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I have 2 Huskies. I sprinkle diatomaceous earth on their food every day and the result is no fleas and no scratching. Each gets about 1 tablespoon depending on dog's weight.
It has to be FOOD GRADE diatomaceous earth, not the stuff with the chemicals (pool grade). You can get this at a feed store, cheap stuff compared to other methods of flea control. I had a bout of fleas a few years ago, horrible. I sprinkled the whole house with borax powder. It took about a week, but there were no more fleas, great stuff!
Never use the pool grade, as it has been processed in a way that would hurt your lungs and poison your animals.
I used this whole ten dollar bucket on these following things:
Sprinkling it in the chicken and puppy run, sprinkling it on the ferret, rubbing it in the puppy's fur after the fur was completely dry after the Dawn and tea tree oil bath. (It took four baths to get rid of all their fleas and they had to sit with a thick layer of Dawn on their fur for about 3 or so minutes.) I also use it for sprinkling on the foster puppies' stools while they were getting their little digestive systems settled down.
They were so covered with fleas, I wondered if they would have survived. After a lot of worming with Nemex and Safeguard they have become very robust loud and active. I also put a little bit of childrens' liquid vitamins in their morning soft food, and give them about half a teaspoon of coconut oil for their fur. They were in really bad shape. I am so proud of them I am going to miss them, when they go to their Fur-ever homes!
By Robyn Fed from Tri-Cities, TN
Diatomaceous earth (or DE for short) is a big help in ridding the home of fleas. When placed along floor below the baseboard, it discourages the fleas from spreading. It acts as a dessicant by drying out the shell of the flea and "cutting" it. It's a light silicone dioxide powder and can be purchased at different levels all the way up to the purest, which is "food grade." DE occurs naturally in the earth and the purest forms are safe for humans and pets, but it can be difficult to breathe if you put down too much of it.
Sprinkle it lightly on rugs and furniture. Let it set over night, then vacuum it up, much in the same way you would with borax. Also, get a good steamer. Fleas only like temps up to 80 degrees, so steaming the rug and couch are really helpful. McCulloch makes a good steamer that also keeps everything clean. Fleas love clutter. Get rid of paper, cardboard, cloth in open areas and don't leave them on the floor. Vacuum and steam!
The best and most economical flea prevention tip is the use of Food Grade DE (diatomaceous earth) powder. You can purchase it very cheaply (approx. $5.00 for two pounds), place in a shaker can, and sprinkle around your home. It's best to use it in corners, doorways, cracks, carpeting, bedding, and directly on your cat or dog.
Caution; It MUST be food grade, the type used for pool filtering is lethal. Putting DE powder on your animals and around the home will penetrate the hard shell of a flea, dehydrate it, therefore killing the flea. It can be used outside, in the doghouse, kennel, pen, entryways, etc.
This is best used as a prevention. It doesn't work well if you are infested with fleas. DE can be sprinkled on food as a dog wormer also. Quite often when you have fleas, the dogs will have worms from ingesting the fleas.
Source: This tip comes from years working as a volunteer Golden Retriever Rescue unit and passionate dog lover.
By wlee from Northeast NH
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is excellent and 100% natural for getting rid of fleas, but please be sure and only use the "food" grade diatomaceous earth, not the gardening kind and especially not the pool grade. The food grade diatomaceous earth is white in color. The other types are gray in color because there is clay in them. The food grade DE you can even feed to your pets and even take yourself as natural remedies for parasites, etc.
The fastest way to get fleas off your pets is to go to your vet and purchase a pill called Capstar. They are approximately $5.00 per pill, and you give your pet one pill. Within 15-30 minutes all the fleas are gone! You will most likely need to repeat the Capstar pill in 3 days time from the first pill. Capstar is safe and it is not a pesticide, but it sure does work.
It is by far the best stuff I have ever used on my little doggies for ridding them of fleas. Capstar and food grade DE combined will take care of your flea problems fast, cheaply, and most importantly effectively.
FYI - You can purchase the food grade DE at most pet feed stores, like Shar Kare and Buckerfields, and at most health food stores.
By Trisha MD from Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
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Has anyone heard of using DE this way? I like the idea of using salt also. I do not think boric acid can really be called safe. I think the cat could get really sick from it.
The other product, diatomaceous comes from diatoms which I think comes from sea coral. Ground up it becomes silica which slices up the fleas and is safe for pets and humans.
By catfish hunter
It is not boric ACID it is 20 Mule Team borax - not dangerous - not an acid. Borax comes in a 4 pound 10 ounce box in the laundry product aisle of some stores. It is a mined product.
Hi - I love Borax and use it all the time.
Diatomaceous Earth works really well for all sorts of things including fleas. The problem with DE is that it does not works fast.
Usually takes several weeks to completely clear your house of fleas.
Most people who have fleas want instant relief!
I usually tell people to use DE for long term relief but use other methods in the beginning (vacuum, baths, flea control medication, etc.).
ONLY use food grade DE! The other is used in pool filters and has harmful chemicals in it! You can also sprinkle this on your furkids to control fleas.
However, keep this away from eyes and nose, both of your pets and you. Use in small amounts.
