Diatomaceous Earth is one of several solutions for getting rid of bedbugs. How to use it and which one to choose to neutralise these unwanted insects? How effective is this treatment?
What is Diatomaceous Earth and which one to use against bedbugs?
Diatomaceous Earth, also known as silica dioxide, is made up of crushed fossils of microscopic, very sharp marine algae. It takes the form of a whitish, beige or grey powder.
Diatoms come in different forms. To combat bedbugs, we recommend the use of Diatomaceous Earth, also known as non-calcined Diatomaceous Earth or amorphous Diatomaceous Earth. For maximum efficiency, opt for amorphous Diatomaceous Earth with a minimum silica dioxide content of 7.2%. When buying, ask a professional in the insecticide department for advice to make sure you’re using the best bedbug treatment.
Calcined Diatomaceous Earth is not recommended, as it is heated to over 800°C and is much more toxic than amorphous Diatomaceous Earth. Calcined Diatomaceous Earth is for industrial and professional use only. Make sure you know the difference between the different products so you can use the most suitable one against bedbugs, while limiting the risks to your health.
How does Diatomaceous Earth work against bedbugs?
Diatomaceous Earth eliminates bedbugs by dehydrating them thanks to its absorbent properties. This method therefore takes time. Bedbugs slowly dry out and die after 9 to 15 days. In fact, the particles of Diatomaceous Earth stick to the insect’s shell, eventually neutralising it.
Diatomaceous Earth does not destroy bedbug eggs. Consequently, we recommend leaving Diatomaceous Earth on for 15 days (egg hatching time) to ensure that the insect is eradicated at all the stages of its development.
Where can I buy Diatomaceous Earth for bedbug control and is it economical?
Diatomaceous Earth can be found in all DIY stores, in the insecticide, chemical and repellent sections, in drugstores and online at Amazon, for example. Always seek the advice of an expert before purchasing your products, who will advise you on the use of insecticides according to the stage of infestation, on the different brands and on the precautions to be taken when using the products.
In terms of price, Diatomaceous Earth is an economical solution compared with other chemical insecticide treatments or the services of a pest control company. For just a few pounds, you can obtain a bag of Diatomaceous Earth and treat a large area. Diatomaceous Earth aerosol spray is a little more expensive, but indispensable for use in bedbug hiding places, e.g. skirting boards and other dark spaces.
How to use Diatomaceous Earth against bedbugs?
Diatomaceous Earth can be used in a number of ways
- In the traps: pour a little Diatomaceous Earth inside your bedbug traps (home-made or professional traps), and you’ll be sure to block the pests inside and kill them at the same time. Place your traps in strategic areas of the room for better protection, especially around the mattress.
- Aerosol form: ideal for treating the smallest spaces, Diatomaceous Earth in aerosol spray form with a nozzle enables precise spraying of every corner of the room (skirting boards, wall cracks, parquet flooring, etc.). For optimum efficacy, treatment should be repeated regularly, approximately every week. The product dries in 20-30 seconds and is easy to use. In our opinion, Diatomaceous Earth spray is the most appropriate solution for killing bedbugs.
- To protect an area: Diatomaceous Earth powder can act as an insect barrier. Sprinkle a little Diatomaceous Earth around the legs of the bed or the bed base to prevent bed fleas from climbing onto the mattress. Vacuum every day and repeat.
- To disinsect clothing and textiles: this can be sprinkled into a plastic bag containing the bedding to be treated. Leave the insecticide on for 14 days to be sure of killing all bedbugs in their various life stages. Nevertheless, we recommend steam cleaning or cleaning directly in the washing machine for a simpler and faster treatment of your laundry.
Application of Diatomaceous Earth
Although manufacturers claim that Diatomaceous Earth is safe and natural, we strongly recommend wearing a mask, goggles and gloves when applying the product to avoid any risk of inhalation.
To maximise the chances of bedbug eradication, diatomaceous earth powder must be applied meticulously. Apply to clean surfaces so that the powder adheres effectively. Repeat the operation every day after vacuuming (ideally with a bag vacuum cleaner so you can dispose of the infested bag) to eliminate as many eggs and larvae as possible.
Finally, we don’t recommend using Diatomaceous Earth powder directly on mattresses, pillows or sheets, because even if it’s amorphous, it still contains crystalline silica, which presents a significant inhalation risk for the sleeper.
Effectiveness of Diatomaceous Earth against bedbugs: our opinion
Diatomaceous earth is a natural product that can be effective against bedbugs, provided it is used properly. This treatment can be used to control all types of insects: ants, fleas, bedbugs, cockroaches and dust mites.
Diatomaceous Earth can act as a preventive as well as a curative product, but it’s important to remember that this solution is a slow killer of bedbugs. Diatomaceous Earth may be sufficient in the early stages of infestation, but used as a single treatment, it may not be enough to get rid of all the pests.
On the other hand, as it comes in powder form, it can lose its effectiveness in humid environments, in areas of high humidity or during rainy seasons.
Is Diatomaceous Earth safe for humans?
Although Diatomaceous Earth is of plant origin, it contains crystalline silica. Non-calcined Diatomaceous Earth, i.e. the kind used against bedbugs, must contain 2% or less crystalline silica.
According to scientific studies, there is a link between the concentration of toxic silica and the risk of silicosis or pulmonary fibrosis. Consequently, we recommend that you be careful before using Diatomaceous Earth, whether for your own health or that of your pets. In fact, it is recommended not to let animals come into contact with treated areas, as they could ingest or inhale the Diatomaceous Earth.
Natural and practical Sereni-d solution
Sereni-d has developed SOS Bedbugs Spray which eliminates 100% of bedbugs (eggs, larvae, adults) for immediate, safe and long-lasting protection.
This treatment contains a synergy of essential oils and the plant-based pyrethrum flower extract to neutralise and destroy all bedbugs. Its formula is free of synthetic permethrin, DEET and endocrine disruptors.
Spray directly on bedbugs and in every dark corner of the room!