6 Steps On How To Use Diatomaceous Earth For Roaches

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Cockroaches are not only an unsightly pest, but they can also be difficult to get rid of. Thinking of a Diatomaceous Earth for Roaches combination? It’s a good choice for this pest. There are various methods you can use to try and get rid of them, but many of them involve the use of toxic chemicals. 

However, there are also organic methods that you can use to help prevent cockroaches from entering your home in the first place, like DE. When ingested, it will dehydrate the cockroach and eventually kill it.

However, because DE is lethal to roaches, keeping it away from pets and children is important. It’s also important to note that diatomaceous earth only works if the cockroaches ingest it. As it will have no effect if they walk through it or contact it.

Please continue reading to find out more about it. 

3 Types Of Diatomaceous Earth

There are three types of Diatomaceous Earth: food-grade, filter-grade, and DE with insecticide. It’s important to know that not all diatomaceous earth is the same, and some can be dangerous to humans if ingested. Make sure you’re buying the right product for your needs and home.


Diatomaceous earth also known as diatomite mixed in glass of water, good for human body detox concept.

Food-grade diatomaceous earth is a natural product that is safe for humans. It is made up of tiny, fossilized creatures called diatoms.

These creatures have a hard shell that can scratch the exoskeletons of insects, causing them to die. Food grade DE is used in various ways, including as an insecticide and as a food additive.

Diatomaceous Earth contains 0.5-2% crystalline silica, a harmful substance to roaches and other pests. DE can be used as a cuticle treatment to kill roaches and other pests, or it can be used as a powder to prevent them from entering your home.


Diatomaceous earth also known as diatomite mixed in glass jar and wood spoon on gray background, studio shot.

Diatomaceous earth is a sedimentary rock made up of the fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of algae. You can also use it for filtration, abrasion, and agriculture.

Filter-grade DE has around 60% of crystalline silica, making it extremely dangerous for humans and furry friends. Food-grade DE is much safer and does not contain as much crystalline silica.

On the other hand, filter-grade diatomaceous earth is used in various ways. Mainly, it is used as a filtering agent to make dynamite and pool filters. In addition, it contains 2% Silica. This type of diatomaceous earth effectively kills cockroaches safely around humans.

DE With Insecticide

diatomaceous earth for roaches

Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance that can be used to kill cockroaches. When combined with pesticides, it becomes more effective.

However, remember that this type of diatomaceous earth should not be used around children or pets, as it can be harmful. You could also use this type of DE on plants or outside to get rid of pests.

Does diatomaceous earth kill cockroaches?

calcium oxide, also called quicklime, quicklime. Industrial product used in construction
diatomaceous earth roaches

In short, diatomaceous earth for cockroaches is lethal to all insects with an exoskeleton. It includes cockroaches, ants, and silverfish. When ingested, the diatomaceous earth will absorb the moisture from the insect’s body. Leading to death by desiccation over a few days or weeks.

It is a popular option for pest control because it is non-toxic to humans and pets. In addition, diatomaceous earth is used to treat medical conditions such as asthma, Lyme disease, and cancer.

Insects with a large surface area to body ratio and are covered in hair are the most vulnerable to diatomaceous earth. The microscopic razor-sharp edges of the diatomite particles kill the cockroaches by cutting them open as they crawl over them.

DE is a natural substance that comes from the fossilized remains of algae. When ingested, it kills insects by dehydrating them. While it is not a guarantee that all cockroaches will be eliminated, using diatomaceous earth can be an effective way to control these pests.

What does Diatomaceous earth do to kill a cockroach?

The German cockroach (Blattella germanica)

Diatomaceous earth comes in the form of a white powder made from fossilized remains of aquatic organisms that have become diatoms.

It kills by absorbing the oils and fats from their exoskeletons, leading to dehydration and death. 90% of the chemical is silica, making it an effective desiccant for roaches.

To kill cockroaches, you need to understand how they work. Cockroaches’ exoskeletons are their first line of defense against predators and environmental stressors.

Diatomaceous earth has a microscopic honeycomb structure that can slough through the roach’s protective shell.

Once it breaches the outer layer, the diatomaceous earth chips away at the lipids of the outer layer and causes them to become vulnerable to predation.

Diatomaceous Earth and Roaches: What You Need to Know Before Using

DE is a natural product that can be used to kill cockroaches. It takes days or weeks for diatomaceous earth to kill cockroaches. As the powder needs time to get into their system and choke them out slowly.

There are factors such as time and the size of the roach that will determine how long it takes for DE to kill them.

