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.