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Bed bug powders are a very effective way to kill bed bugs and get rid of them from your home for good. Most bed bug powders contain diatomaceous earth (DE) which is non-toxic and generally safe to use around the home. Many people use natural powders for killing bed bugs because they last for a long time and can help deal with recurrent or persistent bed bug infestations.
Waking up in the morning with itchy red bumps around your ankles and black specks on your bedding could be a sign that you have a bed bug problem. Because they are so tiny and only come out at night, bed bugs can be difficult to eradicate from your home. Unlike chemicals that poison the bugs and can be dangerous to humans, bed bug powders from food grade diatomaceous earth wont harm you or your family. That means that you can use bed bug powders to get rid of these pesky critters while still staying in your own home.
In this article, you will find out all you need to know about using powders to kill bed bugs that have infested your home. I will also look at ways to spot the signs of a bed bug invasion and where to dust the bed bug powder for best results.
Diatomaceous earth is the main or only ingredient in many bed bug powders. In fact, you can easily make your own powder at home to control bed bugs and get rid of them from your home for good. Bed bug powders and diatomaceous earth work as desiccants, which means that they dehydrate the bugs to kill them.
According to the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC), diatomaceous earth is a substance made from grinding up the fossilized remains of diatoms a type of algae. This forms a white fine powder or dust that acts as a pesticide. DE kills bugs, ants, roaches, and other insects by sticking to their exoskeletons. This destroys their outer shell and causes the pests to dehydrate and eventually die.1
The NPIC says that diatomaceous earth pesticide powders are registered for use against bed bugs, fleas, ticks, spiders, and cockroaches. Many studies into dust insecticides have shown their effectiveness in killing bed bugs.
The journal PloS One reported that diatomaceous earth powder helps to kill off groups of bed bugs. Researchers found that the white dust sticks to the shell of bed bugs and is transferred to other bed bugs and nymphs. This causes bed bugs and nymphs to die and it can be an effective natural insecticide for bed bugs in hard to reach places.2
Another study published in the journal Insects found that diatomaceous earth powder can help to greatly reduce large numbers of bed bugs. This was recommended as a cost-effective and practical way to kill off bed bugs.3
Bed bug powders dont have to be ingested for them to be effective. This means that you dont have to rely on the bugs ingesting the dust for it to be effective. All you need to do, is make sure and use food grade diatomaceous earth powder, keep it dry, and dust it around places where the bed bugs are lurking.
Professor Stuart Hill from Department of Entomology and Ecological Agriculture Projects describes diatomaceous earth as an ideal non-toxic pesticide. Prof. Hill says that bed bug powders have an insecticidal effect for as long as the powder is on the bed bugs skin. It is also safe to use around the house and there are no recorded harmful effects to humans or pets.4
In fact, food grade diatomaceous earth is so safe that you can add it to food to get rid of intestinal parasites and worms. You can also use diatomaceous earth to get rid of ants and other creepy crawlies.
Before you use diatomaceous earth powder to exterminate bed bugs, its important to know the signs of a bed bug infestation and where to look for them.
Bed bugs can be difficult to spot and, if you dont get rid of them completely, you can soon have a recurring bug infestation to deal with.
According to doctors from the Mayo Clinic, it can be difficult to distinguish bed bug bites from other insect bites. Some people even mistake a cluster of bed bug bites as just an itchy rash on the body. Bed bug bites usually cause symptoms like itchy red spots with a darker center, spots in a straight line or cluster, and they usually occur on the legs, arms, or face.5 Bed bugs can leave a nasty cluster of bites on your skin that can last for a few days.
To look for bed bugs, the Mayo Clinic recommends looking for signs of them around mattresses, bed frames, headboards, or behind furniture beside beds. However, bed bugs also reside behind torn wallpaper, behind baseboards, or in the seams of pillows and cushions.6
Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD says that signs that bed bugs are infesting an area are a distinctive musty smell, tiny blood stains on bed linen, evidence of feces and shed skin where the bugs are lurking.7
Once you have established where bed bugs are residing, you can use a natural bed bug powder to start eradicating them.
