Getting rid of bed bugs effectively is no easy task, as these critters are resistant to regular bug repellants. One of the best (and natural) ways to quickly and effectively rid your home of bed bugs is using diatomaceous earth for bed bugs.
Diatomaceous earth is:
- An all-natural alternative to poisonous or harmful insecticides and bug repellants
- Safe for use in homes with children and pets
- Economical and effective
Let’s look at the benefits of using diatomaceous earth to keep your home bed bug-free.
What is Diatomaceous Earth?
A miracle powder, diatomaceous earth is a fine white powder that bears a striking resemblance to corn flour. Made from the sediments of algae that have been fossilized, diatomaceous earth is both natural and chemical-free.
Diatomaceous earth is a fine white powder.
These sediments are known as diatoms and are fine in texture, and are the perfect chemical-free alternative to many harsh chemicals that are often used to clean the home.
Why Use Diatomaceous Earth for Bed Bugs?
Diatomaceous earth has an extremely high silica composition and is essentially 80-90% silica. It acts as a desiccant. This means that it extracts moisture or dehydrates whatever it comes into contact with.
In the case of bed bugs, the diatomaceous earth removes all moisture from the oily exoskeleton of the bed bug, dehydrating it and killing it in a matter of hours.
You’ll need to leave the powder in place for as long as possible for the best results. Experts recommend at least two to four weeks to ensure that every last bed bug is killed off.
Bed bugs need warmth and moisture to survive, and diatomaceous earth removes the moisture these critters thrive on.
A quick internet search or a chat with your local supplier will reveal that you can use diatomaceous earth for many things in and around the home. A few examples of what you can use diatomaceous earth for are:
- To deodorize stinky sneakers and shoes
- To remove fouls odors from your fridge or freezer
- To help keep your indoor plants bug-free (it’s great against fungus gnats)
- Ensure your own healthy potting soil to boost plant growth
- To remove foul odors from pet litter
- Maintain a bug-free home
Food-Grade vs. Pool-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth can be used for various purposes, with treatment for bed bugs being only one of its fabulous uses. You can also use pool-grade diatomaceous earth to kill algae in your pool, keep creepy crawlies away from flower beds, and even in the home to improve your family’s health.
One of the best reasons for using food-grade diatomaceous earth is that it has a low silica count and is safe for use in foods to improve gut health, clean the digestive tract, and even promote skin, nail, and hair growth.
It can be used as a natural health booster or as an additive to pet food to help keep skin and fur healthy and can also be used to keep your pets flea and tick-free. Ask your vet how to use diatomaceous earth to boost your pet’s health.
It can be used as a natural health booster or as an additive to pet food.
Food-grade diatomaceous earth is safe to use in and around the home as a natural pest repellent or insecticide. Always check all packaging thoroughly to ensure that you are using food-grade earth and not those with additional chemicals or additives.
While normal insect and bug repellants are loaded with additional chemicals to rid your home of bugs, diatomaceous earth is all-natural. It will not compromise your health or that of your family.
How To Use Diatomaceous Earth to Rid and Keep Your Home Free of Bed Bugs
Diatomaceous earth has a variety of uses in the home, but for the sake of this article, we will focus largely on how you can use this miracle powder to remove and rid your home of invasive bed bugs.
You must take a few important steps to prepare your home before using diatomaceous earth.
Step 1: Steam Clean your Room or Home
Giving the infected room or your home a thorough steam clean will help with the initial eradication of bed bugs. While they love heat and moisture, they cannot withstand temperatures above 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
Steam clean your mattress (or toss it), carpets, loose rugs, and curtains. Steam cleaning your box spring, bed base, and the headboard can also help kill off any bed bugs that might be lurking.
Step 2: Give your Linens a Wash
Wash your bedding, clothing, and any other loose fabrics on a very hot or very cold wash. If you have a tumble dryer, dry your linen at high heat, or hang them in the sunlight to dry naturally. Linens and bedding should be washed often to prevent an infestation of bed bugs in your home.
You can dry clean your clothes, which will work. But often it’s better to just wash and dry on high heat at home.
Step 3: Vacuum your Home
Vacuum your mattress, carpets, rugs, and even couches to remove as many creepy critters as possible. Use the narrow nozzle attachment that comes with your vacuum cleaner to clean skirting boards and the space between your carpets and baseboard.
Fill any cracks you find, which will give the bed bugs fewer places to hide and nest.
Remember to clean your box spring or bed base too, and vacuum your mattress every time to change your bed linens.
Step 4: Sprinkle or Apply Diatomaceous Earth
Use a generous amount of diatomaceous earth on all surfaces in your room. Here are a few ideas of where it will be most effective:
- On the floor around your bed
- In your carpets
- On your bed base or box spring
- Around the perimeter of each room
- Your windowsills and doorways
You can use an applicator available from your local hardware or gardening store or simply sprinkle the powder using a gloved hand. Remember to ensure that you get into all the nooks and crannies in your room, especially the gaps between your carpet and baseboards. An applicator will help you easily get into these narrow areas, and they are relatively cheap to purchase.
Online retailers like Amazon or eBay also have a variety of diatomaceous earth applicators to choose from, so be sure to visit their websites to view what’s available.
Step 5: Clean-Up Time
While diatomaceous earth can kill bed bugs within a few hours, it is advised to leave it on for as long as possible. The longer you leave it on your carpet and other surfaces, the more effective it is.
Once you are satisfied that your home is free of bed bugs, simply vacuum up the powder and enjoy your bug-free home.
Following the steps above will help you rid your home of all bed bugs, their eggs, and any feces that may be lurking in those deep dark places that you least expect them to. While this might help eliminate an infestation, it cannot prevent one completely, so the best action plan is to do a diatomaceous earth treatment at least once a month, even more so in the hotter months.
Diatomaceous Earth: Tips and Tricks You Should Know
Before you buy a bag or bucket of diatomaceous earth to help you get rid of those nasty bed bugs, you should know a few things.
- Food-grade diatomaceous earth is the best option and is the safest type to use for indoor use.
- The larger the quantities of diatomaceous earth you buy, the cheaper it will be. Diatomaceous earth has various uses, so buying it in bulk is always a good idea.
- Store your diatomaceous earth in a sealed container in a dry space.
- Wear a pair of latex or cleaning gloves and a face mask when working with diatomaceous earth to avoid inhaling any powder into your lungs.
- Diatomaceous earth can kill bed bugs within a few hours, but it is best to leave the powder to stand for two to four weeks to ensure that all eggs are dead too.
- Please speak to your vet or animal health specialist to learn more about using diatomaceous earth in your pet’s food, fur, skin, and beds to prevent infestation and keep them healthy. Diatomaceous earth has many health benefits for people and pets, so give your best friend the best chance at a long and healthy life and add some diatomaceous earth to their diets.
Diatomaceous earth is an all-natural, cheap alternative to regular pest and bug repellents that have no effect on bed bugs. Made from fossilized algae (diatoms), the powder has a multitude of uses and can help you keep your home bed bug free.
If you’re looking for the best natural bed bug killer, you should consider using diatomaceous earth. With a host of health benefits and various uses, it is worth keeping a tub or packet of the powder in your home.
You just never know when it will come in handy.
Follow our step-by-step guide to using diatomaceous earth in your home and enjoy a bed bug-free home all year round, and remember to ensure that you are using food-grade diatomaceous earth in your home.