How To Use Harris Bed Bug Killer Diatomaceous Earth Powder
Diatomaceous Earth: Natural Bed Bug Control
Bed bugs live in warm locations and often make their homes in bedding, clothes, carpets, and furniture. You, their constant supply of food, are why bed bugs enjoy these locations. To check for them, look over mattress and furniture seams and the surrounding areas for black fecal matter and blood smears.
Treat Bed Bugs With A Natural Pesticide
Diatomaceous earth is an effective bed bug powder. It’s also cheap and free of harmful chemicals. It’s easy to apply around your home and safe to apply near food, pets, and children.
Diatomaceous earth (DE) kills bed bugs by absorbing the oily, protective layer that covers their exoskeletons. Without this protective coating, bed bugs will dehydrate and die within a few hours.
How Do I Treat for Bed Bugs?
Effective natural bed bug treatment comes down to six simple steps:
- Steam Clean Your Home
- Wash All Fabrics
- Vacuum Your Home
- Apply Diatomaceous Earth
- Clean Up
- Repeat as needed
Shop Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Before beginning, bug proof your home by sealing up any places bed bugs could enter, such as cracks or crevices.The chances of re-infestation are much lower if you do this first.
Step 1: Steam Clean Your Home
Bed bugs cannot survive in temperatures above 130 degrees fahrenheit for more than a few hours. Steam clean your linens and furniture thoroughly with a steam cleaner to increase the temperature.
Step 2: Wash All Fabrics
Put all fabrics through the wash on very high or very cold temperatures. Dry on a high heat and store all washed fabrics in sealed plastic bags or containers.
Step 3: Vacuum Your Entire Home
Vacuum your carpets thoroughly. If possible, also use a carpet cleaner to remove any bed bugs from the carpeting.
Dismantle furniture as much as possible and vacuum every surface, paying particular attention to your furniture’s seams and frames. Get tight spots with your vacuum’s hose attachment. After vacuuming, you may reassemble your furniture. Consider using a total encasement mattress cover on your bed.
Step 4: Apply Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth works as both a tool for prevention and treatment. Apply DE by following these steps:
- Find areas around your home where you suspect bed bugs may be hiding or may return to.
- Use an applicator to apply diatomaceous earth along moulding, in drawers, in any cracks or crevices, behind appliances, along windowsills and door jams.
- Remove all electrical faceplates and use an applicator to puff DE behind electrical switches and outlets.
- Cover furniture and mattresses with a thin layer of DE and work it into the furniture, mattresses, and carpeting with your hands.
Step 5: Clean Up
We recommend leaving the diatomaceous earth applied as long as possible. Although it’s far from a fashion statement, keeping a constant barrier down against bed bugs will help ensure your victory. Even though DE can kill a bed bug in a few hours, it might take a long time for all the bed bugs to be exposed, and DE only affects adult bed bugs, so you have to leave it applied long enough for the bed bug eggs to hatch.
After a couple weeks, you can wipe it all off and vacuum it up. A word of warning here: diatomaceous earth is very hard on traditional filtered vacuums. Unless you’re only cleaning a small section, we recommend using a shop vac to avoid burning out your vacuum’s motor. For more information on cleaning up diatomaceous earth after you’ve applied it, check out our DE clean-up article here.
Step 6: Repeat as Needed
If the bed bugs persist, don’t lose hope. Repeat the steam cleaning, vacuuming, washing, and applying diatomaceous earth until the problem subsides.
Follow these steps in every part of your home. Repeating these steps is necessary to break the cycle of infestation. If you continue to use diatomaceous earth in your home, it will help prevent future infestations.
EPA Registered Brand.
Harris Diatomaceous Bed Bug Killer Powder kills bed bug adults, nymphs and hatchlings. Our Bed Bug Killer Powder product is effective and long lasting when kept dry. Unlike our trigger spray and aerosol egg kill, this powder remains effective as long as it is kept dry, helping to prevent any future infestations. Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring powder comprised of crumbled siliceous sedimentary rock that acts like tiny razor blades that cut open the exoskeleton of the bed bug, leading to dehydration. Our 8 oz. comes ready-to-use in a puffer bottle, allowing for quick and efficient application in cracks and crevices. We recommend using this product in combination with our bed bug killer trigger sprays and aerosol egg kill on mattresses and box springs.
