How Bed Bug Powder

How to Use Bed Bug Powders

Bed bug powders are among the most commonly used tools in bed bug treatments. Diatomaceous earth in particular is well-known for its natural composition and for being relatively safe to humans. However, there is a lot of misinformation online about how bed bug powders work, and how you should use them. In this brief overview, we’re going to set the record straight and offer some simple instruction on how to use bed bug powders in your home.

Diatomaceous earth is a fine white natural powder made from fossilized diatoms, a major group of algae that have existed for over 180 million years. Residual powders work by clinging to the bed bugs’ waxy exoskeleton, absorbing the nutrient-rich lipids on their shells and causing them to dehydrate. The beautiful thing about using diatomaceous earth is that it works indefinitely as long as it stays dry; if exposed to water, it loses the abrasive quality that makes it an effective bed bug killer.

How NOT to Use Bed Bug Powders

First off, let’s cover where you should and should not be applying the powder. A lot of tutorials and discussions online suggest that you should scatter diatomaceous earth all over your bedroom. Some people pack piles of powder around their bed legs, hoping to stop the bugs from reaching them in their bed. Don’t do this. You’re just making a mess that’s going to be an enormous pain to clean up later.

The idea to scatter powder all over the place comes from the false notion that diatomaceous earth will kill bed bugs really quickly, or wills top them from reaching you and feeding on you. Unfortunately, diatomaceous earth actually takes about a day or two to kill bed bugs once they come in contact with it. The powder is also shown to be less effective in open areas than it is when applied into tight cracks and crevices that bed bugs are slipping in and out of. With powder in those cracks, we ensure that more of the powder will get the chance to stick to the bed bugs’ waxy shells.

Instructions on how to apply a powder are always included on its label. A really important step before you use any type of insecticide, including powders, is to read over the product label and MSDS. These documents are included with any insecticide that’s registered with the EPA, and they outline some very important safety guidelines and instructions on using the powder. People talk about powders like diatomaceous earth as something that’s harmless to humans, but that simply isn’t true. There is still a risk of harmful skin and lung exposure if you don’t apply it properly, so do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to study the label before you use the powder.

Crack and Crevice Treatment

As discussed before, your powder application should be focused on cracks and crevices in the room that bed bugs are likely to be hiding in or traveling through. Places like baseboards, floorboards, and where the carpet meets the floors are great examples: they are easy hiding and transit spots for bed bugs, and powder is well suited there since it can settle deep down into those spaces in a way that sprays can’t.

Some powder products, like our 7-ounce bottle of JT Eaton diatomaceous earth powder, have an applicator built in. All you have to do is cut off the plastic cover from the tip of the applicator so that this little opening is exposed. Then just turn the bottle over, get the tip of that nozzle close to where you want to apply the powder, and give the bottle a very gentle squeeze. We don’t want to overdo this, as a lot of powder comes out with each puff. We can repeat this in short spaced out intervals so that we end up with a fairly even application.

While you could do your powder treatment with that built-in nozzle, our preferred method is with a professional powder applicator. This simple and affordable device gives us a couple of advantages over puffing powder straight out of the bottle: it has a long straw that allows us to get deep into cracks, crevices, and wall voids, and it emits smaller, more even amounts of powder with each puff. To use the applicator, we simply pop off the rubber cap on top, fill the bell about halfway with powder, and put the cap back on to seal the bell. Flip the applicator over so the bell is underneath the straw, take off the cover on the tip of the straw, and give the bell a gentle pump to start applying powder.

Wall Voids and Other Places

Once you’ve treated the cracks and crevices along the edges of your floors, you can move on to other key spots in the room. You can apply most bed bug powders along door frames, underneath appliances, under the edges of rugs, and the joints and interior areas of wooden furniture. Again, be sure to double-check the product label to see where you should be applying the product.

To better reach the insides of the walls, you can apply many powders behind the faceplates of electrical outlets and light switches. Simply unscrew the face plates and puff some powder into the wall through the openings between the exposed hardware. Be sure not to put any powder into the electrical outlet itself. This is a handy way to reach bed bugs that have managed to get into the wall to hide or to travel between rooms.

This overview covers the basics on how to use an insecticide powder in a bed bug treatment. Remember that this does not represent a complete treatment solution, as bed bug powders will not eliminate an infestation on their own. You need to treat the powder as part of a combined treatment process that involves a number of other tools. Also, keep in mind that this overview does not replace the need to study the product label and MSDS that comes with your powder.

How to Use Bed Bug Powders

Bed bug powders are among the most commonly used tools in bed bug treatments. Diatomaceous earth in particular is well-known for its natural composition and for being relatively safe to humans. However, there is a lot of misinformation online about how bed bug powders work, and how you should use them. In this brief overview, we’re going to set the record straight and offer some simple instruction on how to use bed bug powders in your home.

Diatomaceous earth is a fine white natural powder made from fossilized diatoms, a major group of algae that have existed for over 180 million years. Residual powders work by clinging to the bed bugs’ waxy exoskeleton, absorbing the nutrient-rich lipids on their shells and causing them to dehydrate. The beautiful thing about using diatomaceous earth is that it works indefinitely as long as it stays dry; if exposed to water, it loses the abrasive quality that makes it an effective bed bug killer.

How NOT to Use Bed Bug Powders

First off, let’s cover where you should and should not be applying the powder. A lot of tutorials and discussions online suggest that you should scatter diatomaceous earth all over your bedroom. Some people pack piles of powder around their bed legs, hoping to stop the bugs from reaching them in their bed. Don’t do this. You’re just making a mess that’s going to be an enormous pain to clean up later.

The idea to scatter powder all over the place comes from the false notion that diatomaceous earth will kill bed bugs really quickly, or wills top them from reaching you and feeding on you. Unfortunately, diatomaceous earth actually takes about a day or two to kill bed bugs once they come in contact with it. The powder is also shown to be less effective in open areas than it is when applied into tight cracks and crevices that bed bugs are slipping in and out of. With powder in those cracks, we ensure that more of the powder will get the chance to stick to the bed bugs’ waxy shells.

