There are some very effective, safe and completely organic methods of getting rid of bed bugs. One of those methods is the use of food grade diatomaceous earth (DE). It is about the lowest cost method currently available and can be done by almost anyone. There is no need to hire a professional exterminator to kill them, you can do your own pest control and save money while doing it. Food grade diatomaceous earth is relatively inexpensive and readily available. You should be able to find it locally, but if not a quick search of the internet will provide you with hundreds of sources for it. Be sure to use only food grade diatomaceous earth, do not use the one that is sold for use in swimming pool filters. DE is non-toxic to humans, but it is deadly for bed bugs. It kills them by dehydrating them. They crawl through it, their bodies become coated with it, they become dehydrated and die.
Before applying the food grade DE you should thoroughly vacuum and or steam clean your mattress, box springs, carpet and all upholstery. You will also want to vaccum your bed frame paying particular attention to any cracks, screw holes or any other place where they can hide. You should also vaccum cracks or crevices in any other furniture such as dressers, chests of drawers, chairs and etc. Be sure to vaccum all other cracks and crevices in the room as well. When you remove the covers from light switches and electrical outlets be especially careful and use only a plastic attachment on your vaccum cleaner hose when you vacuum these hiding places. Washing your bedding and drying it at high heat will kill any of them that may be hiding in it and the high heat will kill their eggs as well. Thorough vaccuming, steam cleaning and washing and drying bedding with remove and kill a great many of them and the DE will kill the rest of them. Be sure to add some DE to your vacuum cleaner bag before disposing of it, this will kill any live ones that may be in it. There will likely be eggs in the bag as well but the DE will kill them also as soon as they hatch.
Be sure to wear a proper fitting dust mask and follow all of the manufacturer’s safety precautions when applying the DE. While DE is non-toxic it can irritate your mucous membranes and your lungs. After vaccuming all the hiding places mentioned earlier it is time to apply the DE to those places. You can use a powder duster to apply it in cracks, holes and etc, and you can use some sort of shaker type applicator in large areas such as carpet, under the bed, between the mattress and box springs, on the mattress, and any other place where they will be crawling. A light covering of these areas will be sufficient to kill any of them when they crawl through it. A shaker can be easily made using any type of container that has a lid, just poke several small holes in the lid and fill it with DE. In addition you will want to apply a heavy coat on the floor around the legs of the bed. Be sure that the bed does not touch the wall and the bedding does not touch the floor so that they will have to crawl through the DE that you have applied around the legs of the bed.
After at least 10 to 14 days, when all the bed bugs that you see are dead you can clean up the DE. There is no need to remove it from the electrical outlets and light switches or any other place where that is not easily accessible. It is better to leave it in all of the cracks and crevices or any place where it is not unsightly or otherwise needs to be removed, this will help guard against future bed bug infestations. You may want to leave it under your bed and around the legs of your bed for another week or so just to be sure that if there are any survivors they too will be killed.
We hope that you have found this article helpful, we will be posting other organic methods of pest control, so check back with us soon. In our next article we will be discussing using heat as a bed bugs treatment.