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Myth #3 – Much like Wood Ash and Lime and Sulfur Products, DE Should Not Be Used in Dust Baths

While it is true that wood ashes and lime-and-sulfur garden powder products may not be suitable for use in dust baths, the same is not true for diatomaceous earth. Wood ashes were used in the pioneer days to make lye, a substance classified as hazardous. It is therefore not unexpected that ashes should not be used as a dust bath. In terms of lime based products, various types exists, some of which can be extremely hazardous. Quicklime and slaked lime (hydrated lime), for example, are highly corrosive and alkaline substances. Neither should be handled without proper protective clothing and masks or used with animals, including backyard chickens, as their potential for causing harm is high. Another common product is limestone (or agricultural lime). While this substance is commonly used in agriculture, it provides no benefit when used in a dust bath, as it possesses no insecticidal qualities. Sulfur, on the other hand, does exhibit insecticidal properties. However, due to the dangers of particular types of lime, caution should be taken when using lime-sulfur products.

Diatomaceous earth, on the other hand, is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the EPA and other government agencies and is often used as a dust bath. According to the University of Greenwich, among many other sources, “it is believed that observations of birds and mammals taking dust baths in DE to rid themselves of mites and parasites is what led the Chinese to begin using diatomaceous earth as a natural pest control product.” Due to this long history of use as a natural insecticide, and the findings of modern scientific research, DE has become well known for its use in dust baths for poultry.

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Absorption vs Adsorption

absorption vs adsorption

Although they may look and sound very similar, the meanings of these words are very different.

Absorption refers to the process by which a material takes in the atoms, molecules and ions of another substance. Through the process of absorption one substance takes up another substance through minute pores or spaces between its molecules.

Adsorption, on the other hand, refers to the process by which molecules of a substance collect on the surface of another substance. The molecules are attracted to the surface but do not enter the solid’s minute spaces, as in absorption. Rather, they just gather on the surface of the material.

These two very different occurrences are similar only in that both processes involve the transfer of a volume of mass or energy. Absorption refers to the transfer of a volume into another volume and adsorption refers to the transfer of a volume on to the surface of another mass.

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Bed Bug Treatment

Comprehensive Bed Bug Treatment

A bed bug treatment should be comprehensive.

Don’t assume bed bugs are only in your bed! In addition to being in your bed, bed bugs can also be found throughout your room including in your dresser, behind picture frames and in light fixtures.

As part of your comprehensive bed bug treatment, don’t forget to:

• Organize and de-clutter your room


• Wash the items and walls in your room with a mixture of rubbing alcohol, soap and water
   (see mixing rates here – Get Rid of Bed Bugs)

• Wash all of your laundry, bedding, cushions and fabric thoroughly using hot water. Dry these 
   items on hot. When dry, dry them for an extra 20 minutes on hot.

• Wash everything again

Diatomaceous earth products like Last Crawl Bed Bug & Flea DE-stroyer can be a very effective and environmentally friendly addition to your treatment plan. When using diatomaceous earth for bed bugs remember to treat all areas where these pests may be found! Clean, vacuum and apply the diatomaceous earth to:

• Electrical outlets (please use caution)

• Light fixtures

• Baseboards

• Your bed frame

• Behind picture frames

• Under the bed and any rugs or carpets that you may have in your room

• Along the heating vents in your room

• Window moldings

• Crevices in your dresser(s) after you have removed the drawers

Helpful Hints:

Salt and pepper shakers work well for applying the powder to small areas. For larger surface areas you can also fill an old tube sock or nylon pantyhose and us it to sprinkle the DE. Remember – a little goes a long way! Don’t create any large piles of powder, as the bugs will avoid it. Rather, a light dusting is all that is needed.