Instructions on how to apply a powder are always included on its label. A really important step before you use any type of insecticide, including powders, is to read over the product label and MSDS. These documents are included with any insecticide that’s registered with the EPA, and they outline some very important safety guidelines and instructions on using the powder. People talk about powders like diatomaceous earth as something that’s harmless to humans, but that simply isn’t true. There is still a risk of harmful skin and lung exposure if you don’t apply it properly, so do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to study the label before you use the powder.

Crack and Crevice Treatment

As discussed before, your powder application should be focused on cracks and crevices in the room that bed bugs are likely to be hiding in or traveling through. Places like baseboards, floorboards, and where the carpet meets the floors are great examples: they are easy hiding and transit spots for bed bugs, and powder is well suited there since it can settle deep down into those spaces in a way that sprays can’t.

Some powder products, like our 7-ounce bottle of JT Eaton diatomaceous earth powder, have an applicator built in. All you have to do is cut off the plastic cover from the tip of the applicator so that this little opening is exposed. Then just turn the bottle over, get the tip of that nozzle close to where you want to apply the powder, and give the bottle a very gentle squeeze. We don’t want to overdo this, as a lot of powder comes out with each puff. We can repeat this in short spaced out intervals so that we end up with a fairly even application.

While you could do your powder treatment with that built-in nozzle, our preferred method is with a professional powder applicator. This simple and affordable device gives us a couple of advantages over puffing powder straight out of the bottle: it has a long straw that allows us to get deep into cracks, crevices, and wall voids, and it emits smaller, more even amounts of powder with each puff. To use the applicator, we simply pop off the rubber cap on top, fill the bell about halfway with powder, and put the cap back on to seal the bell. Flip the applicator over so the bell is underneath the straw, take off the cover on the tip of the straw, and give the bell a gentle pump to start applying powder.

Wall Voids and Other Places

Once you’ve treated the cracks and crevices along the edges of your floors, you can move on to other key spots in the room. You can apply most bed bug powders along door frames, underneath appliances, under the edges of rugs, and the joints and interior areas of wooden furniture. Again, be sure to double-check the product label to see where you should be applying the product.

To better reach the insides of the walls, you can apply many powders behind the faceplates of electrical outlets and light switches. Simply unscrew the face plates and puff some powder into the wall through the openings between the exposed hardware. Be sure not to put any powder into the electrical outlet itself. This is a handy way to reach bed bugs that have managed to get into the wall to hide or to travel between rooms.

This overview covers the basics on how to use an insecticide powder in a bed bug treatment. Remember that this does not represent a complete treatment solution, as bed bug powders will not eliminate an infestation on their own. You need to treat the powder as part of a combined treatment process that involves a number of other tools. Also, keep in mind that this overview does not replace the need to study the product label and MSDS that comes with your powder.

Bed Bug Powder: How to Use It Effectively to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Bed bug powders are a very effective way to kill bed bugs and get rid of them from your home for good. Most bed bug powders contain diatomaceous earth (DE) which is non-toxic and generally safe to use around the home. Many people use natural powders for killing bed bugs because they last for a long time and can help deal with recurrent or persistent bed bug infestations.

Waking up in the morning with itchy red bumps around your ankles and black specks on your bedding could be a sign that you have a bed bug problem. Because they are so tiny and only come out at night, bed bugs can be difficult to eradicate from your home. Unlike chemicals that poison the bugs and can be dangerous to humans, bed bug powders from food grade diatomaceous earth won’t harm you or your family. That means that you can use bed bug powders to get rid of these pesky critters while still staying in your own home.

In this article, you will find out all you need to know about using powders to kill bed bugs that have infested your home. I will also look at ways to spot the signs of a bed bug invasion and where to dust the bed bug powder for best results.

How Powders Effectively Kill Bed Bugs

Diatomaceous earth is the main or only ingredient in many bed bug powders. In fact, you can easily make your own powder at home to control bed bugs and get rid of them from your home for good. Bed bug powders and diatomaceous earth work as desiccants, which means that they dehydrate the bugs to kill them.

According to the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC), diatomaceous earth is a substance made from grinding up the fossilized remains of diatoms – a type of algae. This forms a white fine powder or dust that acts as a pesticide. DE kills bugs, ants, roaches, and other insects by sticking to their exoskeletons. This destroys their outer shell and causes the pests to dehydrate and eventually die. 1

The NPIC says that diatomaceous earth pesticide powders are registered for use against bed bugs, fleas, ticks, spiders, and cockroaches. Many studies into dust insecticides have shown their effectiveness in killing bed bugs.

The journalPloS Onereported that diatomaceous earth powder helps to kill off groups of bed bugs. Researchers found that the white dust sticks to the shell of bed bugs and is transferred to other bed bugs and nymphs. This causes bed bugs and nymphs to die and it can be an effective natural insecticide for bed bugs in hard to reach places. 2

Another study published in the journalInsectsfound that diatomaceous earth powder can help to greatly reduce large numbers of bed bugs. This was recommended as a cost-effective and practical way to kill off bed bugs. 3

Why Bed Bug Powders are Better than Chemicals

Bed bug powders don’t have to be ingested for them to be effective. This means that you don’t have to rely on the bugs ingesting the dust for it to be effective. All you need to do, is make sure and use food grade diatomaceous earth powder, keep it dry, and dust it around places where the bed bugs are lurking.

Professor Stuart Hill from Department of Entomology and Ecological Agriculture Projects describes diatomaceous earth as an ideal non-toxic pesticide. Prof. Hill says that bed bug powders have an insecticidal effect for as long as the powder is on the bed bug’s skin. It is also safe to use around the house and there are no recorded harmful effects to humans or pets. 4

In fact,food gradediatomaceous earth is so safe that you can add it to food to get rid of intestinal parasites and worms. You can also use diatomaceous earth to get rid of ants and other creepy crawlies.

