Choosing the best bed bug powder is going to be one of the best things you do to get rid of bed bugs for good.
Because nobody wants to get rid of bed bugs for a little while. If you’re unlucky enough to be sharing your home with these distressing creatures, you want them gone both quickly and forever. Life is too short to share your home with parasites, after all.
However, it’s not that simple. Getting rid of bed bugs is a lot like waging war. And like any good war, you’re going to need a combination of different weapons to get the job done.
One of those weapons is bed bug powder. Bed bug powder comes in a couple of different forms. Sometimes, the powder contains an insecticide that poisons the bed bugs.
Alternatively, some powders act as physical barriers and damage the bodies of bed bugs that come into contact with them. But do these powders work?
Does Bed Bug Powder Work?
The short answer is yes. Bed bug powder works to kill bed bugs, whether it’s the kind that harms them physically or the kind that contains a pesticide that poisons them.
Both types of bed bug powders can be effective ways to kill these creatures. In fact, many of these products are often used by professionals in the pest control industry to get rid of these evil little bugs.
But pesticides are a tool, and any tool is only as good as the way that you use it. So let’s look more closely at the best ways to use bed bug powder.
Top 3 Ways to Use Bed Bug Killer Powder
One of the best things about using powder to kill bed bugs is the versatility of these products. There are a number of different ways you can effectively use bed bug powder to kill bed bugs as well as to prevent them from entering your home.
Here’s a few of the best ways to put bed bug powder to use!
Use it to Protect Your Furniture
The most popular way to put bed bug powder to use for immediate results is to sprinkle it on your bed, boxspring, and other furniture that may be harboring bed bugs.
Because as you already know, bed bugs didn’t get their name from hanging around in flowerbeds. These creatures love nothing more than to live their entire lives in human beds.
And while that’s not the only place you’ll find them, it’s usually the part of your home that will have the highest population of these critters.
Which means the perfect way to use bed bug powder is to sprinkle it on your boxspring, bed frame, and your mattress.
Of course, you don’t want to be sleeping on any bed bug killer powder so make sure you pick up one of the best bed bug covers so you can wrap up your freshly powdered bed and prevent any bed bugs from escaping their fate.
The powder will stay dry and undisturbed this way and will be effective for weeks, if not months. By targeting the bed bugs where they are most likely to live, you can greatly increase the effectiveness of your treatment. Hoorah to that!
Build a Bed Bug Barrier
If it helps, imagine you’re in a zombie movie, and the bed bugs are the shambling hordes of the undead. They’re coming to get you. You know it, and I know it. And they will always outnumber you. So you need to use your brain to protect yourself.
Bed bug powders work well as barriers against these bugs. So instead of a zombie barrier of barbed wire and burnt-out car wrecks, you can create a barrier with dust.
Sprinkle the bed bug killer powder around your bed, your sofa, and anywhere that you spend a lot of time.
To feed, the bed bugs need to find you. They can’t fly, and they can’t jump. They need to crawl. So surrounding yourself with a barrier of powder forces the bugs to come into contact with the dust that will kill them.
Tip: An extra, brilliant step you can take is to protect your bed completely by placing bed bug traps where the bed posts meet the floor and then covering those traps with bed bug powder as well.
Dust Cracks and Crevices
Take a good look at a bed bug. Really. A long, lingering look. Yes, they’re gross. But don’t get distracted by the ugliness. Notice instead the way that their bodies appear flattened from top to bottom.
Bed bugs are far wider than they are tall, and their bodies are very thin when viewed from the side unless they’re engorged with blood.
The reason for this is because the bed bugs need to hide. They have virtually no defenses against other insects and creatures that might want to eat them.
So instead, they try to stay out of sight by using their flattened body shape to squeeze into tiny cracks and crevices.
These can be the seam of the mattress, the joints of a wooden bed frame, the baseboards of the bedroom, the space where furniture legs make a depression on a carpeted floor, the pages of a book, or even the battery compartment of a TV remote control.
It’s in tight spaces like this that you will find bed bugs hiding when they’re not busy biting people and making a nuisance of themselves.
