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does diatomaceous earth REALLY work on bed bugs?

I have bed bugs!!!....does diatomaceous earth REALLY work on bed bugs...or have i just been suckered in (like the rest of the country)

13 Answers

  • Jaime
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I would first try hiring a professional exterminator. However, sometimes even an exterminator cannot get rid of bed bugs. If the exterminator fails, you can get rid of the bed bugs with baking soda.

    I would use baking soda, as opposed to Diatomaceous Earth (DE). Yes, DE works, but DE also cuts human lungs, so it's dangerous. Baking soda is gentle on people but will kill the bed bugs.

    Buy about 10 boxes of baking soda. And you'll need more later.

    Start with one room at a time...maybe your bedroom.

    1. Sprinkle the baking soda everywhere on the floor. Make sure you put a good coating around and under the bed. Spread the baking soda with a broom, so you have a fairly even coating. Then just leave the baking soda on the floor. Do not vacuum.

    2. Remove all sheets and comforters. Wash these in detergent and Hot water. Dry thoroughly.

    3. Vacuum the bed extremely well.

    4. If you can afford to replace the mattress, replace it. If not, buy a bed bug mattress cover, like this one: I'm sure you can find these at Walmart and Kmart if you'd rather not buy on line.

    5. Wrap duct tape or Gorilla Tape around the bed legs STICKY SIDE OUT. This way the bugs will get stuck trying to get to you. Another alternative is to buy some peel and stick tiles and place the feet of your bed on these...but place the tiles sticky-side up, so the bugs will get stuck on the tiles. Change the tape or tiles as needed.

    6. Pull the bed away from the wall so that it does not touch.

    7. Remake the bed, but never allow sheets or comforters to touch the floor.

    After a week, vacuum the floor and re-apply the baking soda.

    Treat all bedrooms this way. Also treat any room that you suspect harbors bed bugs. Treat for a full year. Yes, a year! Bed bugs are extremely hardy and it will take a full year of all out war to get rid of them.

    Good luck.


  • 6 years ago

    For what it may be worth: I have for many years taken a 500 mlg capsule of odor free garlic oil every day. I am convinced this is why I am not bothered by mosquitoes or any other such pest, (i.e. ticks fleas etc.). There is a person who rents a room from me and he brought home some bar floosy who has infested his room with bed bugs. He is leaving my home and when he is gone I will clean his room with a combination of steam and diatomaceous earth (not the swimming pool filter kind). I will report the outcome at that time but in the mean time I must mention he is eaten up while I have had not a single bite. I can not help but think the garlic has had something to do with this. If you try this it is well to remember; you will taste and smell it for the first few days (about a week) then the taste goes away. No one smells it on me and I associate the type of people who would tell me if they did. Garlic has other beneficial attributes also but I can attest to its ability to keep mosquitoes off me and I now suspect bed bugs off me as well. Again for what ever it may be worth. Cheers, Andrew.

  • ?
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    Diatomaceous Earth Home Depot

  • 1 decade ago

    Diatomaceous earth does work against bed bugs, however, it is only one of a combination of products/approaches that need to be applied. Using diatomaceous earth alone will help to reduce the bed bug population the home or apartment, but will not eliminate it. It works by clinging to the outer shell of the bed bug, dehydrating them and killing them.

    The problem is that the bed bug needs to cross through the dust field. Since its impossible to place dust everywhere the bed bugs are hiding or may cross through, it is only a partial solution. Many home owners like this approach since it is an organic product. To stay all organic use along with steam heat and vacuuming. There are also organic sprays (see 1st resource) that can help to knock down or reduce the bed bug population.

    In terms of a sequence:

    1. Vacuum first (use crevice tool)

    2. Steam

    3. Spray with a knock down spray

    4. Spray with a residual spray

    5. Followup with diatmoceious earth

    6. Cover mattress and box spring

    You may need to repeat 2 or 3 times. Each treatment reduces the bed bug population a bit more.

