This is one of the few "natural" remedies against bed bugs that is actually good for anything. It comes in a powder that you can dust around in the cracks in your bedroom and near the bed. It is made from soil that is composed of little tiny fossils of single-celled algae. These have jagged edges that will cut an insect, causing them to gradually bleed to death if they crawl across it. They are too small to hurt a mammal, however, and they are non-toxic (it's basically just dirt). They will kill a number of other insects, but bed bugs are definitely on the list.
You should apply this by placing it around the floor under and near your bed. You want a bed bug to have to crawl across it to get to you. It's also a good idea to spread some inside your mattress if you can get at the interior, and I would put it underneath the mattress as well. Bed bugs will hide in the cracks, so anywhere you can put the dust without it affecting your day-to-day life is a good idea. You can get it online fairly cheaply - a small bag that is appropriate for indoor use, and a fifty pound bag if you think you'll be using this over and over and vacuuming it up regularly. It's pretty hard to completely eliminate an infestation with this - if they can crawl around it, they'll survive. However, you will cut down on the numbers of bedbugs, and if you are more worried about chemicals than being bitten then this is likely your best bet.
One caveat: make sure you don't get the stuff that's designed to be used in swimming pools. That isn't appropriate for your bedroom even though it's called the same thing. You also shouldn't breathe it in directly if you can avoid it (the pool kind is bad for that, but "food grade" has a lower silica quantity and isn't as big a risk).
"Food grade" is basically designed to be fed to animals like cows to kill off worms inside them. It's safe for livestock to eat, and while I wouldn't advise you to intentionally eat it or breath it, it's not going to cause you problems to have it around the house.
Sources and Useful Links:
Return to Bed Bugs Guide Home Page
Text copyright 2007 Bedbugsguide.com and may not be reproduced without consent. This is not the official web page of any of the products listed on this site, this is a review page created by an individual.