Diatomaceous earth for bed bugs is a slow but surefire way of getting rid of bed bugs permanently. Diatomaceous earth is also known as chinchilla powder, diahydro, kieselguhr, kieselgur or Celite. It is a non toxic, chemical free insecticide that dehydrates the bugs from within without causing major harm to humans or pets.
What is Diatomaceous Earth?
Diatomaceous Earth is a dust-like powder that contains beneficial algae. These algae are actually crushed and fossilized, so when you take some of the product in your hands it will feel like a soft, chalk-like sedimentary powder to you. However, on a microscopic level, it is very sharp and can literally cut an insect’s insides. Hence, it is highly effective for use outdoors in plants or flower beds to prevent ants and other insects from eating the produce. Likewise, it can be safely used indoors to kill fleas, bed bugs and other indoor pests.
Why use Diatomaceous Earth for bed bug control?
When Diatomaceous Earth powder is applied as instructed, it can be an effective control for bed bug populations. Bed bugs and other pests crawl through the powder which causes their exoskeletons to literally get ripped by its sharp molecules. As a result, the insects also get dehydrated and die. The best part about using Diatomaceous earth for bed bugs and other household pests is that there is no question of their becoming immune to the product. This is because; it is a mechanical process of killing bugs, so, unlike other chemicals, there is no question of the bugs developing resistance to it.
Diatomaceous earth is usually completely organic, provided you buy the food grade variety from reputed USDA approved sources. Often you might find products made from Diatomite DE. This is not the same as organic DE which only comes from freshwater sources. So make sure you buy the right powder which will not leave behind any toxic residues. That being said; many organic varieties are still harmful if inhaled in large quantities, so basic precautions must be followed when handling the powder.
How to use Diatomaceous Earth for controlling bed bugs?
Things you will need: Food grade diatomaceous powder, protective equipment like dust masks, goggles, hard hats and gloves.
Steps for using DE powder for bed bug control
Where to use: Apply it everywhere including around the room perimeter, on the walls, into electrical outlets, fixtures, on the ceiling etc. It is best to move the furniture and apply the diatomaceous powder on its underside. Squirt it in every gap you can find.
How much should be applied: Apply the diatomaceous earth for bed bugs generously enough that it forms a light film but is not so thick that it can be kicked into a dust. Do not vacuum the room after application as this will make the product ineffective.
Can it be applied on the bed: It is best to use mattress sealers so that the bed and mattress is protected from the diatomaceous earth powder. Leave the mattress covered for at least 6 weeks if possible. This will get all the bugs to come outside for blood meal so that they are effectively exposed to the powder. This can help stop the bed bug life cycle and get all bugs in various life cycle stages.
How long does it take for the DE powder to be effective: Generally most bed bugs will be killed within a week of application of diatomaceous earth for bed bugs. Some brands of DE powders work slower than others. Irrespective of the brand you use, ensure repeating application of Diatomaceous earth for bed bugs every few weeks.