We have 3 dogs and 2 cats in our house. We’ve lived here for about 2 years now and the past 2-3 months are the first time we’ve ever noticed fleas. I think it’s because of the new lawn chemical company we use. They hadn’t been insect spraying during the winter, and since January was warm, I think the fleas came out a little early.

Anyways, our animals have some fleas now – well short of an infestation, but one flea is too many in my book. We use Frontline (or whatever it’s called), but it has been awful at controlling them, the fleas kept coming back. So I purchased some Diatomaceous Earth to try and kill them.

From what I read online, it works by dehydrating insects with a soft, waxy bodies. I guess it’s made of dead sea animals of some kind, and they absorb the water in the insect, killing them. Since it’s not a chemical, they cannot become immune to it – which makes me happy. And it’s environmentally friendly. You can use it on ant mounds as well – God knows nothing else gets rid of them, so I’ll be trying that during the summer.

So I buy this bag. Maybe 3-4 pounds or so (a $20 investment, maybe a little less).

First; what they don’t tell you. Diatomaceous Earth is a very fine powder. Think flour. You blow on it and it goes everywhere like a fine dust. So spreading it is very difficult. If you buy the stuff, buy a powder applicator so you can spray Diatomaceous Earth onto the target. Otherwise, you’ll just end up with a clumpy distribution. Also buy a mask for your face. The powder isn’t harmful, but it does irritate the eyes a little and I don’t think you wanna be breathing large quantities of it – better safe than sorry, right?

I had put some on the carpets last week, but tonight we tried it on the dogs. The dogs shook almost immediately afterwards and dust went everywhere! The cats went mental – but they do that no matter what. There is a nice haze in the house now. But, if we let the dogs out and they get wet, it defeats the whole purpose of dehydrating the insects.

But; not sure if it’d work or not, we decided to become mad scientists. I found a random flea on a dog and put it in a jar with the dust and shook it around for a bit. The flea immediately became coated with the Diatomaceous Earth and was jumping around like mad. The results? 15 minutes later, still jumping and walking around the jar. 30 minutes later, it was dead. No movement was noticed at all.

Pretty impressive; but we will see if it works on a wide scale experiment on the animals. I have hopes for total flea extermination within the next few days.

99 Thoughts on “Diatomaceous Earth: A Flea Control Experiment

  1. Is it possible that maybe the flea in the jar suffocated? I just bought some of this “DE” in hopes that it will kill all of the ticks on my Dog……………

  2. Unlikely. A flea doesn’t consume enough air to be killed that quickly in a jar that size.

    The stuff didn’t work very well on our dogs, in the end. It created more of a dust storm in the house than anything else.

    It may work for some people, but we decided not to continue using it.

    One of the flea treatments like advantage works a ton better and is quicker/easier.

  3. Diatomaceous Earth worked perfectly for us and we have 2 large dogs. Advantage did nothing and the chemicals in it are outrageous – unsafe for children. I used a baby powder container to sprinkle the DE and let it sat overnight on the carpets. Finally found something to get rid of the fleas.

  4. umm this website doesnt tell me how to like kill the fleas or how they infect the like enviorment.

    and i like love my mommyy katyy!!.
    and my sister miranda and all my husbands and wifes!! :]].

  5. The DE needs to be where the fleas are. People with chickens hold the chicken upside down and dust the chicken to get it on the skin. The DE needs to be on the skin because that is where the fleas go. It also needs to be spread around where the dog sleeps. We put it under on our mattress pad just in case there is ever a creepy crawler.

    We feed DE to our dog everyday. It takes 90 days to kill the toughest worms and I see my dog eat bunny berries every day so I know he is constantly reintroducing the worms to his system. I also eat DE just in case. People get worms to you know.

  6. Morgan on April 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm said:

    DE can be mixed with water and sprayed on the dog, when the water dries the DE is still just as effective as it is when it’s dry, and making a “spray” eliminates the possibility of inhaling the dust, and gets the DE closer to the skin. You can also use the spray to treat your bedding carpet and furniture, which does all have to be treated to effectively treat fleas for good. Treatments like Advantage, Frontline and so on contain chemicals that can be absorbed by the skin and over time can cause liver damage, so what’s worth it, you pet’s health or convenience to you?

    You should however be careful to buy Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth. Non food grade contains an additive called pyrethium? (i think that’s the name) as an extra dehydrating element, and is not good for you dog’s skin. And some Diatomaceous earth is for you swimming pool and that can actually be poison for your pets due to a heat and pressure treatment that changes the chemical make up. This stuff works when you use it correctly, and is better for your pet, the environment and you.

  7. Brianne on July 15, 2008 at 10:41 am said:

    You can also feed DE to the animals. If it is food grade it is will not hurt any mammal if eaten. The DE will get in the dogs blood stream and when fleas or ticks bite them they will ingest it as well. It also works to get rid of worms.

  8. Sharon on August 12, 2008 at 9:19 am said:

    I have used DE for about 20+ years. I put the DE in a white sock and lob it onto the dogs gently. In Texas, I was the only house on the block not plagued by webworms (the webs in trees full of catepillars). I would take the sock full of DE and beat it around the base of the tree, maybe a foot wide area. The catepillars that climb up the tree to make the webs would be pierced and die. I have not used it internally for my dogs, but since I do purchase organic DE, I will definately give this a try.

  9. Sharon on August 12, 2008 at 9:19 am said:

    I have used DE for about 20+ years. I put the DE in a white sock and lob it onto the dogs gently. In Texas, I was the only house on the block not plagued by webworms (the webs in trees full of catepillars). I would take the sock full of DE and beat it around the base of the tree, maybe a foot wide area. The catepillars that climb up the tree to make the webs would be pierced and die. I have not used it internally for my dogs, but since I do purchase organic DE, I will definately give this a try.
    Anyone know the ratio of food/DE to use?

  10. Just a comment, but DE does not get in the blood stream of anything, it goes through the digestive tract of animals and the sharp edges of the diatoms cut the parasites. On the skin it does that and also dessicates the exoskeleton.

  11. I have read numerous articles and the comments here re: diatomaceous earth as flea control for pets. NOWHERE has it been specified HOW MUCH DE to use topically or added to pet’s food! Can anyone offer a clue as to amount and frequency of topical and dietary use??? Thank you.

