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Using Diatomaceous Earth To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs

Updated on July 1, 2014

Using Diatomaceous Earth To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs

Good Question? If you are thinking of using Diatomaceous Earth to get rid of bed bugs it has been proven by many to be quite effective. Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is an all-natural product made from tiny fossilized water plants. The dust has razor sharp particles that lacerate insects when the come into contact with it. Some people use it to kill cockroaches,slugs, snails, earwigs, ants, and other types of insects. It is important to use a dust mask when applying DE as it can can be harmful to your lungs. When applied properly it is one of your best defenses to battling bed bugs and preventing them from returning.

How Does Diatomaceous Earth Work

When applied to your animals fur, or as a bed bug application the dust filters through the hard shelled body of the flea and bed bug. The tiny silicon particles suffocate the insects airways attacking their respiratory system. When the razor sharp particles come in contact with the insect it strips away their protective coating causing them to become dehydrated.

How Is Diatomaceous Earth Applied

It is important that when you are applying the dust for your bed bug infestation of for your pet's flea problem, you should protect your airways by applying a mask to yourself and your pet. Even though it is a non toxic product, the razor sharp particles are very damaging to your lungs.

When applying DE to your pet, you should lightly sprinkle it on to the spine of your pet when their fur is dry. Massage it along the body penetrating deeper to where the fleas can be located.

You can brush DE into your carpet as well to help combat the problem. It is best to leave it down for a few days and then brush it or vacuum it up to get rid of the dead fleas. The one thing to beware of though is that the dust may clog your vacuum.

How Long Does It Take Diatomaceous Earth To Work

A lot of people ask "How long does DE take to work?" . That is a difficult question to answer. These bugs are quite resilient and you have to wait for it to suffocate them and dry them out. This could take a few days and it all depends on how large the infestation is. These bugs lay hundreds of eggs in a short period of time so you have to make sure you have tackled the infestation in it's entirety. Focus on all areas where these insects may be hiding out such as your furniture, curtains, along the walls, in and around your bed, the carpet, etc. This might require a few applicatons as you kill them one by one until they are no longer able to reproduce.

Tips For Using Diatomaceous Earth (DE) to Kill Bed Bugs

  • Use Sparingly A thin layer of DE will suffice. You can use Dry Application Duster Tool

  • for better control of the product. This is to minimize the dust from getting into your mucous membranes ( nose and mouth) and damaging your lungs.
  • Make sure you wear a dust mask or respirator and disposable waterproof gloves when applying DE
  • Place DE in cracks, crevices, and areas that the substance will not be disturbed. You do not want to place DE in a place that can kick up the dust and result in inhalation of the product.
  • Make sure that you use DE as a post treatment method only, do not use it as your primary method to killing bed bugs. It is best to hire an exterminator first before apply DE as some exterminators might not treat the area if self treatment methods have already been applied. This is because the chemicals they use to kill bed bugs might interfere with the application and not be as effective if DE or other methods are present.

Other Purposes For Diatomaceous Earth

Many people use Diatomaceous Earth for garden insects and for in-home pests.

Many users state that Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth has been quite effective for human consumption ailments. Many people ingest Diatomaceous Earth to lower high blood pressure, lower high cholesterol, joint problems, weight loss, and many more benefits.

Pets also benefit from Diatomaceous Earth. Some pet owners have lightly rubbed DE into their animals coats for flea, tick and lice treatment. It has also been known to be an effect parasite eliminator and de-wormer.

Please make sure you research the use of Diatomaceous Earth in more detail before using for human and pet consumption.

Please note: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Pet Safe Bed Bug Killer

The good thing about diatomaceous earth is that it is safe for your pet. Whether you have a dog, cat, this product is non toxic and safe around your pets. The only creature that suffers are insects since it pierces their protective coating causing them to dry out and die. I wouldn't suggest applying to little baby animals though or small pets such as little birds, mice, gerbils, etc. You do not have to worry about your pet licking it or eating it. It is also quite effective as a flea killer so you can actually spread a little bit of of the dust in their fur and take care of that problem as well. Just make sure that it does not get into their eyes as it will cause irritation. Diatomaceous Earth has also been used in animal production units as an effective eliminator of external parasites and flies. The dust is sprinkled on their fur, litter or bedding area, as well as included in a small percentage of grain rotation to help with internal parasites.

Always make sure you use only FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous earth NOT the type that is used for swimming pools.

Diatomaceous Earth

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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      When first found the bed bugs I was lost I thought "don't let the bed bugs bite" was just something parents said to there kids. I started by treating them like lice, needless to say that didn't work. I was at the point I want to throw out all beds and furniture. I had tried rid,baking soda,alcohol. Finally I got 20 lbs of DE. Thankfully we haven't seen any in 2 months.I do keep a thin layer under the beds and couch just to be safe. But so far DE has worked great for me.

    • tonyaalves3 profile image


      5 years ago

      Never knew you could use this for bedbugs. Thanks for sharing

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      There are factors in your life that you by and large want to get rid of. There are horrible people, events or things you want to erase and forget. Bed bugs will definitely come in high on this the list. Bed bugs are tiny, creeping lice that prosper in the dark spots of your home, where cracks and little holes abound.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what they're talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I can't believe you're not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

      Yes ! Diatomaceous Earth is useful To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs .

