Nobody wants bed bugs. They’re a pain in the, well, bed.
In this blog post, we’ll explain what they are, how to tell if you’ve got an infestation, and share a non-toxic, affordable way to give the bugs the boot for good.
What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are small insects that are reddish-brown in colour and oval and flat in shape, no bigger than an apple seed. These pesky little insects like to set up home in our homes - they have a particular fancy for bedding, mattresses and furniture - so they have easy access to their food source: us. That's right, they feast on our blood. And if that wasn't creepy enough, they usually wait until after hours to gorge.
How to identify bed bugs
Signs you've got an infestation may include:
· Bites on the areas that are exposed while you're sleeping; often face, neck and arms
· Small spots of blood on your bedding, which can be caused by the bites or you rolling over and squashing one in the night
· Small brown spots which, we're sorry to tell you, is likely bed bug poo
While the bites can be itchy and unpleasant, they are unlikely to cause any major health issues. Nevertheless, nobody wants these uninvited lodgers hanging around. Thankfully there is a simple, straightforward way to get rid of these irritating critters without having to spend a fortune on expensive pest control.
The benefits of Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth is an affordable, non-toxic method for putting an end to your bed bug misery. Here are just a few of the reasons why we can’t get enough of the stuff:
· It's a natural product - Made from fossilized sea creatures, these remains largely consist of silicon dioxide, which is non-toxic and safe to handle
· Works with heat treatment - Used alongside heat treatment (heads up: you're going to be doing a lot of laundry), it works wonders to eradicate bed bugs for good
· Safely kills - You won't find any pesticides or other nasties in Diatomaceous Earth, so you might be wondering how does Diatomaceous Earth kill bed bugs? It essentially dehydrates their waxy shell and in doing so, kills them
· Long-lasting - How well does Diatomaceous Earth kill bed bugs? It’s long-lasting stuff! While you're looking at a week minimum for it to work its magic, Diatomaceous Earth is a powerful remedy that will put an end to your bed bug plight for good
· Can't be outwitted - Diatomaceous Earth is clever too; bugs can't crawl through it as it acts as a physical barrier and they also cannot develop a resistance to it like they can do with certain pesticides
· Safe for most pets – Is Diatomaceous Earth safe for pets? It depends on what furry company you keep but, in most cases, yes. This non-toxic substance is safe around pets like cats and dogs. However, it's best to avoid in areas where you've got reptiles or spiders as it could cause a number of dehydration related health issues.
How to get rid of bed bugs with Diatomaceous Earth
1. Isolate the room/s affected
First things first, you're going to need to decamp elsewhere for a week minimum while this process gets underway.
2. Heat treat loose items
Diatomaceous Earth works best alongside heat treatment, so for items that can be hot washed (e.g., your bedding, clothes) that is your first line of defence. Once washed, pop into a sealed container until the infestation has gone.
3. Apply Diatomaceous Earth
Now it's time to crack out the good stuff and be liberal as these cheeky critters get everywhere. It's important to sprinkle it in all the places where bed bugs like to lurk, so pay close attention to:
· Around the borders of a room
· Behind faceplates
· Underneath all furniture and in any interior space e.g., bed frames
There is no precise measurement you need to use, but it’s better to be generous than scrimp. And while it is perfectly safe to handle, you’ll want to wear a dust mask to avoid inhaling any.
4. How to get rid of bed bugs on mattress
The majority of the bed bugs are going to be hiding in your mattress ready for their next feast, so this requires a particularly intensive approach. For the best result, apply the Diatomaceous Earth over the whole thing and then pop it in a bed bug mattress cover. This will ensure that all the bedbugs are killed as they won't have access to their food supply.
5. Leave it for at least a week, ideally longer, and then vacuum
Once you've left the Diatomaceous Earth for a week to work its magic, you get the satisfying job of vacuuming up* the dead bed bugs. Once you're done, dump the contents in your outside bin.
So, what are you waiting for? Stock up on Diatomaceous Earth and say goodbye to your bed bug nightmare!
*When vacuuming Diatomaceous Earth DO NOT use a regular filtered vacuum cleaner or a vacuum cleaner with a bag. Use only vacuum cleaners with a high quality HEPA filter.