Diatomaceous earth is an effective bed bug treatment. It is the fossilized skeletal remains of fresh and salt water diatoms containing a wide range of minerals that work as insecticides. Diatomaceous earth has many practical and money saving uses. It is an excellent insecticide for many household pests such as ants, bed bugs, roaches, fleas, and other crawling insects indoors and outdoors. I had recently shared my insights on the use of Diatomaceous earth for bed bugs. In this guide, I will focus on how to apply Diatomaceous earth on carpets, outdoors and for all kinds of bugs other than bed bugs including ants, roaches, fleas etc.
What is Diatomaceous earth?
Diatomaceous earth is available as a gritty powder made using fossilized remains of algae whose skeletons comprise of silicon dioxide. Silicon dioxide is the same material found in glass and quartz. These algae are found everywhere on earth where the soil is moist with salty or fresh water. The powder is mainly mined from areas where the water has dried up to reveal diatom skeletons which create thick deposits.
How to select Diatomaceous earth powder?
Select Diatomaceous earth powder that is labeled as an insecticide. Do not use swimming pool filter DE powders which are ineffective as insecticides.
How does Diatomaceous earth work on insects?
You can apply Diatomaceous earth outdoors or roaches, ants and garden pests and indoors for fleas, bed bugs etc. To all these insects, the powder appears as thin, glass-like, sharp surface. When insects try crawling across the powder, it is immediately wounded by the sharp particles. The powder literally rips apart their exoskeleton and injures or kills the bugs. A great thing about using Diatomaceous earth for bed bugs and other crawlies is that it generally does not harm mammals, birds or aquatic animals. That said; it is very important to use protective gear when using this powder around the house. You must wear gloves, goggles or glasses, mask, full sleeved shirt, and pants tucked inside shoes to prevent the powder from touching your skin. This is only during the application part- once the powder is on the ground/soil outdoors; it will stay put and won’t harm you. When using Diatomaceous earth indoors, it is best to avoid sleeping in the treated areas.
How to apply Diatomaceous earth outdoors?
Pour the powder liberally around potted plants, garden rows and growing media. This will prevent ants and aphids near your produce. You can also use the powder on oil stains around your garage- Diatomaceous earth is an effective stain remover! Make sure the powder sits on the stains for at least 24 hours so it can soak up all the oil. Remove the powder by sweeping it away. You can also remove the power and with it the oil stains using a spatula or paint scraper.
For earwigs, centipedes, millipedes, roaches, ants and crickets, lightly coat the powder on all surfaces and areas where these bugs hide. Do not forget to dust the cracks, crevices, and hiding places under trash cans, stoves, cabinets, garage, attics, window frames, etc. This is applicable even in case of bed bugs. You can even dust the insects directly if you see them. During gardening, you can also apply the Diatomaceous earth powder to the soil during cultivation or as a top dressing high in silica.
How to apply diatomaceous earth indoors for fleas
For getting rid of fleas, you must apply the Diatomaceous earth powder in following ways:
- All around pet bedding and resting areas
- Thoroughly treat all cracks and crevices indoors
- Treat the baseboards, carpets, and box springs of mattresses.
How to apply diatomaceous earth for bed bugs
- Dismantle the bed completely. Liberally sprinkle the white powder in joints, crevices where the rungs are, inside box springs and so on.
- Also dust all mattress edges. You could also use mattress encasements to trap the remaining bugs.
- Bag all linen, sheets, pillow covers and blankets. Launder and wash them using highest heat settings.
- Treat all window sills, doors, window openings etc in bedrooms.
How to apply diatomaceous earth for roaches and ants
Coat the powder around trash cans, bins, underneath cabinet trolleys, along edge of furniture in kitchen, window sills, door frames, patio etc. Apply around foundation, pipes, drains, sewer pipes etc.
How to apply diatomaceous earth on carpets?
Carpets make the best hiding places for adults, eggs, larvae and nymph of bed bugs, fleas, ticks etc. The best part about using diatomaceous earth powder for carpets for eliminating these pests is that you also get rid of carpet stains in the process. Sprinkle the powder liberally on the carpet and leave it on for 2 hours. Vacuum. Repeat the process after a week.
How long is diatomaceous earth effective?
It is best to leave the powder for three days. Vacuum the house completely on the fourth day to remove all dead bed bugs, ants, fleas and roaches. Reapply the powder after 2 weeks. This will get rid of all newly hatched bugs.