Diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic form of pest control made from the fossilized skeletons of an algae-like organism. This chalky powder is highly absorbent and abrasive. On a microscopic level, it is akin to glass shards. These sharp edges slice through the exoskeletons of pests, exposing the inner lipids so that they can be dehydrated by the absorbent qualities of the substance. It is particularly effective against fungus gnats, aphids, mites, ants, flea beetles, sawflies, thrips, fly maggots, fleas, ticks, roaches, earwigs, silverfish and more. It is not considered harmful to humans, although care should be taken to avoid inhalation. Diatomaceous earth is also valuable as a substrate/soil additive because it can hold extreme amounts of water, thereby increasing the soil?s ability to hold water and nutrients.