Roach invaders, flea problems and bed bug bites can leave you at wits’ end.

When you need a pest control product that’s going to work day and night in even the hardest-to-reach areas to eliminate all of these bugs and more, you need insecticide dust.

Of the different dusts available, only one checks every box for super-effective and safe pest control: CimeXa insecticide dust.

By the end of this article, you’ll know everything you need to make your pest problems a thing of the past using CimeXa dust.

Remember, when using insecticides, the label is the law—read and follow the instructions carefully, not only for your own safety, but to make sure each treatment is as effective as possible.

All About Dusting for Insects

A Bed Bug with insecticide dust on its body, a cockroach approaching from the background

So What’s in a Bug Dust?

At a basic level, an insecticide dust is a fine powder that, whether by touch or after ingestion, will kill the bugs that get too close.

Insect dusts work against any bugs that rely on waxy or oily outer coatings to retain moisture. Most dusts are desiccants, so their tiny abrasive particles break down that protective coating and leave the insect to die of dehydration. Since there’s no poison component, cockroaches and fleas can’t develop resistance to the dust.

Dusts are great for dealing with infestations large and small. You get to treat right inside the insects’ hiding places, like wall voids, carpeting, furniture and tiny cracks and crevices. As long as they’re dry, these products are fantastic long-term residual powders.

Insecticide Dust Kills a Variety of Insects

Insecticide dusts work on more than just cockroaches. People use dusts to eliminate a wide variety of household pests, from fleas and ticks to carpet beetles and the dreaded bed bugs.

We’ve previously covered the benefits of powerful roach powders. We’ve even created a step-by-step Roach-Free Recipe for killing cockroaches with CimeXa.

Comparing the Different Dusts

Most insecticide dusts are pretty similar. You apply them with a handheld bellow or bulb duster—tools that feature a squeezable container and a nozzle that gives you some control over the spray.

A fine, almost invisible layer of dust is enough to kill bed bugs and other insects. If you can see a noticeable coating, it might scare the bugs away.

One key difference between dusts is their mode of pest control.

While most dusts are desiccants, some are poisonous. For example, boric acid kills roaches and carpet beetles by poisoning the insects. However, that means it has to be eaten, so it’s a little trickier to get bugs to bite (meaning that you have to mix it into a bait).

Others, like Delta Dust, contain a pyrethroid—a common chemical insecticide. However, certain insects have been able to build resistance to pyrethroids.

Here’s What Makes CimeXa Special

Illustration of CimeXa's mode of action - tiny sponges that soak up roaches' waxy protective layer
Silica gel: A bug dust that absorbs protective oils like a sponge

First thing’s first: What is CimeXa?

CimeXa is an amorphous silica gel desiccant dust (ASG dust)—a fine powder made from silicon dioxide, an extremely common natural compound.

The nearly-weightless silica particles float through the air, settling slowly onto every surface they touch. They’re statically charged, which lets them attach especially well to insects.

Like other dusts, CimeXa powder removes a bug’s oily protective coating. However, unlike others, silica works in a special way: it absorbs the oil, sort of like a sponge. While most dusts do nothing more than remove the coating, CimeXa also absorbs moisture from the bug’s body, along with its layer of oil. It speeds up the process.

That’s only one reason CimeXa is better than other insecticide dusts…

Fun fact: (Silica gel is the stuff that comes in little packets in electronics packaging to keep the components dry.)

Is CimeXa Toxic?

You might’ve heard that diatomaceous earth (DE) is also made from silica. What you might not know is that DE comes with potential health risks, including permanent lung damage. CimeXa, on the other hand, is considered safe to handle and use.

Like all insecticidal dusts, it shouldn’t be inhaled, shouldn’t be used around food or on any surface that comes into contact with food, and should be kept away from children and pets. But compared to most other dusts, CimeXa has very low toxicity.

Note: As with other dusts, CimeXa can mildly irritate your eyes or make your skin dry. It’s best to wear goggles and gloves when dusting.

