How to Use Diatomaceous Earth to Kill Dog and Cat Fleas Fast

Does diatomaceous earth kill fleas? Yes!

Fleas on your cat, fleas on your dog, fleas in your yard, and fleas in your home – who wants that? By know you’ve heard of DE and want to know does diatomaceous earth kill fleas – yes, this is true. You can use diatomaceous earth to kill fleas and ticks too. If you’re looking to get rid of or kill fleas, the DE is a logical choice.

What is diatomaceous earth and why should I use it?

DE is a non-toxic plant-based alternative to harmful pesticides. DE is derived from fossilized diatoms, that when harvested from lakes, rivers, oceans, and streams is crushed into a fine powder that can be used for pest control. This powdery substance has been in use since the 19690’s and was first introduced to kill insects and mites.

While pests have become resistant to many of today’s pesticide and insecticides, DE has gained popularity because it is still effective against many household pests. You already know what DE can do against fleas, but did you also know it is capable of killing bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, spiders, and ticks too?

Is diatomaceous earth safe for my family and pets?

Diatomaceous earth, called DE for short, is a popular natural solution for flea control. DE is plant-based and non-toxic. It has been used safely around children and pets for many years. However, it is essential to note that there are some health risks if you do not use the substance as intended.

When using any products that can kill pests, you should always read and follow the label instructions and keep your supplies away and out of reach from your pet and family.

According to Glen Ramsey, a board-certified entomologist, diatomaceous earth can irritate the nose and nasal passages. If large amounts are inhaled by people it could cause coughing and shortness of breath. Skin and eye irritation can also occur if DE in improperly handled.

Where can you buy diatomaceous earth for fleas?

You can purchase food grade diatomaceous earth online or locally at a brick and mortar store. Make sure you buy food grade DE if you will be dusting or feeding this stuff to your pet. Never buy pool grade diatomaceous earth and use it for pest control purposes.

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You can check the pricing for food grade diatomaceous here.

Here’s how do you use diatomaceous earth to kill fleas on pets?

For adult dogs and cats infested with fleas, diatomaceous earth is a natural flea control solution. There are many ways to use DE to control or get rid of fleas. Three popular ways to use diatomaceous earth include:

  1. Feeding diatomaceous earth to your dog or cat
  2. Dusting your dog or cat’s fur with diatomaceous earth
  3. Sprinkling diatomaceous earth on your carpets

Feeding diatomaceous earth to your dog or cat

Feeding food grade diatomaceous earth directly to a dog or cat is a common practice among pet owners. You can eliminate hookworms, pinworms, roundworms, and whipworms if you add DE to your pet’s food. If you decide to feed DE to your pet, you should feed them for at least 30 days.

A 30-day window at minimum is needed to destroy all of the worms that have infested your pet’s lungs and stomach. Although food grade diatomaceous earth is okay for consumption, you should not deviate from for the label instruction when feeding it to your cat or dog.

Dusting your dog or cat’s fur with diatomaceous earth

Dusting is another treatment routine of pet owners. With the dusting method, diatomaceous earth is applied to your pet’s fur, to the pet’s bedding, to the pet’s cloth toys, and to any carpets your pet lies on.

Of course, pet dusting will kill fleas, ticks, and any eggs that are on the skin or attached to the fur. But did you know that dusting your pet’s coat helps to control external parasites too?

Sprinkling diatomaceous earth on your carpets

Flea eggs, larvae, and fleas in all stages find their home in your carpets. Because of this, it is necessary to treat your rugs with diatomaceous earth. The process is simple enough. I would start by thoroughly vacuuming the area you are going to address.

When you vacuum, you will suck up some flea eggs, larvae, and even adult fleas – but not all of them. After the initial vacuum, you should sprinkle the dry carpet with diatomaceous earth and let it sit for at least 12 hours.

Plan for it to take from 3 to 8 weeks to remove fleas for carpet – situation dependent. For a severe flea problem, the flea removal process can take much longer. If you believe your home is infested with fleas, you should repeat this process at least two times per week until you see no evidence of fleas. Please read our article on vacuuming fleas for more details.

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Lynn Edwards

I founded DIY Pest Control Guide with the intention of sharing practical, user-friendly pest control strategies. If you need assistance, reach out to me at - I'm here to help you reclaim your peace of mind.

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