Got crawling insects like centipedes, spiders, bedbugs, ants, silverfish, cockroaches, fleas, and all other creepy crawlies trying to take over your home or garden? Don’t call an exterminator quite yet. I’m confident this is a problem you can fix yourself with non-toxic, completely safe, natural diatomaceous earth (DE)—cheaper and faster!
What is Diatomaceous Earth?
Diatomaceous Earth (DE), an off-white talc-like powder, is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton that have been ground to a fine powder. If you could take a look at it through a microscope you’d see that it resembles shards of glass. It comes in bags and is easily found online ,and in the garden department of stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart and Tractor Supply.
When sprinkled on a bug that has an exoskeleton (centipedes, ants, bedbugs, cockroaches, bedbugs, fleas) or placed strategically so that bug crawls into it, the DE cuts into that bug’s exoskeleton, which causes it to dehydrate and die.
What kind of DE?
It is critical to understand DE is available in two “grades.”
Food-grade DE. For this application of killing bugs and insects, you must use food-grade Diatomaceous Earth. Make sure it reads “food-grade” on the label. Only food-grade Diatomaceous Earth will rid of centipedes, spiders, bedbugs, ants, silverfish, cockroaches, fleas, and all other creepy crawlies.
Pool-grade DE. Swimming pool supply stores sell Pool-Grade Diatomaceous Earth to be used in DE pool filters. This DE has been treated chemically for this specific use—in a swimming pool DE filter. The pool grade DE is calcined, which changes the chemical compound from silicon dioxide to crystalline silica. Pool-grade DE will not work to kill bugs and insects. Worse, pool-grade DE is very toxic and should be handled with extreme care, to be used only in a DE-specific pool filter.
DE for bedbugs
Bedbugs are parasitic insects that feed on blood. They’re a nightmare. Bedbugs can enter your home undetected on luggage, clothing, on and inside used mattresses, bed frames, couches, and other items.
Typically, bedbugs hide in the folds, creases, cracks, and crevices of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards where they have easy access to people to bite in the night.
Fully grown, a bedbug is about the size of Abraham Lincoln’s head on a US penny. Foggers are useless against bedbugs because those ugly critters are so good at hiding in places the fog can’t reach. Bedbugs are even resistant to expensive professional chemical fumigation!
Food-grade Diatomaceous Earth is the only effective option. It is all-natural and safe. DE acts like shards of glass to puncture bedbugs’ exoskeletons. It then absorbs their internal fluids dehydrating them quickly and effectively. If you are experiencing a bedbug infestation, you need these full instructions for how to treat bedbugs with food-grade DE.
Safe around pets, kids
Here’s the most amazing thing about DE: It kills bugs but doesn’t hurt mammals. You and your pets could eat it without harm. In fact, many people add food-grade DE to their daily diet to promote good health.
How to apply
Using a flour sifter, fine mesh strainer, a salt shaker, or this Pest Control Bulb Duster, lightly dust the powdery DE in cracks and crevices, along baseboards, windowsills, door frames; beneath and behind appliances, in the garden, yard—anywhere you see those little pests. This is a non-toxic and environmentally safe treatment for bugs and insects, but please wear a face protector because it is fine as talcum powder.
For flea-invested carpet, dust the carpet well with the DE and then pound it in with a broom. Leave it to do its job, then vacuum the carpet very well after 24 to 36 hours, emptying the bag or dust collector often. To do its job as the most effective pesticide ever, DE must be dry. If it gets wet, clean it up and then reapply.
Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth is readily available at garden centers and hardware stores. You can get a 10-lb. bag of Diatomaceous Earth from Amazon that includes a bulb duster. Always make certain you are purchasing food-grade diatomaceous earth, not the variety of DE used in swimming pools, which has been chemically altered and will not work as a pesticide. It must be food-grade, and Harris is the brand of food-grade DE you can trust. Wholly mined, produced, and packaged in the USA.
One last thing: To do its job as the most effective pesticide ever, DE must be dry. If it gets wet, clean it up and then reapply.
Enjoy Everyday Cheapskate’s Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2021—a fun selection of gifts to delight every kind of mother, even those who say they don’t need a thing. But hurry. Some of these items are time-sensitive, which means you have no time to lose. Prefer to make a gift? You’ll find lots of ideas and helps with that as well. One thing is for certain: May 9 will be here before we know it!
Everyday Cheapskate participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to you.