Use Diatomaceous Earth to Get Rid of Mice

Are you bothered with mice in your garden or home? Worry no more! You will learn how to use diatomaceous earth to get rid of mice and other rodents.

You will need food-grade diatomaceous earth and essential oils to create a potent repellent that keeps mice away from your property. This method is effective, chemical-free, and humane.

Read on to find out how to make an essential oil-infused diatomaceous earth mixture for repelling mice. We will also highlight other uses of this natural substance.

Does Diatomaceous Earth Keep Mice Away?

diatomaceous earth powder and in water
Diatomaceous earth powder and in water | Credit: marekuliasz /

Yes. Diatomaceous earth can effectively drive away mice, rats, moles, voles, and other rodents. It is a natural way of keeping your garden or yard free from these stubborn pests. Compared to essential oils, diatomaceous earth is more efficient in warding off rodents.

Diatomaceous earth kills bugs and pests by dehydrating them to death. But it is the smell that repels mice and other rodents. It is an effective pest control substance because of its abrasive and physio-sorptive properties.

Diatomaceous earth is dust with microscopic sharp edges. These cut through the protective membranes or bugs or mice, leading to drying out. This approach to controlling mice and other rodents is efficient because the pests cannot develop resistance against it.

What Is Diatomaceous Earth? (DE)

Diatomaceous earth is fossilized remains of aquatic organisms such as ancient, sea-dwelling algae. Their skeletons are made of silica. These accumulate in sediments of rivers, oceans, seas, lakes, and streams, where they are mined and ground into fine powder.

Diatomaceous earth mostly comes from amorphous silicon dioxide. A pesticide with that compound was first made in 1960 and effectively killed insects and mites.

Where Does Diatomaceous Earth Come From?

Diatomaceous earth is ancient phytoplankton found in sedimentary rocks. It is mined for various applications in the industries. The main constituents of diatomaceous earth include the following:

  • 33% silicon
  • 19% calcium
  • 2% iron
  • 5% sodium
  • 3% magnesium.

This product comes in many grades for different purposes. The one we use in our gardens to drive away bugs and rodents is the food-grade diatomaceous earth.

food grade diatomaceous earth supplement on a spoon
Food grade diatomaceous earth supplement on a spoon | Credit: marekuliasz /

How Long Has DE Been Around?

Diatomaceous earth was discovered in 1836 by a German called Peter Kasten. His discovery was accidental when he was sinking a well. Little was known about the white, powdery substance he discovered, and its use in making pesticides only started in 1960.

How Do You Use Diatomaceous Earth to Get Rid of Mice?

Diatomaceous earth is one of the most effective pesticides you can find on the market. It is natural and considered humane. However, you should know how to mix and use it. This powdery substance is mixed with peppermint and lemon citrus essential oil to make a more potent natural rodent repellent.

We will outline the steps you should take to mix it and apply it to effectively control rodents from your garden or the entire property.

Step 1: Prepare the Necessary Materials and Tools

The first step is to assemble all the tools and ingredients you need to make a potent diatomaceous earth rodent repellent. According to the mixing method we will describe in this article, you will need the following:

Step 2: Make Diatomaceous Earth Mix According to The Recipe

It is now time to mix the ingredients to make a potent solution pesticide for repelling mice from your property. Proceed as follows:

  1. Add essential oil to water and stir. You should do it thoroughly to achieve a uniform solution.
  2. Gently add the food-grade diatomaceous earth to the DE-water solution from the previous step.
  3. Stir until all the DE gets wet.
  4. Place the resulting mixture in a container ready for use.
glass of diatomaceous earth water with diatomaceous earth powder
Glass of diatomaceous earth water with diatomaceous earth powder | Credit: marekuliasz /

Step 3: Apply The Mixture To Areas Where Have Mice

Place your diatomaceous earth mixture where the mice live. If you can identify their holes or where they eat in your yard or drain, pour the DE mixture there. But if they disturb you indoors, just place the container in the areas they frequent and leave it open.

The essential oil-infused diatomaceous earth gives off a scent that mice and other rodents will not withstand. That is what will chase them away. They don’t get poisoned but simply pack and leave your property for a better place.

Tips for Using Diatomaceous Earth to Get Rid of Mice

The potency of your diatomaceous earth will fade over time. So, how do you make it last longer or replenish its smell?

  • Keep the diatomaceous earth mixture you are not using in an airtight container.
  • Add water and a few drops of diatomaceous earth to the one whose potency has faded to renew its scent.
  • Reapply the diatomaceous mixture after it rains. Rainwater can wash it away and reduce its effectiveness.
  • Diatomaceous earth powder will remain effective as long as it does not rain or you don’t water your garden.

