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Diatomaceous Earth For Bed Bugs

Bed Bug crawling

The words “bed bugs” are enough to send most of us running with quivering skin at the thought of little blood-sucking creatures crawling all over us as we sleep.  These little bugs are pests and is stated as such by the EPA and they can be difficult to get rid of once they have decided to make your house their home. They spend the daylight hours hiding in cracks and crevices where they are almost impossible to excise.  Diatomaceous earth de is one of the most effective and safe options for bed bug control and bed bug treatment.  If you have bed bugs infesting you, its time to get rid of them!

How to Identify a Bed Bug

bed bug crawling on skin

Adult bedbugs are generally flattened and reddish brown. They resemble apple seeds in appearance and size. Newly hatched nymphs look very much like adults, and although they are almost colorless, they gain their reddish brown color as they mature. Bedbug eggs resemble a flake of dust on a dark surface, and are almost impossible for humans to see with the naked eye.

If you are wondering if you have bed bugs and want an easy way to catch and identify them, we offer a product called the bed bug climbup interceptors.  They work in pest control by preventing a bed bug from crawling onto a bed or even furniture in some cases.

What do Bed Bug Bites Look & Feel Like?

bed bug bites

The bites can be found just about anywhere on your body, with exposed bits of skin being the preferred feeding ground for the bugs. Your face, arms, and legs are typical feeding targets. The bites cannot be felt at first, but as the anesthetics wear off and the skin begins to react to the injections, the bites can make themselves felt minutes or hours after the bedbugs have returned to hiding.

You may notice a cluster of bites when you awake, and this is typically caused by disturbing the bugs while they feed, causing them to detach and return to feed.  A well-fed bedbug can live anywhere from four to six months, while a dormant one might live without feeding for up to 18 months.

Bed Bug Behavior and Life Cycle

Bed Bug Life Cycle


If you have bedbugs, your infestation can get worse very quickly since a female bed bug can lay up to five eggs per day, and up to around 250 eggs in her lifetime depending on the temperature and the food available.  Since it takes only five weeks for hatched nymphs to grow to maturity, your problems could expand exponentially within a relatively short period of time.  Infestations can be hard to control.

Because of their ability to stay out of sight, you may not realize right away that bedbugs are the source of the annoying sores on your legs when you wake up in the mornings.  Bed bugs are attracted by both warmth and the presence of carbon dioxide, which is what we exhale when we breathe.  The bugs climb up onto your skin and pierce you with two hollow tubes.  One tube injects anti-coagulants and anesthetics, and the other tube is used to withdraw your blood. The bugs feed for about five minutes before returning to their hiding places.


For more on the bedbug lifecycle, see the University of Minnesota Extension page on bedbugs.

How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth to Kill Bed Bugs

5lb Crawling Insect Control Diatomaceous earth

Crawling Insect Control Diatomaceous Earth particles (fossilized remains made up of creatures called diatoms) are deadly to the Bed Bug. The silicon dioxide particles attach themselves to the bed bugs body and physically “scratches and dehydrates them to death!” Because it kills them mechanically, they cannot become immune to it like they do with so many other chemicals on the market. Because it’s a mineral, once you put it down, it stays there and keeps working. You may sweep it up as you get rid of the dead Bed Bugs, but Crawling Insect Control Diatomaceous Earth doesn’t lose power over time even with a very thin layer applied.  DE does not kill bed bug eggs.  The idea is to allow the eggs to hatch to kill the hatchlings before they have the ability to mate.  Essentially killing off the gestational cycle VERY quickly applying de.

Lets see how to apply diatomaceous earth to kill bed bugs in 8 steps:


1.  Wash Your Sheets and Bedding

Wash all bedding and clothes in hot water—add a little Clorox with the soap (optional).  Dry in the dryer on the highest heat setting.  Seal clothing and bedding you are not using in sealed plastic bags and be sure to keep it out of the contaminated area.  If you can, use a steam cleaner on your mattress, box spring, cushions on furniture, and any area of furniture you can access.

2.  Move Furniture Away from Walls

Bed bugs cannot fly, so make sure bed is away from the wall and there is no bedding touching the floor. Take the time to move bed, dressers, shelves away from walls if possible.  Also make sure there is no skirting or anything other than the 4 legs/bottom of furniture or bedding, touching the floor.  Be sure to follow this protocol the entire time of application!  Better safe than sorry!

3.  Apply Diatomaceous Earth to Your Bed

With your hands or an applicator, dust some crawling insect control diatomaceous earth in a light and visible application to your mattress, box spring, ridges along mattress, and box spring.

4.  Apply Diatomaceous Earth to Your Other Furniture

Apply to other furniture like chairs and couches in the same way. Apply under cushions and to the ridges of the cushions. Also, apply some to the inside of the furniture and down on the sides.

5.  Apply Diatomaceous Earth to Your Baseboards

Apply to the very front of baseboards, or mop boards, in ALL rooms (where the floor meets the wall). Be sure to have an even and light application – not more than a 1/8th of an inch thick. Be sure NOT to miss a spot. You do not want to give them a small path to get around this product. If you are not able to move furniture away from the wall, be sure to apply it to the base (where it touches the floor).

6.  Apply Diatomaceous Earth to Small Openings

Take off the electrical outlet covers and light switch covers and using our pest pistol, puff some DE into the walls via the outlets and light switches. Also, take our Pest JT Eaton Duster and puff the food grade diatomaceous earth in the small crevice that is between the baseboard/mop board and the wall. Bed Bugs love to live there and are the main way they spread from room to room. Be very careful – use nothing that would conduct electricity and shock you.

7.  Vacuum or Sweep up Diatomaceous Earth after 7 Days

Keep the application down for seven days and then clean all applications to the flooring and around the legs of your bed and furniture bases. 

8.  Reapply Until Bedbugs are Gone

Reapply to those same locations in the same fashion for the next seven days. You do not have to worry about the application to furniture, walls, or in the frame of your bed, it will stay there for good. You may clean these spots after your bedbugs are gone. We suggest you leave the product in those locations for further use and as a preventative measure against any insects that may want to enter your home.


Be sure to keep the application in walls, inside furniture, the bed frame, and mattress/box spring. Do not clean before the suggested application period has expired. Any application that is applied to the flooring needs to be cleaned with a household vacuum every seven days, then reapplied right after you clean for a fresh application, for another seven days. Total application time is four weeks. Repeating the directed application and cleaning cycle for four weeks ensures cutting off the gestational period of the bed bug.

We highly recommend you purchase our Climbup Bed Bug Interceptors to help keep these creatures off your bed and furniture.

What Diatomaceous Earth do I use to kill Bed Bugs?

There are very few items that you really need to get the job done.  For starters we recommend these two bundles below.  The crawling insect control diatomaceous earth shares the exact composition of the food grade de, but contains an EPA label to register it as a legal pesticide.  Without absorbing the us food drug administration, we are forced to ensure labeling requirements are followed as set forth by the governing bodies of the EPA and FDA.  Our JT Eaton Red Insecticide Duster works well to get the product in cracks and crevices and hard to reach areas.  The Diatomaceous Earth Dispenser helps you apply evenly without the worry of missing a spot, making the application too thick, or preventing an easy chore when you clean up diatomaceous earth.

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