  12. From another site, How much DE should I feed my animals?

    Some of the feeding rations suggested by suppliers and users include: 1-2% by weight of DE in ground, dry feed. 5% by weight in stored grain. 5 ounces ( one cup) daily ration for horses. one tablespoon per day for large dogs (over 55 lb.). One teaspoon per day for small dogs, cats and puppies

  13. Paul Smachetti on July 10, 2009 at 2:08 pm said:

    I’m trying to find some locally.I found some that said it kills crawling insects but it did not state on the pkg “Food Grade” .Does it have to state that it’s Food Grade on the package?

  14. kathy on July 26, 2009 at 12:55 pm said:

    Yes…make sure all u buy is food grade. The kind for pools is toxic and has chemicals added.

  15. If you go to your local feed store the should have DE there. What they carry in the feed store is food grade not pool chemicals. Shop around a bit to get the best price. DE tastes like dirt and last time I checked no one or thing enjoys the taste of dirt. I mix 2 parts peanut butter and 1 part DE. The animals love it and the added protein helps to flush out any parasites. My horse gets about 1 cup per day and my dogs (labs) get about a half a cup. The smaller the animal the smaller the dose. You can’t give them too much. Its is safe for any mammal to eat. I also dust them and the yard with it when I notice there is a problem with fleas or flies. It is a very fine powder and is best to avoid getting it in your eyes or inhaling it. You wont die or anything but it will irritate them both.

  16. So after reading all of the comments shown above, I have gathered an overall knowledge that what people are doing is feeding it to their pet. I have a small kitten that is 9 weeks (as of Saturday, August 30th 2009) and just a few minutes ago I ordered DE from a website called DirtWorks. I was planning to us a baby powder like container to put it on her–do you recommend feeding it to her instead? Please, I need advice. She has fleas and they’re quickly multiplying. Thanks.

  17. Carol I believe that feeding it to them is for deworming and powdering is for fleas and ticks. My dad uses DE and thats what he does.

  18. Check out Wolf Creek Ranch’s website. They give lots of great information on holistic animal care. My 4 cats are infested w fleas. One is young but the other 3 are elderly and it has really affected them in a bad way. Loss of weight and hair loss. I am starting to rub them with it but will also be giving it to them internally (as well as myself!) It will treat internal parasites which the cats probably have from biting at the flea larvae on their skin. Most of us humans all have them and they create a whole host of health problems.I will be giving 1 Tbls p/day to my cats.

  19. I just got 40 lbs. of FOOD GRADE DE for less about 36.00. I’m going to try this on my cats and in the carpets.

  20. Jennifer W on October 28, 2009 at 2:03 pm said:

    I purchased 5 lbs. of FOOD GRADE DE about a year ago. All is well!

    Since the economy tanked we have been struggling with bills and to purchase monthly doses of Advantix or Frontline has been a no go.

    My vet knows NOTHING of FGDE! He’s all bent out of shape that I don’t have them on a parasite medication. Sorry, but so far so good. They’ve had their fecal tests, and all have been negative.

    FYI- Listen to the advice of using ONLY FOOD GRADE, and by that be very careful of buying any from a garden supply, pool supply, or big box store like Walmart, etc. I have not found one of those places that carries the FOOD GRADE DE. If you buy ANY, ensure it is labeled as food grade AND that it doesn’t advise against feeding to animals/humans.

    If it’s not food grade, and is the stuff for pools, the dust particles are too large to be effective in killing any bug or parasite.

    Definitely use a paif of gloves if you’re applying to the coat of your pets.
    Apply outside since it’s messy.

    I will DEFINITELY give the water spray a try. Even the sock application sounds intriguing.

    I have 2 miniature pinschers, in Southern California. This last summer has been ridiculous with fleas. My dogs have 24 hour access to the yard, and there are 3 dogs total in the yards on either side of us, whom have suffered flea and tick infestations. FORTUNATELY, my two dogs, without the use of any chemical flea/pest control, and a lazy lawn mowing “mom” (me), have not suffered any infestations of fleas or ticks.

    When I first received my FGDE, I had just brought our girl Min Pin into the home, and one night while watching tv with her sleeping in my lap, I looked down just in time to see a flea scurry from the top of her head into the longer fur of the top of her neck. I flipped out! Immediately ran her over to the cupboard and powdered her from head to toe in the kitchen sink, then proceeded to do the same with my boy min pin.

    The kitchen looked like dust storm, and my two dogs looked like I just fished them out of the vacuum cleaner, but I never did see another flea since then- and like I said, that was a year ago.

    Periodically I will dust them down, but I haven’t had any real reason to do so.

    Their feeding schedule has been this:

    Each are 12 lbs.

    They eat between 2/3 and 3/4 of a cup twice a day.

    I have been putting one 1 tsp. of water in the bottom of their dish, followed by a barely full tsp. of FGDE, then adding the food and swirling to ensure that they aren’t inhaling the dust.

  21. For those of you using diatomaceous earth for intestinal worms, I would recommend taking a faecal sample to your local vet and getting it checked for worm eggs. My experience is that it is not effective for intestinal worms. Feeding DE will definitely not achieve anything for fleas.

    Diatomaceous earth is a great environmental treatment, but personally I wouldn’t use it on my pet.

    There are several proven flea control products that are far less messy and probably more effective.

    Also, if you do use DE I would definitely recommend mixing with water and spraying it on or similar, as there is potentially an association with breathing this dust and cancer.

  22. I am scared to death!!! I just applied DE that is NOT food grade to the carpet to help in our battle against the fleas. What should I do to get rid of the DE now that I understand I was supposed to used food grade DE???

  23. Evelyn – don’t worry it’s not that big a problem. Since you are not eating the DE, the other concern is breathing the dust. I have heard that pool filter DE is more of a hazard than food grade DE, but neither is likely to harm you unless there is repeated contact – like working in a DE processing facility without a dust mask. Just vacuum it up wearing a dust mask and don’t worry.

