How Long Does Diatomaceous Earth Take To Kill Mites?

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Diatomaceous earth (DE) is used as a pesticide. It is used to kill mites, spiders, ants, etc. But how long does diatomaceous earth take to kill mites? Diatomaceous earth affects the exoskeletons of insects and absorbs the oils and fats from their exoskeletons.

The time taken by the Diatomaceous earth to kill insects differs as it depends on different factors. Diatomaceous earth (DE) is widely used in homes as it is easily available, cheap, and harmless for users.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is non-poisonous and harmless to use. You can even use diatomaceous earth inside your houses, pets, plants, etc. Diatomaceous Earth (DE) only affects insects that have an exoskeleton.

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is natural and free from any form of chemicals. Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is also useful in farming, but it also kills the insects that are helpful for plant growth. That is why farmers use Diatomaceous Earth (DE).

How Long Does Diatomaceous Earth Take To Kill Mites?

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) never kills the dust mites instantly, as absorbing the fluids from the exoskeleton of dust mites takes some time.

The time taken by Diatomaceous Earth to kill insects varies, and it depends on the particle size of Diatomaceous Earth (DE), humidity, temperature, insect type, and more.

How Long Does Diatomaceous Earth Take To Kill Mites?

For better effectiveness, leave diatomaceous earth (DE) at a certain place for at least one week. Diatomaceous earth takes about 24 hours to kill dust mites.

The effect of diatomaceous earth is slow but long-lasting. For best results, repeat the process every seven days. Diatomaceous earth (DE) takes about 24 hours to kill bedbugs. That’s why during rain, it becomes less effective.

What is diatomaceous earth?

Fossilized algae, after sedimentation, form a powder-like structure in the water that is called Diatomaceous Earth (DE). Algal cells have a high concentration of silica.

Similarly, the powdered form of silica, diatomaceous earth, is also rich in silica. Diatomaceous earth is found all over the world.

diatomaceous earth

In the early days of humanity, the Greeks used diatomaceous earth to form building materials like bricks and blocks. Later, diatomaceous earth (DE) was used for various industrial purposes in Europe.

Diatomaceous earth can treat constipation, and high cholesterol improves the health of the skin, bones, nails, teeth, hair, and more if taken by mouth as a supplementary food.

Uses of diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous Earth
  • Diatomaceous Earth (DE) can remove unwanted dead skin cells when applied to the skin. It can also clean teeth when used for brushing.
  • One of the best uses of diatomaceous earth (DE) is to remove unwanted materials from drinking water.
  • It can be used as a water purifier.
  • It is used as insulation in industries.
  • It is also used as a cleaner for spills.
  • It can also prevent the formation of lumps in foods, medicine, paints, and plastics.
  • An insecticide is one of the best uses for diatomaceous earth (DE).
  • Diatomaceous earth can be used to kill different types of insects that cause harm in houses.
  • It can also be used for killing the fleas of livestock.

How Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Dust Mites?

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is not poisonous. That is why you can consume it. But the exoskeleton of dust mites, flies, and other insects is sensitive to Diatomaceous Earth (DE).

When insects like dust mites and flies come in contact with the Diatomaceous Earth (DE), Diatomaceous Earth (DE) absorbs oils and fats present in the exoskeleton’s cuticles and dry out the insects.

How To Use Diatomaceous Earth For Dust Mites?

Application of diatomaceous earth is very easy. You have to make a thin layer of diatomaceous earth and put it in the places where you want to get rid of the dust mites, like carpets, furniture, lawns, gardens, etc.

You can also use a powder spreader, which you can buy from a hardware shop. For best results, as Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is highly absorbent and sensitive to humidity, the place should be completely dry.

Before applying the Diatomaceous Earth (DE), make sure to check the forecast for any possible rain for the next two to three days. If it rains or there is any water contact within two days, you have to reapply to the Diatomaceous Earth (DE).

How To Apply Diatomaceous Earth (DE) For Flies?

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) applied to plants

The best way to apply Diatomaceous Earth (DE) to flies is with the help of livestock, as flies are most active during cold weather. So you have to apply Diatomaceous Earth (DE) by making thin layers of paste on the area with livestock.

Make sure the area is hygienic and clean. You can also apply Diatomaceous Earth (DE) directly on the ground where flies are more active or with more populations. As a certain path does not bind flies, they are hard to kill against the Diatomaceous Earth (DE); you can make a spray to kill flies with some ease.

How To Apply Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Outdoors and In The Garden?

You can also use diatomaceous earth outside of your home. You have to make a paste of diatomaceous earth (DE) by adding water.

As, normally insects like bugs, fleas, and pests lie their eggs outside the home, if you want to get rid of these insects for a longer period, you can use Diatomaceous Earth outside your home.

As Diatomaceous Earth is only effective when it is dry when used outside the home, you have to use it with water but only after it gets dry. It will be only effective when it gets dried out. The best way to use Diatomaceous Earth is spray when used outside of the home.

How to Make Diatomaceous Earth Spray?

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Spray is very useful for instant use. You can make the spray diatomaceous earth (DE) by following the steps given below:

  • You have to take 2 cups of water with every 1/2 cup of Diatomaceous Earth (DE).
  • Mix these two thoroughly in a bottle apply a water spray at the cap.
  • As Diatomaceous Earth (DE) settles down after some time, that is why you have to shake it well when you are using it.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Spray

How To Apply Diatomaceous Earth For Bedbugs?

Bedbugs are very common in our houses. Bedbugs love warm places. They are mostly found in clothes, beds, furniture, sofa, etc. Our bodies provide constant food to the Bedbugs. Follow these simple steps to use Diatomaceous Earth (DE) against the bedbugs.

  • Wash all the fabrics present in your home.
  • Then apply the Diatomaceous Earth (DE) carefully all over the places where the bed drops are present.
  • Clean your home with a vacuum cleaner.
  • The use of Diatomaceous Earth (DE) every week can eliminate the bedbugs from every corner of the home.

Side-effects of diatomaceous earth:

The use of diatomaceous earth (DE) is not fully risk-free for human beings. When diatomaceous earth (DE) is used in large quantities, it can create a variety of major difficulties.

  • They can cause irritation of the throat if inhaled.
  • In severe circumstances, long-term exposure to Diatomaceous Earth (DE) can result in the development of lung cancer.
  • It is possible that prolonged contact with Diatomaceous Earth (DE) can irritate the skin and perhaps cause it to become injured.


Diatomaceous Earth is a human-friendly pesticide. It can only show the effect on insects having exoskeleton makes this an important need in day-to-day life. You cannot use Diatomaceous Earth on your pet’s dogs and cats without any worries as it will affect the pets rather than kill the insects causing harm to the pets.

Diatomaceous Earth is cheap and easily available in different places. Readymade sprays and pastes of Diatomaceous Earth are also available in the market.

You can also use it on crops to get rid of the insects harming the production of the crops. But the use of Diatomaceous Earth (DE) on crops can also kill farmer-friendly insects. That’s why the use of Diatomaceous Earth (DE) on crops is avoided.

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.