Other Uses of Diatomaceous Earth

Apart from repelling mice and other rodents, you can use diatomaceous earth for other purposes. Some uses include pest control, water filtration, and human benefits. Let’s get into details of the most common ones.

For Pets

Food-grade diatomaceous earth is an essential mineral source for pets. You can feed it to your dogs, cats, and horses, but the dosage varies depending on the pet and size.

The dosage for dogs is as follows:

  • Under 25 lbs: ½ tsp
  • 25 – 50 lbs: 1-2 tsp
  • 50 – 100 lbs: 1 Tbsp
  • Over 100 lbs: 1-2 Tbsp

The dosage for cats is as follows:

  • Under 7 lbs: ½ tsp
  • 7 – 13 lbs: 1 tsp
  • Over 13 lbs: 1½ tsp

Add 3 ounces of diatomaceous earth to every 10 pounds of feed for horses.

You can also use diatomaceous earth to kill fleas in dogs and cats. Dust your dog’s beddings and other areas frequented with DE. Any flea that gets into contact with it dies.

Human Benefits

Food-grade diatomaceous earth is safe to eat. This natural substance is speculated to have many benefits to humans but not enough evidence to support the claims. Arguably, DE helps with the following:

  • Reduces cholesterol level
  • Encourages healthy skin, nails, teeth, bones, and air.
  • Aids removal of dead skin cells

If it is your first time taking DE or you have not been doing so for some time, the recommended dosage is one teaspoonful 1-2 times a day. You can increase it after about a week when your body has adjusted.  

Taking an overdose of diatomaceous earth can cause constipation. So, stick to the recommended dose to avoid that.

Pest Control

Diatomaceous earth is an effective pesticide that can kill many bugs in your garden. Aphids, ants, thrips, mites, snails, earwigs, and many others cannot survive when they touch it. And the advantage is that it never harms worms or beneficial microorganisms.

The application of diatomaceous earth for pest control is usually printed on the package and is straightforward. You can apply it as a powder or mix it with water for spraying.

HARRIS Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade

Harris Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade, 4lb with Powder Duster Included in The Bag
  • Natural Product - Composed of 4lbs of 100% ground freshwater diatomaceous earth with absolutely no additives or fillers.
  • OMRI Listed - Listed with the Organic Minerals Research Institute, a non-profit organization that reviews products against organic standards.
  • Powder Duster Included - Powder duster in the bag for easy and efficient application of diatomaceous earth on animal feed

You only need to dust your vegetables, and you are done. The same applies to the liquid mixture. They will control pests in your garden, though the action is not as quick as chemical-based pesticides.

Ridding Pests in Your Food Storage

Aphids and beetles can affect your cereals in the store. Fortunately, you can control them naturally using diatomaceous earth. Mix 1-2 cups of DE with 50 pounds of grain for effective pest control. Find out more on how to use DE for food storage.

Food items you can successfully preserve using diatomaceous earth include flour, legumes, rice, corn, and other dry foods. Another benefit of using DE to control pests in food storage is that it keeps your cereals mold-free. It effectively absorbs water that can encourage mold growth.

Diatomaceous earth powder in jar for repellent.
Diatomaceous earth powder in jar for repellent | Credit: FotoHelin /

To Filter Water

Diatomaceous earth allows water to pass through it while trapping any participles in water. That property makes them used as a filter medium for swimming pools. It is also used to filter water in water treatment plants and fish tanks.

Diatomaceous earth can filter wine, beer, syrups, and honey without changing color, taste, or nutritional values.


Is diatomaceous earth safe for squirrels

Yes. Food-grade diatomaceous earth is not harmful to squirrels but will effectively repel them if used properly. You can use it to keep squirrels and other rodents away from your property.

How long does it take to see results from diatomaceous earth?

Diatomaceous is not fast-acting in controlling pests. It may take about a week to see significant results. Repelling mice can be faster if you apply it to the right spot where they live.

Can you sleep in a room with diatomaceous earth?

Yes. Food-grade earth cannot affect you, provided you don’t have the dust floating in the air. Get into the room only after everything has settled.  

What happens if you breathe in diatomaceous earth?

Breathing in diatomaceous earth can cause irritation of the nose and nasal passages. Large quantities may result in adverse effects such as coughing and shortness of breath. Avoid inhaling diatomaceous earth dust as much as you can.


Consider diatomaceous earth if you are looking for a chemical-free and humane way of sending mice away from your property. Make the appropriate solution with essential oils following the steps described in this post and apply it to where mice live or feed.

The potent scent from the mixture will naturally repel mice and other rodents. Also, you can consider other uses of diatomaceous earth mentioned.

Thank you for reading this article at Em Offgrid. We appreciate your time and hope this information helps you get rid of mice. Kindly share it with your friends. We also invite you to explore the website for related content.