Diatomaceous earth, often marketed as “Bed Bug powder” or “Bed Bug Dust”, per Wikipedia, is a “naturally occurring, soft, chalk-like sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder. This powder has an abrasive feel, similar to pumice powder, and is very light, due to its high porosity.”
Diatomaceous earth is primarily the fossilized remains of a aquatic organisms called (diatoms). The fossilized remains are made of silica, a very common natural substance.
Diatomaceous earth can be an effective treatment strategy for bed bugs, but should not be used as the only treatment method. Additionally, Diatomaceous earth has also proven itself as an effective bed bug prevention method as well.
Diatomaceous earth isn’t a pesticide like bed bug sprays, but a natural dust that kills bed bugs after they’ve had contact with it.
The fossilized diatoms in Diatomaceous earth are basically very tiny crystalline structures that are sharp. Diatomaceous earth causes bed bugs and other insects, like fleas, to dry out and die as as the diatoms absorbs the oils and fats from a bed bug’s body.
Diatomaceous earth is available in a number of varieties including food grade. Food grade Diatomaceous earth is the recommended type for treating your home against bed bugs.
While natural and inexpensive, Diatomaceous earth is not without issue:
As noted, Diatomaceous earth is a significant inhalation hazard. Proper care and protection must be used when utilizing it as a bed bug treatment strategy. Here are some tips:
Diatomaceous earth is ideal for difficult to reach areas, where you know bed bugs are “hiding out”. This includes cracks and crevices such as around molding and electrical outlets.
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