Before you use diatomaceous earth powder to exterminate bed bugs, it’s important to know the signs of a bed bug infestation and where to look for them.

How to Tell if You Have Bed Bugs

Bed bugs can be difficult to spot and, if you don’t get rid of them completely, you can soon have a recurring bug infestation to deal with.

According to doctors from the Mayo Clinic, it can be difficult to distinguish bed bug bites from other insect bites. Some people even mistake a cluster of bed bug bites as just an itchy rash on the body. Bed bug bites usually cause symptoms like itchy red spots with a darker center, spots in a straight line or cluster, and they usually occur on the legs, arms, or face. 5 Bed bugs can leave a nasty cluster of bites on your skin that can last for a few days.

To look for bed bugs, the Mayo Clinic recommends looking for signs of them around mattresses, bed frames, headboards, or behind furniture beside beds. However, bed bugs also reside behind torn wallpaper, behind baseboards, or in the seams of pillows and cushions. 6

Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD says that signs that bed bugs are infesting an area are a distinctive musty smell, tiny blood stains on bed linen, evidence of feces and shed skin where the bugs are lurking. 7

How to Use Bed Bug Powder to Kill Bed Bugs

Once you have established where bed bugs are residing, you can use a natural bed bug powder to start eradicating them.

Here is a step-by-step guide to kill bed bugs for good and prevent a recurring infestation. Please remember, if you are using diatomaceous earth as your bed bug treatment powder, only use DE that is classed asfood grade(here is one example). Food grade diatomaceous earth is safe to use around the home and it’s an effective home treatment for killing bed bugs and fleas.

1. Identify the Problem

The first step is to locate where you have a bed bug infestation before applying the bed bug powder. You should thoroughly examine all cracks and crevices in your bed frame, along base boards, behind drawers, and behind torn wallpaper.

2. Remove Bed Bugs

The next step is to physically remove any bed bugs, fecal matter, shed skin, and eggs that can be seen around furniture.

Researchers from the Texas A&M University recommend stripping the bed and vacuuming the mattresses, box springs, bed frame, and anywhere else you found evidence of bed bugs. After this, you should discard the vacuum bag outdoors. 8

All sheets, pillowcases, and other bed linen should be washed in hot water and then put on a hot dryer cycle for at least 30 minutes to kill any remaining bed bugs and their eggs.

Hot steam is another recommended home remedy to eradicate bed bugs and you can use it after vacuuming. The hot steam can get rid of bed bugs from small crevices and cracks. It can also penetrate through the mattress lining and eradicate bug infestations inside the mattress.

Another practical way to destroy the irritating pests lurking in your mattresses is to encase your mattress in a specially designed bed bug-proof encasement. This will prevent bed bugs from coming out at night and biting people sleeping on the bed. Eventually, the bugs will die because they have no food source. In addition to encasing your bed items, you can also place bed bug traps (such as this one) under your bed legs to stop bed bugs crawling up.

3. Kill Bed Bugs with Bed Bug Powder

To completely exterminate all bed bugs from your living areas, you need to use bed bug powder. This will eventually remove all traces of bed bugs and help you sleep easier at night.

There are many commercial products listed as natural bed bug killing powders (here is one example). However, you can dust affected areas with diatomaceous earth which is just as effective as powders for bed bugs.

To get rid of bed bug with diatomaceous earth powder, this is how you should apply it:

  1. Make sure that all areas where you plan to sprinkle the bed bug powder are completely dry.
  2. Using a dusting applicator or sieve, lightly sprinkle the bug powder on all cracks and crevices where the bugs are hiding.
  3. Remember to lightly dust the bed bug powder on carpets, along the edges of baseboards, door frames, and behind furniture.
  4. Wait for 2-3 days and then vacuum the area thoroughly to remove any more bed bugs.
  5. Reapply the bug powder.

Make sure to wear a mask to prevent inhaling the fine dust and also read the next section about precautions when using bed bug powders.

As long as the powder for bed bugs stays dry, it will continue to dehydrate and kill the bugs. All it takes is for the bug to get a little of the powder on its skin for the remedy to work.

If you have a large bed bug infestation, there is always the chance that some bed bugs have migrated to other rooms. Therefore, to prevent bed bugs becoming a major problem, you should check other rooms.

Other places to do some “preventative bug dusting” include:

  • behind kitchen appliances
  • behind electrical outlet faceplates
  • behind drawers of furniture
  • at the corners and edges of rooms where carpeting the baseboards meet
  • in the seams of soft furnishings like sofa, cushions, and pillows

Precautions When Using Bed Bug Powders

Even though food grade diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic pesticide that really works for killing bed bugs, you should take some precautions when using it around the home.

Diatomaceous earth is a fine abrasive dust and you should avoid breathing it in when applying the white powder. The National Pesticide Information Center says that DE can irritate your nasal passages and cause eye irritation. This can result in watery eyes, itching, and redness around your eyelids. Also, irritation in your lungs could result in a dry cough. 1

Therefore, when using powders as a bed bug killer, you should wear a mask to prevent inhaling the fine dust.

Other Natural Bed Bug Control Methods

Using bed bug powders for bug control is just one effective tool in your fight against these invasive critters. There are other great ways to get rid of bed bugs naturally without having to resort to harmful chemicals.

Essential oils. Essential oils are a great way to get rid of various types of bugs around the home. Many essential oils contain compounds that act as a bug and insect repellent but won’t harm humans or pets.

For example, the journalInsectspublished studies on the efficiency of various essential oils in repelling bed bugs. They found that essential oils like lemongrass, peppermint oil, clove oil, and cinnamon oil, among others, were effective bed bug pesticides. 9 Also, tea tree oil has proven antimicrobial activity that can destroy cell membranes. 10

You can make a natural bed bug pesticide from essential oils by mixing 10 drops of lavender oil, 6 drops of lemongrass oil, 6 drops of tea tree oil, and 10 drops of thyme oil with some water in a small spray bottle. Spray liberally along cracks and crevices of your bed frames to get rid of bed bugs for good. Use the natural bed bug spray daily until all the signs of bed bugs have disappeared. Remember to shake the natural spray well before each application.

