Thursday, September 24, 2015

Diatomaceous Earth

"What was that now?" I inquired faintly. 

"We, er, um, well, so, yeah, have . . . bedbugs." 

"Nosferatu! Nosferatu! Out! Out!" 

My paranoid mind scrabbled to recall how many times she had entered my house in the last few months. I attacked the internet, my hysteria growing at the inflammatory articles available.
There was one comforting one on Slate; bedbugs are, apparently, not so contagious, nor so necessarily impossible to vanquish. I managed to suck in a few breaths. 

However, I still wanted to comfort myself (and be unafraid to cuddle once again in my own bed) by taking some precautions. But if I didn't yet have a visible problem, I didn't want to poison myself with pesticides. 

With a little more digging, I came across diatomaceous earth. It's clay, and some even nibble on it for the silica content (it's also used in pools, so make sure to get the "food grade" D.E.). Harmless to humans (and kids), the dust is murderous on bugs of all kinds, being hazardously sharp on the microscopic level.
Once applied, it can be easily vacuumed up, along with the remains of any it has annihilated. 

Peering at the options, I decided on one that came in a squeeze bottle for easy dispersal. I dusted areas around furniture legs, my mattress, and tossed some around the basement where crickets were making an unwelcome appearance. 

After a few days, I felt secure enough to hose up my preventative measures. The powder from pillows, mattresses, rugs disappeared without a trace up the vacuum.   

Analyzing the fine print, I discovered other uses, like absorbing stains and removing odors. So after an einikel wet my bed (that's right, my bed) I sprinkled it on top and left it there for the day. I vacuumed it up in the evening, and sniffed—no smell whatsoever. 


Shifra said...

Hi, just thought I'd reply a bit about bedbugs. If you really do have them, (or if you're not sure, have a second opinion), then they are a really big problem and it needs to be resolved as quickly as possible. We had bedbugs last year and it was terrible (we were all bitten up) until we were able to have an exterminator come. (They do not come until all your belongings are bagged which can take a lot of time). Please don't let this problem fester into a really big problem of having the bugs spread to every part of the house.

Shifra said...

Also, I'd recommend purchasing mattress case, where the mattress is completely zipped up in a case (after exterminator is done).


Princess Lea said...

The ones who had the problem had the exterminator come, stat, and the problem was neutralized as soon as it was discovered. B'H, after a week of gingerly crawling into my bed, we seem to be in the clear. The DE was more for non-poisonous peace of mind.

Oh, my, is it horrible just thinking of the possibilities . . . never mind the actuality!

Shifra said...

I'm glad to hear it :)

Princess Lea said...

I had a nightmare last night that I was infested. Brrrrrr.