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Diatomaceous Earth for Roaches

Person holding a dead cockroach

Roaches are common in the US especially in the arid climates of the southwest and other parts of the US. They are attracted to food that has not been stored properly or left out to be cleaned at another time.  Pest control companies make a majority of their profits ridding cockroach infestations.  Roaches, like many other insects, are becoming immune to pesticides, fumigation, and other treatments while the cost of these treatments continues to climb.  I mean, ROACHES CAN SURVIVE A NUCLEAR BLAST!  So chemicals are out of the question in regards to controlling a cockroach infestation.  Does diatomaceous earth kill roaches?  It certainly does and at the same time is NOT toxic to children and pets!  Diatomaceous Earth for cockroaches is an organic  option to protect your family from poisons and to rid this disgusting insect from your home.  This product works to get rid of roaches of all species.  Remember not to use filter grade as that contains a very high amount of crystalline silica which can be harmful if inhaled.  Getting crawling insect control diatomaceous earth is safe for humans and pets.

What to expect in this article:

How to Identify a Cockroach


American cockroaches are a reddish-brown when they becomes adults. The adults have wings and can fly but the nymphs cannot.  Nymphs are the stage after the egg hatches and are white to begin but darken as time goes by.  They also reach around 1.5 to 2 inches long as adults.

Cockroach  Behavior & Life Cycle

Cockroach Life Cycle

Cockroaches generally prefer warm, humid, dark areas and like to live in groups rather than fend for it by themselves.  The American cockroach is seen much more in the southern parts of the United States where it is warm.  Cockroaches can live for a a couple of months up to a couple of years depending on the variety.  The female American cockroach can lay and produce 800 new cockroaches within a year.  When an egg hatches a nymph is produced and it molts many times before becoming an adult.  Cockroaches will eat anything including paper, clothes, and even wood!

How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth to Kill Roaches

American Cockroach

Diatomaceous Earth de works to kill a cockroach problem by dehydrating them to death, whereas with poisons you have to wait for the residual effect to kill them by toxicity.  As long as a roach comes into contact with the powder and it gets on its exoskeleton, it is just a matter of time before it dies from the stress of dehydration.  We highly recommend you get the Pest Pistol Powder Duster & the Diatomaceous Earth Dispenser to help apply diatomaceous earth correctly.  Please read and follow these steps to ensure you know how to apply diatomaceous earth to kill roaches!

Indoor Application Instructions

Step 1:  Clean, clean, clean! Good sanitation chores everyday will be your best defense against a roach infestation! That chip that fell behind the couch could have brought them in! When cleaning your home, look for cockroaches and mark the places they like to hide or stay with a piece of colored tape or post-it note. Be sure to check around cracks and crevices with a flashlight.

Step 2:  Get your vacuum out and make sure to make a second pass in every room to ensure that the carpeting is very clean. Again making maintaining this cleaning method is your best defense. When causing go the extra step and move your furniture to be sure all areas including under furniture is vacuumed thoroughly.

Step 3:  Damp areas are a no no when trying to apply Diatomaceous Earth as it needs to be dry to be effective against ANY crawling insect.  Using any type of caulk, sealant, or silicone, be sure to seal up any and cracks under sinks, bathroom, near baseboards, or around doors that have poor or missing weather stripping. This fix is permanent and would be a good time to take care of these small cosmetic glitches.  It will keep the roaches out and that is what matters the most in this situation.

Step 4:  This is the step where you need to start applying de and if you have not finished cleaning your house to a sparkly shine, please do so before you apply.  Areas with an even, light, and visible application needs to be applied to as follows…

Behind baseboards, wall sockets (be sure to take the plates off, light switches (be sure to take the plates off), under appliances, under sinks, cracks or crevices, wall voids, and where food is commonly dropped and forgotten about. Please use the Pest Pistol Powder Duster to aid you in getting this powder in those locations. Leave applied for 7 days and then repeat steps 1-4 every week for 1 month.

Step 5:  Apply Diatomaceous Earth around the outside foundation of your home. Be sure to go out at least 1 foot from the start of your foundation to ensure proper protection from these bugs and other crawling insects as well. Whether you live in a dry or damp area this is an important step in making sure the roaches come into contact with it before they have a chance to enter the home. This will not deter them from entering but they will not live as long and the hope is that is will dehydrate them for instance before they lay eggs. Leave down for 7 days or after a rain.  Reapply and keep applied for 1 month just being sure the product is applied in a light, even, and visible fashion.

Step 6 (Optional):  A crawl space can be a breeding ground for roaches (limited human contact) and needs to be treated as well.  Take 3-5lbs of Diatomaceous Earth and pile it near the entrance. Using a leaf blower or similar machine, point at the pile and blow the powder into the crawlspace. Please give it 15 minutes to settle and then visually inspect the crawlspace being sure it is coated.  If not, be sure to repeat this process directing the powder to the location where it is not applied to.

**AS a preventative measure you may also apply and keep diatomaceous earth under and in baseboards, electrical outlets, cracks and crevices, and any entry point into your home .  Keep there as long as it is dry.  Reapply when not visible.

Modern Watch

How Long Does it Take to Kill a Cockroach Infestation with Diatomaceous Earth?

Every single case of a cockroach infestation is different.  The length of time to kill the infestation really depends on the severity of the infestation.  If you have an out of control infestation that has been going on for years, expect to take longer.  The average time of application needed to kill the infestations is between 2-4 weeks.  We base this time frame off of customer feedback and trial and error.  Once an insect comes into contact with Diatomaceous Earth, it gets stuck on their exoskeleton.  As they move, it starts to scratch away at that coating.  Once broken through, it sucks the body fluids from the cockroach, killing it.

What Diatomaceous Earth do I Use to Kill Roaches?

There are very few items that you really need to get the job done.  For starters we recommend these two bundles below.  The crawling insect control diatomaceous earth shares the exact composition of the food grade de, but contains an EPA label to register it as a legal pesticide.  Without absorbing the us food drug administration, we are forced to ensure labeling requirements are followed as set forth by the governing bodies of the EPA and FDA.  Our JT Eaton Red Insecticide Duster works well to get the product in cracks and crevices and hard to reach areas.  The Diatomaceous Earth Dispenser helps you apply evenly without the worry of missing a spot, making the application too thick, or preventing an easy chore when you clean up diatomaceous earth.

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