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Black Walnut Dust

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  1. buggywoe

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Jul 22 2007 11:42:01
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    Hello,

    About two weeks ago, I discovered that my apartment had bed bugs. I suspect it came from an infested apartment above mine. That apartment was gutted and a PCO came by and sprayed. They also sprayed my bedroom.

    I'm currently waiting for an order of Suspend and Drione dust. I want to do my own treatment, because I believe the PCO my landlord hired was not thorough enough. But, to keep the wretched creatures at bay until the big guns arrive, I've been spraying a mixture of rubbing alcohol, neem oil, tea tree oil, and peppermint castile soap. I also sprinkled black walnut dust around my apartment.

    I must admit that the black walnut dust has worked wonders. I examined some of the areas I treated last night and found a number of dead bugs in the dust. In fact, as soon as I treated my apartment with the dust, I noticed a huge reduction in the number of bugs in the apartment (though, I believe I only have a light infestation). I sprinkled some in my closet and have yet to spot any bugs there.

    I've even started sprinkling it in my sheets. Since I've started doing this, I haven't been bitten once.

    Anyway, while I do not recommend black walnut dust as one's sole treatment for these b*stards, I do believe it helps significantly. In fact, the National Park Service recommends it as a treatment for bedbugs. But one warning: some people can be highly allergic to it. Also, I wouldn't use it around children. I have two cats, and they seem unaffacted by it, so I believe it is safe for pets. You can purchase it at any store/website that sells natural beauty supplies (it's used as a natural hair dye)...

    buggywoe

  2. willow-the-wisp

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Jul 22 2007 12:02:26
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    That is interesting ... How did you find out black walnut dust is/was for bed bugs? I am always open to new ideas ... and thanks for the warnings about it. A lot of people just surf this site a bit (they are in a panic) they see one or two things then turn the computer off and louse everything up, spread the bugs around, unwittingly, etc ...

  3. buggywoe

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Jul 22 2007 12:25:52
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    I had actually ordered the black walnut dust a few months ago to use as a hair dye. I had quite a bit left when the bedbugs hit. I heard that before the good ol' days of DDT, people used to place black walnut branches and leaves beneath their beds to avoid bedbugs. I also came across a website that mentioned in brief that the National Park Service recommends black walnut as a natural insecticide (the chemical is called "juglone"). So I decided to give it a try until the pesticides I ordered arrived. I sprinkled it in every crack and crevice. And, as I mentioned in my post, I discovered a number of dead bugs around the dust. They were extremely dried up. Black walnut also serves as an astringent, so I wonder if that also played a role...

    And I would be very careful with it. People unlucky enough to be allergic to it can suffer a nasty rash. Just do a patch test 24 hours before you decide to sprinkle it in your sheets, around your apartment, etc. Also, because it is a natural dye, it can stain when wet. So don't sprinkle it on your white couch...

    I also believe neem oil to be somewhat effective. Supposedly it interferes with the bedbugs' ability to molt and move on to the next stage of adulthood. It also supposedly disrupts their ability/desire to feed. You have to spray it once a day because it is sensitive to light and loses its effectiveness. Once again, too much of this oil can be a bad thing. Use it with caution. It is an insecticide, albeit a "natural" one...

    I hope this helps! These things are driving me mad, but, because of these various treatments, I've experienced great relief. I just can't wait until the "real" insecticides arrive. I'm all for natural cures, but I'd rather be safe than sorry...

    buggywoe

  4. buggywoe

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Jul 22 2007 12:40:07
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    Oh, and another hint: Buy those lovely buckwheat pillows, open them (they are usually zippered) and pour about 1/2 cup of black walnut dust into them. You can also add tea tree and neem oil. Then you can put on an additional protective cover. Instant insecticidal pillow!

  5. willow-the-wisp

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Jul 22 2007 12:50:34
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    That is good news--safe IS better than SORRY. I just want you to know there are many people who will see these treatments and God only knows what some people will wind up doing--if they are panicked and have lost a lot of sleep.
    Watch out folks! Only God knows what you will do… (I’m speaking generally here) if you wind up getting too desperate!

