How to use diatomaceous earth for bed bugs

Written by frank whittemore
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How to use diatomaceous earth for bed bugs
Even the cleanest home can have bed bugs. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Diatomaceous earth is made of the shell remains of billions of dead microscopic sea creatures, called diatoms. The shells are made of silicon dioxide, a fine powdery substance to humans, but millions of sharp edged particles to household insect pests, including bed bugs. When diatomaceous earth gets into the joints and body parts of a bed bug, it cuts into its exoskeletons, causing it to dry out and die. Some insects also ingest the powder and it kills them from within. Relatively inexpensive, nontoxic and simple to apply and remove, diatomaceous earth may be the solution to your bed bug problem.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Vacuum cleaner

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  1. 1

    Dismantle the bed completely. Set all parts, including the disassembled frame, headboard, rails and bed tail, box spring and mattress out to an open indoor area.

  2. 2

    Dust all of the frame parts, headboard rails and bed tail thoroughly with the diatomaceous earth. Focus on dusting cracks, seams, crevices and other places where bed bugs may hide.

  3. 3

    Thoroughly dust the mattress and box spring on all sides. Concentrate dusting in folds and edges.

  4. 4

    Dust all cracks and crevices within the bedroom, particularly around the location of the bed. Also, dust the carpet in the room. If furniture is located near the bed, such as chairs or night stands, consider dusting these items as well.

  5. 5

    Leave the diatomaceous earth in place for a minimum of 48 hours. Vacuum the dust from all items and the carpet thoroughly. Dispose of the vacuum bag immediately to prevent possible reinfestation from vacuumed bed bugs that are still alive.

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