Using Diatomaeous Earth To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs

Posted on: 21 January 2016

If you are looking for a way to get rid of bed bugs without relying on chemical pesticides, diatomaceous earth (DE) is a great solution. Composed of the tiny skeletons of diatoms, which are little sea-dwelling creatures, DE feels soft to you, but at a microscopic level, it has sharp points that poke into the exoskeletons of insects like bed bugs and cause them to die. Here's what you need to know about using DE to kill bed bugs:

Where should you apply it?

You'll want to apply the diatomaceous earth over all of the soft surfaces in your bedroom. This includes your mattress, box spring, carpet, and any chairs or sofas. If you have noticed bed bugs in your living room or another room, you'll want to treat the soft surfaces in this room, too. You should also apply it in the creases between your wall and carpet -- bed bugs love to hide here! Vacuum thoroughly before applying the DE to give yourself a head start by removing some bed bug eggs and bed bugs.

How should you apply it?

The easiest way to apply DE to a mattress or other larger surface is to fill a sock with the DE and then pat it over the surface. A small amount of DE will puff out, coating the item. You don't need a thick layer of DE to do the trick. Just a dusting will do.

When dealing with a mattress, remove the sheets and covers from your mattress, and apply the DE directly to the mattress before putting the sheets back on. Leave the DE in place for about a week, and then vacuum it up and reapply it. The DE absorbs moisture over time, and this makes it less effective. Replacing it every week will combat this. Keep reapplying the DE for about 2 weeks after you stop noticing bed bugs. This will help you be absolutely sure that they're gone.

Is it safe?

If you buy the right kind of DE, it is very safe. Look for DE that is labeled "food grade." You could eat this DE (and people do) and it would be completely safe. DE that is sold for use in pools may contain impurities and other chemicals that would cause harm if you were to inhale or ingest them; don't use this type to fight bed bugs.

If you're diligent in replacing it weekly, DE can do an excellent job of getting rid of bed bugs. As an added bonus, it will rid your home of fleas and other pests, too!

For more help with bed bug treatment, consider contacting a professional in your area.