If you have researched solutions for bed bug control, you may have heard of diatomaceous earth as one potential method for killing them. It is a safe alternative to chemical pesticides and sprays. This specially formulated dust can also eliminate other insects, including fleas, ticks, roaches, spiders, and more. If you haven’t heard of it before, continue reading to learn how effective it can be for bed bug control.
What Is Diatomaceous Earth?
Diatomaceous Earth is a 100% natural product without any additives. It meets the US Food Chemicals Codex Standards (FCC), and this product is naturally sourced in Utah. It is made from ancient fossilized single cell algae that are made mostly of silica. The silica can be mined from river banks and other similar areas, and then they are dried.
Why Is Diatomaceous Earth Effective for Pest Control?
Diatomaceous earth has two primary features that make it a great product for pest control. First of all, it absorbs lipids. Insects, including bed bugs, have an exoskeleton with a waxy outer coat. This exoskeleton helps them hold moisture in their bodies. The diatomaceous earth erodes this waxy outer layer, and insects will become dehydrated and die over the next week or so.
In addition, although the grains in diatomaceous earth are tiny, these fossilized remains are not smooth and round. They are filled with jagged edges that are sharp and help it to latch onto the insects’ exoskeletons.
The best feature of this product is that as fatal as it is for insects, it is safe for human contact and consumption. If you buy food grade diatomaceous earth, the product has been sterilized to eliminate any bacteria. In fact, it is often used as an additive in livestock grain to prevent insects from contaminating it.
Precautions to Take with Diatomaceous Earth
Although diatomaceous earth is safe for pets and humans, you need to pay attention. It does not have any toxic properties, so it will not poison you. However, you should wear gloves when you handle it. It can dry out your hands and skin, so it is best to take this precaution.
In addition, it is full of very fine particles, and if you inhale the diatomaceous earth, it isn’t good for your lungs, eyes, and nose. It is not known to have any dangerous properties, but you should try to avoid breathing in a dust cloud of this substance because it is not good for your lungs.
How Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Bed Bugs?
Diatomaceous earth needs to come into contact with the bed bugs to kill them. If you have an infestation in your home, you need to place it where the bed bugs are living. This might be in the cracks in the floors, under furniture, in your mattress, or anywhere that these pests are hiding.
It is also important to note that you should not spray insect repellant in the area where you plan to place the diatomaceous earth. The bed bugs need to come into contact with it so you should not deter them from going to that location. If you use this product to kill your bed bugs, you need to let the bed bugs come to it and wait for it to kill them.
Start by putting the diatomaceous earth around the foot and head of your bed, under your baseboards, under the edges of your carpet, behind electrical outlets, and under furniture in the room. You can also put it in your mattress and around your headboard. You may even want to put it around your dresser or in your drawers. You should put it wherever you think the bed bugs are.
You should not put it in an area of your bathroom that gets wet because it is only effective as long as it stays dry. If the area where you place it gets wet, you will need to reapply it. One great feature of diatomaceous earth is that it doesn’t break down over time, so as long as it remains dry, it will never go bad.
Is Diatomaceous Earth Safe for Pets and Children?
Diatomaceous earth is considered to be safe and nontoxic for pets and children, and if you have “food grade” diatomaceous earth, it is even safer because any bacteria have been killed in the sterilization process. You never want any living creature to inhale a nose full of the product, but it will not harm them if you sprinkle it in the places where it will kill bed bugs.
As an added benefit, the diatomaceous earth will kill any other bugs in your home, including fleas, ticks, spiders, roaches, and more. When you buy this five-gallon container of diatomaceous earth by Earthborn Elements, you are getting the food grade product, and you will not have to worry at all about anyone in your home being harmed.
How to Apply the Diatomaceous Earth
There are a few different ways that you can apply the diatomaceous earth to your home. You should wear gloves and a mask to make sure that you don’t have your hands dried out or breath in too much of the product. Then, you can use a powder duster. You will place the product into the chamber of the powder duster and squirt it out of the narrow spout.
You can also use a dry flat paintbrush. This can help you get the product into any cracks or behind the baseboards. It also helps if you want to use a smaller amount of diatomaceous earth. You should spread it thin so that the bed bugs walk right across it. If you make a pile, they may just walk around it.
You will not need to reapply the diatomaceous earth unless what you put out gets wet or is vacuumed up. Although it is recommended that you wear a mask to apply it, it is perfectly safe to sleep in the room with it because it has already been applied. It is an easy solution for your bed bug problem.