Luckily, bed bug killer dust works great as a crack and crevice treatment. In the kind of lightless crevasses where bed bugs like to hide, powders can stay active for months. Also, because bed bug powders are so light, they can travel a long way through the air, easily filling up any void space you apply them to.
You can do this with a spoon or a small paintbrush. But the most effective way to dust cracks and crevices is to do what the professionals do and use a specially designed duster.
How NOT to Use Bed Bug Powder
Just as important as knowing how to use bed bug powder is knowing how NOT to use the stuff. Because some of the things you do can make any bed bug killer powder you get ineffective.
So avoid doing the below…
Scatter, don’t dump
Powder needs to come into contact with bed bugs to work. So apply any dust you use in thin, even layers. It should be just about visible to the naked eye.
Bed bugs won’t walk through huge piles of powder, so you’ll just be wasting your time and money if you apply it too heavily.
Don’t poison your family
While bed bug powders are fully safe if used correctly, make sure to follow all directions on the label. Powders that contain a poison are particularly dangerous.
Wear gloves while applying them, and also invest in a painter’s mask to keep the stuff out of your lungs.
And don’t be fooled by the natural origin of non-toxic powders such as diatomaceous earth. Yes, it’s true that you can eat diatomaceous earth without any harm – provided it’s the food grade variety, and not the type meant for swimming pools.
You can also apply it directly to pets, though this is not an effective treatment for bed bugs but for fleas. Still, diatomaceous earth isn’t completely harmless.
It’s still a good idea to wear a mask while you’re applying it, because this abrasive powder can irritate your lungs. For that reason, try to put it in places where your dog won’t sniff it up.
Use a bed bug cover
Again, one of the best ways to use bed bug powder is to apply it where bed bugs are: your bed. But for goodness sake, be careful about applying any pesticide powder to your bed. And please use a bed bug cover to seal up any powder afterwards.
Because yes, the bed is where bed bugs like to hide. But it’s also where you sleep. Some pesticides can be absorbed via prolonged contact with the skin. It’s better not to sleep in a pile of pesticide, no matter how safe it claims to be. So make sure you cover it up!
Don’t rely solely on powder
There are no magic bullets. Not for bed bugs, anyway. For more information on magic bullets, you’ll need to look up our article on werewolf control.
But for bed bugs, you need to adopt a variety of tactics. Bed bug powders are a useful tool, but don’t expect them to solve a problem all by themselves. You’ll also need a way to treat your mattress, such as heat or steam. And you’ll need to wash and dry all your clothes to kill any bed bugs that are inside.
Unfortunately, there is no quick or easy way to solve a bed bug problem once it’s taken hold. Fortunately, we humans have developed many effective solutions for rooting out these annoying bed bugs.
So take advantage of as many bed bug killing methods as you can and don’t rely on just one, no matter how easy and effective it is.
What’s the Best Bed Bug Powder?
Okay, now you’re an expert in the ins and outs of how to use bed bug powder. Which one should you choose? Luckily, we’ve done the research and can recommend the best bed bug powders currently on the market.
Here they are, in no particular order. Just choose one or two and you’ll be good and ready to start annihilating populations of bed bugs!
Tempo Bed Bug Dust Insecticide
If you want professional results, you need professional gear. Tempo is widely used in the pest control industry to control not only bed bugs but a wide variety of other insects.
Its active ingredient, cyfluthrin, is known to be an effective bed bug killer. In fact, Tempo is one of the strongest bed bug pesticides you’re likely to be able to get without needing a license.
Tempo comes in a bottle with an attached nozzle, but it’s a good idea to invest in a proper duster to apply this correctly. You don’t need a lot. A pound of Tempo dust is enough to treat 1000 ft.² That gives you some idea of how thin a coat of this product you should apply.
In some ways, the only downside to Tempo is that it’s a little bit too effective. It strongly recommended you wear a mask when applying this stuff. And keep it out of reach of pets and kids.
The powder is safe when used according to the directions, but when it comes to pesticides, it’s better not to take too many chances. We’d say this is a great bed bug killer powder to use in out-of-reach areas like inside outlet sockets and behind baseboards.