  • 7 years ago

    I can attest to DE working on bedbugs. About a year ago, I suddenly found my small single-apartment unit infested with them - it was insane! From what I could gather, mine was a fairly 'heavy' infestation. Both the physical and psychological affects on me from these parasites, was enough to almost push me over the edge; no fooling. After doing careful research online for possible ways to get rid of them, I first tried a couple of 'traps' (including a yeast trap) but to no avail. Then I tried the DE. I made use of an empty dish washing-liquid bottle, (for the spout-tip), and filled it with the DE so I could "spray" the powder into every crack and crevice by 'squeezing the DE-filled plastic bottle. I then applied a "moderately thick" dusting over the carpets. Lastly, I dusted my mattress on both sides, and made sure it got into every mattress seam, etc. - then covered the mattress on top with a plastic sheet which draped down the sides but did not touch the floor. (I also disposed of all my old bedding, just to be sure.) The first application, I just left for about 2-3 days, (btw, I'd already noticed that it seemed to be working at this point). Then I vacuumed it all up, making sure that the vacuum cleaner contents were properly disposed of, and I even cleaned all the hoses, nozzles of the vacuum completely afterwards; then did an equally thorough re-application of the DE. About 2 more days went by, & 'no more bedbugs'! I wanted to make absolutely sure, so I did another vacuuming/ re-application. All together, it was maybe 5-7 days, total, and they were completely gone... for good. This stuff is a God-send, in my opinion. I used the Safer brand from Ace Hardware, as well. *.Note: another thing I found out while I was doing this, was that Windex (or rather, 'ammonia window cleaner') was great for if I actually came across a living bedbug... one light 'spritz' of the ammonia mist would instantly immobilize and kill them on the spot, I discovered.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Diatomaceous earth DEFINITELY DOES work for eliminating bed bugs. That is the organic choice but make sure that you use a product that is certified organic. I have seen alot of companies putting 'organic' on their label but when you dig alittle more, they are not organic at all. it is just a marketing ploy. so i found that companies that have the seal OMRI on their label they are certified organic.

    Anyway, the best way to get rid of bed bugs (i have done this before and it worked very well!!) is to place a small dish with DE in it. probably at least 2 inches of DE. Now put the posts of your beds inside the dish/saucer. The bed bugs will be looking for food. They are only going to get food from attacking you. They are going to be coming up the bed posts. if you put the dish of DE with your bed posts in them.... they are going to have to travel through the DE to get to your bed.... and they will die within 48 hours. This is how i did it and it worked without a hiccup.

    Now i did mention that i did my homework on companies. i try to use organic in as much of my life as possible so finding an organic solution was important to me. i didn't want an exterminator coming in there throwing all kinds of chemicals around the same place i eat and my wife and pets eat. So with that being said, i used Safer Brand Ant and Crawling Insect Killer with Diatomaceous Earth. It comes in a bright yellow bag. you can get it from their website (what i did) but i happened to find it at Home Depot one day i was there shopping. i never heard of the brand before this and now i own about 10 of their products. good stuff! Hope you can get rid of them!!

    Source(s): Have had bed bugs in the past and got rid of them!! Did a bunch of research and understand how to get rid of them.
  • 6 years ago

    I rid the house by first spraying the mattresses, box spring, bed frame, head/foot board with rubbing alcohol. Spray it directly on every bug you see. Vacuum them off. Cover the mattress and box spring with bed bug-proof mattress covers and pillows with bed bug-proof pillow covers.. Get food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE). Put inexpensive bowls (even paper ones will do) and place the legs of your bed in the middle of them. Put some DE in each bowl. Pull the bed away from every piece of furniture and wall so it doesn t touch anything that can be used as an access to the bed. Pin the bed clothes up to keep them off the floor. Repeat the alcohol, vacuuming and DE in dressers, closets, floors. You can use a condiment squeeze bottle to apply DE to cracks in baseboards and hard to reach areas. Sprinkle it on your carpets, in the cracks of your sofas and chairs. Remember, bedbugs attack usually in the wee hours of the morning. So where ever you are spending your time later in the evening, that s where they will gather. Bedbugs smell the carbon dioxide we breathe, which helps them find us if we sleep in our beds or go to the living room sofa to get away from them. Spray with alcohol, apply DE and vacuum as thoroughly and quickly as you can because you won t want to keep that vacuum bag in your vacuum after you re done. And throw the bag outside right after, do not let it in the kitchen can until the can fills up in 3 days. DE clings to the bodies of the bedbugs. When they groom themselves, they wind up swallowing the DE and it tears them up from the inside. Hope this helps. Be patient, it could take a few months before you see a significant change. But the "moats" of DE under your bed s legs should help you get a good night s sleep within the first few days.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Today the market offers a variety of „do it yourself“ bed bugs solutions but you need to be careful because not all pesticides are proven to be safe for indoor usage especially for homes with small children. You can choose from different types of products such as sprays, powders and other.

    Try with Kleen Free Naturally, 32oz, Bed Bugs spray

  • 7 years ago

    DE works.. You have to pay attention to where they are having the most activity and are mostly seen, which means they are infested in that area. It does not hurt to put it everywhere. Remember, they go where you go. The organic food grade worked very well for me. I threw out my kids mattresses though that covered a great deal of the problem. I still dusted their closets mine, in their dressers, mine, dried their clothes and sheets as well as mine. I am dealing with hatchlings now, but they will soon be non existent in my home. It's crazy you can bring them in from anywhere!

  • 7 years ago

    DE dose not work because if it did along with the fact taht I vaccume & clean my daughters bed & dry all of her bedding ON HIGH everyday then dust the room with that & she is still waking up with bites on her hands I'm on a tight budget & can not afford a new bed so this is what i go threw & it dose not even work

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