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Diatomaceous Earth

Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Bed Bugs?

Diatomaceous earth has been a hot topic in pest control. Does it really kill bed bugs?

While diatomaceous earth may have some effect on bed bugs due to its dehydrating properties, it's not a guaranteed solution for infestations. It can be a natural and non-toxic supplement to professional treatment, but it may not be enough to eliminate them on its own.

Is this the ultimate solution for bed bug infestations, or just another myth? Keep reading to find out if diatomaceous earth truly is an effective tool in the battle against bed bugs.

Key Takeaways

  • Due to its abrasive and moisture-absorbing properties, Diatomaceous earth can help control bed bugs, but it's not a guaranteed fix.
  • Effective DE application involves spreading a thin layer in areas where bed bugs are likely to travel, such as bed frames and baseboards.
  • DE's success depends on staying dry and directly contacting bed bugs, which may be challenging in humid environments or inaccessible spots.

Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Bed Bugs?

When used correctly, diatomaceous earth can be a supplementary weapon in the fight against bed bugs. However, it's essential to understand that it's not a guaranteed solution.

How Does Diatomaceous Earth Work?


Using diatomaceous earth powder exploits the unique weaknesses of bed bugs' bodies. When bed bugs come into contact with food-grade DE, consider the following vital interactions that occur during the dehydration process:

  1. Exoskeleton Interaction: DE's abrasive particles latch onto the bed bugs' exoskeleton.

  2. Waxy Outer Coating Damage: The fine powder scratches this coating, breaking it down.

  3. Moisture Loss: Without the protective layer, bed bugs dehydrate quickly.

How Effective Is Diatomaceous Earth in Killing Bed Bugs?

Diatomaceous earth is often considered a bed bug killer due to its natural and non-toxic nature. To evaluate its effectiveness, looking at the results of scientific studies and understanding its practical limitations are essential.

Despite its potential, DE is not a one-stop bed bug treatment. Several limitations affect how well it works in real-world bed bug infestations.

How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth

Preparation is crucial for effectively using food-grade diatomaceous earth as a potential supplementary treatment. Consider these steps:

  1. Use a vacuum cleaner for baseboards, bed frames, box springs, and crevices.

  2. Isolate the bed by using mattress covers and sealing any tears or gaps.

  3. Identify areas and focus on electrical outlets, windowsills, and other entry points.

Applying diatomaceous earth requires precision to ensure thorough coverage without waste. Critical points to remember are:

  • Use a duster for even distribution.
  • Apply a thin layer, as too much can be ineffective.
  • Target vital areas like baseboards, bed frames, box springs, electrical outlets, and crevices.

Post-application maintenance ensures the diatomaceous earth remains effective and any infestations are managed. Tips include:

  • Check regularly: Electrical outlets, windowsills, and hidden crevices.
  • Continue monitoring: Keep the mattress cover sealed and clean.
  • Reapply: As needed, especially after cleaning or vacuuming.

Is It Time to Call the Experts?

If you've tried everything, including using diatomaceous earth, and still see bed bugs, it might be time to call the experts.

Professional pest control companies offer a comprehensive approach to bed bug management. An exterminator can assess the infestation level and devise a tailored treatment plan.

Crucial elements of professional pest control solutions include:




Identifying the extent and source of the infestation.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Combining multiple strategies for effective bed bug control.

Follow-Up Visits

Ensuring the problem is fully resolved by inspecting for new eggs and nymphs.


Persistent infestations can be challenging to handle alone, and a professional pest control company (like us at Native Pest Management) has the tools and expertise to help you regain comfort in your home.

If you find yourself overwhelmed, don't hesitate. It's better to tackle the issue effectively and save time and hassle in the long run.