Need a complete Bed Bug Solution? Checkout Harris Bed Bug Kit
- Dismantle the bed and use puff the powder into joints, crevices and where rungs are inserted
- Dust mattresses, especially folds and edges
- Treat open spaces below floors, around window openings, above ceilings, within walls, under stairs, underneath and behind equipment or appliances, around pipes and sinks, in utility closets and around garbage and waste cans.
- Apply lightly and uniformly behind electrical outlets, picture frames and between carpeting and baseboards
Quick Facts about Harris Bed Bug Powder:
- Odorless & non-staining
- EPA approved for outdoor/indoor use on areas specified on the label including but not limited to mattresses, box springs, window frames and cabinets
- Residual powder continues to kill bed bugs months after initial indoor application when left undisturbed
- Not for use on humans or animals
- Store in a cool, dry area
- Avoid individual spot treatments exceeding 2 square feet
- EPA approved and registered in all 50 states nationwide
Includes all the items needed to eliminate a bed bug problem in your home, with ready to use products and instructions included. This kit includes Harris Egg Kill and Resistant Bed Bug Killer, Harris Egg Kill Bed Bug Aerosol Spray, Harris Bed Bug Resistant Powder, Bed Bug Traps, and Bed Bug Bite Relief.
EPA Registered Brand.
Harris 64 oz. Bed bug Killer (Diatomaceous Earth) kills, bed bugs, ants, earwigs, beetles, slugs, and other crawling insects. Product is effective and long lasting when kept dry.
- Comprehensive – The powder is great for a thorough treatment, as it’s able to effectively treat hard to reach areas
- Easy Application – The powder duster makes application simple and allows the product to be used right away
- Fast Acting – Insects coming into contact with the powder will die within 48 hours of initial contact
- Long Residual – Continues to kill bed bugs for weeks after application as long as it’s kept dry
- EPA Registered & OMRI Listed – Registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (No. 73739-1-3) for Use in Homes with People/Pets and Listed with the Organic Minerals Research Institute
Use duster to apply under carpeting, near baseboards, under furniture, around foundations, and around plumbing. Free Duster included in the bag.
|Dimensions||7.2 × 5 × 15 in|
Harris 5-Minute Bed Bug Killer (Gallon)
Harris Professional Tank Sprayer, 1 Gallon Capacity
Harris Diatomaceous Earth Bed Bug Powder (8 oz)
Toughest Bed Bug Killer (128 oz)
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What others are saying
Harris – November 3, 2019
Is there a difference between this product (bed bug powder) and your food grade diatomaceous earth product? Are there any added chemicals to the bed bug powder? If so, are they toxic?
Riley Sizelove – November 4, 2019
Thank you for contacting P.F. Harris. Both products are diatomaceous earth with nothing added and nothing removed. We specifically label the Harris Bed Bug Killer to kill bed bugs and many other insects. This product is registered with the EPA and is a bug killer. The Harris Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is labeled as an animal feed additive as an anti-caking agent. We cannot recommend use of either product other than as labeled. You may find the SDS sheet on each product on our website at http://www.pfharris.com. Thank you. P.F. Harris.
Nicil – July 5, 2019
Use a mask and gloves and air out the space you place it in. It’s not clear if this is food grade or pet grade. The language could be clearer.
JAEKYU PARK (verified owner) – February 10, 2020
Hello, I orderd this product 9days ago .
Invoice Number: 89832
I emailed this company several times for delivery. nobody reply back to me.
I think this is irresponsible.
Please let me know tracking number if you already sent the product.
Riley Sizelove – February 11, 2020
We apologize for this issue – which email address were you using? The tracking number is 126910795843 via FedEx Ground. We can see that the product has been delivered and signed for by “MLING”.
PF Harris MFG
Riley Sizelove – July 13, 2019
Thank you for your interest. We purchase the highest quality 100% freshwater food grade Diatomaceous Earth available from Nevada and package in Georgia.
We market and label our product as an anti caking agent for animal feed.
By law we cannot recommend using our product for any purpose other than what is found on the label
Robin Jenkins – August 3, 2019
Can you apply directly on pets for fleas
Riley Sizelove – August 5, 2019
Thank you for contacting P.F. Harris. The Harris Bed Bug Powder is labeled with directions to kill bed bugs, fleas, roaches and many other insects indoors and outdoors. We do not package a diatomaceous earth product with directions for application directly to pets.
