Diatomaceous earth, a fine white powder like substance that comes from the remains of diatoms, a type of algae.
Diatomaceous Earth for Flea Control
If you haven’t had to deal with fleas, consider yourself lucky. Once they’re inside, they’ll lay thousands of microscopic eggs your dog will be itchy, and you’ll have to spend hours of time cleaning your home.
A Natural, Drug-Free Flea Treatment
Many people aren’t comfortable with using traditional preventatives (like oral or topical drugs and flea collars). We get it—you want to keep your pet and your family healthy, and the ingredients in these products are controversial. After all, they can kill fleas—can they harm your dog, too? Some pet owners have reported side effects that can be quite alarming.
How to Use DE for Fleas
DE can kill fleas thanks to its microscopically-sharp edges. It won’t hurt you because the sharp edges are so tiny, but for an insect, it’s like crawling over broken glass. It will pierce their outer shell and kill them in a matter of hours or days.
There are a few ways to use DE for fleas, externally after potential flea exposure you just sprinkle it on your pet’s coat before a walk. Be careful when applying it around your dog’s nose, eyes, and mouth. Make sure it’s not drying out or irritating your pup’s skin—if your dog already has dry skin, don’t use it externally too often. In your yard/garden if you know there are fleas in your yard, sprinkling DE in the soil can kill the fleas and their larvae. Also kills ticks, earwigs, and other bugs! It’s non-toxic to your pets, so you won’t have to worry when they nibble on the grass or roll in the dirt. In your home, in case of an infestation apply it to bedding and carpeting, leave it for at least 3 days, then vacuum it up. It does take 3+ days to work, but it will kill the larvae and adult fleas, breaking the life cycle and making your home flea-free!
Diatomaceous Earth for Internal Parasites While there isn’t much hard evidence out there; DE may be able to treat internal parasites. Those who use DE for deworming say that it can help eliminate several types of parasites. It can work for internal parasites in the same way that it kills fleas. The FDA approves DE as pest control in food products. It’s often added to stored grain, like corn, and is generally recognized as safe. The FDA requires the testing of food-grade DE to make sure it doesn’t contain dangerous elements like lead, arsenic, or fluorine.
To use as a dewormer, simply add a small amount of food-grade DE to your dog’s diet. Approximately 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of DE should be given daily for a month—less for very small dogs and cats, more for very large dogs.