Frequent Questions

Do Not Use Food or Pool-Grade Diatomaceous Earth for Bed Bugs

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is composed mainly of the cell walls of diatoms, which are made mostly of silicon dioxide. There are different naturally occurring forms of silicon dioxide. The silicon dioxide in EPA-registered DE pesticides comes from fossilized diatoms and is amorphous silicon dioxide. (There may be very low levels of crystalline silicon dioxide present, as well). Pool and food-grade silicon dioxide may be crystalline or amorphous silicon dioxide and may be from fossil diatom deposits or manufactured. The issue is the potential inhalation of crystalline silicone dioxide, which has long been associated with silicosis. Silicosis is a progressive lung disease, which may result in lung cancer in humans. Amorphous silicon dioxide used in EPA-registered pesticides has not been associated with silicosis.

Therefore, it is important to use the registered products, which EPA has reviewed and approved for residential and commercial use. These products provide appropriate directions for use and protection of people and the environment. Always read and follow the EPA-approved label directions.

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