Why diatomaceous earth? Well, while recent media reports may have you believe that the ever increasing bed bug problem that is spreading around the world can only be treated by professionals, there really are natural ways to combat these nasty little creatures.
And one of the most effective and natural ways to combat bed bugs is with the use of diatomaceous earth!
“Diato.. What?” Yes, I know it’s a bit difficult to pronounce but diatomaceous earth is an amazing product and the best thing about it is the fact that its all natural and safe to use.
While most pesticides and other extermination techniques are expensive, time consuming and toxic, diatomaceous earth is anything but.
What is Diatomaceous Earth?
As a type of soil, diatomaceous earth is actually made up of the shells of ancient, single celled fresh and salt water organisms.
Since the soil is made up of individual cells it feels like a very fine powder in the hand and acts almost like dust when being handled.
Diatomaceous Earth is mined in several places around the earth and has many uses such as in pool and drinking water filters, it is used as a scrubbing agent in some polishes and toothpaste and it has also been used by farmers to help their livestock remove parasites internally.
A very common use of diatomaceous earth for several thousand years however is as a natural and safe insecticide.
How Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Bed Bugs?
Since Diatomaceous earth is made up of individual shells that are only the size of one cell they are therefore very very small and very very jagged and sharp… For there size that is.
Because of this, any small insects like fleas, beetles and even bed bugs can easily be cut open by the sharp edges.
Cutting there shells causes the insects to dehydrate and eventually die
For people and other large mammals like pets, diatomaceous earth poses no harm because out skin is to large for the shells to cut at all.
For affective treatment of bed bugs, the soil is lightly spread throughout areas in the home where bed bugs or other insects are known to travel. These areas include along and under baseboards, around bed posts, around furniture legs and anywhere else in your home you may have seen bugs crawling.
Put a fine layer of the soil in these areas and try not to disturb it from then on. The soil is not a pesticide and therefore will not break down or become ineffective over time. It would be a good idea however to clean up these area once in a while and reapply just to clean up any dead bugs and dust that gathers over time.
Since the soil is so fine it is very easy for it to become air born and therefore breathed in by both animals and humans.
It is important to obtain what is known as “food grade” Diatomaceous Earth for household use. This type of soil has been refined to ensure that it is free of any foreign particulates and is therefore safe to use.
Even though it is safe it is still always wise to wear a dust mask when applying it throughout the infected areas to ensure that you don’t accidentally breath any in.
Where To Buy Diatomaceous Earth
When looking for Diatomaceous earth (DE) make sure that you are looking for Food grade and pure DE versions like the one from amazon above. You do not want the kind used in pool filters or anything similar because it has more unfiltered particulates that could become air born and breathed in by you and pets.
Many “green” stores are beginning to sell pure Diatomaceous Earth along with some hardware and big box stores however if these places don’t have any make your way to a rural or farmers feed store and get some there. Chicken and pig farmers add some DE to the feed in order to control parasites.
Keeping a larger bag of DE around the house is also good in case of spills. Because of Diatomaceous earth’s porous nature it works as a good absorbent for any liquids. That is why it can be found in many cat litter products.
Looking for more solutions like Diatomaceous Earth? Learn how to
get rid of bed bugs yourself here.