Three Tips For Controlling Bed Bugs With Diatomaceous Earth

Posted on: 27 July 2016

Diatomaceous earth is an abrasive white powder that can be used as part of your bed bug control efforts. This powder is made of fossilized algae, and when bed bugs crawl across it, it abrades their delicate abdomens. The bugs lose moisture, and after seven to 14 days, they'll die. Here are three tips for controlling bed bugs with diatomaceous earth.

Choose food grade diatomaceous earth

There are two types of diatomaceous earth: food grade and pool grade. Pool grade diatomaceous earth is used for pool filtration, but it's too dangerous to be used inside your home. It can contain dangerous levels of heavy metals like arsenic and lead. The dust from pool grade diatomaceous earth can also cause serious health problems; it contains crystalline silica which is linked to lung diseases, including cancer.

Food grade diatomaceous earth costs more, but it's safe to use around your family and pets. Don't worry, it's still toxic for the bed bugs!

Place the powder in undisturbed areas

To work well, diatomaceous earth needs to be in a dry, undisturbed area. This means that you shouldn't sprinkle it around the perimeter of your bed or in other high-traffic areas. If you walk across the product, you'll stir it up into the air, and it will no longer form an effective barrier against bed bugs. Plus, the powder can irritate your lungs or eyes if it is disturbed.

Sprinkle a thin layer of the powder in areas where people and pets won't disturb it, like inside cracks and crevices. It can also be spread inside empty drawers that are harboring bed bugs, underneath rugs, inside wall voids and other similar areas.

Re-apply the powder as needed

When you're trying to get rid of bed bugs, your pest control operator may tell you to thoroughly vacuum your home regularly. Vacuuming helps to get rid of bed bugs and their eggs, but it can also suck up your diatomaceous earth. To continue killing bed bugs, remember to re-apply diatomaceous earth right after you vacuum.

You'll also need to re-apply the powder if it gets wet. If the powder is wet, it won't be abrasive enough to dry out bed bugs that crawl across it. Remove the wet product and replace it with dry powder right away.

Diatomaceous earth can be a useful part of your bed bug control plan, but only if you use it properly. For more information, contact companies like ASE Pest & Weed Supplies.