I Just Bought the safer brand of diatomaceous earth, which is not the food grade version i believe. Im trying to use it to get rid of centipedes in the house i just moved into. This seems to be the only thing i could find while googling it for 2 days. I plan on spreading this all throughout the home living room, bedrooms, basement, bathroom, everywhere.. so my question is, will it be okay to be in and sleep in the home while this is spread throughout? Also do i vacuum it up after 48 hours?

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    yes, it's basically benign, except when the crystalline particles are airborne. Most commercial preps are mostly amorphous, but you still might want to wear a dust mask while sweeping it up just be cautious. – dandavis Nov 7 '18 at 21:52
  • So sleeping with it spread throughout the home will be okay? – Brandi94 Nov 7 '18 at 23:14
  • it's just chalk dust. My teachers survived sitting by the dusty chalk board for decades. the body is designed to handle mineral dust quite well, so long as it's not something wacky like asbestos, or you are sleeping in a dust cloud because of your hi-velocity sleeping fan, it's benign. there's no vapors or gas, it just settles. – dandavis Nov 8 '18 at 7:23
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    @dandavis, some diatomaceous earth is silica, not chalk (calcium carbonate). Though silica can be damaging to the lungs, as long as the diatomaceous earth is not stirred up, i.e. airborne, it should be OK. – DrMoishe Pippik Nov 9 '18 at 20:06

The danger when handling diatomaceous earth is the dust you don't want to breathe it once it is deposited it settles and there is no more risk until time to vacuum it up. Some swimming pool filters use diatomaceous earth to improve the filter efficiency when pouring it it is best to use a dust mask, I have used it weekly for many years. You don't need the food grade / more expensive type and you can sleep well knowing this is much safer than pesticides in your home, it helps get rid of all kinds of creepy crawlys and can be left indefinatly without negative health risks.

  • +1 for not breathing the dust, which is important. Otherwise it is harmless. – Jeffrey May 17 '19 at 16:17

Some years ago there was an outbreak of super-fleas in Northern California. Literally within a few days, my dog and cat were totally infested, as was my home.

I purchased the “food grade” diatomaceous earth and spread it everywhere. It was necessary to leave it on the carpeted stairs and installed carpeting in the livingroom for a few days in order to ensure effectiveness.

I covered the carpet with cheap tarps from the dollar store, and taped plastic sheeting over the stairs. It remained this way for 3 days before the LONG job of vacuuming it all up.

I covered everything for the safety of my dog and cat, i.e., grooming habits. Also to minimize tracking. None of us exhibited ANY symptoms of anything during or afterwards. The result on the fleas was 100%. Infestation eliminated. I did also treat my animals with veterinary flea medications.

The worst bit was the cleanup. Constant changing and cleaning of filters in the vacuum cleaner. It took two days to get it all up. No adverse effects of any kind.

  • See i didnt get the food grade... i wonder if i should return what i have and get the food grade to ve safe...can it be bought in stores or only online? – Brandi94 Nov 7 '18 at 23:11
  • @Brandi94, do you plan on eating the stuff? Are you worried that the centipedes might get food poisoning from it? Why the focus on food grade? – fixer1234 Nov 8 '18 at 3:13
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    Not to worry you @M.Mat, because I would not worry about it myself, but AFAIK silica exposure illness (silicosis) would be a chronic versus acute presenting condition; in other words you would get sick way later. But normally from repeated occupational over-exposure so don't worry. – Jimmy Fix-it Nov 8 '18 at 3:49
  • Lol no i do not plan on eating it my only concern is it being in the house while im sleeping there it says wear mask with prolonged exposure – Brandi94 Nov 8 '18 at 4:05
  • @JimmyFix-it How precisely is “prolonged exposure” defined? Over hours, days, months years? I feel I took the proper precautions to protect myself and my pets. – M.Mat Nov 8 '18 at 11:06

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