Cimexa Dust Insecticide
Not everyone is comfortable using pesticides in the home. Luckily, if you’re more interested in a natural solution, there are several options available to you.
CimeXa’s main ingredient is silicon dioxide in the form of amorphous silica. If science class wasn’t your strong suit, don’t worry. This is just another way of describing diatomaceous earth.
Except CimeXa isn’t exactly diatomaceous earth by another name – instead, it’s a synthetic chemical that comes in the form of particles that act like sponges to suck out moisture from the bodies of bed bugs it comes into contact with.
As such, this product isn’t a pesticide in the traditional sense. There are no toxic chemicals or poisons here. So you can rest easy on that front. Even better? The powder remains active and effective for up to 10 years.
Like any bed bug powder, Cimexa needs to come into contact with the bugs to work. So it works well when applied under furniture or as a barrier around your bed and the baseboards of your house. Apply a thin layer and let the bugs walk across it, then dry out and die.
But don’t expect the treatment to work quickly. CimeXa is effective, but you’ll need to give it at least a few days for the bugs to come into contact with it, then dehydrate and expire.
Harris Bed Bug Powder
One look at the all-black label of this product, and you know it’s serious.
Harris markets itself as effective against even pesticide-resistant bed bugs, which is true. This is because it’s not a pesticide itself, but a physical control. Just like diatomaceous earth.
In fact, if it’s easier for you, you can think of Harris as diatomaceous earth. It works in the same way and should be applied in the same manner. The differences between this and diatomaceous earth are fairly technical, and not especially important.
Basically, this product is made of silica gel, which despite the name, isn’t a gel at all but a fine powder. This product is synthetically manufactured rather than being harvested from the crushed-up shells of diatoms. But it works in the same way as diatomaceous earth, lacerating and dehydrating bed bugs until they die.
A nice feature of this product is the puffer bottle it comes in, and the application brush included. This makes it easier to apply on flat surfaces and allows you to live out your forensic crime-solving fantasies as you dust like a police investigator.
And if anyone asks you what you’re doing, just tell him you’re on the hunt for the Crimson Rambler. It sounds better than bed bugs.
As for efficacy, there’s no question that Harris works to kill bed bugs. Just be sure to follow the directions and don’t over-apply it. Remember, when it comes to bed bug powder, less is most definitely more.
Harris Diatomaceous Earth
This article isn’t sponsored by Harris, although you may be starting to think otherwise. It’s just that this company has been in the market for a long time, and has developed several useful products to use against bed bugs.
This one is old-fashioned diatomaceous earth, ground-up diatoms and all. In case you’re new to the bed bug scene, diatomaceous earth is simply a fine powder made from the ground-up remains of aquatic creatures. These strange creatures, called diatoms, have cell walls made of glass. So diatomaceous earth is essentially extremely finely ground glass.
You wouldn’t know it to look at it. The powder feels soft to the touch, and you could even swallow some of it without taking any harm. The glass fragments are far too small to do any harm to large animals such as a human, a dog, or a cat.
But to insects the size of bed bugs, this powder is extremely sharp. It works by cutting up the exoskeleton, the outer layer of the bug’s body. When this exoskeleton is punctured, the bed bugs dehydrate and die.
For us, though, it’s harmless.In case the green packaging wasn’t enough of a clue, this means that this is an entirely natural product. You’ll also notice that is it is labeled as food grade.
That means it can be used anywhere in your home, including areas where food is prepared. Again, it means that you can eat this diatomaceous earth, and some people do. Not to get rid of bed bugs, of course, since they don’t live inside the human body. It’s more for purported health benefits that fall outside the scope of this article.
Anyway, the point is that this product is extremely safe to use. You probably should still use gloves and a mask while applying it, but you don’t need to worry about it poisoning you or your family. It won’t.
Even better, this product comes with a handheld duster, which makes it easy to apply to cracks and crevices. If you have a large home, this product represents a great value bed bug powder that is effective without breaking the bank.
So there you have it – the most effective bed bug powders to get rid of those pesky bloodsuckers for good. Now go forth and get to dusting!