You can use Diatomaceous earth to kill bed bugs. This powder cuts the bug’s body and causes their eventual death by dehydration. It is useful for eliminating bed bugs in all stages: adults, nymphs, and hatchlings.
Diatomaceous Earth is a white natural mineral formed of tiny micro-organisms. This clay is excavated and crushed into a fine powder, similar to flour. Under the microscope, it looks like broken shards of glass.
It works when bedbug come into contact with the powder. DE harms, disrupts and penetrates their exoskeleton and causes their eventual death by dehydration. It is useful for eliminating bed bugs in all stages: adults, nymphs, and hatchlings.
This process is not instantaneous. Keep in mind that after using, it will take approximately 7 to 17 days for a bedbug to die. The total length of time varies depending on three things: what stage in the molting cycle the bedbug is, to how much of the Diatomaceous Earth they’re exposed to and for how long. The mortality rate is higher than 90%. (Source)
So, don’t panic if you’ve spread it and are still seeing the bedbug activity for a couple of days. That doesn’t mean it’s not working.
The brand itself doesn’t matter as long as it’s pet or food grade. It’s all going to do the same job.
DE will be used for bed bugs eradication successfully until the bugs manage to develop an impenetrable exoskeleton.
Bedbugs try to reach you and feed on your blood. To apply the powder correctly, spread it lightly in the path that bed bugs must cross through to reach your bed or couch while hinting for their meal.
When your apartment building is infested, bed bugs travel through the walls hunting for sleeping humans. That is the way they spread. Put some Diatomaceous Earth in your electrical outlets to prevent them from entering your flat. Make sure that you’re wearing a mask and turn off the breaker for the room that you’re working in.
Take the plate off and spread a thin layer of the DE throughout the outlet gap with a plastic spoon or a duster. Put a little on the back of the faceplate. For a piece of mind, do this to all the outlets in your house.
Apply a thin layer of Diatomaceous Earth to cracks and crevices in the walls, around the bed, bed frames, and around the edges where the carpeting meets the wall. (Source)
Dismantle the bed and add the powder into joints, crevices, and where rungs are inserted. Do the same with bedside cabinets, under the dressers, drawers, and any place close to the bed, where bed bugs could feel unharmed and uninterrupted, but close to their food.
Apply lightly and uniformly behind picture frames, where the molding meets the wall, under stairs, and underneath and behind equipment or appliances.
A very light layer in all the right places is all that’s needed to take down most insect infestations. In fact, if you apply it correctly there shouldn’t be enough to bother cleaning up! (Source)
Your main job is to make sure the DE is dry and that you and your family minimize inhaling it as much as possible. Leave it on for a few days, then vacuum and reapply it. Any bedbugs outbreak requires multiple applications.
Diatomaceous Earth can take up to 17 days to kill bedbugs. Keep in mind that bed bug bites can take a couple of days to show up, so seeing bites after applying it doesn’t mean it’s not working. It is much safer for your family and pets than using foggers, bombs or sprays.
PLEASE NOTE: Avoid inhaling it as much as possible. Using a mask or respirator when applying it is essential. Do not use other pesticides with DE. Follow the label instructions correctly.
Disclaimer: Diatomaceous Earth can be dangerous if inhaled.
According to Diatomaceous Earth Material Safety Data Sheet:
Toxic Effects on Humans: Acute Potential Health Effects: No adverse health effects expected on skin and ingestion. May cause eye irritation. Inhalation: Affects respiration and irritates respiratory tract. Coughing and irritation of throat are early symptoms. Inhalation of quartz is classified as a human carcinogen. Risk of cancer depends upon duration and level of exposure. May also affect the liver. Chronic exposure to quartz can also cause silicosis, a form of lung scarring. That can cause shortness of breath, reduced lung function. May also affect the blood.
Please consult any safety sheets or instructions provided by the supplier of diatomaceous earth.
Be Careful! DE could destroy your vacuum cleaner. We prefer to use DE for its abrasive property, but it can have a disastrous effect on your vacuum cleaner if it’s not designed to handle such material. A regular, filtered vacuum or one that has a bag will get clogged, and the powder may destroy it.
Use a vacuum that has a high-quality HEPA filter. Vacuum slowly and give your machine time to draw the abrasive powder fully through its system.
Storing your empty Vaccum cleaner in the cupboard will spread bed bugs all over. Get used to keeping it in a plastic box or in a sealed plastic bag!
Avoid product with a pool grade as it is much more harmful to humans. Always exercise caution when applying Diatomaceous Earth. Ask about the diatomaceous earth at hardware stores or purchase online.
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