A lot of people use freshwater diatomaceous earth in combating or preventing bed bugs. It is a powder prepared from granulated fossil shells, not a pesticide, and it exterminates bed bugs when they make contact with it. So a slight dusting in spaces where it won’t be disturbed can be useful in destroying bed bugs. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions our experts are asked about freshwater diatomaceous earth every month:
1. Can I use diatomaceous earth by itself?
I would caution people against trying to cope with a severe infestation using just DE, or any other method by itself, for example vacuuming, or contact killers such as enzyme cleaners, consisting of 90% rubbing alcohol, steam or boiling water. You should bring in a pest control operator (PCO) who is knowledgeable about bed bugs, since you may have a virtual plague on your hands, even if you have not been seeing the insects.
Other treatments that can be used with DE include professional Vikane gas treatment (for entire buildings) or thermal treatments. DE can take ten days to kill bed bugs once they come into contact with it. You may benefit from using DE as a supplementary treatment, or you can use it to prevent new infestations.
2. How do I apply DE?
You need a good tool for applying DE. You can purchase a puffer, or you can use a paintbrush or turkey baster. Basically, all you need is a good tool for applying a thin layer of dust. Bed bugs won’t walk through a thick coating, so more is not better in the case of DE: the thick layer won’t have the opportunity to kill the bugs.
3. Can I use DE in addition to the PCO’s treatment?
No, you should not apply DE during the course of the PCO’s treatment without consulting the PCO. They may be using other substances that DE may not work with, so ask.
4. Do I have to reapply DE after vacuuming?
If you vacuum frequently (as is often necessary during treatment) you may need to reapply a thin coating when the DE is sucked up in the cleaner. Be warned: DE may wear out your vacuum cleaner more quickly. In fact, DE shouldn’t be put in places where it can be disturbed easily, since you should not be inhaling it. Never place DE on soft furnishings like mattresses and sofas, because
you do not want DE in your lungs, not even freshwater DE.
5. Do I need any special safety equipment for applying DE?
You should use a good respirator mask when applying any dust, and throwaway watertight gloves when applying this or any other substance, even though fresh water / food grade DE is safe if used correctly. Never put DE on shelves or ledges where even a light wind might blow the dust around, and do not use large amounts that are likely to be kicked up and inhaled.
By Jason Vandijk
Article Source: ezinearticles.com