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Ask the Veterinarian/diatomeceous earth to prevent bed bugs, safe for cats in home

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Question
I have two cats, and I am a volunteer English as a Second Language teacher. I am planning to teach English to some students in my home.  These students come from communities where bedbugs are common.  I have wall-to-wall carpeting. The cats’ fleas are controlled by Advantage, so I don't need help with fleas.  I do not have bed bugs and don't want to get them. I heard that diatomeceous earth kills bed bugs and I bought a 4 # bag and a hand duster to apply it with.  I plan to coat the carpet with the DE and brush it in, so that the powder sinks to the carpet pad instead of staying on top of the carpet yarn.  The areas of carpet that are close to the walls can remain un-vacuumed after I apply the DE. The DE that I purchased does not identify itself as "food grade" but it does say it kills bed bugs.  Can you comment on my plan?  I'm mainly interested in killing any bedbugs that my students might happen to carry in on their clothes or in their books and school materials, while not endangering my cats in any way.  I'm worried about what might happen if the cats get some on their paws and lick it off.  Thank you.

Answer
Dear Lana,
My opinion will be to use food grade DE,if used indoors.The non food grade can cause irritation of the mucosa and hence will be disturbing to people with asthma and sinusitis.Use face mask while applying.Food grade DE is even used to deworm  pets,hence safe.

regards
anand

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Dr S Bindu Anand

Expertise

Large and Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Farm Management,Preventive medicine http://binduanand.webs.com/

Experience

A Senior Veterinary Surgeon with more than 25 years’ experience in the field of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry. Mixed animal Practice that will utilize my skills in medicine and surgery, public health, client relations, and developing relationships within the community, such as humane society

Organizations
Veterinary Consultant with Department of Animal Resources,Ministry of Environment,State of Qatar (Present). Animal Husbandry Department, Government of Kerala, India. Oakland's Park, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Severnside Veterinary Center, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Saud Bahwan Group, Sultanate of Oman. Trivandrum Regional Co-operative Milk Producers Union,Kerala,India.

Education/Credentials
BVSc & AH (Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry) 1990. College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Mannuthy, Thrissur, Kerala, India under Kerala Agricultural University. Certificates Of Accomplishments- Equine Nutrition- University of Edinburgh Principles of Public Health-University of California, Irvine. AIDS- Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. General Environmental Health – EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Food Protection-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Zoonoses:University of Minnesota-School of Public Health online. Food Safety:University of Minnesota-School of Public Health online. Occupational Safety and Health-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Rabies Educator Certified -Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Animal Handler & Vaccinator Educator Certified -Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Wildlife Conservation-United for Wildlife

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