The efficacy of diatomaceous earth (DE) formulations against insect pests is greatly influenced by environmental conditions. It is effective only under dry conditions and becomes wholly ineffective if it is wet. High air relative humidity and especially rain greatly reduce or completely destroy the efficacy of DE when used outdoors. Furthermore, depending on the insect species and commodity treated, DE takes from one to several days to kill insects, even in a dry environment. Because of these factors, DE is in limited use outdoors, especially in regions with a high precipitation. The main uses of DE are for the protection of stored agricultural products against insect infestation, in food industry for structural treatment and for indoor use against some household insects living in a dry environment. The mode of DEs action against insects, the effect of humidity and moisture on DE efficacy, brief overview of the research of DE use in stored grain protection and attempts to overcome DE limitations with combined use of DE and other reduced-risk methods with the insecticide activity for direct mixing with grains are discussed in this article.
Vlatka Rozman, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Faculty of Agriculture in Osijek, Osijek, Croatia, firstname.lastname@example.org