous earth is that there are three types. If you are using diatomaceous earth for pest control use food grade or a brand intended for pest control. Pool grade diatomaceous earth contains crystalline silica. Crystalline silica is extremely dangerous when inhaled so avoid this unless you are using it for a pool filter.

  1. Food Grade
  2. Pest Control Grade
  3. Pool Grade

While pool grade diatomaceous earth is extremly dangerous when inhalled even food grade diatomaceous earth can be dangerous if inhaled. The same fine particles that kill insects can damage your lungs, so wear a mask when applying diatomaceous earth.

Now that you have the right type of diatomaceous earth lets discuss how to apply diatomaceous earth indoors.

How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth Indoors

To apply diatomaceous earth indoors sprinkle it under and around the base boards and other areas you saw insects. Insects like to hide throughout the house in areas such as cracks and crevices, under refrigerators, cabinets, kitchen stoves, garbage containers, under sinks, and in window sills. Don’t forget areas you may not frequent such as the attic and basements. In all of these areas apply a fine layer of diatomaceous earth.

Use A Duster to Apply Diatomaceous Earth

When applying diatomaceous earth most people will shake a small amount out of the bag or a plastic container. However this method can result in an uneven covering and using more than is needed. Applying too thick of a layer could actually deter insects from crawling through it. You want to create a super thin film or dusting, not a pile. To create an even layer and conserve your diatomaceous earth consider using a duster.

apply a thin film of diatomaceous earth indoors A thin film or dusting of diatomaceous earth is all thats needed.

In addition its longer nozzle allows you to apply diatomaceous earth in hard to reach places like under the frig, and under floor molding. All the places bugs like to hide! What also separates this model from the competition is its construction. It has a large internal spring that helps suck in the maximum amount of air and keep its shape. In fact the internal spring is so stiff you may need to use two hands until you break it in.

How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth Outdoors

Applying diatomaceous earth outdoors is similar to similar to indoor use. You want to apply a fine film to areas insects frequent such as door frames, patios, under decks, along foundations, along trails and near out buildings. I have found it effective to apply diatomaceous earth to the perimeter of my house. Again the duster makes this MUCH easier. Recently I have also discovered that diatomaceous earth can be effective fighting ground hornets. Its takes a few applications and a quick hand but it will eventually get rid of them. Since diatomaceous earth absorbs water you will need to reapply it after rain, a heavy dew or in high humidity.

how to apply diatomaceous earth outdoors

If you are using a duster I would also suggest using a funnel. Pouring diatomaceous earth directly into the duster can be a bit tricky and lead to spills with waste your diatomace earth. If you do use a funnel also be careful not to overfill the funnel, you only need a small amount in the duster. Also keep in mind that when using diatomaceous earth outdoors it kills nearly all insects, such as honey bees. This is an important fact to remember so as not to harm more insects then necessary. So avoid flower beds if possible.

How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth in Your Garden

Every gardener knows that sinking feeling of finding chewed up leaves and half eaten veggies in the garden. One of the best ways to deal with this is to use a diatomaceous earth duster to apply a fine film around your plants. If you want to apply diatomaceous earth directly on your plants consider using food grade diatomaceous earth.

How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth Wet

When using diatomaceous earth outdoors it can also be applied wet. This may seem counter intuitive since its not effective when wet. However when mixed with water and sprayed it can stick to plants and vertical surfaces. Then when it dries its as good as ever. To Apply diatomaceous earth wet simply mix two table spoons of diatomaceous earth to a gallon of water.

After mixing diatomaceous earth with water you will need a hose end sprayer to apply it. These often come with fertlizer packs such a miracle grow. If you do not have one check out the Chapin International hose end sprayer on Amazon.

Out Door Diatomaceous Earth Sprayer

  • Fits onto any hose end
  • Metering Dial for Fertilizer, Herbicides, and Garden Pesticides
  • Built-in Anti-Siphon feature prevents backflow
  • Adjustable rate precision dial offers 16 mixing ratios

Use Caution

When applying diatomaceous earth indoors or out be careful to not breathe in the dust. Even the dust from food grade diatomaceous earth can cause long term damage to your lungs. Extra attention is needed when applying diatomaceous earth indoors.

You should avoid applying it to areas where it could be disturbed by wind, a fan or the ventilation system. If you need to apply it in windows sills or door ways make sure they are closed to avoid diatomaceous earth being blow around. To protect yourself from the inhaling the dust wear a mask you should also consider wearing a mask.

Without question diatomaceous earth is one of the most natural and most effective natural pest repellents. Using the application methods in this article will help you get rid of insects and stay safe. If your using diatomaceous earth to fight ticks and fleas check out our full articles on How to Get Rid of Fleas and Ticks.

We'll leave you with a video on how to apply diatomaceous earth.


Now learn How to Get Rid of TIcks Naturally.