Here is a step-by-step guide to kill bed bugs for good and prevent a recurring infestation. Please remember, if you are using diatomaceous earth as your bed bug treatment powder, only use DE that is classed as food grade (here isone example). Food grade diatomaceous earth is safe to use around the home and its an effective home treatment for killing bed bugs and fleas.
The first step is to locate where you have a bed bug infestation before applying the bed bug powder. You should thoroughly examine all cracks and crevices in your bed frame, along base boards, behind drawers, and behind torn wallpaper.
The next step is to physically remove any bed bugs, fecal matter, shed skin, and eggs that can be seen around furniture.
Researchers from the Texas A&M University recommend stripping the bed and vacuuming the mattresses, box springs, bed frame, and anywhere else you found evidence of bed bugs. After this, you should discard the vacuum bag outdoors.8
All sheets, pillowcases, and other bed linen should be washed in hot water and then put on a hot dryer cycle for at least 30 minutes to kill any remaining bed bugs and their eggs.
Hot steam is another recommended home remedy to eradicate bed bugs and you can use it after vacuuming.The hot steam can get rid of bed bugs from small crevices and cracks. It can also penetrate through the mattress lining and eradicate bug infestations inside the mattress.
Another practical way to destroy the irritating pests lurking in your mattresses is to encase your mattress in a specially designed bed bug-proof encasement. This will prevent bed bugs from coming out at night and biting people sleeping on the bed. Eventually, the bugs will die because they have no food source. In addition to encasing your bed items, you can also place bed bug traps (such as this one) under your bed legs to stop bed bugs crawling up.
To completely exterminate all bed bugs from your living areas, you need to use bed bug powder. This will eventually remove all traces of bed bugs and help you sleep easier at night.
There are many commercial products listed as natural bed bug killing powders (here is one example). However, you can dust affected areas with diatomaceous earth which is just as effective as powders for bed bugs.
To get rid of bed bug with diatomaceous earth powder, this is how you should apply it:
Make sure to wear a mask to prevent inhaling the fine dust and also read the next section about precautions when using bed bug powders.
As long as the powder for bed bugs stays dry, it will continue to dehydrate and kill the bugs. All it takes is for the bug to get a little of the powder on its skin for the remedy to work.
If you have a large bed bug infestation, there is always the chance that some bed bugs have migrated to other rooms. Therefore, to prevent bed bugs becoming a major problem, you should check other rooms.
Other places to do some preventative bug dusting include:
Even though food grade diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic pesticide that really works for killing bed bugs, you should take some precautions when using it around the home.
Diatomaceous earth is a fine abrasive dust and you should avoid breathing it in when applying the white powder. The National Pesticide Information Center says that DE can irritate your nasal passages and cause eye irritation. This can result in watery eyes, itching, and redness around your eyelids. Also, irritation in your lungs could result in a dry cough.1
Therefore, when using powders as a bed bug killer, you should wear a mask to prevent inhaling the fine dust.
Using bed bug powders for bug control is just one effective tool in your fight against these invasive critters. There are other great ways to get rid of bed bugs naturally without having to resort to harmful chemicals.
Essential oils. Essential oils are a great way to get rid of various types of bugs around the home. Many essential oils contain compounds that act as a bug and insect repellent but wont harm humans or pets.
For example, the journal Insects published studies on the efficiency of various essential oils in repelling bed bugs. They found that essential oils like lemongrass, peppermint oil, clove oil, and cinnamon oil, among others, were effective bed bug pesticides.9 Also, tea tree oil has proven antimicrobial activity that can destroy cell membranes.10
You can make a natural bed bug pesticide from essential oils by mixing 10 drops of lavender oil, 6 drops of lemongrass oil, 6 drops of tea tree oil, and 10 drops of thyme oil with some water in a small spray bottle. Spray liberally along cracks and crevices of your bed frames to get rid of bed bugs for good. Use the natural bed bug spray daily until all the signs of bed bugs have disappeared. Remember to shake the natural spray well before each application.
Just remember not to spray the natural bug repellent on areas that have been treated with DE. For bed bug powder to continue to be effective, it has to be dry.