Just remember not to spray the natural bug repellent on areas that have been treated with DE. For bed bug powder to continue to be effective, it has to be dry.

Tea tree oil is also a great spot treatment to take the itch out of insect bites and prevent the itchy bump becoming infected. All you have to do is dab a tiny amount of tea tree oil on the itchy skin and let it dry. For other natural treatments, read my article about the best home remedies to get rid of bed bug bites.

Cold treatment. Bed bugs die off in extreme cold temperatures. The United States Environmental Protection Agency recommends freezing any bug-infested items that will fit in a freezer. So, you can easily exterminate bed bugs from bed linen, sheets, and pillowcases by leaving them in the freezer for 4 days. 11

Use bed bug sprays. There are commercial and homemade natural bed bug sprays to kill these nasty critters. You can find out how to make and use these sprays in my article about the most effective bed bug sprays.

For other ways to kill bed bugs, read my article about thetop 10 home remedies to get rid of bed bugs.

Read my other related articles:

Article Sources

  1. NPIC. Diatomaceous earth.
  2. PLoS One. 2013 Sep 25;8(9):e75626.
  3. Insects. 2013 Nov 28;4(4):731-42.
  4. McGill. Diatomaceous earth – a non-toxic pesticide.
  5. MayoClinic. Bedbugs – symptoms.
  6. MayoClinic. Bedbugs – causes.
  7. WebMD. Bedbugs.
  8. TAMU. Bed bugs – do it yourself control options.
  9. Insects. 2014 Dec; 5(4): 849–859.
  10. J Appl Microbiol. 2000 Jan;88(1):170-5.
  11. EPA. Do it yourself bed bug control.

Bed Bug Powders and Dusts Review

Dusts are one of the most effective means of getting rid of bed bugs. When can they be better and more effective than sprays? We’ll figure out down to the tiniest detail which products are to be used and how to do this properly and at the end of the article, you will find a comparative review of the five best bed bug dusts & powders.

Table of Contents:

How Does it Work: What Do the Scientists Say

Dusts are handy when it is pointless or dangerous to use liquid insecticides. Powdery products have a long-lasting action while liquids lose their properties after drying. Moreover, they are safer than many killer sprays.

As the University of Michigan experts explain,dusts are the best choice for treating crackswhere bed bugs like to hide, such as behind headboards, along the bed frame, and under the baseboards.

How to apply dusts

If dust is applied in these areas, the bed bugs will become coated in the dust and won’t be able to escape. Dusts can be puffed in behind electrical outlets and switch plates and used in the empty spaces behind walls to catch bed bugs travelling from one room to another.

They will do not only for local treatment of cracks and crevices. You can also treat large territories with dusts as it is very cost-effective. The only drawback is that everything will be covered in dust and you will have to deal with mess for a while waiting for the results. Sprays, on the other hand, are cleaner and user-friendlier.

How Diatomaceous Earth Kills Bugs

Diatomaceous earth is made of diatomaceous algae fossils shredded to a flour-like state. As the University of Florida scientists explain, an insects’ chitinous cover is coated with a thin and waxy protective layer. Once diatomaceous earth comes in contact with said insects, it absorbs wax and damages the chitinous cover with its sharp particles. This leads to dehydration of insects and consequent death.

Diatomaceous earth acts quickly enough killing only those individuals with which it has come in direct contact. However, this treatment is absolutely useless against any insect pests in a damp environment as moist diatomaceous earth completely loses its properties.

Is it safe for humans and pets?

Yes. The product is safe for humans and pets unless it get into their eyes, lungs and other mucous membranes.

NB: Use proper diatomaceous earth!Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center specialists warn:“Look for DE for insect control – it is not the same product as diatomaceous earth used in swimming pool filters, which is dangerous to breathe.”We’ll give an example of such proper diatomaceous earth below in our review of the 5 best powders and dusts.

What is the Difference between Silica Gel and Diatomaceous Earth?

Widely retailed silica gel is also considered effective by scientists. This crystal substance can be shredded, if needed. It hits the insect, removes the protective wax layer and dehydrates the chitinous exoskeleton while accumulating. In this way, the impact of diatomaceous earth and silica gel on parasites are nearly identical. Both substances target a variety of pests.

As the same specialists from Texas comments,both of these dusts are low risk to humans, and work by desiccating, or drying out, bed bugs which come in contact with it. Silica aerogel is, in some studies, superior for this purpose. It is sold under various trade names including Tri-Die™ and CimeXa™.

However, there is an important difference between the two.

  • Diatomaceous earth is an inert abrasive substance. 100% diatomaceous earth is more active than silica gel. Even if a treatment contains diatomaceous earth only, it will be sufficient for killing parasites.
  • Silica gel is an inert non-abrasive substance that comes in granules, meaning that unlike diatomaceous earth, it doesn’t damage the actual chitinous cover. It is often combined with other insecticides like pyrethrins and pyrethroids.

How to Use Bed Bug Powder: 5 Rules

Such products are usually applied under the skirting boards, down the cracks, behind the sockets and in other inaccessible places. Determine the scale of infestation and identify all the places where insects have been seen as well as their routes (for instance, through sockets and wall voids). Then begin the operation.