Audrey A Blandford – March 8, 2020
I ordered diatomcouis earth about 2 weeks ago said on order I would receive march 6 2020 did not get a email with tracking number or anything else money was taken off my card
Riley Sizelove – March 9, 2020
I apologize for this issue – what is your order number?
Amanda Dunaway – November 14, 2019
I’ve used this for bedbugs and after a week they were gone and I’ve not had any more problems in the last 7 years!
Stacy – February 14, 2020
Have had powder on chair for about 4 days now and still getting bit. Should i take apart and steam inside?
Riley Sizelove – February 15, 2020
I recommend puffing the powder in areas bed bugs are suspected of traveling. The idea behind the powder is to get the bed bugs to crawl through it. In conjunction with the powder, I would recommend using a spray and an aerosol. The spray maintains a residual while the aerosol kills the bed bug eggs. All three are paramount in ridding of an infestation and suggested by the EPA as IPM or integrated pest management.
PF Harris MFG
Linda Poore – February 26, 2020
Do you make foggers for bed bugs
Riley Sizelove – February 27, 2020
We do sell a generic fogger that some customers will use to help rid of bed bugs, however, a more effective treatment is using our EPA registered diatomaceous earth powder, a strong bed bug liquid (black or gold label) as well as an aerosol spray to ensure the bed bug eggs are killed as well during treatment.
Please let us know if you have any questions.
PF Harris MFG
Karen – February 23, 2020
Is the D E for bed bugs and cockroaches the same? They both kill in the same way so I think they should. My D E for roaches killed flys and scorpions, as well as roaches in a house infested with roaches.
Riley Sizelove – February 24, 2020
Our HDE Powder is labeled & EPA approved to kill various insects including bed bugs. The diatomaceous earth powder works by cutting the exoskeletons of the insects that walk through it.
PF Harris MFG
Cortney – April 19, 2019
Does this have any effect on cockroaches?
Durinda Hay – July 11, 2019
Is this safe to use during pregnancy.
Riley Sizelove – July 13, 2019
I would recommend consulting a licensed physician.
Riley Sizelove – April 24, 2019
Thank you for contacting P.F. Harris. Yes, Harris Boric Acid Roach Powder with Lure does kill ants. We recommend Harris Diatomaceous Earth for many insects including carpet beetles, ants, roaches, bed bugs and many other insects.
Thank you, P.F. Harris
Michelle Myers – February 8, 2018
How long should the diatomaceous earth powder be left out to be effective before it is swept up?
Admin Riley Sizelove – February 10, 2018
The diatomaceous earth powder remains effective as long as it stays dry.
Robert Perkins – February 8, 2018
Does the Harris bed bug killer displaces earth product also kill the eggs or do I also need the egg bed bug killer spray?
Admin Riley Sizelove – February 10, 2018
The diatomaceous earth powder is not EPA approved to kill the eggs. We have an aerosol and black label line known as Pyrethroid Resistant Bed Bug Killer that is.
Maxine martinez – December 5, 2018
How long can you keep the powder down and can I vacumm it up or sweep it up just put it down today?
Riley Sizelove – December 6, 2018
Clean up can be done the way you state, however the product has a very long self life and does not lose its ability to kill bed bugs unless the powder becomes wet.
Nicil – July 5, 2019
Where is the ingredients list?
Riley Sizelove – July 8, 2019
Thanks for contacting P. F. Harris. Below is a link to our website’s Safety Data Sheet for Harris Bed Bug Killer, Diatomaceous Earth which lists our ingredients:
Riley Sizelove – July 8, 2019
Thanks for contacting P. F. Harris. Below is a link to our website’s Safety Data Sheet for Harris Bed Bug Killer, Diatomaceous Earth which lists our ingredients:
pwkuzmik (verified owner) – March 9, 2018
Will this powder kill bed bug eggs as well as live bed bugs? Is your only egg killing product the Egg Kill spray?
Admin Riley Sizelove – March 13, 2018
The powder only works when Bed Bugs crawl through the powder so an Egg would not have the same exposure and we do not make that claim on the label.
Mark – March 13, 2018
Riley: I’m trying to find directions somewhere health precautions. When is it safe to again sleep on a mattress that has been dusted with the powder…things like that.
