How to kill bed bugs with diatomaceous earth
An essential part of bed bug extermination.
How to kill bed bugs in your home is likely to be a complex decision. One reason for this is that different agents designed to kill bed bugs have different effects. Diatomaceous earth is an effective way to make an impact on ridding yourself from this nightmare.
The contents in Diatomaceous earth are fossilized remains of a specific type of algae. And one extremely important advantage this product has over others is that while it effectively kills bed bugs, it is harmless to children and pets. This fact is no small concern with the amount of insecticides being used to achieve your goal of ending infestation of the bed bugs. In fact, you may already be using this product in your home. Diatomaceous earth can be found in products that help to remove chemical spills as well as the agent used in cat box litter.
How it works
This natural killer has razor sharp edges which enter into the body of the bed bug in order to do its job. Some people have used this successfully for other annoying bug infestations.
Diatomaceous earth kills bed bugs by dehydrating them. The exoskeleton of the bed bug is literally removed of moisture which is why it is also found in litter boxes!
Diatomaceous earth usually is found in the form of powder or dust and it is very simple to use.
This product has long term effectiveness because it is not a chemical and therefore it is not used up or consumed and doesn't evaporate.
It is not used for the quick kill of bed bugs.
Warning about Diatomaceous earth
Nothing is perfect and diatomaceous is no exception. Please read this carefully because choosing the wrong form of this product can be very harmful.
Diatomaceous earth is also used for pool filters. There is a huge difference between this form and the one you would purchase as an insecticide to kill bed bugs. The one sold for pools is extremely dangerous to humans and to pets so it is imperative that you choose the correct form, never try and substitute one for the other.
Always make sure when you purchase diatomaceous earth that is specifically says it is an insecticide that is used for the control of bugs.
How to use it for bed bug removal
Many insecticides become inert after a short time for safety reasons. Because diatomaceous earth is not a chemical that dries up or evaporates, it is effective long term. This makes it a good tool to treat areas bed bugs will go when hiding or where they might travel along.
Diatomaceous earth is offered in a few different varieties. Some are combined with other insecticides to add quick knock-down capabilities. You must carefully follow the instructions for whatever you purchase.
In general, most dusts/powders are applied in a similar manner. You apply them after spray insecticides have dried.
Purchase a bulb or bellows duster. Also get a small soft paint brush. You will use this clean up any dust that falls outside the target application area. It is a good idea to wear a mask when applying the dust just as a precaution since like all powders and dust some of it can find its way into your nose or mouth.
You will apply the dust to areas that bed bugs either hide in or travel along. These include:
- Inside box spring
- Seams where different parts of bed join together (headboard, frame)
- Seams where different parts of furniture fit together (think of the different parts of your nightstand)
- Behind light switch and electrical outlet covers
- Underneath the bed
- Behind and beneath baseboards and moldings
It's important to avoid any areas where the dust could be blown into the air or food/water sources.
Fill the duster half-way with the dust. Shake it lightly then gently squeeze the duster to apply a fine layer of dust. You should barely be able to see the dust come out---you should not be applying enough for it to pile up. If you apply outside the target area, you can use the paint brush to push the dust back where you want it to go. You can also use a wet rag to clean up any extra.
Is it effective?
Using diatomaceous earth as part of your mission to end bed bug infestation is a good one. When used properly, this fossil based agent works to end the life of bed bugs it makes contact with, but is not a risk to your loved ones, including pets. Though you will need other methods to completely end the infestation of bed bugs, diatomaceous earth is a natural agent and an integral part of a complete bed bug eradication effort.