  1. Prepare the room for treatment: pack any food and children’s clothes, and don’t let kids and pets inside. Vacuum clean the floor, furniture and carpets.
  2. Squeeze your bottle containing the dust or a manual powder duster; apply a thin layer of dust down the cracks and holes. You can also use a broad brush or a tampon for this. When carrying out the treatment, make sure you wear gloves and a mask. If using a powder duster seems more convenient, fill it only for two thirds in order not to clog its spout.
  3. Treat the bottom of the carpet, behind the skirting boards, closet walls, doors, sockets, places behind paintings and any other spots where insects can hide. Treat the inside of the furniture by applying dust through holes, armrests and edges.We recommend that you leave the diatomaceous earth for as long as possible.A fortnight will be ideal. Move on to point 4 after that.
  4. Wash any open spaces after treatment with water and soap. Vacuum clean the exterior of the furniture, floors and carpets. Wash your hands and face with soap. If your vacuum cleaner is equipped with bags, get rid of the used ones.
  5. Don’t despair if the insects are still visible after this clean-up. Just repeat the treatment.

When Powders Are More Effective Than Sprays

Dusts are more effective thanks to their long-lasting effect, which is essential when eliminating multiplying insects. Several weeks will be required for getting rid of bed bugs, including the individuals that will hatch later. Liquid insecticides cease to work once they dry up.

As we have mentioned above, dusts are great for use in cracks and inaccessible spaces, especially on furniture that should not be drenched. You can also use them if the infestation covers a large territory. The only issue is that it will create a lot of mess as the dust will be everywhere.

Comparative Chart of Bed Bug Powder and Spray Effectiveness

TypeAdvantagesDisadvantagesBest Use
PowderQuick action
Long-lasting effect (for up to 6-8 months).
Cut-rate and cost-efficient
Penetrates deep into any cracks.
Loses its properties in moist environments (powder with deltamethrin does not)
Causes a mess as everything will be covered in dust.
Is convenient for treating both inaccessible places (behind the skirting boards, down the cracks) and large territories.
SprayIs suitable for both local treatment, large territories and vast spaces.
Has quick action.
Is a user-friendly method.
Dries and loses its killing properties quickly.Treat bed, furniture, luggage and large territories if required.

Find the best sprays in our review of 5 best bed bug killer sprays.

Top-3 Bed Bug Powders

Both pure dusts and dusts with added insecticides are sold. First, we will review three 100% organic products based on diatomaceous earth and silica gel. After that, we will take a separate look at two insecticides.

Diatomaceous Earthis sold in both large packs (Safer) and smaller bottles (Harris) with a convenient fine spout that allows spraying down the narrowest cracks. Which one is best for you? That will depend on the area of infestation. Go for a large pack if that area is large. Have the parasites just appeared? Then a small tube will do. Both products promise to kill larvae and adults within 48 hours.

Safer DE – For Large-Scale Infestations

A 4 lbSaferpack is a very popular and 100% natural product which you have often encountered in our reviews. It is used for getting rid of cockroaches, fleas, earwigs, silverfish, crickets, millipedes and centipedes. Its main advantage is that insects cannot develop a resistance to it since there are no chemicals to build immunity from. Read all customer reviews to learn more.

No convenient application devices are supplied, so you will have to make a separate investment for such a device. The good oldPest Pistol powder duster.

Harris DE – For Smaller-Scale Infestations

8 ounces ofHarris Diatomaceous Earth Powderis available in a bottle with a narrow spout for convenient use. It has enough positive feedback on and a rating of 4 stars out of 5, The manufacturer claims that it acts for a few weeks as long as it is dry.

Unlike diatomaceous earth,silica geldoes not damage the chitinous cover. Instead, it sticks to the insect and thus dehydrates and kills it.

CimeXa Organic Insecticide

This insecticide consists of 100% amorphous silica gel and is more expensive than previous products. Just like diatomaceous earth, it targets a variety of pests: bed bugs, fleas, ticks, lice, roaches, ants, firebrats, silverfish, spiders, mites and drywood termites. It can be used both dry and dissolved in water for spraying. It is not yet very popular, but 75% of reviews are accompanied by the highest mark.

Why are Deltamethrin or Pyrethrins Added To Silica Gel-Based Dusts?

Some dusts are mixed with insecticides for enforcing and accelerating their lethal action:

  • A dust combined with pyrethrins or pyrethroidshas a dual action: physical (dehydration) and impact on the nervous system (it paralyses the insect), as the University of Michigan specialists observe.
  • Deltamethrin (pyrethroid)allows a product to act even in an extremely damp environment as it is a waterproof active ingredient.

Precautions when using dusts containing insecticides

Unlike 100% natural diatomaceous earth and silica gel, such insecticides may be used only in non-food areas.

Delta Dust Multi Use Pest Control – Is Effective Even in Moist Environment

This dust supplied in a 1 lb tube has great reviews in comparison with similar products and a high rating of 4.4 stars out of 5. Its target pest list includes 30 various species including many household and garden pests. Its active ingredient is 0.05 deltamethrin which lets it act even in moist environments. A single pound will cover an area of 2 000 square feet. According to the manufacturer, the killing effect is retained for up to eight months.

Drione Pest Insecticide Dust – Dual Effect

Amorphous silica gel-based dust with pyrethrins by Drione has been awarded an user rating of 4.6 stars out of 5. It contains 1% pyrethrins and 40% silica gel. This combo-set includes a 1 lb tube with the actual substance and a duster. The product will deal not only with bed bugs, but also with ants, cockroaches and a dozen other pest insects. It promises that the long-lasting effect will last over 6 months.

Customers comment:“Bedbugs hate Drione! Hate, hate, hate. It works primarily by drying them out and it is a slow process. They will avoid it like it is painful for them to touch. I made a blockade in every bedroom doorway to prevent them from moving from 1 room to another.”The product can kill individual insects quickly enough, but removal of a full-scale invasion will take a couple of weeks. Read all the reviews to find more helpful tips about using Drione.

The manufacturer warns that Drione should not be used inside or around ventilation and heating. Don’t spray it inside an AC!