Admin Riley Sizelove – March 19, 2018
I believe you may be referring to the Bed Bug Powder. This product would be applied to the folds and edges of the mattress and box springs. Remember to use in moderation; no need to use excessive amounts. The bed may then be re-dressed (mattress pad, sheets etc.) and used immediately. The powder dehydrates insects that come in contact with it and it is intended to by applied and left in place for an extended period of time. It keeps killing insects for weeks. It is a natural product. Just not intended for direct skill contact surfaces to avoid any possible skin irritation. Thank you.
Michelle – August 19, 2018
Had bed bugs in mattress box spring bagged and threw out its only one room upstairs iv dusted everything it’s been a week how long should I leave it closed up
Admin Riley Sizelove – August 20, 2018
Bed Bugs can live quite sometime without feeding – I would leave the mattress encasements on the mattress and box spring for at least 6 months.
Kris Christoff – December 28, 2019
How to Effectively Kill Bed Bugs Using Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Food grade diatomaceous earth is a natural non-toxic method to kill bed bugs and prevent them from invading your home. Diatomaceous earth (DE) powder is a naturally forming substance that helps to get rid of bugs quickly and effectively. One of the benefits of using this white powder for killing bed bugs is that it won’t harm humans or pets. Bed bugs can be difficult to eradicate from your home and you can use diatomaceous earth together with other bed bug extermination methods to get rid of the critters for good.
The abrasive action of diatomaceous earth powder destroys the bed bug’s exoskeletal system. The abrasion on the outer layer of these tiny pests causes them to dehydrate and very soon your bed bug problem will be gone for good. So, if you notice tiny black specks around your headboard, bedding, and in the corners of your mattress, you should think about using DE to kill off the infestation of bugs around your bed.
This article looks at how to use food grade diatomaceous earth as a natural pest control for bed bugs. You will also learn about bed bug infestation signs and when you should use DE or other bug control methods to eradicate the problem.
First of all, let’s look at what diatomaceous earth is and why diatomaceous earth is effective for killing off groups of bed bugs and preventing them from infesting your home.
What is Diatomaceous Earth (DE)?
Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance from the fossilized remains of diatoms – a type of algae. This is ground into a powder or dust to be used as a non-poisonous way to kill mites and insects.
The National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) says that food grade diatomaceous earth isn’t toxic when ingested. DE eliminates bugs and fleas by drying out their exoskeleton which causes them to dry out and die. However, for diatomaceous earth to remain an effective bug control method, it needs to be kept dry. 1
What Kind of Diatomaceous Earth to Use for Bed Bugs?
Diatomaceous earth dust that you use to kill bed bugs should be classed asfood grade(here isone example). The NPIC says that food grade DE has been purified and will not cause problems to humans and pets if ingested.
However, diatomaceous earth can cause some irritation to your lungs and respiratory system, so you should still wear a dust mask and clothing to protect your skin – especially if you have a large bed bug infestation and regularly use DE. The NPIC says that breathing in DE may cause irritation in the nose and eyes and may give you a cough and shortness of breath. 1
How Diatomaceous Earth Effectively Kills Bed Bugs
Diatomaceous earth has been used as a non-toxic pesticide since the 1960s. The destructive action of DE on bed bugs causes them to die after a few days of exposure.
According to Prof. Stuart Hill from the Department of Entomology and Ecological Agricultural Projects, food grade diatomaceous earth is an ideal pesticide for removing bed bugs from the home. Comparing toxic chemicals with DE, Prof. Hill said that the repellent nature of chemicals is short-lived, whereas DE is effective on bugs for as long as the dust is on the critters. 2
The journalInsectsin 2016 published a study into the effectiveness of diatomaceous earth dust for bed bug control. It was reported that diatomaceous earth could kill off 100% of bed bugs in a 9 to 15-day period. DE was also effective in eradicating bed bugs that had become resistant to chemical pesticides. 3
Therefore, because diatomaceous earth uses “mechanical” action to destroy bed bugs and other insect pests, it can safely be used around the home to control a bug infestation. Diatomaceous earth can also be used as a natural ant repellent and help rid your home of cockroaches. In fact, food grade diatomaceous earth is safe enough to ingest and get rid of intestinal parasites.