  24. carol a on December 21, 2009 at 4:46 pm said:

    when we got our kitten he was flea free. and now he is 8 mths old, and somehow he managed to get them. i dnt know how, he is an inside cat. bt i we noticed the fleas abt 3 weeks ago and i have done the light with the water thing, the sprinkling of salt to dry eggs out. the frontline did wrk some, bt i want this things gone, like now. so i read an article on DE about a week ago and i bought some at the health food store and I am fixing to try it. I do not know what else to do, i vacuum every day and sometimes 3 times a day. I still gt fleas. I will try the jar thing an i will let ya’ll know

  25. Hi. I’m reading the comments and I would call my farm bureau if you live in farm country. They’re in your phone book.

  26. Chris Hawkins on May 20, 2010 at 10:07 am said:

    I just finished reading the above about the food grade DE. I was overjoyed with the information because I have a cat enclosure outside that is completely flea infested. When I walk into the enclosure these things cover my legs in seconds, and are out of control. The poor old cats are covered in them, and are showing signs of flea alergy. I can’t wait until I can get to our local feed store and try to find the food grade DE. I think, from what I’ve just read that this information is a GODSEND!

    Thanks so very much for the info.

  27. KAri Parfait on May 26, 2010 at 8:53 am said:

    OK.. after reading the comments above I think I messed up… I didn’t realize when I bought it yesterday that DE from the pool supply store wasn’t the same thing… I just put it in every crack and crevice and swept it into the floor in my house last night… Have I poisoned us? I have pet snakes, but I kept it away from their cages and did my best to keep the dust cloud down while I was applying it… Anybody know how bad the stuff used in pool filters is? I have asthma and wasn’t having problems when i applied it, but still… Now I’m worried. At least my kitty is outside right now.

  28. KAri Parfait on May 26, 2010 at 8:57 am said:

    Didn’t see your comment to Evelyn earlier… I have laminate floors, so vacuuming may not work, but I’m getting as much of it back out this evening as I can!… Hopefully my steam mop will get it.

  29. rebecca on May 29, 2010 at 2:17 am said:

    DE can cause you and your pets problems if inhaled!

  30. yvette on June 3, 2010 at 11:42 am said:

    hi, we’re flea infested from a neighbors house that has 11 cats. They’re inside our house now too. Tried everything to get rid of them, even an exterminator. If i use DE inside on our laminate flooring & carpet, which do I use? Which do I use for the lawn? Btw, they have 11 cats!!! Desperate for anyone’s help.

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  32. if u put DE on ur lawn and ur kids play in the grass will this get in their blood stream or will it affect them. will they be able to play in yrd with no shoes on. does anyone have an answer

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  36. Patty on June 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm said:

    I tried it, carpets and cat. These must be super-fleas. I will give it one more try before going to sprays again. Stuff that normally works on fleas, like Adams, isn’t working. They are becoming resilient. This sucks.

  37. A dry mix of Diatomaceous and pure borax powder mized equally. Sprinkle lightly in carpet with a fine strainer and brush in with a broom. No fleas in about a week and a half. I haven’t seen one flea in the house in over five years, and there are plenty of cats on the property. I do use Frontline on the cat in the house.

  38. Steve on June 23, 2010 at 9:52 pm said:

    I have put Perma Guard DE that I got a the Feed Mill. Its been 2 days in my sons room. Worried about him breathing it in he has been sleeping with us. But after 2 days I cant see any big ones but are seeing some small ones. How long should I leave it on the carpet? These fleas are evil! All the Frontline the vet insist I use does not work on them. All the pesticides I use out back do nothing except piss them off! I put DE in the yard and later the same day the dogs were back there and usually they scratch the whole time out there but not after that. Going to re-apply Saturday to make sure it stays that way!

  39. SHARON on June 29, 2010 at 1:44 pm said:


  40. Cindy on July 3, 2010 at 8:26 pm said:

    I used bombs twice. Gave all the animals baths. The cat is the only one indoors and nothing has worked. I bought food grade DE today at the feed store and coated my entire house, yard and pets. I’ll update in a few days. The sock idea was wonderful for the pets by the way. Thank you

  41. Christie on July 6, 2010 at 8:38 pm said:

    I recently bought Diatomaceous Earth, Food Grade at Agway. I put it on all carpets and rubbed it in with my hands. I also put it on the tiled floors, and rubbed it in. If you are going to rub the Diatomaceous Earth in carpets with your hands, make sure to use gloves. Its very drying on the hands. Next time I will use disposable gloves. I have noticed a decrease in fleas. It starts taking affect in 72 hours. Its only been in the carpet 3 days. I use Frontline Plus on the dogs. I don’t know if Frontline did something to their formula or if the fleas are just becoming immune to it. Just Frontline Plus just doen’t seem to be working. DE goes a long way. I paid $2.50 a lb. for it Agway is a Feed store. Good Luck everyone. DE does WORK!!! Just takes time and patience.

  42. Wendy on July 12, 2010 at 12:07 pm said:

    We have 1 dog and 2 cats. The fleas are driving my dog crazy, and one of my cats has a flea allergy – loss of hair, sores and scabs on her skin. The other cat has them all over her and she just seems to collect flea dirt! (she’s too fat to clean herself everywhere.) Have used Advantage, Frontline, and Promeris – all of which do NOTHING anymore. I do believe the fleas are immune. Capstar (a pill taken internally) works for 1 day – I’ve had to use when we were going out of town and were leaving the dog with my parents – didn’t want to send her there with fleas. Unsure of safety of Capstar, and long-term use would be VERY expensive. Am definitely going to try FGDE – I’m so glad I happened upon this site. Am hoping Tractor Supply has it in stock. Cindy (posted July 3rd) – would love to hear how it worked for you. Thanks to everyone who has posted – GREAT information.

  43. try beneficial nematodes for the outside they’ll eat thel flea eggs and DE for the inside to kill the adults. Google it and follow the directions for positive results.

  44. Julie on July 21, 2010 at 3:52 pm said:

    Can someone suggest a solution ratio for making the DE/water spray?

  45. Tikva on July 22, 2010 at 5:15 am said:

    Any Vets out there I cannot reach mine and live where they are uninformed about D/E….
    1) How often do we put it on our pets and how fast does it work (it seemed to dry my dogs skin out and then she started scratching and biting, but i dont know if it was the D/E or fleas/mites?
    Yes please someone who uses
    1)the DE/water spray please ASAP put the ratio..I am beside myself! Also, please 2) how often do we use it on the dog and furniture, floors, linens..I live where there is alot of wind and dust accumulates daily.
    Every time I sweep I feel I am just moving around these darn nasty “mites”.
    3) Last year i used REvolution and D/E it seemed to work . HELP PLEASE!

