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How To Use Diatomaceous Earth For Bed Bugs

Bed bug treatments can be expensive and time-consuming. One secret weapon in the war against these pests that many people have never heard of is diatomaceous earth (DE). When used in conjunction with heat or other treatments, diatomaceous earth is a fantastic way tokill bed bugs. Best of all, it is natural, non-toxic, and chemical-free. If you are considering using diatomaceous earth, here is a run-down of the basics of what it is and how to use it. Might Want to Read Our Ultimate Bed Bug Guide

What is diatomaceous earth?

Diatomaceous earth is the fossilized remains of sea creatures called diatoms. The body of a diatom is composed mostly of silicon dioxide. Diatoms are mined from sediments of oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams. They are then ground up into a powder called diatomaceous earth. It is safe for humans and pets, but deadly to insects. Diatomaceous earth is known as a desiccant. It has very sharp microscopic edges that will cut the exoskeleton of many types of insects, including bed bugs. After the bugs are lacerated, they will gradually lose moisture and die of dehydration. The great thing about DE is that it is free of harmful chemicals and is a tool for prevention as well as treatment.

Where do I find diatomaceous earth?

Diatomaceous earth can be found many places, including large retailers like Walmart, various home improvement stores, pet stores, and online. You will also need a few tools. When applying DE, always wear a respirator mask and protective eyewear. Diatomaceous earth is a dust with fine particulates, so you don’t want to breathe it in. It may also come in handy to have a bulb duster when spreading DE.

How do I use diatomaceous earth?

Start by pulling everything away from the walls. Make your way around the room sprinkling a thin layer of dust around the perimeter of the room. Place it between mouldings and walls, along window sills, under appliances, where the floor meets the wall, and other places where bugs might hide. DE is particularly useful in areas that are hard to reach with other treatment methods. For example, you can use a bulb duster to get it deep into cracks and crevices, place it behind electrical face plates, and sprinkle it behind light switches. Diatomaceous earth can even be rubbed into carpets and mattresses (under a mattress cover) to kill bed bugs that might be living in these places. If you use it in places that experience significant foot traffic, vacuum it up afterward to avoid it being blown or moved around too much. If it will likely be undisturbed, diatomaceous earth can be left for long periods of time.

How long does diatomaceous earth take to work?

DE is a relatively slow way to kill bed bugs because the bugs must come in contact with it. Once they touch it, they will likely dehydrate and die within 24-48 hours. Diatomaceous earth does not kill bed bug eggs, so you will have to wait for the eggs to hatch and the next generation to die as well. In a severe infestation, this whole process can take about a month. The nice thing is that DE is not a chemical, so bed bugs cannot become resistant to it.

Although diatomaceous earth is a great product, it will work most effectively if used in conjunction with other forms of bed bug control. PF Harris carries diatomaceous earth as well as many otherbed bug products. From mattress protectors and traps to aerosols and spray, Harris products can help you take back your home from bed bugs, and do it at an affordable cost. Find more great products Our Products are available in local stores, where you need it, when you need it.