Signs of Bed Bug Infestation
To use diatomaceous earth to kill off all bed bugs in your home, it’s important to know about the life cycle of the tiny bugs and spot signs of a bedbug infestation.
Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD says that bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and scurry over floors, walls, and ceilings. Bed bugs love to hide in dark places and are commonly found in mattresses, headboards, box springs, and in the nooks and crannies of bed frames. They come out at night to feed on blood and that is why, if you have a bed bug problem, you may notice tiny blood stains that look like black specks on your bed linen or pillow. 4
The symptoms of being bitten by bed bugs are red itchy spots on your body. Dr. DerSarkissian says that the tiny bugs generally bite around the ankles, but will pierce any part of the skin to gorge on blood. The bites can turn into red bumps on your skin that cause mild to severe itching on the affected part of the body.
Researchers from Purdue University say that other signs of a bed bug infestation are dark spots that are fecal matter around bed frames, on mattresses, and sheets. You may also notice shed skins or tiny eggs around areas where they like to hide. There may be a distinctive odor also. 5
How to Use Diatomaceous Earth for Killing Bed Bugs
Let’s look at the steps to use diatomaceous earth powder as a bed bug killer. This next section examines how to apply diatomaceous earth for bed bugs and what precautions you should take when using bed bug powders.
Step 1 – Find the Infestation
The first step to completely eradicate bed bugs from your home is to find out where the annoying pests are hiding.
Researchers from Texas A&M University say that usually bed bugs are found infesting bedrooms or other rooms where people sleep. So, you should look for signs of bug infestations around beds, mattresses, sofas, and sofa beds. 6
You should vacuum all areas of your home that show any signs of bed bugs inhabiting the furniture or bedding.
To help know where exactly to dust diatomaceous earth for bed bug control, the Department of Entomology at NC State University recommends examining the following places: 7
- Carefully inspect all furniture.
- Check all holes and slots of beds and dismantle the bed frame if necessary.
- Check the seams of mattresses and pillows for bed bug feces and other signs of infestation.
- Look behind drawers, under chairs, behind pictures, and behind dressers and closets.
- Inspect behind the cover of electrical outlets.
- Check cracks in baseboards.
- If you have recently returned from vacation, thoroughly inspect all luggage and clothing that you had with you.
Step 2 – Encase the bed bugs
Before using DE for getting rid of bed bugs, you should encase any mattresses where you suspect bed bugs are hiding.
For this, you can purchase specially designed bed bug encasements that will prevent the bug escaping from the mattress, pillows and other bed linen placed in it (here is one example). Because the bed bugs don’t have any source of blood, they will eventually die off and no longer become a problem.
You should also wash your bedding in hot water and put in the dryer for at least 30 minutes to make sure that all bed bugs have been killed.
You can also use hot steam as an effective home remedy to eradicate bed bugs and you can use it after vacuuming. The hot steam can eliminate bed bugs from small crevices and cracks. It can also penetrate through the mattress lining and eradicate bug infestations inside the mattress.
Another thing that you may want to try is placing bed bug traps (such as this one) under your bed legs to stop bed bugs crawling up.
The next step is to use food grade diatomaceous earth to kill the bed bugs from furniture, beds, and other hiding places where they live.
Step 3 – Use DE to Kill Bed Bugs
Now is the time to put the bed bug killing power of food grade diatomaceous earth to work. This is what you should do to exterminate all traces of bed bugs from beds, sofas, and other furniture.
- Make sure that all areas are absolutely dry and free from moisture.
- Lightly dust all affected areas with diatomaceous earth powder.
- You can also dust over carpets, baseboards, pet’s bedding, pillows, and other soft furnishings.
- After 2 or 3 days, vacuum the area to get rid of any bug larvae, dead bed bugs, or eggs.
- Repeat the process of dusting diatomaceous earth powder on affected areas until all bed bugs are completely gone.
It will take some vigilance on your part to completely exterminate all traces of bed bugs from your home. You should also remember to continue using diatomaceous earth for a week or so after you are sure that the bed bugs are gone. This is to ensure that you have no further infestation from eggs that may have hatched during that period.
Safety Precautions When Using DE for Bed Bug Extermination
Although you can use food grade diatomaceous for bed bug killing liberally around the home without fear that it is toxic to humans and pets, there are some precautions you should take when using it.