    Desperation does not usually help us clear the infestation ... slow careful inspection, leaving no stone carefully unturned goes a lot further than ranting around the place or abandoning the place.
    I appreciate your candor, and if you seem to get “a lot of flack from some folks here” do not let it put you off too much. It is meant “out of love and to be helpful.”

    I recall being told, how highly irresponsible I was being, by some—when I was a “new bite” but in a few cases what I did--did turn out to be a help (on the other hand many of the suggestions I got here, did pan out better.)

    For instance, on advice from a few folks here … I went out and I bought a portable heater and a portable steamer. Folks here rather walked me thru the steaming process, as I had no clue. Steam does burn us easily—but it does indeed kill bed bugs on direct contact—or even perhaps a near miss will injure a bed bug badly—as the steam is so hot.

    SO HOT--is cause for EVTRA caution, right?
    Most steamers have several attachments—Most give basic instructions—but that may not be enough.
    Do a site search on steam and you’ll likely get a lot of ideas form several people.

    I used the more powerful blast in some instances i.e. steaming INTO corners of walls where the rug meets walls. Steaming INTO the walls saved me from “splashing” a lot of bugs around the place—not good.
    Steaming a couch is another thing entirely. The heavier padded and thick something is, the less steam will penetrate enough to kill. Sometimes it only drives the bugs in deeper.

    I myself had to forego profession treatments for a myriad of reasons.

    Wish that had not happened--but it did.
    So, we do the best we can, as we can, and we do try to get competent PCO ASAP.
    There is a good FAQ on choosing a PCO—written by a PCO/Entomologist on this site.)

  6. willow-the-wisp

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Jul 22 2007 12:55:05
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    Wash and dry pillows very very well, and then isolate them. IE put into double wrapped plastic--let all the air out SLOWLY--then double pillowcase them for comfort, or better still get a NA pillowcase and a mattress and a box spring protector too.
    This is more permanent. Put it on slowly--after a PCO sprays the matres, if they think this is needed. Some do--some don't.
    Each and every night when bed bugs come out there is a small possibility a few will hide elsewhere than they had been. Therefore, isolation is a more permanent thing.
    This excludes the bed bugs from getting into the pillows ever again.

  7. nyjammin

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Jul 22 2007 13:00:02
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    Since this is a dust, isn't it not healthy to breathe it in? DE is safe for humans and animals as well, but we are told not to dust our sheets because of the inhalation of the dust and also not to let it touch our skin because of it's effectivness to dry out our skin. Is black walnut dust the same precautions? BTW: what is a buckwheat pillow? Where can I get some neem oil, tea tree oil, and peppermint castile soap and what is the percentage of mixture you used? Like 1/3 neem and 1/3 tea tree and 1/3 peppermint soap?

  8. buggywoe

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Jul 22 2007 13:32:34
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    Well, black walnut dust is more like sand: it is actually ground up black walnut hulls. So, it's hard to breathe in. It's used both externally and internally as an anti-parasitic.

    It does make your bed feel quite gritty, but I'll take that over feeling buggy.

    As far as my spray is concerned, I used about 1 teaspo0n tea tree oil, 1 tablespoon neem oil, 10 drops of lavender oil, 1 teaspoon of peppermint castile soap. I mixed the oils with a pint of water/91% alcohol mixture (1/4 water, the rest alcohol). I have no idea how effective it is, save for the fact that I started to see less bugs after I started using it. I also spray myself with it everytime I go out, along with steaming my clothes and sheets. In addtional to this spray, I use something called "Herbal Armor." It contains extract of marigold, which is an ingredient (pyrethrum, to be more exact) in many industrial pesticides targeted at bedbugs (albeit a thousand times more refined).

    Buckwheart is a grain. I like buckwheat pillows because not only can one seal them in a protective cover after steaming them, but you can also add various (natural) bug repellants to the interior.