  46. Sarah on July 23, 2010 at 1:20 am said:

    I rescue dogs and cats… and of course, after 2.5 years on this property with no problems… We are ambushed my the darn fleas. I’ve got 3 long hair cats and I’ve tried Frontline for 3 months and nothing worked! The dogs are scratching here and there… the cats are the problem. The room with just the dogs, doesn’t seem to be as bad as where the cats are roaming. I’ve Frontlined the cats and dogs, cleaned the carpets twice, and sprayed with Knock Out (no pets were in the house) and…. they lessened for awhile, but … now I’m noticing how horrible they have gotten. One cat has no hair on her tush! I gave the cats a bath in Adam’s Flea Shampoo. I took a bucket and put the shampoo in there and filled with water so it was sudsy. I slowly lowered each cat into the bucket. They would stand with arms on the rim and used my hand to soak them in the soapy water. I made them go almost completely under water THERE HEAD WAS OUT OF COURSE and stay for 3 to 5 minutes. It worked somewhat, but any advice for the long hair issue? I think this is why the Frontline failed is because the lack of it actually making contact with their skin.

    I bought a 50lb bag of DE and sprinkled it everywhere my house and then applied it to all the dogs/cats. It’s been 36hours… and I feel I am noticing the more now then before… I put on white socks and walked around and could see the actual number on my socks. YIKES! Part of me thinks it’s their last ditch effort to get out of the DE. It does take about 30 minutes for them to die. I put one in a cup with DE in it.

    I’m planning an full blown attack this weekend. I’m moving the pets to the detached garage. First, I’m going to bathe the cats and give them a capstar, then take them outside to the garage. Move all the dogs out there… Spray the house. The spray takes about an hour to dry. Come back in and set off a bomb. While we’re all stuck outside, spread the flea killer in the yard (Any suggestions?) and bathe all the dogs out there in Adam’s Flea Shampoo and reapply the DE once dry. Once, I can enter… bleach the counters and wipe everything down that was exposed. Vacuum, then put Borax on the carpets (its safe for the dogs/cats) then bring the fur kids back in. The yard will be treated, the fur kids treated, and the house attacked 4 times. The house is almost entirely carpet and I think this is the problem.

    Any suggestions on brands for the bomb or yard product?

    I really hope this works… if this doesn’t I’m calling an exterminator to take them on.

  47. Sarah on July 30, 2010 at 10:58 am said:

    Okay well it’s 5 days later… for the first 3 days I was still seeing some fleas though in a huge decreased number like 3… Now yesterday, I didn’t see any! I’m going to bathe the dogs again this weekend and the cats as well. Diatomaceous Earth is spread under all the furniture and we are vacuuming at least once a day. Like my prediction… there was a significant number of fleas more on the cats then the dogs. Our next plan of action is to spray the house with a premise spray purchased at the vets and rebathe…. then in 2 weeks we will spray again.

  48. Sissy on July 31, 2010 at 10:24 am said:

    Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade. Also can be called diatomite or kieselgur. Do not get the one for pools – very bad and toxic!

    Flea Pest Control for Dogs and Other Pets – FOOD GRADE ONLY

    Dietary supplement – For pets under 55 lbs mix 1 tsp and for pets over 55 lbs mix 1 T daily in food to treat worms, fleas, mites, tics ect… (best overall application for pets). To avoid the pet from inhaling the powder mix with a little water and evenly coat food.

    Flea bath – add 1 Cup of diatomaceous earth with 1/4 C of soap (joy lemon, dawn or johnson baby shampoo) to bath water. Bathe as usual avoiding eyes and nose area. Do not bathe more then once a month

    Flea powder – place diatomaceous earth in a powder bottle container and sprinkle on fur. Be careful to not let the powder get in their eyes. Can be very drying to skin. Not to be used more then twice a month

    Flea Spray – mix 1/4 C of diatomaceous earth with a gallon of water spray down fur avoiding the eye area. Not to be used more then once a week

    Flea Pest Control Outdoors

    mix 1/4 C of diatomaceous earth with a gallon of water. spray on ground, plants, tree trunks, buildings ect…

    Flea Pest Control Indoors

    mix 1/4 cup of diatomaceous earth with a gallon of water and spray furniture, carpet, floors ect…

    Dry Method for Indoor Use

    1 C diatomaceous earth and 1 C boric acid (can use borax)
    diatomaceous earth

    Using a powder bottle container or flour shifter – sprinkle the mixture on carpets, floors, furniture, and mattresses. Allow to sit a minimum of 2 hours ( the longer the better) and vacuum. Can permanently leave powder under cushions and carpets.

    Note when using the dry method wear a mask to prevent breathing in the powder. The dry method is very very dusty and will easily cover the entire house.

    Dry Method for Outdoor Use

    1 C diatomaceous earth and 1 C boric acid
    diatomaceous earth

    Using a powder bottle container or a flour shifter spread all over the ground and in flower beds paying special attention to shady areas.

    Wear a mask to prevent breathing in the powder.

    Apply weekly to control heavy flea infestation. Once fleas are under control can apply on a monthly basis.