Because diatomaceous earth powder is a very fine abrasive dust, therefore, you should avoid inhaling it. Prof. Stuart Hill advises using a dust mask to prevent inhaling diatomaceous earth if you are treating a large area of bed bug infestation. However, there are no other health risks reported with using food grade DE around the home for pest control. 2
Other Natural Ways to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
There are other natural ways to get rid of bed bugs that are non-toxic and safe to use in the home.
Tea tree oil. Some people have had success with using tea tree oil as a bed bug repellent and natural insecticide. A study in the journalMedical and Veterinary Entomologyfound that tea tree oil was effective at killing off various insects and also had a repellent effect. 8
You can make your own natural insecticidal spray by filling a spray bottle with water and adding 20 drops of tea tree oil. Shake well and apply to all parts of the bed where you think bed bugs are lurking. Just remember, not to spray onto areas treated with diatomaceous earth as the liquid will cause DE to become ineffective.
Tea tree oil has another use in your battle with bed bugs and the irritation they cause. Tea tree oil contains antimicrobial and anti -inflammatory properties that can help to treat bed bug bites. All you need to do to reduce itching from insect bites is this: put a drop or two of tea tree oil on the end of a cotton bud and dab this on the itchy bed bug bumps as a spot treatment. Tea tree oil is one of the best natural treatments for bed bug bites as it kill off any germs that may cause infection.
Use bed bug sprays. There are effective DIY and commercial bed bug sprays that contain natural ingredients. You can find out how to make and use these sprays in my article about the most effective bed bug sprays.
Extreme temperature. Researchers from the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station recommend laundering bed linen in hot water and then drying them in a hot dryer to kill bed bugs. Also, you could put small items of bedding like sheets, pillows, and pillowcases in the freezer for 4 days.
How to Prevent Bed Bug Infestations
The best way to make sure that you never have any bed bug problem is to prevent these nasty critters from infesting your home in the first place. Here are some effective tips on how to prevent bed bug infestation.
- If you see dark marks or blood spots on your bedding, immediately check all areas of your bed, mattress, and bedding for signs of bed bugs.
- When staying in hotel rooms, use a flashlight to inspect the bed frame and mattress for signs of bed bugs.
- Before bringing in second-hand furniture, beds, or mattresses to your home, thoroughly examine the items to make sure there are no bed bugs in corners, joints, and seams.
- Vacuum your luggage after returning from vacation.
For other ways to eliminate bed bugs for good, read my article about thetop 10 home remedies to get rid of bed bugs.
Read my other related articles:
- NPIC. Diatomaceous earth.
- McGill. Diatomaceous earth – a non toxic pesticide.
- Insects. 2016 Dec; 7(4): 74.
- WebMD. Bedbugs.
- ENTM. Bedbugs.
- TAMU. Bed bugs – do it yourself control options.
- NCSU. Bed bugs – biology and control.
- Med Vet Entomol. 2014 Aug;28 Suppl 1:33-9.
Diatomaceous Earth for Bed Bugs-How to Use & Best Reviews
A number of authentic sources indicated that diatomaceous earth commonly known as bed bug powder can be an effective remedy for getting rid of bed bugs. Read on find out how it works, how to use it safely and the best and reviews.
Diatomaceous earth bed bugs Treatment
It is a naturally occurring substance that emanates from the sedimentary rock. The rock often crumbles into fine white powder. The powder has a feel of abrasion and it is light because it is highly porous.
The diatomaceous signifies remains of fossils of the long dead aquatic organisms that are known as diatoms. Theses remains are made up of silica which is one of the commonest natural substances. Diatomaceous is a very effective home remedy for the elimination of bedbugs.
Getting rid of bedbugs invites the thought of the use of very hazardous chemicals. The challenge is that the chemicals make the problem even worse or don’t work at all. Basing on research, Diatomaceous is a fantastic possible natural remedy that is suitable for bedbugs.
According to Changlu Wang, Timothy Gibb, and Gary W. Bennett from Purdue University, diatomaceous earth is an excellent remedy in getting rid of bedbugs from infested apartments. This is based on their various tests that they carried out.
How does powder/dust kill bed bugs?
It is very easy and straight forward to use this powder for bed bug elimination. All that is needed is a small amount of the powder and an applicator. You will not be required to add any chemical or any other ingredient for it to work. Apart from being effective, it is also cheap when compared to other methods.