    You can purchase the abovementioned oils at any Whole Foods (but you'll be ripped off), or online. I purchased 32 ounces of neem oil from Golden Harvest Organics for about $32.00 (it's usually $11.00 an ounce at Whole Foods). Also, a place called mehandi (www.mehandi.com) sells black walnut powder at a resonable price (100g for $6.00, plus $4.50 S$H), though maybe you could find it cheaper someplace else.

  9. nyjammin

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Jul 22 2007 19:16:59
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    Buggywoe: I googled Black Walnut Dust and came up w/one that sells for $8 for 4 oz. It says it's a dust although you said it's more like a sand. Also, isn't 4 oz. quite small. Wouldn't someone need to buy a LOT of them to do their whole home? I'll probably do more investigating to see if I can get a better buy. But, do you think that the price for the size I quoted is about right?

    BTW: if the dust is more like a sand and then if you wet it wouldn't it turn into some sorta mud?

    Thanks for your info.

  10. buggywoe

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Jul 22 2007 21:33:57
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    Well, it's like dust with larger, sand-type particles in it. If you sprinkle it around the house, it really doesn't blow away easily. Right now I am sitting on my couch (seemingly bug free!) and I can see the specks of walnut dust and they feel grainy to the touch. I've been living with walnut dust/sand in my sheets, sprinkled around the apartment, etc. and I have had no ill effects. Neither have my cats (or boyfriend).

    Depending on shipping and handling, I believe the website I cited might offer the better deal. I just ordered two 6 ounce bags. It goes pretty far; you really only need to sprinkle it around the perimeter of your house/apartment and in the cracks and crevices you find. And then just a bit in your bed and on the furniture.

    Also, I forgot to mention that I was getting bites around my desk and I sprinked some black walnut around it. I haven't gotten a bite since. So, I don't know how it works, but it seems to be doing something. It provides a nice break from the bugs until your PCO/pesticides arrive...

  11. buggywoe

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Jul 22 2007 21:45:56
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    One more thing: I wouldn't invest in a whole bunch of it until you've tried it out. Sprinkle it somewhere where the bugs always seem to bite you, like in bed. If the bites cease, or reduce in number, then purchase a whole bunch of the stuff. I'm a convert, and I've just come across an old post from someone whose friend got rid of bedbugs using black walnut dust, but I'd experiment first (I don't think any of us can afford to lose more money on these b*stards)...

  12. nyjammin

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Jul 23 2007 8:07:39
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    I just pm'd you. Thank you.

  13. (deleted)

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Jul 23 2007 10:10:41
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    Buggywoe, I can't find the National Park Service reference. Do you have it? I found a website which simply states this without a link or citation.

    I'm concerned because, while I didn't find that reference, I found plenty of toxicity claims.

    I would not place this on the sheets where children sleep. My very quick googling suggests that any accidental ingestion can be poisonous.

    I urge everyone to do considerably more extensive research before embarking on a black walnut dust treatment, without knowing what it is, what it does, what the risks are, etc.

    Please be cautious and, a thought, it might be more responsible if we did not recommend to each other such substances where there is not enough information and which may prove to be a mistake for people in some circumstances.

    Let's do more research and let's definitely think about children and pets.

    Lou Sorkin once reminded us that just because something is 'natural' does not mean that we can't hurt ourselves and others with it.

  14. willow-the-wisp

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Jul 23 2007 10:33:47
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    I'm glad you spoke up nomo. (I didn't want to play the "bad guy role" (not this time) but was surely tempted. "Black walnut dust" It does warrant more investigation and study before everyone runs out and gets it yet on the other hand, it does seem to be working for at least one person--so far.
    Often, more linier thinking is important in bed bug control, as in ... how will I ever get this stuff off my non-removable bed bug cover ... does it stain ... and--the toxicity issue(s).

    Sounds to me like it might be used in corners of rooms, as is Fresh Water DE—(so long as it is not REPPELANT to bed bugs in any way.
    A “repel” in a corner of a room will likely drive bugs into the walls—a total no no.

