Bed Bug Powder – A complete guide

Bed Bug Powder – A complete guide

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Bed bug powder is a very effective, easy and safe to use, and inexpensive bed bug treatment product.   Combined with other treatment strategies as part of an overall treatment plan, it can rid your home of bed bugs.

Bed Bug Powder

What is Bed Bug Powder?

Bed bug powder has been used successfully for years to kill bed bugs.   Powders have proven highly successful in many different research studies, and in real in-home use.  As a result, they are one of the top treatment strategies for killing bed bugs in your home.

Bed Bug Powder is very effective where other strategies either aren't an option, or may be ineffective.    For example, bed bug sprays, while highly effective, have a relatively short residual kill ratio, and can often be dangerous to humans and pets.  This is particularly true if not used properly.

Bed bug sprays are often not nearly as effective in hard to reach areas, such as small cracks and crevices, where bed bugs like to hide.

Bed Bug powder solves all of these issues.  Bed Bug Powder is:

  • Safe for people and pets, and in fact is edible (although we don't recommend it).
  • Ideal for cracks and crevices, especially when a "dusting" tool is used.
  • Long lasting, as long as it stays dry.  Meaning, it has a very long kill rate.

Bed Bug Powders is basically very fine material, that covers the bed bug, and removes the waxy exterior coating that allows the bed bug to maintain moisture.   Bed Bug Powder basically dries bed bugs out, and kills them.

There are two primary Bed Bug Powders on the market;

Let's look at both and compare them.

CimeXa vs. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth, or DE, has been a proven weapon against bed bugs for years.    DE is natural product, made from soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that is ground up into a fine white powder.  It very much feels like and resembles talcum powder (bath powder).

DE works either through the dust being applied directly to bed bugs, or my them walking through it, or getting it from other bed bugs.   This is one of the nice "features" of bed bug powder, it can spread from one bug to another.

Cimexa is Silica that is made as a fine powder.  You've most likely seen Silica, as it's often in small packs in electronics, beef jerky, and other products.  Silica packets are included to keep out moisture.  Silica is a synthetically produced compounds comprised of 99.5 percent silicon dioxide. 

Silica works much like DE, but has two distinct advantages:

  1. It has a "static cling" effect, that makes it stick more on bed bugs, and is not easily removed
  2. Silica not only removes the waxy coating on bed bugs, causing them to dry up like DE, but it also absorbs moisture as well.

These two features have proven Cimexa to be up to 10x more effective at killing bed bugs, then DE.   Cimexa kills bed bugs faster.   

While DE is a proven product for killing bed bugs, and insects in general, it's unfortunately not nearly as effective against bed bugs as other insects.  Furthermore, it's far less effective than CimeXa, as this study shows.   See, bed bugs are less impacted by dehydration than other insects.  They can easily rehydrate by feeding, and generally don't require a great deal of hydration.  As a result, this makes killing bed bugs with it more difficult.

CimeXa not only removes the waxy shell, but additionally pulls water from the bug, effectively removing any hydration it has, resulting in bed bug death.

Both products are safe for humans and pets when used properly.

Does Bed Bug Powder Work?

Yes it does.  There are various versions of Bed Bug Powders though, some better than others, and some not as safe as people think they are.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) 

Has been used to kill insects and parasites for thousands of years.   DE effectiveness varies greatly on conditions, and where the bed bugs are mainly located, but DE will kill bed bugs that it comes in contact with.

The one issue with DE is that if it gets damp or wet, it will not work.  This is a common problem, that keeps DE from being as effective as it could be.  

DE is also commonly not applied correctly or over used.   If used too heavily, it can cause lung and breathing issues.   People tend to buy it, and douse their room with it.  This is the wrong approach.  Please see our Diatomaceous Earth guide, for instructions on how to properly apply DE.

Diatomaceous Earth Based Products

Some bed bug powders have DE with additional additives to make them more effective.  These are often insecticides, that make the product toxic to humans and pets.  So be aware of what you are buying, and the included active ingredients.

These products are often found in grocery stores, large retail stores, and discount stores.

CimeXa

CimeXa, the modern version DE, that is far more effective, also kills bed bugs, and faster than DE.   CimeXa is made from Silica and in a fine powder form.  Silica is a synthetically produced compounds comprised of 99.5 percent silicon dioxide. 

Cimexa has similar properties to DE, but is far more effective and doesn't require near as much to be used.  CimeXa is our bed bug powder of choice, when used correctly.

This video shows CimeXa killing bed bugs within 34 hours.


Does Bed Bug Powder Kill Bed Bug Eggs?

Bedbug Eggs

Bed Bug Powder does not kill bed bug eggs.  To kill bed bug eggs, you will need to either use a Bed Bug Spray, or for a natural and highly effective option, use a Bed Bug Steamer.

