Many people successfully use diatomaceous earth (DE) for getting rid of unwanted pests like bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, and more. After the diatomaceous earth has completed the job and served its purpose, homeowners often wonder how to clean it up.
First, clean up may not actually be necessary, as many people will leave diatomaceous earth in and around their homes for indefinite amounts of time. Diatomaceous earth will continue to be effective as long as it remains dry. Leaving it alone works best when it is used in inconspicuous, out of the way areas like wall voids, crawl spaces, behind baseboards, and inside cupboards. In areas that you would like to clean up, try some of the following tips:
Before starting to clean, remember that although DE is considered safe to use around pets and humans, like any other dust, it may be irritating to eyes and lungs in large amounts. Many people suggest wearing a mask and glasses when cleaning up for this reason.
Carpets, Rugs, or Other Soft Surfaces
Diatomaceous earth is often used to control bed bugs, so it may be spread on carpets, bedding, rugs, and other upholstered items. Clean up of these types of surfaces is often best achieved by vacuuming the diatomaceous earth. Since DE is a sand material, it can be abrasive to vacuum cleaners with filters. You don’t want to destroy your vacuum cleaner, so it is recommended that you use a shop vac or filterless vacuum. Shop vacs are great because they have powerful suction and can handle the DE without any problem. If you decide to use a filterless vacuum, go about it slowly so that it does not clog your machine. If you still do not feel like the area is clean, after vacuuming thoroughly, you can use a carpet cleaner to finish the job.
Hard surfaces like tile, hardwood, granite, cement, etc. are fairly easy to clean up. Using a damp towel or a mop, you can simply just wipe the excess away. When you are applying diatomaceous earth, it should be just a fine dusting of product, so wiping it up should not be difficult. After wiping, you can shake off the towel outside or in a garbage can, and then wash it.
The other option for cleaning DE from hard surfaces is to sweep it up. If sweeping is causing a lot of dust in the air, you can use a spray bottle with water to lightly moisten the diatomaceous earth so that the particles won’t become airborne so easily. After sweeping, just throw it away.
The wonderful thing about diatomaceous earth is that it comes from the earth, so outdoor clean-up is not necessary. Leaving the DE around the outside of your home can help prevent pests from getting inside for months at a time, as long as it remains dry. If the DE gets wet, it will no longer be effective for pest control, but will not pose any harm to the environment.
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Checkout Our Article on Using Diatomaceous Earth to Get Rid of Roaches