Tea tree oil is also a great spot treatment to take the itch out of insect bites and prevent the itchy bump becoming infected. All you have to do is dab a tiny amount of tea tree oil on the itchy skin and let it dry. For other natural treatments, read my article about the best home remedies to get rid of bed bug bites.
Cold treatment. Bed bugs die off in extreme cold temperatures. The United States Environmental Protection Agency recommends freezing any bug-infested items that will fit in a freezer. So, you can easily exterminate bed bugs from bed linen, sheets, and pillowcases by leaving them in the freezer for 4 days.11
Use bed bug sprays. There are commercial and homemade natural bed bug sprays to kill these nasty critters. You can find out how to make and use these sprays in my article about the most effective bed bug sprays.
For other ways to kill bed bugs, read my article about the top 10 home remedies to get rid of bed bugs.
Read my other related articles:
We are commonly asked what makes Peregrine different. Pest control is a serious occupation and it isnt for the light hearted; in the morning our service technicians could be solving a bed bug issue, in the afternoon chasing a mouse around a restaurant and the next day hanging off the side of a structure solving a pigeon or squirrel problem.
With a broad range of pest problems to solve, the level of training required is extremely high. All our service technicians are licensed applicators in the province of Alberta, they have their exterior rodent control license, fall protection, ladder safety, respirator protection, first aid and have a commitment to ongoing training. As a company, Peregrine is Quality Pro certified and Contractor Check certified.
In the field, this requires the pest control service technician to be calm, patient, and considerate. All the things one isnt inclined to be when a skunk may be about to spray you, or a hundred wasps are coming straight at you. It can be a very emotional time for clients with the presence of pests in their lives.
What this means is we strive to put our best foot forward ensuring we take care of you and your loved ones in a professional and timely manner.
See the rest here:
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Many people believe that bed bugs can only infest a dirty, unkempt household
but this is NOT the case.
Bed bugs can infest any environment.
It doesnt make a difference whether the residence is state of the art or in a state of decay, bed bugs will come as long as theres sufficient food available.
We know this because there are plenty of cases of bed bugs infesting run-down apartments along with 5-star hotels.
The reason infestations are more common in dirtier residences is because clutter and neglect can cause property owners or tenants to identify an infestation less quickly.
Allowing it to spread rapidly and easily.
Bed bugs are attracted to human blood like mosquitoes and other similar insects.
But unlike other insects
They cannot fly or jump.
They are also unable to live 24/7 on their hosts to get a full meal (unlike ticks).
Because of this bed bugs only feed strategically while their hosts are asleep.
When bed bugs are young, its hard to see them because of their small size and pale color.
But when they become adults you should be able to spot them more easily
In fact, to those who are observant..
Bed bugs are visible to the naked eye.
Unless theyre in a cluttered environment that makes them difficult to locate.
Keep in mind that it isnt the clutter itself that will attract bed bugs, but certain other factors.
The main cause of bed bugs is an overall lack of awareness.
So its important to educate yourself and know what to look for. This includes:
How to spot bed bugs before they can spread
The right steps to prevent the specific causes of bed bugs
And how to kill bed bugs
Because if youre stuck with a severe bed bug problem:
It will turn your life upside down.
So dont sit there and let bed bugs take over your home. If you spot even one bed bug, its critical that you take immediate action.
We are bed bugs primary hosts.
(and main source of food)
So its no surprise that bed bugs appear all over the world, with reported cases in every state in America.
Although many believe that bed bugs mainly come from motels and hotels because of the volume of foot traffic in these locations..
(Note: If you have experienced bed bugs at a hotel. You may be eligible for financial compensation).
The fact is bed bugs can appear almost anywhere as they hitchhike from one place to another.
Some of the lesser talked about places where bed bugs are found include:
Wherever bed bugs are found, its likely you will unknowingly bring them home with you.
Its important to be mindful of the fact that certain foods attract common rodents and pests.
Mice and rats for example:
Are attracted by foods such as peanut butter, hot dogs, nuts, or dried fruit.