  49. Bob Davis on August 7, 2010 at 1:10 am said:

    I feel sorry for some of you that try De but, are having no success.
    I have alot of experience dealing with these parasites living on the side
    of a huge forrest in the midwest and we have every form of bug you could imagine. You have to treat this as a military operation. I have heard no one
    talk about growth inhibitors such as methoprene. It is a must with fleas
    99 percent of the fleas are worms that change into the critters that annoy
    us all. You must stop their growth pattern. Methoprene does this. We have a dog
    that lives outside, so I understand the whole problem. First get rid of all creatures that could be coming into your yard. You can do this with a animal
    repellant. Second spray your yard, house and plants. Permethrin is the way
    to go and it works well. Use IGR (growth inhibitor) with it. Third clean up your
    pets sleeping area. Neem oil is natural and quite good also as safe insecticide.
    Now you can buy bio spot at your local pet store and wash you pets with this
    that at least two times a week for the first month. ( cats may not need as much)
    Now I know some people say I want to do it naturally, well for those of you
    that are having a nightmare of problems I suggest its time to bring out the nuclear option and you’ll have to forgive yourself later. Malathion is a powerful
    insecticide that destroys the fleas and ticks in all stages of life. You are not gonna win this battle unless you fight these blood suckers on all fronts. My puppy
    in the spring got out of the fence and brought home three different forms of
    ticks, fleas and worms, oh not to mention mange ( like chiggers). Today she is
    free of all of these but, it was a fight for two months. This will cost some money.
    However I am glad the only problems we have now are a few mosquitos. You must be vigilant because these bugs will be. Good luck

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  51. lisa litchfield on August 16, 2010 at 4:03 pm said:

    Ok..i’m way new to this stuff..just bought a bag of DE ant/crawling insect killer 4lb bag from ace hardware..so it’s safe to powder up the cat right? i have never used anything like this..i read the whole bag,except spanish ya got me on that one..lol on the bag it says D-E Plus..what i bought is safe to use as a cat powder for fleas and carpets or No…thanks lisa

  52. Richard on August 20, 2010 at 10:39 am said:

    Lisa, What you bought is not food grade, but has added “bait”. Don’t put it on your pets because they might lick and ingest it. I bought the Safer brand out of desperation, which you probably have, because I haven’t found food grade yet. I put it on the carpets, but not right on the dog. When I find food grade, I’ll vacuum up what I have used, and replace with FG.

  53. Mary Dee on September 24, 2010 at 9:02 am said:

    First time for me with fleas in my house and on my dog and I am going insane trying to get rid of them. Flea shampoo, Capstar, and Frontline, constant spraying and vacuumin of carpets, washing bedding every day, etc. Still have fleas around. So I read about the DE, and saw Home Depot carries some, although it is not labeled “food grade”. So I called the manufacturer. And yes, it IS food grade! Most everyone has a Home Depot somewhere near them, so it would not be required to order from an online site. I am picking some up tonight!

  54. Mary Dee on September 24, 2010 at 1:29 pm said:

    I should add…Richard (8/20) it was SAFER BRAND that I called and asked about. It is food grade.

  55. Mary Dee on October 3, 2010 at 5:29 pm said:

    My closest Home Depot did not carry the Safer Brand DE in store. I found a smaller box of “Concern” at a garden center, used that, and have now ordered for store delivery from Ace Hardware. Yes, Lisa what you bought at Ace is FOOD GRADE, if you bought Safer Brand DE. The company just does not market it as a “consumable”. I called customer service and asked!

  56. CrazyWithFleasInIowa on October 11, 2010 at 11:34 pm said:

    I have been fighting these nasty creatures for months now. Adams plus with IGR and Adams shampoo, boric acid, vacuuming, natural sprays for the cats when I can hold down the beasts to do it, and of course one of my cats poor thing has sores from these blasted creatures. Then they have been on frontline plus for 3 months now but that stuff is a waste of money! I have nowhere to take the cats for a day or 2 so I cam bomb this place so, short of lighting a matching and burning the fleas and all I own to the ground, I have ordered today the DE Food Grade. Im going to update my progress after I get this. Im so sick of these crazy bugs. My cats are 5 and 7 years old and have never had fleas before we moved into this stupid apartment. I guess the lady before me took in strays all the time. So, we had little waiting flea eggs and pulpae for my furry kids and me. Im sick of feeling like bugs are crawling on me when they aren’t. Hard to sleep at night too. So, lets see if the magic of DE can do it’s thing. I pray it does because I cannot stand it anymore. I heard that you vacuum really good then while being masked, cover all carpeting, under sofa cushions, on the box springs, on top of the mattress, then flip and a slight dusting before the mattress pad and move all the furniture and sprinkle under them too. rub it into the carpet with gloves or use a broom to work it down in the fibers. Wait for a few days, 7 days I am told due to the cycle and start to vacuum. I bought 6 pounds of it online so I hope that is enough. I don’t care if I have a white dusted home for a week until the beasts are gone. Im also going to sprinkle it outside around my windows since I live in a lower floor and the windows are land level with grass almost up to them from the outside. I also read that you have to wash every thing, bedding, pillows, all your clothes and the ones you cannot wash, sprinkle with DE and put in a sealed garbage bag until you can get to them to wash. Does this sound too extreme?

  57. James albert on November 4, 2010 at 6:45 pm said:

    My little pug brought some fleas home and spread them to the two indoor cats. Neither Frontline nor Advantage seemed to do much.

    I bought the diatomaceous powder at the pet store at the recommendation of the store clerk. I spread it on the carpets, under the beds and in the closets where the cats often hide out, and on the dog’s bed. I also worked it into the dog’s coat. The dust went everywhere — I mean everywhere — when I spread it. I had a haze in the house for about an hour afterwards and had to dust all the furniture several times over the week.

    I also re-applied the Advantage on the animals in two week increments – which is okay per the instructions.

    After about a week, it seemed the fleas were not as big a deal. Those I found on the dog’s bed were dead.

    Now, a month later, I haven’t seen a flea anywhere. I attribute it to the powder, but perhaps it was a combination of both. I have not had to give any of the animals flea drops this month.

  58. CrazyWithFleasInIowa on November 4, 2010 at 10:00 pm said:

    So James,

    Did you dust your cats and what was the time increment after you had it all applied to the carpet before you vacuumed? I am finally ready to do mine this weekend. I have 6 lbs of that stuff just waiting and my poor cats seem miserable or, maybe I do because they have them at all :) My one is allergic to them and has sores on his poor body. I am just getting over bronchitis and so I have had to wait to use this stuff.