DE works although it is a bit messy. It works wonders! I do not suggest salt if you have humid climate as you will have a wet mess. Yes it works, but you will notice the dampness on everything.
NEVER introduce silica in the home. Silica particles won't just 'slice up the fleas ' it will slice up your lungs too causing I flammation & scarring, reduced lung function when you inhale it. The smaller the particles the more toxic, the more harm it causes. Particles that cannot be seen by the naked eye are inhaled and are so small that they pass through the alveoli into the bloodstream to any part of the body. The body cannot deal with it or expel it, so it stays buried in lung tissue, etc., to cause problems often decades later. Crystalline silica causes autoimmune diseases & it is group 1 carcinogen & also causes silicosis & other respiratory disease.
When I put food grade diatomaceous earth in the carpet, how long should I leave it before vacuuming?
You need to leave it on for at least 3 days before vacuuming. Reapply weekly for 30 days, leaving it on for 3 days.
Diatomaceous Earth (food grade) is a great flea killer but it can also be used in other ways.
Here is a link explaining how to use DE for fleas and also a link explaining other uses.
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Can dogs take diatomaceous internally for fleas?
By anners from Sacramento, CA
While I am not an expert, my understanding is that diatomaceous earth is effective on insects because, although it looks smooth to us, it is actually very coarse crystals which damage insects exoskeleton, which causes them to dehydrate and die. I can't imagine it would do any good inside an animal and I would think it would cause harm by scratching the digestive track and causing inflammation. (05/23/2009)
The internal digestion of diatomaceous earth will assist in ridding the dog of any adult worm stages he/she may happen to be carrying. However will do nothing for the fleas. I don't think it would be safe to put on the dog's coat either. Simply because in the process of doing that you would be getting the fine crystal-like particles airborne. You and the dog would breathe that in, not good. (05/23/2009)
For fleas, buy "Nutritional Yeast" bulk in a Health Food Store or super market that sells bulk foods. Sprinkle on about a teaspoon a day into your dogs food for a medium size dog. Most fleas hate the way the B-vitamins in the yeast make your dog smell. It's a natural alternative, but not near as effective as a flea bath, flea-dip or flea meds! Better do something before you whole house is overrun with fleas! Nasty little critters! (05/24/2009)
Under a microscope DE looks like glass snowflakes, and I can just envision the abrasion on the dog's intestinal surfaces. That and it might cause an impaction, accumulating until there's a blockage. (05/28/2009)
To eliminate fleas on your pets, and in your home, use Diatomaceous Earth. It is finely ground crustacean shells, a fine powder to humans, but sharp edges that cut through the fleas outer shell. I found it on the internet, it also kills ants, cockroaches, bedbugs and flies. It can also be fed to pets and livestock as a dewormer.
By Karen from Ozark, AL
I love that stuff, it works. I found mine at the feedstore. Since it's mostly silica, wear a mask and don't breathe it when you're throwing it around. I used to have goats and made the best floor in the barn, by putting down 6 inches of clean washed sand, then 1/2 inch of Diatomaceous Earth, then 12 inch square concrete paver blocks. The wetness ran between blocks and into the sand, where no fly babies could ever hatch because of the Diatomaceous Earth, and I could sweep up everything on top of the pavers.
Be aware that it never, never decays, being a lot like glass (under the microscope it looks like stars, really neat shell shapes, and the pointy corners is what terminates the bugs, not a chemical at all). So don't put it into any garden ground because it's for sure not a friend to earthworms. But it sure beats any chemical spray poisons, much smarter and more organic. (06/18/2007)
By Kim Ch
Please, please take care and do not breath in this powder. It is very dangerous and can damage your lungs. Read the label directions. (06/18/2007)
Very Important. I quote A. Valeria from CA, whose post I read: "I've used Diatomaceous Earth for years, I even used it to get rid of a horrific flea infestation with no bad effects. It works against all insects and parasites.
The "important" thing to note is that "pool grade Diatomaceous Earth is extremely dangerous and can cause silicosis (scarring of the lungs similar to asbestos poisoning). The only safe Diatomaceous Earth to use is natural pulverized or ground Diatomaceous Earth, that can be found in plant nurseries and food storage shops. This Diatomaceous Earth has not been superheated, a process which creates fine threads of silicone glass which makes it a better filtering product, but makes it dangerous to handle or breath." (It's dangerous for humans, think how much more so for your pet.)
Please pass this information on to all forums, etc. you are on. (06/29/2008)
Fleas have to come in contact with the Diatomaceous Earth in order for it to dehydrate them, so the Diatomaceous Earth (we recommend only food grade Diatomaceous Earth) needs to be applied in areas where the fleas exist. Spread very lightly in carpeting or flooring and leave it in for a few days to a week before vacuuming up. Outside it can be applied in areas where fleas or other insects are a problem. Again, we recommend only food grade Diatomaceous Earth, because wild life can consume it and non food grade can kill them, whereas food grade is safe for birds, rabbits, and other animals to consume, yet it's will still dehydrate fleas.
Here's an online source for food grade Diatomaceous Earth: http://www.wolfcreekranch.net
and some retail stores that carry it: http://wolfcreekranch1.tripod.com/de_retailers.html
Hope you are flea free quickly!
By healthy pets