Using Diatomaceous Earth for Fleas on Pets
Diatomaceous earth uses include the control and prevention of fleas, as well as bed bugs, ticks, spiders, cockroaches, crickets, and many other pests in outdoor and indoor settings. There are different grades of diatomaceous earth that are used for a variety of jobs, but this one is 100-percent food-grade diatomaceous earth.
How Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Fleas?
Using its abrasive, sharp edges, DE works by penetrating an insect’s exoskeleton and absorbing its oils and fats, thus drying them out and killing them. The diatom fossils are attracted to the wet, slippery lipid layer of the parasites, and scratches them with their sharp edges and dries them out.
But while diatomaceous earth can kill adult fleas, it’s not effective at killing insect eggs. That means pet parents should continue treating their pets for a minimum of two weeks.
How Do I Use Diatomaceous Earth to Kill Fleas?
Diatomaceous earth for cats and dogs is only effective at killing insects and parasites when it comes into direct contact with them, so according to what type of parasites you are dealing with, your treatment method may differ.
For internal parasites, you can use Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade Powder in your pet’s food to help eliminate hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, pinworms, and tapeworms. Every pet is different, so talk with your veterinarian about treatment duration and dosages, to ensure you treat your dog or cat effectively.
For external parasites, such as fleas and ticks, DE can be used topically. For dogs, you can use it in a powder form. It can be used on carpets and rubbed into your dog’s coat, but take care not to get the powder near a dog’s eyes, nose, or mouth.
Things to Know Before Using Diatomaceous Earth for Fleas
- Always store diatomaceous earth in a clean, dry area. It’s best to keep it in a sealed container or bag. Diatomaceous earth can last indefinitely as long as it is stored in a dry and clean container.
- Use extreme caution when applying or handling DE. Since diatomaceous earth is so incredibly absorbent, the powder form can act as an irritant to the skin, eyes, mouth, and lungs—both for you and your pets.