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BUG SUPPL BE D EN EM T Diatomaceous Earth: This bed bug has traces of diatomaceous earth on its integument. Where Do Bed Bugs Stand When the Dust Settles? Diatomaceous earth is often touted as a do-it-yourself remedy for bed bugs. In this study, University of Kentucky researchers and pest professionals put it to the test under real-world conditions. 72 /// DECEMBER 2013 WWW.PCTONLINE.COM By Michael F. Potter, Kenneth F. Haynes, Chris Christensen, T.J. Neary, Chris Turner, Lawrence Washburn and Melody Washburn D iatomaceous earth and other abrasive dusts have been used as insecticides for millennia. Our ancestors coated themselves with earthen dusts to rid themselves of external parasites. Early civilizations also used them to protect grain from pests during storage. Of all insecticide powders, diatomaceous earth (DE) has probably received the most public atten- tion. Do-it-yourself pest control outlets have been marketing diatomaceous earth as a non-toxic, “eco-friendly” alternative for years. The material’s purported effectiveness against bed bugs, however, is what really put it in the spotlight. Frequently cited as an effective, reduced-risk tool for managing bed bugs, the compound has become a favorite of bed bug blogs and advocacy groups.