Drione (dust + powder duster):Check the current price

Best Bed Bug Powders and Dusts Comparative Chart

ProductActive IngredientActionEffectivenessPrice
Safer DE

DEDamages the chitinous cover and causes death by dehydration.Highly effective. Initial results will be visible within 48 hours if used properly in a dry place.(4 lb)

Harris Diatomaceous Earth Powder

DEDamages the chitinous cover and causes death by dehydration.(8 oz)

CimeXa

Silica gelCauses death by dehydration.Quick paralysing, slow killing.(4 oz)

Delta Dust

Silica gel + deltamethrinParalyses and causes death by dehydration.(1 lb)

Drione

Silica gel + pyrethrinsParalyses and causes death by dehydration.(dust + powder duster)

Which one from natural powders is stronger and more effective: DE or silica gel? And why?

While diatomaceous earth and other desiccants are recommended by the EPA as part of the integrated bed bug management and control, their effectiveness is still questionable when used alone. In the laboratory environment, diatomaceous earth has shown that it is, in fact, able to kill bed bugs when applied continuously in labeled amounts. However, some studies showed poor performance of DE when applied short-term or in smaller amounts.

The researchers from the University of Kentucky made a series of field trials to test the efficacy of diatomaceous earth which was used as a sole treatment. Unfortunately, the results were discouraging, showing that in some cases the bed bug population even increased. The scientists explained the DE poor performance by assuming that bed bugs’ ability to resist the desiccation was due to them being prone to retain moisture for a long time and replenishing their water reserves by consuming more blood.

These same researchers repeated the field tests by employing silica gel instead of DE, only this time, with amazing results: “abbreviated exposures (as brief as a few seconds) to barely visible deposits [of bed bugs] resulted in 100 percent mortality of adult bed bugs.”

So why the silica gel is more effective?

In fact, the researchers from the University of Kentucky, offer a very interesting explanation: the insecticides are often transported with the electronics to prevent moisture from accumulating around the packages during shipping. And since silica is comprised of tiny fluffy particles that come electrostatically charged, they stick to the insects’ shells much better and “absorb the cuticular waxes of insects onto the dust particles”, unlike DE, which acts as an abrasive.

And what’s wrong with DE?

The experiment which was conducted by the researchers from the University of Kentucky proved DE to be rather ineffective. Why? Because they decided to act as though the rooms were treated by regular consumers, do-it-yourselfers. The researchers purchased cosmetic and paint brushes from retail stores and applied a thin layer of DE across the furniture, or whenever they saw insects’ activity. Just as a regular consumer would have done.

This method, however, didn’t bring any positive results and was ruled out as completely ineffective. The reason behind this is that when applying DE, you’ll need to apply a relatively thick layer of powder to be effective. This brings us to a major disadvantage of DE since no one would be happy to see their room fully smeared and covered with insecticide powder. Also, in case you’re living in a humid climate, DE would be just as ineffective.Thus, silica beats DE in this battle.

As for the effectiveness of bed bug powders in comparison with other methods (sprays, traps, vacuuming, heating): None of them should be used alone because only a combination of methods will result in a successful treatment.

How long should the treatment with bed bug powders last?

According to the researchers from the University of Kentucky, a single treatment with silica is enough to target the major population of bed bugs, however, a second and third thorough application would guarantee the efficacy of decreasing the population by 90%.

How long does bed bug powder take to kill?

DE is claimed to kill the bugs within 48 hours, but as the recent research has shown, it might not work at all if you apply it in a very thin layer. Silica will kill the bug within seconds if applied right on a bug and will stay potent for at least 12 weeks after application (continuing to kill the remaining population).

Does a bed bug powder kill bed bugs’ eggs?

Nope, you will have to use other methods to target eggs specifically or apply the powder after an initial treatment to target hatched up eggs.

Usage tips

Do not apply the powder all over your bedroom, you’ll just create a mess that will be hard to clean up

Apply the powder to crevices, cracks, along the seams of the mattress, baseboard, floor and headboards, along the walls, so there’s more chance the power will stick to the bug’s shell

Research has shown that silica gel is more effective when applied as a dust than an aqueous suspension

Apply the dust with a brush where puffing doesn’t seem like a viable option (seams, crevices, folds)

Use other methods (like sprays) and monitor the bed bug population using the bed bug traps (or monitors)

Bed bug powder for mattress

In case you’re looking for a specific recommendation that would surely kill all the bugs traveling around your mattress, then go for CimeXa (silica gel), it’s so potent, you’d be surprised.

Bed bug powder for carpet

Delta Dust from Bayer (silica gel + deltamethrin) should be applied with a cosmetic brush or a hand duster (any other suitable appliance, really) under and along the edges of the carpet. Apply it lightly and uniformly.

Bed bug powder safe for babies

None of the stuff is really safe for babies. However, most powders are claimed to be non-toxic and safe around pets and children, provided that none of your household members swallow or consume the powder by any other means, like licking. If you’re really that much concerned about the safety, then use Harris Bed Bug Powder with diatomaceous earth, which is considered as a somewhat natural alternative to other chemically-ridden pesticides. However, don’t get your hopes too high, since DE might not deliver as well as you might expect.

Precautions

According to the CDC, “factors that most frequently contributed to insecticide-related illness were excessive insecticide application (18%), failure to wash or change pesticide-treated bedding (16%), and inadequate notification of pesticide application (11%).”

That being said, it’s very important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and never overapply the powders.

Also, according to the EPA pool or food-grade diatomaceous earth can be harmful when you breathe it in. The pesticide version reduces the hazard by using a different size of diatoms.

Now, you’ll say, wait a minute, you’ve just recommended it for use around babies. And you’re right. We, in fact, did. But we talked about the DE that’s approved by the EPA. Harris items are all approved, so you don’t have to worry about that. This precaution concerns people who seldom purchase items from street vendors, garage sales, etc, because it’s important to find out if the product you’re about to use has been tested for safety and, of course, effectiveness.

Inhaling too much bed bug powder can result in nausea, diarrhea, headaches, dizziness, vomiting. In case that happens, please, call 911 immediately.

What is the most effective bed bug powder?

Anything that contains silica and which should not be diluted with water will be super potent at killing bed bugs. Our best bet is Delta Dust (Silica gel + deltamethrin).