Each particle of the diatomaceous earth has small/microscopic sharp edges. When you expose bedbugs to these edges, their exoskeletons get eviscerated. Because of the drying action of the diatomaceous earth, the bedbugs dry out and then finally die.
The biggest advantage of using diatomaceous earth is that it works by physically killing the bedbugs. This implies that there is no risk of toxicity that can come with the use of chemicals. The earth also works for a longer time without losing its killing power.
Effectiveness-How long/fast does it take?
Diatomaceous earth can stay for a long time without losing its potency. You can use the Earth because it sets up barriers against the bedbugs.
This therefore implies that it is very effective. It is hard in this case for the bedbugs to develop resistance as in the case of chemical treatments. Once you apply the Diatomaceous earth, it will work for the entire time.
After applying the DE on the infested area, it begins to absorb the body fluids of the bedbugs but will not let the bedbugs go until they are dead. There are pesticides that may chase the bed bugs but the bad news is that they are bound to return.
The use of a professional bedbug exterminator costs about $500 to $1,500. The use of a bedbug heater is also expensive. It will cost about $300. On the other hand, a diatomaceous earth costs about $20.
How to use diatomaceous earth for bed bugs
Dematiaceous Earth is very safe when used. You should be careful to put on a mask so as to avoid inhaling the dust. The following is a short procedure which you should follow when dealing with the bedbug nightmare:
- Apply the Diatomaceous Earth to the areas that are infested by the bedbugs i.e. walls, cracks, door jams and even rung holders. In this case, you could use an applicator stick
- Then, remove electrical faceplates and go ahead to use an applicator to introduce the DE behind switches of electricity and sockets.
- It is good for you to use the DE for about a week. Afterwards, you can remove this from the site by the use of a dump cloth, a vacuum without a filter or a broom. Be careful when using the vacuum filter because the DE is abrasive and may damage it.
Alternatively, the following stepwise approach is also useful:
- To begin, steam your home using a steamer. This is because the bedbugs cannot survive at a temperature above 130 degrees Fahrenheit for even a few hours. Also, you can go ahead and steam clean the furniture and all the linens.
- After that, wash all your fabrics using very high or very low temperatures. Having done that, dry it on high heat and then store the fabrics in plastic bags that are sealed.
- The next step is to vacuum your entire home. Give the carpets more attention and vacuum them thoroughly. Dismantle your furniture as much as you can and then vacuum them especially along the seams and the frames. Only reassemble your furniture after completely vacuuming your entire house.
- Your home is now ready for applying diatomaceous earth. The earth will work as a preventive and treatment remedy. Apply the earth using the steps outlined above.
- Finally, clean up the entire operation surface. It is recommended that you leave the diatomaceous earth for as long as possible. The DE kills bedbugs within a short time, but it might take a while for all the bedbugs to get exposed. It also might take time because the powder only handles adult bedbugs and spares the young ones. This therefore should justify the reason for adequate time is required.
- In the event that the bugs persist in terrorizing you, then it is prudent to repeat the steam cleaning, vacuuming, washing and application of the diatomaceous earth till the bugs are out of your sight. This prevents any future infestations.
The main idea to the application is to make the movement of the bedbugs impossible by spraying the DE on their paths. The following are some of the tips that you can use so as to get the best results when applying the diatomaceous earth.
- Ensure that the DE is in very fine powder i.e. micronized. Bedbugs would comfortably walk on large sized DE.
- Only use small amounts of the DE. Large amounts would make the bedbugs to spread about and thus cause more harm.
- Only apply the powder on areas that cannot be blown out by the air.
- Avoid using the DE on smooth surfaces like furniture and mattresses. These surfaces make the dust to be airborne and could thus cause you harm. You should use steamers in case of these surfaces.
- Always have protective gear when handling the diatomaceous earth.
Safer & Best diatomaceous earth for bed bugs
There are a number of brands of the DE that exist on the market. This thus leaves you with a big dilemma on the best brand to choose for your use. It is therefore important to look into some key issues. Here are a number of them:
The quality. Always look out for the brand that has the EPA and the FDA certification. This assures you of the unlikely occurrence of dangerous side effects. You will thus have the confidence to use it.
