Diatomaceous Earth vs. CimeXa
DE vs. CimeXa
A comparison of two popular bed bug home remedies
How are they similar?
They are both safe for humans (and pets) but kill bugs by dessication. The product clings to their exoskeleton and absorbs the waxy coating, causing death from dehydration.
Diatomaceous Earth and CimeXa are desiccants, non-poison treatments that kill bugs by adhering to their exoskeleton and dehydrating them. Unlike other highly toxic pesticides (which may take days or even weeks for their toxic properties to degrade bedbug populations), the desiccant powder dehydrates and kills the bedbugs before they are able to reproduce. These treatments are great because they are easy to apply, and are fatal to bed bugs but not harmful to humans (risks are extremely negligible if applied in accordance with the label).
Both are considered efficacious at killing bed bugs if applied correctly.
How are they different?
Below you can see a comparison of the pros and cons of Diatomaceous Earth and CimeXa with regards to their effectiveness in DIY pest control.
Pros: It is food grade, meaning it is guaranteed safe for humans and pets.
Cons: Although there is an abundance of success stories with Diatomaceous Earth when integrated with other control and prevention methods, it is a type of treatment that is best used in conjunction with other methods, rather than as a standalone treatment. Diatomaceous Earth may take up to 2 weeks to kill bed bugs.
Is CimeXa an effective treatment method?
Can I treat for bed bugs on my own?
Pros: According to the manufacturer and available MSDS (material data safety sheets), 100% Silica dust is very safe, odorless, and will not stain. According to available research, amorphous silica gel (e.g. CimeXa) kills significantly faster than food-grade Diatomaceous Earth (usually as quickly as 2 days, but often in under 24 hours).
Cons: You will hear some success stories with CimeXa, but there is less available research on CimeXa since it is a more recent addition to the market. It is slightly more expensive by volume than food grade Diatomaceous Earth (but is shown to work much better.)
Can they be used together?
Yes. It is common to use CimeXa for high risk/high bug traffic areas (for example, in joints in the bedframe, inside electrical outlets, and cracks/voids where the floor meets the wall) and Diatomaceous Earth in places that are likely to be frequently exposed to humans and pets.
Application tips for Diatomaceous Earth:
Dust is best applied with a hand duster in cracks, crevices, and other inaccessible areas.
Application tips for CimeXa:
Same as Diatomaceous Earth (2 oz. per 100 square feet), or as part of a liquid application: Mix 1 lb. dust with 1 gallon of clean water. Apply 1 quart of solution per 250 square feet.
Which is better?
Conclusion: CimeXa kills faster than Diatomaceous Earth, and available data suggests that it at least as safe (if not safer).
Complete CimeXa review
Potter, Michael F., Kenneth F. Haynes, Chris Christensen, TJ Neary, Chris Turner, and Lawrense Washbur. "Diatomaceous Earth: Where Do Bed Bugs Stand When the Dust Settles?" PCTOnline. University of Kentucky, 20 Dec. 2013.
Potter, Michael F., Kenneth F. Haynes, Jennifer R. Gordon, Larry Washburn, and Melody Washburn. "Silica Gel: A Better Bed Bug Desiccant." PCTOnline. University of Kentucky, 26 Aug. 2014.