Using Diatomaceous Earth for Fleas

July 21, 2010

A dog sitting on the grass scratching at fleas.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!

By Shirl

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 398 Posts
August 17, 2012

I wanted to share what the DE looks like that you use in your pets area, and on their food, etc. I don't use t a lot, but when I do I try not to breathe it in.

Bag of Red Lake DE.


January 23, 2014

Diatomaceous earth is a big help in ridding the home of fleas. It acts as a dessicant by drying out the shell of the flea and "cutting" it.


October 7, 2011

The best and most economical flea prevention tip is the use of Food Grade DE (diatomaceous earth) powder. You can purchase it very cheaply, place in a shaker can, and sprinkle around your home.


August 22, 2012

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.



Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

October 19, 2012

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


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 102 Feedbacks
October 20, 20120 found this helpful

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.


Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
October 21, 20120 found this helpful

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.).

October 21, 20120 found this helpful

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.

June 25, 20160 found this helpful

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.

July 23, 20160 found this helpful

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.

May 6, 20191 found this helpful

Actually, the research that I have been doing is debatable on the topic of inhaling.
I have read that our bodies actually contain small amounts of silica naturally.


DE is actually fossilized Diatoms, a tiny one-celled micro organism. These fossils are ground up and turned into tiny little shard like pieces, these pieces that are so small they passed through any tissues in the human body. We only feel a soft powdery substance.
However, any insect family that has an exoskeleton feels shard like pieces of glass that cut the exoskeleton, that's where the naturally occurring silica contained in them goes to work, drying insects out.

It also said it is considered an abrasive material. It is mentioned throughout many website to use caution when handling and breathing in the powder, do to some individuals being sensitive to it.

I've used it myself it's best applied in the dusting method. And very finely. I myself stand down wind and use gloves just because I'm sensitive to it on my skin.


This is just what I read, when I did my research on it. We had a horrible flea infestation and were looking for the best and safest way to get rid of the little buggers around are furry sons and daughters.
One thing is for certain, be sure to only use food grade quality DE.

Good Luck

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July 17, 2017

When I put food grade diatomaceous earth in the carpet, how long should I leave it before vacuuming?


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
July 18, 20170 found this helpful

You need to leave it on for at least 3 days before vacuuming. Reapply weekly for 30 days, leaving it on for 3 days.


Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
July 18, 20171 found this helpful

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.

Answer this Question


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

July 20, 2010

Can dogs take diatomaceous internally for fleas?


May 22, 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.

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