Dealing with a bed bug infestation can be an extremely frustrating and drawn out procedure. Hiding inside furniture, mattresses, walls and bedding, bed bugs can last up to a year at a time without a meal.
Typically hiding during the day and coming out during the night to feed on human blood, bed bugs cause itching, rashes, skin disorders and can even cause skin infections or allergic reactions.
If you’re experiencing sequential bites anywhere on your body after sleeping or have observed tiny smears of blood or black insect fecal matter around your bed, you probably have a bed bug infestation. It’s hard to spot bed bugs themselves as they’re quite small, typically the size of an apple seed.
If you’ve observed bed bugs in your home, you have a few options for removing them, few of which are effective or safe. In this article we’ll outline the most common methods for dealing with bed bugs and the various shortcomings of these techniques to present how they measure up to diatomaceous earth pest control.
Bug Bombs and Aerosol Sprays: Ineffective and Dangerous
When most people observe an insect infestation in their home, the first step they take is to procure a bug bomb. Also known as foggers, bug bombs are aerosol spray cans that contain high amounts of dangerous chemicals, poisons and toxins.
Bed bug bombs are usually placed in the middle of the room after sealing an area and activated, filling the room with aerosol insecticide.
While bug bombs may be effective in dealing with larger insects such as roaches and silverfish, they aren’t effective in treating bed bugs. The mist created by a bug bomb can’t work its way into the crevices, wood, walls and mattresses in which bed bugs hide, leaving them safe from aerosol dispersion methods.
The toxic fumes from bug bombs are absorbed by the clothing and fabrics in your home, requiring extensive washing before they are safe for use again. When using a bed bug bomb your family, pets and children, in addition to all of the foodstuffs in the home, must be removed, making bug bomb usage an ineffective logistical nightmare.
Professional Fumigation: Prohibitively Expensive and Wasteful
Some homeowners prefer to engage professional pest exterminators to deal with a bed bug menace. Fumigating your entire home with a professional pest control agency will definitely remove all forms of unwanted life from your living area, but comes with significant drawbacks.
Firstly, a professional exterminator will generally advise a homeowner discard much of the fabric, furniture and bedding in their homes. Throwing away the contents of your home in this manner is extremely wasteful and represents the loss of a significant financial investment.
Secondly, a professional fumigation service will require a family to vacate their home for several weeks while the house is tented and filled with toxic gas. After fumigation the entire home must be left to air out, with no guarantee that the highly poisonous chemicals used in the extermination process have dissipated.
Additionally, the poisons used to destroy bed bugs have become less effective over time, as many strains of bed bugs have become resistant to insecticides. To keep your family safe from toxic chemicals and ensure you’re not leaving bed bugs behind, it’s critical to pursue a more effective option.
DIY Spray Solutions: Unwieldy and Weak
Investigating DIY or home-prepared options for dealing with bed bugs is a step in the right direction, but many of the treatments commonly advertised for DIY treatment are ineffective and not easy to distribute.
Most of the formulations available for homemade sprays either rely heavily on the same toxic chemicals used by professional exterminators or use ineffective herbal ingredients that have no scientific evidence for their efficacy.
Homemade sprays can be effective if you’re able to physically locate and spray a bed bug directly, but short of cutting open your mattress or knocking holes in the walls of your home, there is no practical way to achieve this.
Homemade chemical cocktails designed for insect poisoning are also incredibly unsafe and can present a serious health risk to your family and pets.
Diatomaceous Earth: The Final Solution for Bed Bugs
If you’re suffering from a bed bug infestation, the best way of eliminating it is with diatomaceous earth, or DE. DE is a non-toxic, chemical and poison free solution that kills bed bugs effectively and quickly without the need for fumigation or vacating your home.
Completely organic and all-natural, diatomaceous earth is safe to use around children, animals and food and several orders of magnitude cheaper than any other bed bug insecticide on the market.
Diatomaceous earth is composed of the fossilized remains of ancient algae. Mined from dried streams, rivers and lake beds, DE is 85% silicone and appears as a fine white powder. The chemical profile of this unique mineral is completely inert and in the worst case scenario may cause sneezing if the fine particles are inhaled.
How Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Bed Bugs?
The insecticidal properties of diatomaceous earth are derived from the molecular composition of the powder itself. Viewed under a microscope, DE consists of tiny fragments of silica with rough and sharp edges. While these sharp edges are completely harmless to humans, they are incredibly effective in destroying the outer exoskeletons of bed bugs.
When a bed bug travels through an area that has been dusted with DE, the tiny particles that make up the powder bind to the exoskeleton and wear away the protective outer coating.
Highly absorbent, the diatomaceous earth then proceeds to draw the lipid oils and water out of the bedbug, fatally dehydrating the insect in a matter of hours. This process is entirely mechanical and chemical free, making it the ideal method of destroying bed bugs.
Why Use Diatomaceous Earth to Eliminate Bed Bugs?
The powdery composition of diatomaceous earth makes it easy to apply, clean up and live around while it works. DE can be worked into bedding, mattresses and fabric by hand with no risk of health damage, or dispersed into the crevices and cracks that bed bugs like to hide in with an applicator.
While sleeping in a bed that has been seeded with DE may be slightly dusty, it ensures that any bed bugs creeping out to feast on your blood will be quickly and effectively annihilated.
Unlike any of the other pesticide solutions for bed bugs, diatomaceous earth is completely safe and can even be used in food preparation or storage areas. Diatomaceous earth is also extremely cost effective, at a fraction of the price of even the cheapest insecticide solution.
The most significant advantage of DE over any other solution is that DE can be used to treat a house for bed bugs without needing to vacate the home or discard any belongings.
Tips for Treating Your Home for Bed Bugs with Diatomaceous Earth
If you’d like to treat your home for bed bugs, be sure to check out our comprehensive guide on the best practices for eliminating the persistent parasites with diatomaceous earth.
Treating your home with diatomaceous earth consists of a few easy steps that begin with a total clean of your entire home.
Once you’ve sanitized your home and both vacuumed and steam cleaned, it’s important to wash, dry and isolate all of the fabric in your home in airtight containers.
After cleaning your home and isolating all bedding, fabrics and clothing, the next step is to dismantle all of your furniture and distribute diatomaceous earth around your home, paying special attention to areas in which you have observed bed bugs.
A diatomaceous earth applicator can help with this process. A diatomaceous earth treatment will usually kill all bed bugs in a home over one month, but it’s best to repeat the process several times to ensure the extermination is complete.
Diatomaceous earth is the safest, most cost effective and reliable method for removing bed bugs from your home while preserving the long term health of your family and pets.
Diatomaceous Earth Information Guide:
We have a wide variety of food grade diatomaceous earth resources for you look through to make your life a little easier and chemical-free. Please check out the other valuable resources and versatile application uses for silica-rich diatomaceous earth below:
- Diatomaceous Earth Supplementation
- Truth About D.E. Food Grade Silica Supplements
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Please reach out regarding any information above. In the future, more share-worthy useful enhancements, experiences and effects of diatomaceous earth will be added as the benefits continue to pile up. Always welcome for more insight and awareness, click the button to see the most recommended beautifully blended product that combines both high quality food grade diatomaceous earth powder and pure organic silica together in one formula.