What is diatomaceous earth?

Pest Management In and Around Structures March 11, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a geologic deposit of fine, grayish material composed chiefly or wholly of the remains of diatoms; it may occur as a powder or as a porous, rigid material; used in insecticides. To insects DE is a lethal dust with microscopic razor sharp edges. These sharp edges cut through the insect's protective covering drying it out and killing them when they are either dusted with DE or if it applied as a wettable powder spray. If they ingest the DE it will shred their insides.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.