      How To Get Rid of fleas

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice lens

    • LewesDE profile image


      6 years ago

      This is a well put together lens!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      We live in the suburbs and my brother brought home bed bugs after sleeping over at friends house downtown Toronto, We believe it was a small infestation. We very lightly dusted this into bed, bed frames, box spring and along the base boards and perimeter of the room. After 1 week we were bite free. Cleaned up the dust and applied again for safe measure. We have cleaned up the second application and happy to say bed bug and bite free for 5 weeks. We were apprehensive at first that it would work, but luckily proved wrong. Professional treatments and extermination were out of our budget and this worked just as effectively and much more budget friendly. Make sure to wear dust masks when applying and buy mattress covers and pillow covers. We didn't end up buy the "bed bug" labeled covers as they cost $45 each at walmart and opted instead for the vinyl mattress zippered cover and pillow zippered cases that were $12 and $4, respectively. And your furniture should be 6 inches away from the wall during the application. Your room will feel messy for a bit, but it ended up working out. I would also recommend purchasing the poly duster as it will make the application much easier, than using a flour sifter. As well, I had ordered 2 4lb bags, but only ended up using 1/2 of one of the bags. This stuff goes a long way and you must apply it in a thin layer barely visible to the eye, otherwise it wont work. Only downside is you must clean the dust thoroughly afterward. I'm talking wiping down the floors and furniture on your hands and knees at least 2 times and vacuuming the box spring and mattress. We also took all of our sheets (bed skirt, duvet cover, comforter, sheets, pillow cases and pillows) to a laundromat and used their super large machines and their very hot water option to was and used the hot dryers to dry our linen. The hot water and dryer will kill and potential bugs or their eggs and by going to a laundromat you won't break your machine. This is a great product and alternative!

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 

      6 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      Nasty... I hope I will never experience those bugs. Thanks for info!

    • jadehorseshoe profile image


      6 years ago

      Timely and EXCELLENT Lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Willy, wondering where you live. I moved into an apt. in Delaware and was greeted by bed bugs after moving in. Apparently the Complex was infested prior and I was not notified yet accused of bringing them with me. It amazed me how little help I got from the county and my representatives. In fact I got evicted and had to buy my own chemicas, diamataceous earth being one of them. They came back year after year around the same time. and my daughter, som and granddaughter were eaten alive. the Apt Complex acted as if I was going to the pet store and buying them. Hang tough when it comes to bed bugs they don't go away willingly. There is also a Bed Bug Registry for Bed Bug Infested buildings.

    • the bug extermi profile imageAUTHOR

      the bug extermi 

      7 years ago

      @anonymous: Hello Willy I can totally understand how frustrating it must be to continually battle this problem. If you have done everything you can do to minimize the issue, than it is your neighbour and the building management that has to do something more to control this issue. Living in an apartment building you have to take a lot of precautionary measures to prevent and management an infestation. If your apartment has already been treated then I need to know if you have taken the following steps on daily basis:

      1. Vacuumed your apartment daily, including the mattress and sheets

      2. Spread a thin layer of DE around your bed, underneath the box spring, all along the perimeter walls.

      3. Are you using a mattress and boxspring encasement to keep bugs from hiding during the day in the creases and crevices of the mattress. If you have a zippered mattress encasement, any bugs that would have been hiding in there are trapped in there and any new bugs would be unable to hide because there is no opening in the mattress.

      4. When you do your laundry, if it is in a public laundrymat, are you cleaning out the washers and dryers before you use them and/or shaking out your clothes prior to bringing them home.

      5. Do you have your clothes and linens sealed in plastic bags accessing them as required. If they are sealed, the bugs cannot hide in them. Just get some of those large clear plastic bags and put your stuff in them and seal them with those metal clips or some other enclosure.

      In the meantime, leave the lights on while you sleep. Bed bugs do not like the light and will probably not bother you if you sleep with the light on. Try that and see if that works.

      The DE dries out the bed bugs skin. I am surprised they are living so long in the dust but probably because the plastic bag still provides moisture. All they need is thin layer to get on their skin and the shells in the DE should rip them to shreds.

      Because NY has a large bed bug problem you have to be very diligent about keeping your personal contents tightly sealed such as if you are sharing a locker or cupboard at a workplace. Place everything in plastic bags. Anything that you bring in from the outside, make sure you inspect it and shake it out prior to bringing it in your home.

      If you are doing all these things and the problem still exists then the building you are living in needs to be fully exterminated.

      Let me know if you have taken the above measures and if any of them work for you.

      Good luck!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I am a single male (age 62) and I live in a one-bedroom apartment in NY. Many months ago, one of the tenants had her apartment infested with bed bugs. I guess I was lucky in that they didn't arrive here...until now. It's been about a month and a half now and I have very few spots on my body that HAVEN'T been bit. During this time I have read as much as I could find on the Internet regarding removal of these creatures and the news is not very encouraging. Even if I called in an exterminator with a dog and they successfully removed all traces of them from my apartment, according to everything I've read, they will just retreat into the walls and wait for the residual rffects of the extermination to subside, at which time they will return, undaunted. I bought all kinds of insectisides that claim to be able to eradicate bed bugs but, as expected, they didn't work. I came across this ad for diamataceous earth (food grade) and decided, since it was cheap and had so many positive feedback replies, what have I got to lose? The 50 lb bag arrived the other day and I decided before I go through all the effort, why not see if it works? Right? So I took 3 of the bed bugs I have captured alive in a Ziplock bag and I added a heaping teaspoon into their bag. That was three days ago and all three, even though they are completely covered in this dust, seemingly are thriving. They don't try to avoid it, as I have read they would, and it does not seem to have ANY effect on them whatsoever. Am I just being too impatient, hoping that it would work as advertised or do I need to allow more time for this stuff to work? I bought it from and the brand is Perma-Guard. Anyone that has information that might help me, it would be greatly appreciated.



    • profile image


      8 years ago

      very interesting info

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Pet Safe Bed Bug Killer! I've been looking for that. My pets are so important to me and bed bugs are such a big problem that I have been looking everywhere for a solution. I found bed bug shredder and it is great. But just got a new pet and want to make 100% sure it's safe.


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