  59. CrazyWithFleasInIowa on November 6, 2010 at 9:16 pm said:

    So, Day 1. I did my kitchen and living room today and my cats when I could pin them down. no signs of fleas at all but now it is almost 6 hrs later, still a lingering powder in the air. Not good for my lungs as still on the tailend of bronchitis, cough cough cough and I wore a mask. So, its going to be 36 degrees tonight but my windows will be open in here. So far so good :)

  60. CrazyWithFleasInIowa on November 6, 2010 at 9:19 pm said:

    Oh one more thing. Had gloves on, picked up the DE and rubbed it in their skin to make them think they were being overly petted. Then when I had them all relaxed, turned them over and did the same thing to their underside, neck and legs, tail. Poor black kitties are all gray! LOL

  61. CrazyWithFleasInIowa on November 7, 2010 at 10:30 am said:

    Day 2- Got up this morning and my kitchen and living room still have the powder in the air even after opening windows. I believe I put too much DE all over. So, I have to deal with these 2 rooms today as the air is messing with my lungs still and it is very irritating and I can’t quit coughing. (I also have asthma) So, I have to clean up the 2 rooms and get rid of the dust, there is a light coating on everything. (gonna do a light vacuum) No fleas though. I have seen only one of my cats scratch once but it was my cat that has sores so they might be bothering him. more update this afternoon as I have to get the rest finished.

  62. CrazyWithFleasInIowa on November 7, 2010 at 10:38 pm said:

    Didn’t get more done today other than vacuum. Still coughing a lot. Might have to forget the rest of this.

  63. Fleas in Long Beach! on November 11, 2010 at 11:14 pm said:

    Crazy with fleas in IOWA I just read all your comments… if you have Asthma and had bronchitis you are really putting yourself at risk with The DE… it can damage your lungs if you inhale it too much… the nature of it is that it is highly abrasive… in fact that is how it kills the fleas… it scratches their hard shell and they dehydrate and die from the inability to hold any water in their bodies. Go see a doctor! Good luck…

  64. CrazyWithFleasInIowa

    How did it go? I’m considering buying DE. I’ve been trying to get rid of these fleas since I moved into a new apt. I never had a problem, I always had my dogs on advantage or frontline. But as soon as me and my pups moved to a new apt I’ve been under attack by fleas! It’s so frustrating I’ve tried millions of things and have spent so much money!

  65. Barbara on December 5, 2010 at 12:27 pm said:

    CrazyWithFleasInIowa, does the dust bother your pets? Just wondering if they should be removed from the areas being treated to keep them from breathing it into their lungs…thanks!

  66. the dust did not bother either cat but when I have the vacuum out and am doing things they seem to disappear because I think they think I will put them to work. I even dusted one of them but they did come back because I didn’t get the whole apartment done. It just bothered me because I was getting over severe bronchitis and tried using it too soon. So now I have waited long enough and man the rotten fleas are back. however, I do notice that in the area I started using the DE I don’t see any at all so that is a plus. Please everyone, USE FACE MASK and GLOVES!! This is SO very Important! I tasted this stuff for weeks and coughing and oh my how miserable I was. Anyway, I am going to start on this again this weekend and blast them miserable things out of my cats and my home. I will be updating this with my progress as I go. One other thing to keep in mind is washing all your clothes. Yes, I feel this is something that needs to be done. Once in awhile, I will be working and one of the miserable beasts will be seen walking across my desk. Obviously from my clothes and they were hanging in my closet! So, what you cannot get done, put them in a garbage bag with some DE and seal it shut until you can get to it. Be back soon :)

  67. Christina on January 10, 2011 at 2:47 am said:

    We bought Safer Brand DE at Home Depot today, I’m not sure if I bought the correct one seeing as it does not say “Food Grade” anywhere on it. I’m almost positive it won’t hurt the animals, but I want to dust them with it. I have a 6 pound chihuahua, he’s the one I’m worried about the most. I’m attached to him as if he were my own child. Do you think it’s safe enough for me to put it in his fur? I’m going to dust my whole apartment, open the windows, doors, and put the dogs in the patio while I dust until it settles, then I’ll attack them with it while they’re outside, that way when they shake I don’t have an evil cloud of abrasive sand chasing me. I feel bad for you, Leah. I have asthma too and I’m worried about what’s going to happen during the next week, we bought masks and gloves so we can “Pet the dogs” a lot tomorrow. XD I’ll comment again and tell you how it goes.

  68. Skunk'd on January 25, 2011 at 10:48 am said:

    I have been using Food Grade DE for my rescued domestic pet skunk. He had the begining signs of metabolic bone disease. He has been eating DE for over a year. The vet told me to put him on calcium supplements but I feared the high dose would cause calcium deposits/bone fuseing. I spoke with a wonderful skunk lady and she directed me to DE and to supplement with vitamin D. It has worked wonderfully. And, since skunks are “known” to have internal parasites de’worming with strongid is a must, but since starting him on DE I have been able to avoid the chemical de’wormers all together. I have not had a problem with fleas in my home, but if it happens then I will use DE. I have had a problem with ants, and I spread DE on the counters where I seen the ants and the ants have disappeared.

  69. “First; what they don’t tell you. Diatomaceous Earth is a very fine powder.” Pretty much EVERY resource I found tells you that. Did you even research this before buying?

    I liked your flea in a jar experiment. Very sadistic. I am the type to put all bugs in a jar and take them immediately outside when I find them in my house, but fleas… I hate them with a passion and want to see them all perish.

  70. I put the Diatomaceous Earth in a sock (at the recommendation of someone else that applied it that way). I still wore a mask, but it really cuts down on the dust in the air. Just roll the sock over the carpet.

  71. Youreallidiots on July 8, 2011 at 6:35 am said:

    Landlords are crazy about this crap. Rub it on their dogs(Who are still covered in fleas and ticks, but they insist MONTHS LATER that they’ll just rub more DE on them and that will magically make them dissapear).

    Just so ya’ll know, the FDA has not approved DE for use and no studies have proven it does ANYTHING.

    It’s just dirt.
    Dirt that can give you silicosis(Google that up and then, go back to your flea powder).

  72. openmind on July 10, 2011 at 7:04 pm said:

    @Youreallidiots if you had done some research of your own you’d see that the food grade DE is perfectly safe and will not give you silicosis. Why would the FDA bother with something like this when it won’t make any companies money? In fact major corporations are probably totally against DE and will do anything to make sure people DON’T find out about its benefits just because it’s such a cheap and easy way to get rid of all your bug problems and then some.