For its safety score alone, CimeXa is the better choice for most households. Even better, it’s more effective at killing insects than other options.

Here’s a breakdown of features to look for in a good insecticide dust:

                                 CimeXa                     DE                     Boric Acid         
Chart: CimeXa insecticide dust vs. boric acid and diatomaceous earth

It’s pretty clear that CimeXa comes out on top.

Bonus features: it’s odorless, non-staining and has a shelf-life of 10 years! Keep this stuff dry and it‘ll keep way longer than you’ll ever need it.

How to Use CimeXa for Better Pest Control

Illustration of two bulb dusters on a work table, one with wand attached, the other with wand unattached

For most cases, a 4-ounce bottle of CimeXa will be plenty to start with. The dust comes with a handy applicator tip but we recommend purchasing a dedicated duster (either bellow or bulb). They’re both inexpensive and much better suited to reaching into crevices, beneath baseboards and behind electrical boxes.

  • Bulb dusters are simple, versatile tools for easy dusting. You fill the bulb end, point the stem and squeeze to spray puffs of dust. If the duster has a cap, you can store the dust inside until the next application.
  • Bellow dusters have a cylindrical container with a tube and nozzle attached. Again, you simply squeeze the container to apply.

Make sure the hand duster you choose comes with rubber or plastic tips so it’s safe when applying CimeXa around wiring. Look for ones that have long, flexible stems so you can wedge them into slim crevices.

Fill the duster about halfway with CimeXa to start. If you’re dusting small areas with a bellow duster, you can hold it upside-down to force less of the dust out.

CimeXa for roaches….

Most of your enemies won’t be visible; they’ll be well-hidden in the walls or among the boxes in your basement. Left undisturbed, they’ll continue to multiply and spread.

To dust for roaches, remove an electrical switch plate cover near the area where you’ve seen roach activity. Use a non-metal tip on the duster and use a screwdriver to pry the outlet casing away from the wall slightly. Fit the duster’s tip through the gap and squeeze 2 to 3 puffs of dust into the wall cavity.

Dust inside the hole where sink plumbing runs into the floor or the wall. Cockroaches commonly hide in attics and crawlspaces, too; treat these areas by dusting along walls and around cluttered shelving.

CimeXa for bed bugs…

Use a soft-bristled paint brush or cosmetic brush to “paint” a thin layer of the dry dust onto infested surfaces, especially your mattress and box spring. Focus on the seams of beds and upholstered furniture and the edges of mattresses.

Apply dust in the joints of bed frames and other hard furniture, too. As when using a duster, you shouldn’t see a significant layer of dust when you’re finished.

Dust under your bed, especially if your floor is carpeted. Before you do, remove any storage containers or items from underneath and put them outside or seal them in sturdy bags until you can treat them safely with dust or rubbing alcohol. Delicate items should remain in bags in direct sunlight or below-freezing temperatures for at least 2 weeks.

CimeXa for fleas…

Dust animal kennels, bedding and anywhere pets like to lounge (bed, couch, carpet). Keep your pets away while you’re treating these places; dust could irritate their eyes. Dust cracks and along baseboards near where your pet sleeps or where fleas might be hiding.

On carpets, start by vacuuming thoroughly. Then apply a light dusting onto the carpet and use a broom to spread the dust deep into the carpet fibers. This will help it settle in so future vacuuming doesn’t suck it all up.

Fleas reproduce every two weeks. Reapply dust at least as often until all fleas are gone (you might need 3 to 4 biweekly treatments).

CimeXa for carpet beetles…

Dust in small puffs in and around problem areas of the carpet. Stick the duster’s nozzle into the space between the carpeting and the baseboards, squeezing 1 puff per foot.

Don’t forget to treat baseboards, crawl spaces, and any crevices in nearby hardwood floors where the beetles could hide. You’ll probably have to apply more frequently since people and pets will pick up and kick up the dust much more quickly in a high-traffic room.

