Diatomaceous Earth for Bed Bugs – Complete Using Guide

Bed bugs can ruin your life. There is never just one, as they create vast colonies, and they come out at night to feast on your blood. They can leave disfiguring welts that are itchy. Bed bugs can be extremely difficult to get rid of, though some simple techniques such as vacuuming and washing linens may eliminate some of them. Most people who suffer from bed bugs don’t want to have to go to the expense of calling an exterminator, nor do they want to expose children, pets, or plants to the toxic fumes. One lifesaver is diatomaceous earth, or DE, for short.

After this post, you will see why people widely use diatomaceous earth for bed bugs treatment.

diatomaceous earth for bed bugs treatment

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What Causes Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs don’t just grow out of nowhere, but they do not move in from outside. They love to take transit—they’ll hop into your bag at a motel, hotel, youth hostel, or even from a friend’s home. Once you’re back at home, the bugs climb out of your luggage and move in.

Bed bugs breed extremely fast. That’s why you need to take action the moment you see the first one. While you can do physical methods of elimination—housecleaning, vacuuming, and floor washing—these bugs are often quite small, and you’d be surprised at where they can hide. They love to hang around bed frames and mattresses, but have been known to hide in baseboards and the cracks of a floor.

How Does Diatomaceous Earth Work at Eliminating Bed Bugs?

Diatomaceous earth is actually naturally sourced. It’s a substance that is made from the fossilized remains of plankton. There is a large source of these fossilized remains, so it’s affordable. It’s ground up into fine particles and looks a lot like talcum powder. It’s an effective way to kill bugs in or out of a home. It’s best for bugs with an exoskeleton, such as bed bugs.

DE is not like a traditional pesticide or insecticide, but the result is the same. It kills bugs so that they cannot create larger colonies.

DE is sprinkled around the regions of a home that may have bed bugs, including the bedroom. DE can kill the bugs two different ways. Externally, when the bugs walk through the DE, the bugs can become dehydrated and die. The bugs may also get some of the DE into their mouths, which has the result of drying them from the inside out. Either way, the bed bugs that come into contact with DE die, and can no longer breed and produce more bed bugs.

What is the Importance of Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth?

Food grade DE is important when you’re using it inside the home. This is because the food grade version is safer to use around children, pets, and plants. It’s beneficial to use in the home, because it’s safe for mammals to eat. If some of the dust settles on food, it is still perfectly safe to eat. If children intentionally find it under the bed and lick their hands, nothing will happen. Likewise, if it gets on your dog’s or cat’s paws, they’ll be fine, even if they lick it off.

Food grade DE is so finely ground that it becomes a gentle abrasive. This gives it absorbent qualities, which are beneficial is dehydrating bed bugs. DE is made up of mostly silica, which has been sourced from the fossilized plankton. Silica is harmless to mammals, and in fact, mammals need minute quantities for optimum health. It’s a vital component of human ligaments, musculature, and cartilage.

Many people actually take DE as a supplement. For this reason, buying DE to get rid of bed bugs is both affordable, and simple to use. It’s easy to find it from local gardening shops, natural or health supplement stores, or to shop online. You don’t need a lot of it, as only a small amount will kill a colony of bugs.

How to Use Diatomaceous Earth to Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

It’s important to take the following steps needed to make up a potent bed bug elimination recipe. You’ll find most of the ingredients easily, and you can make up the mix in advance so it’s ready for application after each time you clean your home.

Ingredients Needed:

You’ll need to purchase the following ingredients to make up your diatomaceous earth bed bug elimination recipe.

  • 1/2 cup of food grade diatomaceous earth (DE).
  • One box of baking soda—measure out two cups.
  • Eucalyptus leaves or other fragrant herbs if you can’t find eucalyptus. Measure out one cup.
  • Essential oils such as lavender, that will make your bedroom smell good, and ease the stress of having a bed bug problem. Use ten drops.
  • 1/2 cup of cornstarch.
  • 1/2 cup of borax.
  • One spoon.
  • Large plastic container with lid.
  • A tall canister with lid that has an insert with holes in it. For example: a plastic food storage container. Something that will be used to sprinkle the powdered mix in your bedroom, but is not too heavy. You can also punch holes into a plastic lid if you can’t find any that are suitable.

Effective Bed Bug Elimination Recipe

diatomaceous earthMix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then add your drops of essential oil. Ensure that it’s well-blended, so that the properties of each ingredient can go to work at eliminating your bed bug infestation. Once it’s fully mixed up, spoon some of the mixture into your shaker container.

You can store your bed bug mix with a lid on top for up to three months, longer if you don’t live in a humid climate. The problem may be that the mixture may start balling up, and be difficult to break apart for sprinkling.

How to Use Your Bed Bug DE Mixture

Remove all your bedding and linens from your bedroom, and toss into a hot water machine wash, and hot dry. While you’re waiting for your laundry to be done, vacuum your entire mattress and bed. Pull the bed away from the wall and use the crevice tool attachment around the baseboards and corners. Make note of any large amounts of bugs. You’ll also have to remove items from the floor of your closet. It’s possible that you may forget some areas, but remember, all the bugs will come out at night, and when they do, they’ll come into contact with your DE bug killer. Eventually, you’ll get them all.

Once you have finished cleaning, pick up the shaker container. Begin by sprinkling the mix over your bed. You don’t need a lot, and you don’t want to stir up dust while you’re sleeping. Also sprinkle powder around the legs of your bed, and under your bed. Next, sprinkle it around the baseboards. Do the floor of your closet next.

While it’s possible to leave the DE mixture on the floor, sleeping on it isn’t so great. So, sprinkle your mixture as early in the morning as possible. Just before bedtime, vacuum it from your bed. This will give the mixture a chance to kill any small bugs running around. Put your clean sheets and bedspread back on the bed.

Once a week do a thorough clean of your bedroom. In week two, begin to clean the rest of your apartment or house. Sprinkle the mixture around the entire house. It’s a hassle, but the goal is to completely eliminate the bed bugs so that you are never troubled by them again. Repeat this process once a week for the next three months. By this time, all your bed bugs should be completely gone.

Other Home Remedies and Tips to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Wash everything that is washable, including pillows, cushions, stuffed animals, and even the insides of ornaments and vases. Consider it your time to do spring cleaning. After you wash and dry your items, place them into plastic storage bins with lids.

If you have items in your home that aren’t machine washable, but you suspect they may have bed bugs hidden in them, you have a few options. You can always toss the item in a plastic trash bag, seal it up tight and toss it in the trash. If the item has sentimental value, you can either toss it in a hot dryer for 30 minutes, or put it in the freezer for 24 hours. The freezer method is perfect if you have a collection of books you can’t trash, but you suspect may contain bugs. Either way, the bed bugs will be killed.

Renting a steam cleaner to clean your rugs and furniture will also be good at killing them, and the vacuum cleaner is your next best friend. After you vacuum, remove the attachments and wash with soap and hot water. Empty the canister outdoors into a heavy duty garbage bag. Use a twist tie, and leave it outside until garbage pickup day.

Bed bugs can happen to anyone—they love small cabins or huge mansions. The moment you spot one in your home is the time to take immediate action. They may be embarrassing, but many households have managed to successfully eliminate bed bugs with diatomaceous earth, rather than harmful chemicals.

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