  73. Well, I used it once several years back and it was great… I finally had someone remind me of DE so bought some tonight. Will do whole house Friday as I work 11 hr days but off then… Has anyone (human) taken it??? On a site there were human doses and reasons for taking it…Will update later. Di

  74. maritza on July 21, 2011 at 3:07 pm said:

    This stuuff worked WONDERS for me! I spread it all over my basement and rubbed it into my two cats, 3 days later, no fleas at all. Very dusty but worth the trouble. Just make sure its the food grade, not pool grade. I spent 22 dollars for 40 lbs of magic dust :)

  75. I have put it in water and drank it. Kinda taste icky but didnt hurt me! :)

  76. Mary the California inventer on August 7, 2011 at 9:02 pm said:

    I had a few fleas on my dog and 2 cats. Then I went on vacation for 3 1/2 weeks. I came home exhausted. All seemed fine in my house for about 1 hour, until I went into the bathroom. Suddenly my legs were covered. I used an old trick I invented years ago. I stayed calm and exposed my bare legs and slowly walked around my house. I catherd up small rugs and put them in the washing machine. I got a large pan and filled it with water and dish soap. I went back to the bathroom, sat down and scraped the fleas into the soap water. I did that for 2 hours and had so many fleas in that pan that the bottom was black. Finally I scraped only one flea and I went to bed and slepped. I only had one bite that was a bother. I still have fleas, but I keep them down with bowls of soap water and grap them off my legs and release in water and using a flea comb on my cats and butting the fleas in soap water.. I am going to try DE. I have some DE and had good luck with sprinkling the hen house and yard to get rid of mites. Today I rubbed my dog with DE on my hands. She actually calmed down and relaxed. I am trying to figure out how to hang a sock filled with DE so my cats have to rub by it to get into the house through the cat doors. I used that for my chicken, it was easy to hang a sock in the door of the hen house. Cat doors are harder but I will figure it out. I am on the attack!

  77. Jenibenni on August 9, 2011 at 3:36 pm said:

    Diatomaceous Earth has to be one of the best all natural remedies for parasites. My boyfriend and I purchased a mattress set, a few weeks later we started getting bit. We couldn’t figure out if it was from fleas (our cats had a major flea problem) or from bed bugs. We tried a chemical spray that failed to do anything. Finally we purchased a 15 lb bag of Diatomaceous Earth for less than $15. We sprinkled it EVERYWHERE (even on the cats), as long as you do it gently it isn’t a problem. Yes the clean up will suck, but it’s so cheap and does the job ten times better than chemicals. The bites continued for 3 days, but on the 4th they completely stopped. While I was wiping up the floors I noticed dead fleas. I would suggest that while you are spreading this around you were a mask as it will be uncomfortable otherwise. I would also suggest using this in combination with a flea treatment in order to effectively kill ALL fleas and larvae.

  78. Dogsinprogress on August 11, 2011 at 1:35 am said:

    Is DE safe to use on or around a 9 week old puppy?

  79. Because of the dust flying all over the place I bought a large eye dropper, actually one made to give liquid medicines to kids, so it has a larger hole than a small eye dropper. The dust is so fine that it sucks up very easily into the tube. Then I can target areas of my dog and get to the skin and “puff” it on without it going every where. I target behind the ears and around the throat. Across the base of the tail and around the anus. under the front armpits. Those seem to be the spots that they hide on my Dachshound.
    Then I can apply it more often between baths if necessary. It’s also hard to get rid of fleas because my dogs love the outdoors! We have to spray the lawn as well.

  80. how often did you coat your cats? I coated both of mine two days ago, and they still have fleas. I reapplied the DE tonight and we shall see. But these fleas have to go!

  81. J. Martin Miller on August 23, 2011 at 8:02 pm said:

    I have been thinking about dusting our cats, but wonder about the drying effect on their skin. No one here has commented on it, so maybe it’s very minimal. I have been eating a 1/2 tsp. twice daily since Sunday. Supposed to be good for many reasons. Also good for pets and parasite control. Proper dosage can be found at numerous websites.
    Death to the fleas ! I’ve been dusting the carpets off and on since last Fall. Does help.

  82. aria122 on September 5, 2011 at 2:49 am said:

    DE is great stuff. I feed it and dust all my farm animals with it. (chickens, ducks, guinea, goats dogs, cats etc)

    I feed it to myself and my kids, makes me feel safe about not catching any parasites from the animals…

    For my dogs (large dogs) I feed one half teaspoon once a week in there food. I also add a teaspoon of dried powered garlic, also known to help with worm prevention.

    (DE helps prevent any kind of parasitic worms, fleas, ticks, MITES – had a fowl mite infestation in my bedroom they seemed to like my blood though I’m quite sure I’m not a bird of any kind

    I have not had any side effects or negative effects to date.

    Recommend this as a GREAT flea solution
    You can buy diacious earth in bulk bins at some Feed Stores

  83. I had rinsed and dried one of those plastic hair dye applicators that come in hair dye boxes. They have a fine pointy nozzle so you can work it into the fur and squeeze DE near the skin where the fleas are hiding. Just tried this today for the first time. I hope it works. But I wanted to share the applicator idea because it really coated the cats nicely. Also I did it outside. And used a fine tooth nit-comb to help distribute it. I was surprised at how well the cats tolerated it and co-operated. They both just sat on my lap and let me coat them with powder.

  84. Kimberly on September 9, 2011 at 8:42 pm said:

    I just bought some of this. I discovered fleas about a week ago, and put Advantage 2 on my 2 cats. I used the Zodiac pump spray on my whole apt, scrubbing every nook and cranny, and vacuuming like I’ve got OCD. The fleas went away for a day, but then I got baby fleas. My cats are rescue, and one can’t be groomed without sedation. The vet said I should try CapStar,but I need to wait a bit since I just gave them the Advantage. I got the DE from the hardware store, and the owner recommend that I use a mix of DE and Boric Acid. The BA will weaken the exoskeleton, and the DE will dry them up. I’ve put the cats out on the (clean) patio while I do this. I brushed it into the carpets and on the linoleum, and left it on while I went to work. The DE I got was for pool filters, not feed grade, so I’ll have to do a thorough vacuum and dust before the cats can come back in. I washed every bit of fabric in the house once already, but I’ll have to do it again since the Advantage/Zodiac combo was about as useful as a parasol in a hurricane.

