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Bed bugs often live in warm areas and make homes in clothes, furniture, carpet and bedding. You can easily spot a bed bug infestation by checking for blood smears and black fecal matter on furniture, mattresses and surrounding areas.
When you find a bed bug infestation, the first thing you do is look for an effective treatment option. While there are a number of products available for bed bug control, not all of them are created equal. More and more people look for natural bed bug treatment options for safety purposes.
Diatomaceous Earth bed bug powder is a popular treatment option for DIY bed bug control. It is a cost-effective solution free of any harmful chemicals. It is also safe to use around children, pets and food areas. Today, we review this product to help you learn more about its effectiveness and use for killing bed bugs.
Diatomaceous Earth Bed Bug Review – UPDATED 2020
Considered to be one of the safest methods to kill bed bugs, Diatomaceous Earth or DE is made out of single-celled organism fossils. It is a natural rock powder used in a variety of everyday items like toothpaste and polish and a possible treatment for bed bugs. It is highly preferred because it is quite safer and natural when compared to chemical sprays and insecticides.
While Diatomaceous Earth is soft like other powders, it is made up of fossils and resembles tiny razor blades when observed microscopically. It is non-toxic to humans and pets but deadly to most pests including bed bugs. The best thing about this bed bug powder is that bugs don’t develop resistance as it is natural and contains no chemicals. An additional benefit is that it kills other common insects found in households like spiders, ticks, fleas, roaches and more.
DE has two special properties that make it uniquely effective at killing stubborn insects like bed bugs.
Bed bugs have a shell coated with a waxy layer that prevents drying out. When the insects come in contact with Diatomaceous Earth, it can effectively erode the waxy layer by scraping the shell when the bugs climb over the sharp particles. The moisture evaporates and the bug dries out quickly over a span of just a few days.
Sharp and Jagged Structure
The powder is made up of ancient fossils that are not smooth but full of sharp and jagged edges. This structure enables it to latch into insects coming in contact with it. It also helps damage the skeleton of the insects more upon sticking and sometimes even transfer to other bugs through contact.
Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Bed Bugs?
Most bed bug powders used in the pest control industry contain Diatomaceous Earth, a talc-like substance obtained from fossilized organisms. The product is known to be effective at killing crawling insects and is popular as a safe bed bug treatment option. It is also non-toxic and does not harm pets or humans even if ingested. When the powder is sprinkled on crawling insects having a waxy outer shell, they get dehydrated and die.
While DE is quite effective and proven at killing bed bugs, the key is to use the right application method. You should understand how to use the powder to kill and control bed bugs successfully and improper use is the reason people mostly don’t see results.
People see mixed results when treating bed bug infestation with DE because these insects have developed coping strategies over the time. This means bugs can take longer to visit DE treated areas as compared to other sprays. This can limit the effectiveness. Restricted exposure may lead to a lower death rate.
Moreover, it can take time to work after exposure. The moisture from the exoskeletons doesn’t evaporate instantly when DE scratches the shell. It can take days before the bug can dry out completely and die.
DE For Bed Bugs – What You Should Know?
Using DE for bed bugs is simpler than other treatment methods. You just have to use the powder where bugs are likely to pass through. You can start by identifying where you should apply. Then, you can take a small amount and make piles so that the insects crawl through them. It is also possible to sprinkle the powder to cover a larger area for better effectiveness.
When it comes to the quantity, the more is better for DE. You want to leave no way for bed bugs to escape walking through it. You can consider making small rings around every feet of the bed and pile up to form complete rings. This product is quite inexpensive so you can use a lot of it. Whenever you see that a path is made through the pile, replenish immediately. DE does not expire and lasts longer than other methods.
How To Apply DE Powder For Bed Bugs?
To use DE powder for bed bug control, focus on hiding places like cracks and crevices in the areas where bed bug activity is high. This powder is great for spaces like floorboards and baseboards because it settles well into them as compared to other sprays. Some products come with applicators but it is advisable to purchase a professional powder applicator to reach wall voids, cracks and crevices deeply and use the product efficiently.
Use the applicator to apply DE powder along moulding, behind appliances, in crevices, along door jambs and window sills and in drawers. You can also cover all the mattresses and furniture with a thin layer of DE. It can also be applied behind electrical outlets and switches using the applicator after removing the faceplates.
Borax Vs Diatomaceous Earth For Bed Bugs
Borax looks much similar to Diatomaceous Earth and is often considered to be a bed bug killer. The reality is that it does not work for bed bugs. If you are interested in using a bed bug powder, you should stick to DE.
Borax is a chemical that breaks down in a different way as compared to Diatomaceous Earth. It is just a powder of minerals broken down into dust. DE, on the other hand, is made out of sharp tiny fossils that scrape the outer layer of bed bugs to kill them effectively as they crawl through it.
DE is not only sharper and more abrasive than Borax but is also safer to use. It is non-toxic when consumed by pets or humans. While borax works as a slow acting poison affecting the nervous system of the insects, DE works differently by damaging the outer shell or the insects and dehydrating them.
While both these products can be applied in a similar fashion, borax is better in wet areas because DE is more sensitive to moisture and needs frequent reapplication. So it is a good idea to use DE in dry areas and borax in damp places.