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  • Writer's pictureAndy Hemmer

Does Diatomaceous Earth Repel Ants?

Updated: Feb 21

Ant invasions can be a persistent annoyance, but what if there was a natural solution right at your fingertips to get rid of ants? Enter diatomaceous earth (DE), a versatile substance with a range of applications, including the potential to repel ants. In this blog post, we'll explore the effectiveness of diatomaceous earth to kill ants and how it acts as a natural ant deterrent and how you can use diatomaceous to kill ants.

ants on a plate

Understanding Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural product derived from fossilized diatoms, which are tiny aquatic organisms with skeletons made of silica. This fine powder is composed of sharp, microscopic edges that can be harmful to small insects. DE is often used in gardening, pest control, and even as a supplement for pets and animals!

Does Diatomaceous Earth Repel Ants? The Answer is Yes!

But how does diatomaceous earth work to kill ants? Diatomaceous earth acts as a desiccant, meaning it absorbs moisture from the exoskeleton of insects, ultimately dehydrating and killing them. The sharp edges of DE also contribute to its effectiveness by causing abrasions that further speed up the dehydration process. This mechanism is particularly effective against pests with exoskeletons, such as ants.

Using Diatomaceous Earth for Ant Control

To use diatomaceous earth for ant control, follow these steps:

  1. Identify Ant Trails: Locate the areas where ants are entering your home and trace their trails.

  2. Apply Diatomaceous Earth: Sprinkle a thin layer of diatomaceous earth along ant trails, entry points like window sills and doors, and areas where you've noticed ant activity. Be sure to focus on dry surfaces, as DE loses its effectiveness when wet.

  3. Reapply as Needed: DE's effectiveness diminishes over time, especially in areas with high humidity. Reapply the powder as needed to maintain its potency.

  4. Monitor and Adjust: Keep an eye on ant activity and adjust the application as necessary. If ants persist, you may need to combine DE with other pest control methods.

Benefits of Using Diatomaceous Earth

  1. Natural and Non-Toxic: DE is a natural substance that is safe for humans and pets, making it an attractive alternative to chemical pesticides.

  2. Versatile: In addition to repelling ants, diatomaceous earth can also be effective against other crawling insects like cockroaches, fleas, and beetles.

  3. Long-Lasting: While DE may need occasional reapplication, it generally provides long-lasting protection against pests.


Diatomaceous earth can be a valuable tool in your arsenal against ant invasions. Its natural and non-toxic properties, coupled with its abrasive and desiccating effects, make it an attractive option for those seeking environmentally friendly pest control solutions. However, it's essential to understand that DE is not a silver bullet. Combining its use with good hygiene practices, sealing entry points, and addressing the root cause of ant infestations will contribute to a more comprehensive and effective pest control strategy. For a more in depth look at diatomaceous for ants, be sure to click the link!

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