How to Spread Diatomaceous Earth (3 Effective Ways)

salt and pepper shakers

There is not only one way to apply diatomaceous earth, but it all depends on the situation.

Using a salt or pepper shaker is an effective way to apply diatomaceous earth along corners or cracks in your home.

For smaller places in your home or other hard places to reach a simple paintbrush can be helpful to work the diatomaceous earth into a specific area.

Diatomaceous earth comes in loose powder, so it can quickly become a bigger job if you don’t have the right measuring tools to use when you need to apply the diatomaceous earth quickly and easily.

Diatomaceous earth will be most effective when it is dry and being applied because the diatoms will vigorously absorb unwanted spills or smells.

Diatomaceous earth can be applied to wet areas but will only become effective once it dries

Wear gloves, protective goggles, and a face mask, when applying diatomaceous earth in larger quantities and over larger areas. This helps prevent irritation to your skin, eyes, and lungs.

Below we have listed 3 different ways you can apply diatomaceous earth.

Dry application

Diatomaceous earth can be applied dry. A great way to do it when applied in your house, is to use a flour stifter.

You can sprinkle it on your window sills, cabinets, refrigerators, and many other areas in your house without any problems.

However, a flour sifter can also be really useful for a light treatment on a carpet when dealing with insects or other mites.

Wet Application

You can use the wet application method if you need to apply diatomaceous earth on specific areas where dry diatomaceous earth cannot stick.

Mix four tablespoons of diatomaceous earth per gallon of water and afterward apply the mixture in a thick coat on hard surfaces.

An example could be using the wet mixture of diatomaceous earth around your house as a cleaner because it’s very effective.

Other methods

As mentioned first in this article a simple method is using a salt or pepper shaker to apply diatomaceous earth in small places.

Another unique method that works is to use a turkey baster to apply diatomaceous earth along corners or cracks outside or inside your house.

Nylons and mesh bags can be useful as well and work to apply diatomaceous earth as a deodorizer in your home.

It is an effective way to remove any odors from your home that may otherwise be difficult to remove in other ways.

At the same time, it requires nothing more than a little sprinkling of diatomaceous earth.

Is applying Diatomaceous Earth Safe?

Yes – Diatomaceous Earth is safe to apply and it’s a natural product.

The use of diatomaceous earth as pest control or bug control is a safer method than using insecticides.

However, as with anything else that is used to remove something else, precautions must be taken when it is used near people and animals.

When controlling pests inside your home or in your garden with Diatomaceous Earth, remember the following:

  • Avoid skin contact with the powder as diatomaceous earth can dry out your skin with prolonged contact.
  • Wear a mask and gloves. Diatomaceous earth can irritate your eyes and dry out your hands.
  • Avoid contact with pets with the powder as Diatomaceous earth can dry out and cause irritated skin for your pets.

How do you spread diatomaceous earth for bugs?

spread diatomaceous earth with spoon

Use diatomaceous earth as an effective natural insecticide. The sharp microscopic edges lodge can lodge themselves in insects and kill them.

Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around in your home as bug control by using a spoon or a salt shaker, which most people have in their homes. It will kill and get rid of the bugs – both inside and outside your home.

Diatomaceous earth is fantastic and helpful in controlling and killing bed bugs, cockroaches, and other insects in your home.

You can use diatomaceous earth to control fleas and ticks if you have a dog or cat. Sprinkle the power on your dog or cat pet beds.

Be sure to vacuum the powder up again before you let your dog or cat use their pet bed again, to avoid them eating it or coming in contact with the powder in any other way.

Control and combat garden pests by applying diatomaceous earth around your infected plants.

Snails and slugs would not like to cross the barrier when the powder has been applied to the infected plants. The powder will kill other crawling insects on your plants like silverfish and centipedes.

However, it is recommended to not use large amounts of diatomaceous earth in your garden. The powder can kill many innocent animals in your garden that are beneficial, such as ladybugs and many other insects.

Can you spread diatomaceous earth by hand?

spread diatomaceous earth with sifter

Yes, you can spread diatomaceous earth with your hands, but it’s recommended to have gloves on your hands when applying the powder with your hands.

Other things like a salt or pepper shaker, a flour sifter, or even a spoon are more likely recommended to use because the powder can be an irritant to your skin.

As mentioned earlier if you have to apply diatomaceous earth on a larger area, it’s recommended to use gloves, a facemask, and goggles, to protect yourself from the powder and its chemicals

How long is diatomaceous earth effective?

Diatomaceous earth is very effective the barbs make it an effective deterrent against a broad spectrum of different insects.

When a bed bug or other insect treads across the white powder, the little barbed cylinders will penetrate the insect’s body.

This means that diatomaceous earth will work in two different ways, where it both injures the pest and draws out fluid to get it killed.

However, the insects will not die just after contact with the powder, but over a short time.

The short period depends on which type of insects there must be killed. Sometimes it’s effective within 24 hours and sometimes it can take up to 7 days.

Below you can see how effective Diatomaceous earth is on different insects.

  • Black ants – 24 hours
  • Bed bugs – 1-5 days
  • Silverfish – 7-14 days

The chart shows some of the most common types of insects but is effective on many different types of insects.

Cockroaches or fleas can also be controlled or eliminated by continuous use of Diatomaceous earth, which are some of the most common household insects.

However, several factors may influence the success of how diatomaceous earth works on the insects.

The temperature and humidity may affect how successfully the diatomaceous earth will work.

The white powder is highly absorbent to excessive rain and moisture, which can limit effectiveness.

Be aware that diatomaceous earth may be less effective as well if it gets applied too thinly.

Final thoughts

Diatomaceous earth can be spread by using a spoon, or a flour sifter or throughout the dry application, wet application.

It’s safe to apply diatomaceous earth but for your good use a facemask, gloves, and goggles and try to prevent it from hitting your skin, as it can irritate.

You can use your hands to apply the powder, but it’s not recommended.

Diatomaceous Earth is safe to apply for everyone, it’s a natural product and very effective.