    Since we have DE and more info on it now already, why bother getting black walnut powder right away? That is my initial take on it anyway from the little I've read. And I am not in any way saying I advocate DE on the sheets. It is bad for your skin, eyes, and lungs if it is that close to you or touching you.
    The pyrethrum based DE product I have said on the label to wash it off your skin for 15 minutes with running water.
    So there's a clue, huh.

    PS ... as far as "natural" goes ... look at the lables on some food products labled as natural--the FDA is very lax about that word imho. And some advertizers tend to bank on that all too often. The flip side? They take way too long to approve better Bed bug pesticides.
    It took ACT UP for them to get some decent HIV meds on the market.

  15. (deleted)

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Jul 23 2007 11:41:20
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    Perhaps some suggested reading:

    From the U.S. National Toxicology Program, a PDF on juglone -- it's a recommendation for carcinogenicity testing.

    Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet

    Black Walnut and pets

    Toxicity in horses

    Brief article with further references

  16. willow-the-wisp

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Jul 23 2007 12:06:26
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    I cruised just for five minutes nomo--that's all it took for me to realise that it is highly likely a very bad idea--this "black walnut sand/dust/stuff".
    Thanks again!

    PS I have never been able to access my own yahoo groups account--they are talking about this stuff on there too in the bed bug support group!
    Someone help!

  17. (deleted)

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Jul 26 2007 0:11:26
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    I do appreciate buggywoe's bringing this up and it's good to discuss all possible treatment and remedies out there. There's very little information, that's all. It might be safe enough, or it might not. Assessing that risk is important but it's up to individuals. I did not mean to scare anyone.

  18. willow-the-wisp

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Jul 26 2007 11:33:09
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    nor I ... but nomos links are saying that black walnut dust kills horses by swelling up their feet so the horse dies ... it is being considered as alternative chemo therapies--therefore ... I'd not get it onto the bed or on my skin--and at the very least I'd not breathe it in, or place it in any kind of wind.

    We do have DE which is safe, the food grade plain kind is. 20 or 30.00 or so, you can get a pound of it (with natural pyretrums and an enhahncer to boost the effect many times over.... A pound will last for a few months or better, per room.

  19. willow-the-wisp

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Jul 27 2007 16:12:08
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    jammin ... did you get the black walnut dust?
    I wanted to say to you that I am now thinking that vasaline does attract roaches, as you had suggested to me once--(too bad it was right after I put it on everywhere, lol). Now ... it is time for me to take it all off, save from around the ceiling light fixture.
    I'm not getting up there again....
    So thanks, where r u???
    Willow

    Also ... Did other's see nomos links, and what do they think about the black walnut dust???

  20. nyjammin

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Jul 27 2007 16:42:03
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    WTW: thanks for asking about little me To tell you the truth, I'm afraid a little to come and ask questions, etc. 'cause of my past here. I have been lurking, though. Just not commenting or anything like that. BTW: no, I didn't get walnut dust based on nomo's posts about it. If I was to get it, I would just sprinkle it around the corners of the room, but I guess DE is good for that. I'm afraid of getting walnut dust based on my son's last reaction to the pesticides that my landlord's pco used.

    Oh, I was thinking about getting some glue traps and/or double sided carpet tape, but now I'm re-thinking that. When I visited nice Mr. Lou Sorkin to show him samples of my bbs (he said no they were not, but that's another story), he said that bbs may go under the glue traps since the bugs like nice dark places and under the glue traps are mighty dark and thereby they will not get stuck on them. So, I guess people using glue traps would have to carpet tape the traps to prevent bbs from crawling under?? Also, what you said about the nymph just not getting caught in the double-sided carpet tape sorta concerned me. BUT, if I catch just one friggin' bb then I will have proof I need for landlord's pco to keep coming back. I'm trying so hard to move. I hope it works out for me.

    Again, thanks for asking about me. Gotta go and pick up my son from camp.

