Diatomaceous earth has been used as a natural pest control product for millions of years. Home owners and gardeners have used the fine powder to rid their properties of many types of crawling insects including ants, bedbugs, fleas, cockroaches, silverfish, caterpillars, earwigs, spiders, crickets and slugs, to name a few. Now, food processing plants are finding that food grade diatomaceous earth, combined with heat treatment, works as an excellent, safe and all natural alternative to methyl bromide for controlling insects in their facilities. In fact, studies have shown that even pests that have traditionally been known to be resilient to heat are able to be eliminated with the additional use of diatomaceous earth. What this means for food processing plants is that costs can be reduced by incorporating diatomaceous earth along with heat treatment. Researchers have shown that when diatomaceous earth is used in the process lower temperatures can still attain the same or even better results.
For more information and study results, check out the United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service’s Science Update