Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a chemical free, effective way to kill many different kinds of insects. Although it does not kill immediately, like some contact killers, for many people the benefits of diatomaceous earth far outweigh the wait time that is required. Diatomaceous earth is not a poison. Instead, it is the fossilized remains of a type of algae, known as diatoms. When ground up, these diatoms form a powder that has microscopic sharp edges that are not harmful to humans and other animals, but deadly to insects. These razor sharp edges cut the exoskeletons of insects, causing them to dehydrate and die. DE is often used to treat bed bugs, fleas, ants, and many more pests.