The pricing.Ensure that you have a product that is cost effective but quality. Most brands are sold in 1 to 50 lbs. packets. Always look for the most favorable and competitive price.
Choose a product that is organic. You will know a product is organic if it has the certification from Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI). The product has very few side effects if any.
How good is the food grade diatomaceous earth for bed bugs?
Food grade diatomaceous earth is a powder that is rich in silica gel. This powder has about 85% of silicon dioxide and it has attracted attention because of its nontoxic and less side effects when used. It is a potent pest controller and in this case bedbug controller because of its dehydrating properties.
This approach is synonymous to the use of silica gel in pest control by many professional pest control companies. The very sharp edges of the silica gel dissect deep into the skeleton of the bugs and then end up killing it. When the silica gel removes the exoskeleton, the bugs are left exposed to the external environment and they will then lose moisture.
Harris diatomaceous earth bed bug killer
This is a remedy that is made to mostly kill adult bedbugs, nymphs and hatchlings. It is very long lasting when you use it dry. Keeping it dry is the only sure way of having it remain effective. This is a great way of preventing future infestation.
This remedy is used in combination with other bedbug killers like killer trigger sprays and aerosol sprays to handle the bugs in the mattresses and box springs. This product is packaged in an 8-oz. bottle and it comes in a ready to use puffer bottle.
Red lake earth diatomaceous earth
This is a unique type that is a naturally occurring type of the powder. It is a blend of diatomaceous earth and montmorillonite. It has the approval of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, despite the fact that it is used as anticaking and a pelleting aid in animal feeds.
Safer Brand Diatomaceous Earth – Bed Bug,Crawling Insect Killer 4 lb.
This is not only effective for bedbugs, but also fleas, roaches, ants and earwigs. It has about 4 pounds of diatomaceous earth per bag. It is known to kill the bugs within a period of 48 hours after its application. It works effectively both indoors and outdoors. It is easy to use and can be applied to all the places that the insects hide.
Once the insects make contact with the powder, they die on the spot. This DE is non-staining and lacks any odor. This therefore gives you the courage to use it at home without any fear. Keep in mind that you should apply the powder after it is washed away or when it rains.
Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade 10 lb.
It is made up of tiny, fossilized planktons (diatoms) that are found in the millennia amounts in fresh water lakes. This powder when mined and then left untreated for some time, you can use it in a number of different ways. The powder has very fine particles and because it is packaged in packets of 10 pounds, it is easy to transport them around.
Harris Bed Bug Killer, Diatomaceous Earth Powder 1/2 LB, Fast Kill with Extended Residual Protection
This is a comprehensive kind of powder that you can use to kill the bedbugs that are found in the hard to reach areas of your home. It has a puffer tip and this makes it very easy to use right away. It is a very fast acting agent and it kills the bugs within 48 hours.
Besides, this powder is very beneficial because it continues to kill the bedbugs for weeks even after the application. It has the approval status by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be used as a pesticide in homes. It is listed with the Organic Minerals Research Institute.
Reviews & Success Stories from users
There are a number of positive reviews that point out to the great benefits of diatomaceous earth in doing away with the bedbugs. According to the bad bed bugs website, a review by T.M supports the use of diatomaceous earth for bed bugs. He says, that he had been terrorized by the bedbugs for a while but after using the DE, the bedbugs disappeared. “……1-month total to get rid of a medium bed bug infestation – well worth the time”
On Amazon, a number of online customers also praise the use of diatomaceous earth for bugs. For in instance, a customer called Kindle on August 27 th , 2017 exclaims that the powder works for bedbugs. He narrates the great benefits but advises that the product should not be left in custody of children. This customer however raises concern that most of the products bought are not 100% diatomaceous earth as advertised. …… “Also, this product is not 100% diatomaceous earth as advertised.” He gives it a 5-star rating all the same.
Where to buy, Walmart, depot etc.
There are different stores and platforms from which you can obtain your own diatomaceous earth for your home. Different countries differ on the places where the earth is sold. With the current digital marketing platforms, you can even place an order and get a delivery of your own product. Such platforms include the amazon among others.
Another platform is the Walmart. This is an online market that also offers a variety of brands of the diatomaceous earth. They have their own brands at different prices. It offers you a chance to choose and settle on the brand that suites you.
The different stores that sell this product also get their merchandise based on their manufacturers who have different specifications and qualities.