Insects like bed bugs on the other hand
Need ONLY warm-blooded creatures to survive.
Though there are cases where bed bugs feed on animals, for the most part, they stay strictly with humans.
This is why bed bugs are labeled as parasites. Which is an organism that depends on another species (a host) to survive.
So to answer this question.
Bed bugs are attracted by humans.
Specifically, by their body heat and from the carbon dioxide that humans exhale.
Blood makes up around 7% of the overall weight of a human being. So, if the average weight of an adult male is 180 pounds:
Thats just over 12 pounds of blood.
In other words
Humans are essentially an unlimited food source for these creatures.
There is a lot of talk out there about whether bed bugs are more attracted to certain types of blood.
Humans can have varying blood types like the following:
(A+ | A- | B+ | B- | O+ | O- | AB+ | AB-)
Currently, there are no credible scientific studies that indicate whether your blood type affects your propensity to be bitten by bed bugs.
Though there is talk out there about whether having a noticeable blood-alcohol level can deter bed bugs from biting you. According to a University of Nebraska-Lincoln study, bed bugs do prefer alcohol-free blood.
(Though we wouldnt recommend drinking consistently to avoid being bitten).
At the end of the day You shouldnt worry about how your blood type will affect your likelihood of being bitten and experiencing symptoms.
Though it is true that bed bugs might be attracted to certain people over others.
Even if its not likely due to blood type
But instead bed bugs might be more attracted to you because of the following:
First of all, we should note that cleaning chemicals do not attract or deter bed bugs.
From what we know, there is NO evidence that suggests products you use regularly in your home.
Would have any real effect in attracting these pests.
Bed bugs, however, are attracted to a chemical called histamine, according to Dr. Regine Greis (who is famous for letting bed bugs bite her over 180,000 times).
Histamine, will build up on the skin and feces of bed bugs to alert their friends of safe locations to come feed.
Researchers discovered that this is a common way that these insects communicate.
(Through the build-up of Histamine)
This pheromone causes issue with infestations that are facing neglect. When not dealt with, the build up of Histamine will cause the infestation to snowball.
Do Bed Bugs Like Perfume?
As mentioned above, there are no household products that will specifically attract bed bugs.
Therefore, strong scents such as perfume will have no effect on an existing or future bed bug infestation.
Below are 5 things that people say attract bed bugs, and we will debunk whether they indeed attract bed bugs or not.
This is a myth.
Bed bugs are famous for their ability to go unseen for long periods of time.
So, you might be concerned whether bed bugs like to hide in wood.
Though these insects like to hide in cracks/crevices
(Which could exist in wood)
Theyre not going to especially seek it out.
Therefore, discarding wood furniture will have no effect on your homes vulnerability to an infestation.
This is a myth.
Its embarrassing to think about this, but its common sense.
If bed bugs feed on blood
Are you at greater risk to being bitten when on your period?
The key here is that its not the scent of blood that attracts bed bugs. Its the CO2 and body heat from the host.
So the answer to this is NO.
Bed bugs are not more attracted to someone on their period and they have no way to even sense that.
This is a myth.
There is little evidence showing that urine will attract bed bugs.
Yet why is this a common misconception?
Here is the thought process:
This is a myth.
Though certain scents will attract bed bugs, those smells do not come from the cleaning chemicals in your closet.
Products like ammonia, bleach, laundry detergent, Windex, dishwasher detergent, etc. will not attract bed bugs.
There is one chemical, histamine, that does in fact attract bed bugs, though it is not found in common household products.
This is a fact.
According to the Journal of Medical Entomology, researchers found that bed bugs are actually attracted to certain colors more than others.
In this study it concludes that the following colors can trigger bed bugs:
Top colors that attract bed bugs = Black, Brown, Red
Top colors that deter bed bugs = Yellow, White, Green
So when it comes to bedsheets, there are certain darker colors that may attract bed bugs.
Though keep in mind that simply changing the color of your sheets is not going to remove or prevent an infestation from happening.
Read more from the original source:
What Attracts Bed Bugs Into Your Home? | Food, Perfume, Urine?