More Quick Tips for Using CimeXa Like a Pro

  • Each location really only needs 1 or 2 puffs at a time.
  • With heavy infestations, reapply weekly. Otherwise, biweekly or monthly applications should be enough.
  • For roaches, it’s a good idea to puff underneath and behind kitchen appliances.
  • CimeXa can be mixed with water at a ratio of up to 1 pound of dust per 1 gallon of water. However, evidence shows that this is less effective than dusting with a hand duster.1
  • If you need to clean up any excess CimeXa, simply wipe it up with a damp towel.

On its own, CimeXa has been extremely successful after 2 to 6 weeks of treatments. We recommend making CimeXa one part of your overall pest management strategy.


CimeXa dust is everything you want in an insect control product: it’s easy to use, inexpensive, long-lasting and very safe. It’s great both as a way to start killing cockroaches today and as a long-term protection plan to prevent pests in the future.

CimeXa Labels and Data Sheets

Download these to learn more.

Cimexa Dust Label

Cimexa Dust EPA number (73079-12) and registration
Learn more about CimeXa at the EPA

Frequently Asked Questions

What is CimeXa’s active ingredient?

CimeXa dust’s active ingredient is silicon dioxide, a naturally occurring compound. It uses no chemical insecticides.

Does CimeXa really work?

CimeXa has proven to be extremely effective both in research studies and customer homes. When applied following the tips in this article and the instructions on the label, you should expect to see significant results in as little as 1 to 2 weeks.
Users reported that it “decimated a flea problem” and that “CimeXa works much better than diatomaceous earth” to kill bed bug adults.

Is CimeXa toxic?

CimeXa is very low in toxicity. Because it’s a fine dust, there is a chance of minor eye or throat irritation, and it shouldn’t be inhaled. However, it poses no permanent health risks. That being said, it shouldn’t be used around children, pets, or any area it could contact food or surfaces where food is prepared.

I Need to Know Where to Buy CimeXa in a Store

It’s no surprise that CimeXa is easy to find on Amazon, Walmart and other online retailers. In a store, look for it in the insecticides section, along with roach traps and bait products.

What to Expect: How Long for CimeXa to Kill Bed Bugs?

Compared to DE, CimeXa is a relatively speedy bed bug dust. In one experiment, it killed over 80% of bed bugs after just one week. Six weeks in, 98% of the bed bugs were dead. When applied as a nearly-invisible coating, even bed bugs highly resistant to liquid pesticides died within seconds.1

Can CimeXa cause silicosis?

CimeXa consists of synthetic amorphous silica, which does not cause silicosis. It is completely safe. DE, on the other hand, is a type of crystalline silica dust and can cause this lung disease.

Can I vacuum CimeXa if I overapply?

As a crack and crevice treatment, CimeXa really shouldn’t be applied to areas like your open floor where you’d need to vacuum. If you do need to vacuum up CimeXa, keep in mind that the CimeXa particles can be quite tiny. You’ll want to use a shop vac with fine particulate construction bags or filters

Written by Andrew Martin. Reviewed by James Miksanek, PhD.

Disclaimer: This page is strictly for informational use. When using insecticides, keep in mind—the label is the law. Insecticides should be applied correctly and safely when needed, and according to the laws of your state or country.

Andrew Martin

Andrew Martin


Andrew writes for, and along with his daughter, publishes Cockroach Facts. You can read more about him here.

James Miksanek, PhD

James Miksanek, PhD.

Science Editor

James is an entomologist and adjunct professor of biology. His background is in biological control, and he has a passion for ecology and environmental science. His research has addressed a variety of topics including pest control and the management of invasive species. You can learn more about our contributors here.


  1. Potter, Michael F., et al. (2014) Silica Gel: A Better Bed Bug Desiccant. PCT Online. Retrieved from
  2. Do My Own. Retrieved from
  3. CimeXa Insecticide Dust and Amorphous Silica. Rockwell Labs Ltd. Retrieved from

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