Bed Bug Powders FAQ

Can you use flea powder to kill bed bugs?

Yes, you can, because such powder usually contains diatomaceous earth or silica gel. Both are effective against fleas and bed bugs.

Does baby powder kill bed bugs?

There is much irrelevant information about baby powder or talc on the Internet. Talc is said to repel bedbugs. Some conclude that baby powder can kill them just like silica gel. The scientists do not confirm this idea, but they note that baby powder can also be used against bed bugs as a supplementary treatment.

As Michael Merchant from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service clarifies, some devices, like the Climbup Interceptor, require redusting with a very small amount of talcum powder to make them slippery again and reduce the bed bug’s chance of escape. Note that talc is not toxic to bed bugs, but simply makes it harder for them to climb out of the cup. The talc should be barely visible, and more is definitely not better.

Can you get rid of bed bugs by using powders only?

No, getting rid of parasites requires a complex approach, meaning that a mattress cover should be used and washing clothes and cleaning of all the infected areas is required along with powder treatment. Your bed and mattress are the breeding ground for the bed bugs. Begin treatment with these places. We have systematized all the important tips in a single article. Read our guide about how to get rid of bed bugs.

Bed Bug Powder & Dust

Insecticide dusts and powders can be used in small cracks and crevices where bed bugs hide, making them an important part of the bed bug treatment process. Dusts are long-lasting, saving you the hassle of constantly reapplying. Shop now for bed bug relief.

Bed Bugs Guide

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How to Check for Bed bugs

How to Get Rid of Bed bugs

How to Prevent Bed Bugs

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Bed Bug Powder & Dust – Potent and Effective

There are two primary types of products to kill bed bugs, the first type includes things such as Steri-fab bed bug spray, and while these are great for many situations, they are not perfect for all infestations. The second kinds of product are bed bug dusts, which have their own advantages over sprays for killing these insects.

The Two Types of Bed Bug Powder

• Natural

This category includes such popular natural pesticide products as Diatomaceous Earth and Pyrethrin Dust. Both of these are naturally occurring products. Diatomaceous Earth for instance is mined out of the Earth’s crust, whereas Pyrethrin dust is a natural derivative of the chrysanthemum flower. Each of these has a different effect on the bugs, both of which are lethal. DE works by causing irreparable damage to the protective outer shell of the insect, which leads to dehydration and death. Pyrethrin acts on the nervous system of the insect, leading to convulsions and death when the bugs respiration can no longer be controlled. Although each product is lethal to bugs, they are 100% safe to use around humans and pets, as neither have the physiology necessary for toxic effects to result from exposure.

• Chemical

The most popular chemical type of bed bug dust is Tempo dust. It is formulated using the same active ingredient as the popular tempo line of sprays, but in dust form is better suited to treating many bed bug infestations. That is because it will settle more easily into the cracks and crevices where the bugs hide, and will maintain its strength as long as it is kept dry, which should not be difficult in most situations.

Bed Bugs Don’t Have To Be Hard To Get Rid Of

If there’s any pest that has a well-deserved reputation for being hard to get out of your home, it’s the bed bug. These flat brown blood sucking insects can create large nests deep within the fabric of your mattress and box spring, and once they’re inside a bed, they are there to stay until you forcibly remove them.
The methods you can use to get rid of the bugs vary and at Do My Own you are sure to find exactly what you need when you’re trying to figure out how to get rid of bed bugs. We have all the latest professional strength products along with free advice from our pest control experts who will guide you through each step of the process, from pre-treatment steps right through treatment and prevention of future problems.

Can’t find the product you are looking for? E-mail us and we’ll get it for you!

We sell professional do it yourself pest control (diy), exterminator and
extermination insecticide, pesticide, chemical and bug killer treatment
products to spray, eliminate and exterminate pests.

Many of our products are not available in stores
such as Home Depot, Walmart or Lowes.

Bed Bug Powder

Bed bugs are small, oval insects that live on the blood of humans and animals. They also feed on bats, birds and rodents. While they can’t fly, but they can move quickly across walls, ceilings and floors and are found in dorm rooms, homes, hotels and shelters.

Even an immaculately clean home can be susceptible to the increasingly problem of infestation. People can bring them home through clothes or by luggage. These bugs can be found in loose wallpaper, behind pictures frames, in mattress seams or inside furniture.

They are mainly active at night, and can live up to one year without drinking any blood. While they aren’t known for carrying any diseases, they can adversely affect a person’s quality of life. Having a home infested with these bloodsucking insects can cause anxiety, embarrassment and discomfort.

How Do They Reproduce?

Females lay approximately five eggs each day or over and 500 eggs throughout their lifetime. The milky-white eggs that a female lays are visible to the naked eye and take approximately two weeks to hatch. They start feeding immediately after they hatch.

Each bug needs to go through five molting stages. Once the baby goes through these stages, they reach maturity. The baby needs to feed at least once during each stage. It takes approximately five weeks to reach maturity. Once it reaches maturity, they can reproduce.

Have Bed Bug Problems?

Inspection and Bites

Bites on the body are the most common indication that a person’s home may be infested. These bites usually turn into itchy welts, and are often located on the neck, arms, back, legs or hands. Bite marks are usually found in clusters or lines on a specific area of the skin.

If a person has bites, they will need to thoroughly inspect clothes, bedding, furniture, molding, drawers and all cracks for bugs, fecal spots, cast skins or eggs. A noticeable musty, offensive odor is another indication that they may be present.

Individuals should also inspect rugs, window and door frames, baseboards and ceiling moldings. Check pet beds and all areas where they rest for any signs.

The best time to check for bugs is at night when they are most visible and out of hiding. A visual inspection is necessary in detecting these pests. Not all of the bugs need to be found in order to successfully eliminate the infestation.

Bite Treatments

Most bites can be treated with a topical cream that can be found at a drug store. The bites usually disappear after one to two weeks. If possible, try not to scratch the bite. Excess scratching can leave scarring, and make the bite vulnerable to infection.