  21. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Jul 30 2007 9:57:44
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    I too wondered about the US National Park Service reference, which I saw once on a page touting Black Walnut for bed bugs. The page was by users, and there was no link to the National Park Service. I'd be wary, unless someone can provide strong sources in support of its use.

    Thanks to Nomo for the links!

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  22. badlybugged

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Jan 6 2008 16:40:09
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    Here's a link http://www.getridofthings.com/get-rid-of-bed-bugs.htm, but I cannot find anything about the NPS & Black Walnut insecticide recommendation. This site also says BW is used in TEA form, not dust form. It then goes on to read: "Information about application of Black Walnut as an insecticide is scarce."

    I'd like to know if washing clothes using Borateem or Borax (Boric Acid) is any more useful than just washing and drying (on HOT) alone?

  23. BBsBlow

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Jan 6 2008 17:26:54
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    From what I've read here on the boards, boric acid makes no difference when washing things. Good old hot water is what does the trick.

  24. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Jan 6 2008 17:28:55
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    badlybugged,
    That was the link I saw too, but I did not want to send anyone there since there does not seem to be any merit to it.

    Washing and drying on hot alone works. I don't think there's any need to add borax.

  25. (deleted)

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Jan 6 2008 23:06:06
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    The black walnut thing again. Makes me nervous!

    Listen, I found the source for this but what should be clear is that a) the Park Service is not recommending black walnut for bedbugs by any stretch, and b) we can't possibly recommend it either.

    Here is the National Park Service page: http://www.nps.gov/archive/hocu/html/trees.html

    And here is a reference in the The American Pharmaceutical Association Practical Guide to Natural Medicines.

    And the ultimate contemporary source seems to be the work of ethnobotanists Steven Foster and Jim Duke and their Field Guide to Medicinal Plants.

    Please be very, very cautious.

  26. Bugologist

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Jan 7 2008 8:32:18
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    Really interesting topic that I hadn't heard anything about.

    My biggest concern is the allergy aspect. I know that personally I'm a major allergy sufferer and could never apply this in my home. I also know that a lot of clients claim that the smells associated with pesticide applications bother their allergies so I can't imagine the response to black walnut dust. If someone wanted to try this on their own that's obviously fine but I can't see how a company could even think about using this. I can see a technician dying an entire house black when they apply the dust and then apply a liquid pesticide over it. Aigh!

    I would also love to understand why allergies seem to get exponentially worse every year. I was talking to my father about it and he was saying you'd hardly ever heard of someone with allergies back when he was a kid like you do today. You can't tell me that trees create more pollen now then they did before. Why do people for whatever reason seem to be more sensitive to it now then before?

  27. stamps

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Jan 7 2008 10:37:00
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    Bugologist --

    Without derailing TOO much, there is speculation that allergies are increasing because we live in an increasingly hygienic society. When kids grow up in a too-sterile environment, their immune systems have little to combat and so start going crazy on relatively harmless things (peanuts, pollen, etc). Studies show that kids who grow up on farms (at least in the US) rolling around in dirt, playing outside, etc have a FAR less likelihood of developing allergies. Peanut/milk/soy allergies are almost unheard of in less developed countries.

    *going back to work now*

  28. Bugologist

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Jan 7 2008 17:19:38
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    That sounds like a wives tale, sorry. I don't mean that to come across mean.

    I've done nothing but play outside all my life (I'm still a kid) and spend hours in the woods, playing sports, etc... and I go through hell every fall. I also know a lot of my friends who live the same life I do and go through hell.

    I would love to see those studies. Maybe the peanut/milk/soy thing you're talking about is true. I'm talking more about grass/trees/mold/outdoor stuff.

  29. badlybugged

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Jan 7 2008 20:31:37
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    The web site I cited in my previous post recommends TEA from leaves as opposed to BW dust. TEA can be infused to concoct varying potency. I have AVOIDED all dust due to health risks to myself and my pets.

    Thanks HNMo for posting the "real" references, although I agree they don't provide much insight / information.


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