Diatomaceous earth has no immediate effect on killing cockroaches. But it is a more humane way of getting rid of them than using pesticides.

When it comes to diatomaceous earth and roaches, there are a few things you need to know before using it: 

Where You Apply The Powder (Area)

Cockroache dead on nature background.

When using diatomaceous earth to get rid of roaches, it is important to remember that the powder must come into direct contact with the insects to be effective. You can spread the powder around your home where you think the roaches are hiding.

But it would help if you also focused on areas where they will come into contact with it such as near doorways and windows. The powder is sprinkled everywhere that cockroaches travel. It includes walls, corners, cracks in molding, and paths along the base.

Cockroach Size

When this powder comes into contact with cockroaches, it kills them by dehydrating them. However, the size of the cockroach determines how fast it will die from diatomaceous earth. German cockroaches take longer to die than American cockroaches do.

Colony Size

Many dead cockroach, dirty insect texture background

When using any poison to kill cockroaches, it is important to understand the colony size. The DE poison will take some time to spread and kill all the roaches.

A small amount of powder may only kill 2-4 roaches, but not 100+. Additionally, when using diatomaceous earth, it is important to know that it will kill 2-4 roaches, but not 100+.

How To Use Diatomaceous Earth For Roaches: A Step-by-Step Method of Getting Rid of Cockroaches

Step 1: Clean and dry the space of the DE applicator

For diatomaceous earth to effectively kill cockroaches, it needs to be dry. If you decide to clean the area before applying DE, give the area a few minutes to dry. To reduce high humidity, use fans.

Step 2: Spread a thin coating

You can mix roach killer DE with some flour and cocoa powder. Use this as an extra addition to the pest control substances.

When cockroaches walk through it, the DE cuts into their skin, and they die from dehydration. It is important to spread a thin coating on areas where you have seen signs of roach infestation.

Step 3: DE powder duster the roaches’ entry points

It is essential for dusting DE inside tiny crawl spaces where they can hide. For instance, dusting some in storage, trash cans, and other main traffic areas. Don’t directly use it with your hands for dusting.

Instead, make a difference harmless experience by warping your hand in a towel. Then, dusting on openings of holes and other label crevices. You can also dust outside of these areas, but be sure not to breathe in the dust! 

Step 4: Treat inside wall voids.

There is a high chance that roaches are hiding in the walls of your home. You will need to use a duster bottle to blow the diatomaceous earth through the hole to treat them. You can find the full recipe for one 15oz can (about 2 cups and 450g) online.

Step 5: Try diatomaceous earth outside the house.

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a highly natural substance that can be used to prevent roaches from nesting. It is a similar pest prevention method to be used outside. DE will hide roaches and prevent them from getting in.

To use DE for pest control is by sprinkling it around the outside of your house. Wear a mask and goggles, as DE can be harmful if inhaled.

Step 6: Repeat the same work process as pest control for roaches

Once you have completed the initial five steps, it is important to repeat them at least once a week.

The repetition you will need to do this depends on the conditions- if it rains or seems too humid, you will need to reapply the diatomaceous earth. If there is a large infestation, you will need to dust twice a week.

How long does it take for diatomaceous earth to kill roaches and bugs?

dead cockroach lean Top view

Diatomaceous earth is a type of powder that is deadly to bugs and roaches when it contacts them.

But how long does diatomaceous earth take to kill roaches? Although diatomaceous earth is non-toxic to humans, it takes varying amounts of time to eradicate a cockroach problem.

DE will take longer than most poisons and pesticides to kill the roaches, but it is an effective, natural solution. It can take a few days for the DE to kill all pests, but it will eventually work.

Does diatomaceous earth kill German roaches?

Yes, diatomaceous earth is an effective means of cockroach control. It kills all cockroaches: American, German, Oriental, and brown-banded.

When it comes in contact with the exoskeleton of a cockroach, the powder scratches and cuts into their skin, leading to dehydration and death. It can target any cockroach, even those that have become resistant to other forms of poison.


In response to the query, “Does diatomaceous earth kill roaches?”, diatomaceous earth is a safe and easy way to get rid of roaches. You can safely use it around children and pets without any issues. It’s very effective in getting rid of these pests. Diatomaceous earth is a great way to get rid of cockroaches, and it’s a preventative measure, too.

Once the DE is in their environment, the roaches won’t know what hit them. Diatomaceous earth is a chemical compound that can be used to kill cockroaches for decades. It is potent and will retain its effectiveness over time if left untouched.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.