  85. Kimberly on September 10, 2011 at 4:45 pm said:

    As an update, I vacuumed up the boric acid/ diatomaceous earth mix last night, scrubbed everything, then vacuumed again. The fleas I cleaned out of the vacuum amidst the DE were definitely alive and hopping. It had been on the carpet for about 9 hours.

  86. Hey Kimberly, the pool grade DE is put through some chemical process so its not the same as the food grade DE. I think thats the reason for the fleas being alive after 9 hours.

  87. Pingback: Flea Control - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums

  88. I did the same flea experiment in a high plastic container with 10 fleas picked off our two loved dogs, within 15-30 minutes the fleas seemed dead….wrong! The next day I woke and checked and all 10 fleas were jumping around mad deep in food grade diatamaceous powder. I highly doubt this substance works as hailed in the misinformation highway.

  89. where did you buy the bed bug powder?

  90. @Jenibenni
    where did you buy the bed bug powder?

  91. ManlyManWithACat on January 13, 2012 at 1:49 am said:

    Me and my girlfriend picked some of this stuff up from a local garden store for $7. It’s a nice sized bag that seems like it will last a lifetime. We’ve been fighting fleas for the last month and spent hundreds on products and at the laundromat. Today after reading and learning about this magic dust we finally got some DE and put it everywhere in our apartment. First I washed my 8 month old cat with Dawn dish detergent(Oloe kind) since they said it’s good for killing fleas and is good for my cats skin. Dried him with a hair dryer and yes the wash was the worst part of my day but he was a good lil soldier. Cleaned and vaccumed the house washed everything and I mean everything. Then I rubbed some all over him near a window that was open and lead him to water after. We called the company before hand and they told us to leave it down for 3 days then vacuum it up after, they also said to put a teaspoon in his food for the next few days because it will kill any tape worms caused by accidentally eating fleas. My cat seems fine he was playin and having fun and went to sleep in his regular spot peacefully. I do recommend you wear face masks because the stuff is everywhere and although we were, my GF decided she would be fine and ended having a nosebleed so take precautions.

    I believe we got fleas when we brought him to the vet so now in the future I will give him a capstar pill before I bring him to the vet and wash him after.

  92. Denise Forbes on January 20, 2012 at 7:04 pm said:

    I was told to use DE for my kitten who has a protozoa in her intestine. The vets recommended strong drugs that had bad side effects. I am using this despite the warning from my vet. Vet said that if inhaled, would cause major lung complications. Let’s see how it works when used carefully.

  93. if you are going to put DE on or in any animal please ‘please’ ue only perma-gard de its the only one that is organic. amorphous silica ALL other types are dangerous to your health

  94. Mastiff Mom on April 21, 2012 at 11:20 pm said:

    I have three Mastiffs, 1 male 2 female, a back lab female, 2 female cats, and 2 female Mastiff puppies and I used the earth and it worked immediately. I have never never ever had a flea problem and all of the sudden wham it hit my house and man oh man with this many animals I wanted to catch it immediately. After washing all bedding,blankets,furniture cover I sprinkled it all over my furniture, and pet beds, my bed anywhere the dogs or cats sleep. I also put some at my door both front and back door. I saw the fleas literally dropping off my pets almost an hr later so does it work.Damn right it does!!

  95. bailey on May 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm said:

    FYI, Safer brand DE is NOT food grade and NOT safe for your dogs to consume. I just called them with the number on the bag and spoke to someone.

  96. micky on May 18, 2012 at 9:33 am said:

    I love DE! I feed it to my dogs,2 tsp everyday in their food. It gets rid of all kinds of worms. We drink it in a glass of water everyday, 2 tablespoons. cleans out your body of toxins and metals. I dust it on all 8 dogs . Last year I had a flea infestation, sprinkled on yard once a week for 3 weeks . Didnt see one more flea after that. I had to put it in my house. I have tile floors ,sprinkled everywhere in beds ,couch, chairs dog kennels then swept it up after a week. No more fleas. With 8 dogs It worked!! You can get it at a feed store .I paid 25 dollars for a 50 pound bag. If you dont need that much I am sure they sell smaller bags.Everything was great til this spring . we had alot of rain and the fleas are back! You cant put it down until the ground is dry . and make sure its not windy or it will blow away.It does dry out your skin. My dogs coats are dryer, but you can bathe them after all the fleas have died.This stuff really works! you just have to be a little patient and do it all at once! You can put on kittens and puppies too just make sure you do not get in eyes or nose . My dogs shake and roll over in it and it does irritate their eyes. I try to rinse it off their eyes. make sure its food grade, feed stores are a good place to start. Good Luck

  97. The Doctor on June 4, 2012 at 10:55 am said:

    I have dealt with both Bed Bugs and Fleas over the past few years and this stuff totally works BUT it can take up to a week or more to kill adults (Bed bugs at least). I too ran the “grab the critters and put them in a jar with DE” experiment and it took a while to kill them but it did eventually do the trick. If nothing else it will regulate and put a cap on the infestation.

    Compared to bed bugs the fleas are a piece of cake. If you have a dry vapor steam cleaner I recommend that is the first step you take after vacuuming. Then bomb the house and after dry lay down DE in a FINE layer (you should not be able to see the white powder build up) and allow to settle. Then leave it in there for a week or so before vacuuming again OR reapply everytime you vacuum.

  98. carmalite on June 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm said:

    Well, at least I know that Louisiana is not the only state having an epidemic of fleas. If this is what global warming brings, we are all in for a really difficult time.

  99. I hope this works on bed bugs too. Three weeks ago I must have brought one home when I tried on two tee shirts. I didn’t react quickly enough I guess and I am still fighting them. I’ve vacumned several times, washed all my clothes, sent the comforter to the cleaners, put pillows in the dryer, tore the bed apart two times, put the pillow, box springs and matress’ in bed bug covers and taped them shut, bathed my poodle twice in the last week and I still have them! I’ve use a steamer, hair dryer and some boric acid on things. I used so much Home Defense I had to take my dog to the vet. I’ll start from scratch again using food grade DE. I hope it works. I hate to tell anyone about the bugs. So far theyseem to only be in my bedroom…
    I hate to go to sleep at night because I know I’ll have more bites the next day

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