While Bed Bug Powders will not kill eggs, it will kill bed bugs as soon as they hatch.

Is Bed Bug Powder Safe?

Yes, bed bug powder is safe, if applied and used properly.  Both DE and CimeXa are non-toxic, and safe for humans and pets.  However, they are both a dust, and if applied without the necessary precautions, they can cause breathing and respiratory issues.

There are many manufacturers of Bed Bug Powders.  Here are a few tips to make sure the product you purchase is safe to use:

  • Purchase only name brand and FDA approved products.   By doing so, you can feel confident the listed ingredients are accurate, and the product is safe to use and approved.  If the product is FDA approved, it will say so on the bag, and you can confirm this on the FDA website.
  • Pay attention to the ingredients, some bed bug powders have added insecticides or other products that make it not safe for people, children and/or pets.  Pay attention to the active ingredients, and any warnings on the bag.
  • If you want a product that is 100% safe for people, children and pets, use 100% food grade Diatomaceous Earth.  While not as effective as other products, it is safe to the point of being edible. 

Bed Bug Powders that contain insecticide are the leading cause of problems associated with Bed Bug Powders.   Generally, problems are caused by over use of a product, that results in illness related to the pesticide.

  

The most common side effects insecticide include: Nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness and respiratory issues.

If you have used an insecticide based product, and show any of these common symptoms, call 911 right away!

Is Bed Bug Powder Safe for Babies

The only product that is truly 100% safe, to the point of being edible is 100% food grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE), such as Harris Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth.  This is a very effective and proven product, but will not kill bed bugs as quickly as other bed bug powders.  

However, with that being said, we would not recommend using any bed bug product in your home, without consulting your Pediatrician first.

DE does have the risk of causing respiratory issues if not applied properly, so be sure to pay attention to the application guides available in this article and on the product.

CimeXa is also a very safe product, and proven to be safe for humans and pets, but it is a synthetic product, and we would not recommend it in an area where a baby could ingest it or get it in their mouth or eyes.   CimeXa is stated to be safe for people, children and pets.

How to Treat Bed Bugs with Bed Bug Powder

Treating bed bugs with Bed Bug Powder is easy!   You'll need three things:

  1. Your Bed Bug Powder of choice
  2. A brush and powder applicator
  3. A dust mask

To apply the powder, do the following:

  1. Declutter the room, but be careful to not spread the bed bugs to other rooms.  We recommend inspecting everything.  Immediately wash and dry (on hot heat), all linens or clothing.
  2. Disassemble furniture as much as possible.
  3. Using a paint brush, dip it in the power, and apply it to all surfaces of furniture, and other items in the room.  Do not over apply the product.
  4. Using a powder applicator, spray the powder into cracks and crevices, including molding, window sills, and electrical outlets.

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Common mistakes include:

  1. Over applying the product, or dousing the room with it.  Bed Bug powder is less effective in open spaces, so spreading it all over your carpet and furniture won't help and will just make a huge mess.
  2. Failing to read the instructions and watch videos on how to properly use and apply the product.  Various products work more effectively when applied based on manufacturer instructions.
  3. Always wear a dust mask.  Getting bed bug powder of any kind in your lungs can cause severe issues.  

Here is a great video that shows you how to apply CimeXa:

Recommended and Proven Bed Bug Powders

Here are our top picks for Bed Bug Powders.  All of these products have proven safe and highly effective against bed bugs.

1

CimeXa is a synthetic silica gel powder, that works similar to Diatomaceous Earth (DE), but is far more effective.  Safe, highly effective, and works very well in difficult to reach areas of your home.    Kills bed bugs up to 10x faster than DE, and is safe for people and pets.

CimeXa Bed Bug Powder

2

100% pure Diatomaceous Earth(DE), that has proven for thousands of years to kill insects and bed bugs in your home.  DE is safe for people and pets, and is very effective when applied correctly and kept dry.

Harris Diatomaceous Earth

3

This is a Diatomaceous Earth based product, with additional additives to help it more quickly dehydrate bed bugs.   It is more effective than DE, but is not safe for children or pets, due to the additional additives.   Can cause eye irritation, so be sure to use protective eye wear when applying the product.

JT Eaton Bed Bug Powder

What is the most effective Bed Bug Powder?

The most effective Bed Bug Powder is CimeXa, which has proven to be 10x more effective than Diatomaceous Earth.  CimeXa has been proven in a number of tests to kill bed bugs within 24-34 hours of initial contact.

CimeXa is safe to use, and is applied in the same way DE is.  CimeXA is a synthetic silica gel, in a powder form, that clings to bed bugs, and dries them out, very quickly, causing them to die.  CimeXa is safe to apply on carpet, furniture, in walls, and on any other surface where bed bugs could be hiding.

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