For those people who like to travel, bed bugs are never fun to deal with. Hotels, planes, trains, and buses can all be havens for these pesky insects.
There’s always a risk of having one or more of these bed bugs hitchhiking in our suitcases or on our clothing, and it can take weeks before we even realize that we have an infestation.
Fortunately, one of the most effective methods for eliminating bed bugs is diatomaceous earth (DE).
According to various studies, it typically takes 1-2 weeks for DE to fully eliminate bed bug infestations. However, the actual length of time may vary depending on the size of the infestation and how long the bugs have been living in your environment.
Generally, it’s best to apply DE in several applications over a period of weeks or months for optimal results.
Diatomaceous Earth and Length of Time to Eliminate Bed Bugs
Diatomaceous earth is a well-known and well-loved natural substance used for different pests. Don’t underestimate these fine dust particles. DE is very effective in killing bed bugs – not just adult bed bugs, but it’s also extremely effective in getting rid of eggs and larvae.
It starts working as soon as it’s applied to infested areas. However, it will start to take effect about seven days after the first application.
Facts About Diatomaceous Earth and Bed Bugs
If you’re wondering why many people are raving about DE, here are some fun facts you should know about it:
Despite it being a slow-acting agent, DE remains effective for a long-term period. Unlike other insecticides that stop working after a certain length of time, DE continues to work as long as it’s kept dry.
Gardeners love it because it can be used for a variety of pest control, including snails and slugs.
Diatomaceous earth is 100% natural and safe to use around children, pets, and plants. Take note, however, that DE might contain super fine particles, and the use of a mask during the entire application process is recommended for safety.
Easy to Use
Unlike other chemical treatments, diatomaceous earth doesn’t require much preparation before application. All you need to do is spread the powder on the infected areas – bed frames, mattresses, furniture, and all those tiny cracks in between your floorboards and walls.
You can also use a ketchup container (the one with a nozzle) to help spread the powder in those hard-to-reach areas. This makes it easier to target the places where bed bugs usually hide.
Home improvement stores usually sell these by the bag. Various brands, sizes, and types are available in the market. Ensure that you purchase a food-grade DE for your bed bug control treatment.
Different Factors Affecting The Effectiveness of Diatomaceous Earth
The length of time it takes for diatomaceous earth to take effect may vary due to a number of different factors, such as:
Size of Infestation
The bigger the infestation, the longer it will take for the diatomaceous earth to completely eradicate the bed bugs. A small infestation might be eliminated in a week or two, while a large one could take several weeks or months.
A humid environment can also affect the effectiveness of DE since moisture can cause it to clump together. Bear in mind that the fine particles must stay dry for it to be effective. This will puncture the bug’s exoskeleton, eventually resulting in its death.
Location and Type of Mattress
The type of mattress and surfaces you use also affects the length of time it takes for diatomaceous earth to work. It’s best to apply DE directly on bed bug hotspots, such as mattresses and furniture.
Targeting the area where the infestation may have started is the best and simplest way to tackle your bed bug problem head-on.
Sprinkling it around your perimeter or within the background might help kill these bed bugs lurking in the area. However, it’s rendered useless if you don’t use it exactly where the bugs are hiding.
Why Choose Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth?
Food-grade DE offers superior protection from household pests over regular DE because the manufacturing process to produce food-grade DE uses a higher grade of silica than regular DE.
This ensures that it meets all standards outlined by various government agencies, such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). On top of that, food-grade DE is also 100% natural, meaning that it’s free from chemical additives or other harmful materials.
Compared to regular diatomaceous earth, the food-grade variety is also considered to be cheaper, which makes it a preferred choice by many.
Diatomaceous earth is a highly effective bed bug control solution that works within 1-2 weeks upon application. Take note that if you’re looking for a fast-acting solution, then DE might not be the best option for you. However, if you’re looking for a more affordable and safer approach to bed bug control that offers prolonged protection, then diatomaceous earth is the way to go.
Despite it being a slow-acting treatment, its natural and non-toxic properties set it apart from other chemical alternatives.
DE is easy to use and highly accessible, making it a great option for home use. With proper application, the right environment, and a little bit of patience, slowly eradicating bed bugs with diatomaceous earth can be achieved.