If the bites get infected, consulting with a doctor may be necessary. A doctor can prescribe an oral antibiotic to help clear up the infection. A person who is susceptible to allergies may have an allergic reaction; in this case, a person may need to take an antihistamine.

Once the bites are taken care of, it is time to locate and get rid of the infestation.

Sanitation

The first step in eradicating these insects is to sanitize the areas where they have been found. Vacuum the bed, rugs, walls, woodwork and curtains. Once the vacuuming is done, immediately remove the bag and wrap it in plastic. Throw the bag outside in the trash. This will keep the offending bugs from escaping back into the inside of the house.

Use a heavy duty brush to scrub all sides of the mattress and box springs. Repair cracks and reapply glue to loose wallpaper. Steam cleaning a mattress is not recommended because it is hard to remove all the moisture, which can lead to problems with mildew or dust mites.

A person can get rid of their old mattress, but a new mattress can quickly be infested when the infestation remains. Wash all bedding and clothes in the hottest water possible and thoroughly dry clothing, bedding, curtains and other items at the highest possible dryer setting.

Product Options, Methods and Cost for Elimination

There are many products and methods that can help to eliminate an infestation. There are monitors that can catch them, but they won’t eliminate or control the infestation.

Steaming the infested areas can help. If a person hires a professional team to steam the area infested, it can range in price from $500 to $1500.

Thermal redemption using heat is a very costly remediation method. This is a good option for a person who has a cluttered home where preparation may be a struggle.

Specially trained bug detecting canines can be used for large areas that are suspected of being infested. This method costs thousands of dollars for each day the canines are used. However, insect detecting service dogs are reliable in detection up to 97% of the time.

Pesticides vary in price and effectiveness, and are used along with other methods. Powder is another product option for elimination of the infestation. Most powders are non-toxic, effective and affordable. If the infestation is moderate, powder may be all that is needed to eliminate the bugs.

Powder Treatment

One of the safest products to use is powder. Most powders are non-toxic and are harmless to humans and pets, but deadly to the bed bugs. Always read the label to make sure the powder is non-toxic and safe to use on beds, furniture and rugs.

Powder is simple to use. The powder just needs to make contact to eliminate the bugs, while other options need to be consumed. It works by covering the exterior of the bug, which eventually kills them by dehydration.

Affordable Cost

Specially formulated powders are one of the safest and affordable solutions for getting rid these bugs. It eliminates the problem without being subjected to chemicals that can be found in other products.

Powder is available in many strengths and sizes, and can be purchased for under $10. The cost of the powder will depend on the amount needed to eliminate the bug infested area. The only time it may be helpful to get a professional involved in elimination if there is a large infestation throughout the house.

Many bug sprays and liquids dry up after a few hours. Powders don’t wear out and can be effective for many weeks or even months. One bottle of powder should be enough for a few weeks of treatments to one room.

Elimination by Using a Cleaning and Powder Treatment

Once it has been confirmed that there is an infestation, the process of eliminating the bugs with a cleaning and powder treatment begins. Wash sheets, clothing, and any items that may have come in contact with the bugs in hot water. Thoroughly dry the items in a hot dryer. Steam clean or wash the rugs, bed, woodwork, and any areas where the infestation were spotted using hot water and a little soap.

Safety Preparation

Once all the areas and items are cleaned and dried, prepare for the powder treatment by putting on gloves, and wearing a dust mask and protective goggles. The bug powder can be dusty, especially if it is being used in a large area. The dust may irritate the eyes and throat. These protective items should also be worn before applying any other types of products or treatments.

Applying the Powder

Sprinkle the powder under the sheets, in between the mattresses, and in any areas where they may have been spotted. Sprinkle the powder on rugs, under and around the feet of the bed, and in any cracks and crevices. These bugs are small and thin and are known for hiding in small areas.

Carefully spread the powder in exposed cracks and crevices using a small paint brush. Make sure to spread the powder in an even, thin layer. Use a small broom or brush to spread the powder in larger areas. If the powder is left in clumps, they will avoid the area.

Time Frame for Treatment

Powders and other methods used to eliminate the bugs may need to be applied to the areas for approximately a few weeks in order to fully eradicate the infestation. The amount of treatments needed depends on the severity of infestation. The combination of thorough cleaning and powder will help to ensure that the areas previously infested remain bug free.

Powder Used With Spray

Powder and spray also work well together in combating an infestation. If possible, make sure both products are non-toxic and safe to use on mattresses, rugs and furniture. The advantage of combining these products are almost guaranteed to eliminate the infestation, and keep them from coming back.

Make sure to wear protective gear before applying these products. Spray the infested areas and all cracks and crevices first, and then sprinkle the areas with the powder. The powder works mechanically, while the spray works chemically. Wait approximately 45 minutes before vacuuming the areas. The bugs normally die after a few days.

Eliminate Possible Recurrence

Once a person has eliminated the infestation, the last thing they want is a recurrence. If there are high-risk parts of the home where they once resided, make sure to check these areas at least once a month.

Check all surrounding areas where the bugs were previously found. If spotted again, start cleaning the area with hot water immediately. After the spaces are cleaned, sprinkle the areas with powder. Often, finding only a couple of bugs means that it is only a moderate infestation and therefore easier to treat.

Another option is to place monitors in areas of the home that were known to be previously infested. Monitors that use carbon monoxide, heat or a chemical lure the bugs can be quite effective but costly.

Preventing Them from the Get-Go

Laundering clothing, bedding and drapes in hot water is considered one of the best ways to keep them at bay. If you are buying used furniture, have an expert check the pieces for bugs before bringing them into your home.

Cover mattresses and box springs with plastic covers. This will seal the mattress and box springs to prevent the bugs from getting in. If there are any in residence, the cover will trap them.

If a person does a lot of traveling, check the crevices of the hotel room for bugs. Place suitcases on a table or counter, and keep them off the hotel floor to avoid unwanted hitchhiking pests

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