Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Natural Insecticide

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Natural Insecticide

Why use diatomaceous earth?

Diatomaceous earth is a natural insecticide and acaricide which can be used to control a wide range of crawling pests. It is an ideal preventative treatment with persistent effect. The silicon dioxide active ingredient does not degrade after application therefore giving good persistence in the treated area.  

Diatomaceous earth does not have a chemical mode of action, its efficacy is unaffected by the level of tolerance or resistance to chemical insecticides. Easy to apply, it is an ideal component of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy against a number of pests in a range of situations.  


Why use InsectoSec diatomaceous earth?

InsectoSec is approved for use as a biocide in the UK. Its pure diatomaceous earth formulation has been proven to control a range of crawling insect and mite species.  

  • Approved for use in UK as a biocide under BPR
  • Approved for use by British Egg Industry Council (BEIC) for Lion Mark poultry production
  • High grade diatomaceous earth with tightly maintained production process
  • Proven efficacy against crawling insect and mite pests
  • Can be safely used around stock animals and workers


Not all diatomaceous earths are made equal

It has been shown that difference in efficacy can vary by as much as 20x depending on the diatomaceous earth product used. Commercial formulations of diatomaceous earth can differ in two ways: source of the diatomite and how this is processed into diatomaceous earth.  

1. Source of mined material

2. Production process

Both of these have a significant effect on the characteristics and therefore the performance of a product containing diatomaceous earth. Not all diatomaceous earths are the same. InsectoSec is registered and approved for use in the UK as a biocide insecticide and acaricide. To obtain this status InsectoSec has been demonstrated to give high and consistent performance with a defined and maintained production process. InsectoSec has also had its safety to users, bystanders, stock animals and potential consumers studied.  


Not all diatomaceous earths are equal. A selection of diatomaceous earths available in the UK showing a range of colours and textures


What is diatomaceous earth?

InsectoSec (diatomaceous earth) is a natural insecticide. It can be used to control a range of crawling pest insects and mites including ants, woodlice, silverfish, bedbugs, fleas and poultry mite.  

Applied as a powder it is dusted over areas insects are known to be active of puffed into hiding places such as cracks.  

Diatomaceous earth (DE) works by purely physical action. Once in contact with the insect it absorbs the oils from the surface of the insect which the insects rely upon to prevent itself drying out. When these oils have been removed by the diatomaceous earth the insect is unable to retain moisture, dries out and dies. InsectoSec has no dour, does not contain any pesticide and does not leave a chemical residue.  


Diatomaceous earth can be sourced from many different locations

Different sources of mined diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth powder is made from naturally occurring diatomite which is mined from the ground. The location from where the diatomite is collected significantly affects the composition of the diatomaceous earth. With over 10,000 species of diatoms currently described and the diatomite deposits having been laid down between 150 and 20 million years ago from either fresh or salt water bodies, there is significant in their structure. The different diatom species have a varying ability to kill insects and the rock deposits also vary in their purity with other minerals and clays often also incorporated.  


Different production processes of diatomaceous earth

Diatomite is milled as part of the production process and some products may also be heat treated. The milling affects both the particle size and also size distribution. It has been shown that the highest level of efficacy is given by diatomaceous earths with a certain particle size. Milling also has the potential to damage the diatoms so reducing their ability to kill the target insects.  


How to use InsectoSec diatomaceous earth

InsectoSec is a powder formulation and is ready to be applied as a dust directly to the area intended to be treated.  

InsectoSec is approved for the control of a wide range of crawling insects and mites. This diverse category of target pests includes poultry mite (LINK), fleas, silverfish and ants. Diatomaceous earth should be used in an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program alongside other tools such as good animal husbandry, hygiene practices and potentially other products either targeting other life-stages of the pest or in rotation to help manage the development of resistance to chemical insecticides and acaricides.  


Benefits to the environment

Diatomite used to make diatomaceous earth is a mined material. It is important to the Andermatt Group that this is collected and processed in the most sustainable way possible. Use of a natural material to control pest insects and mites reduces the amount of synthetic chemical insecticide and acaricide which has to be released into the environment.  

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