Fighting Fleas with Diatomaceous Earth
4 Common Uses for Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is the fossilized remains of marine plants; when we use it, it’s a fine, white powder. Many people are familiar with the use of diatomaceous earth (DE) as a natural flea killer. When it is sprinkled on bugs with an exoskeleton, like fleas and bedbugs, DE dries out the moisture the bugs need to survive, and they die shortly later. Despite this “killer” reputation, DE is safe for humans and our pets.
I. DIY Flea Powder for Pets
To kill fleas naturally instead of chemically, try this DIY flea powder recipe, which is safe for pets and humans.
You will need:
- Food grade diatomaceous earth (see where to buy below)
- Neem powder – an effective herbal insect repellant that is effective against fleas, ticks, lice, mosquitoes, ants, and mites; this will keep your pet’s skin from drying out from the DE
- Yarrow powder – a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial that soothes skin that is irritated by bug bites
- Eucalyptus oil (optional) – a natural anti-inflammatory and antiseptic that heals bug bites
- Shaker container – or a mason jar with small to medium holes (depending on your needs) punctured into the lid
Add the DE, neem powder, and yarrow powder in equal parts into a shaker jar. First, make sure you or your dog doesn’t have an intolerance to essential oils. If not, add 20 drops of eucalyptus oil to your mix.
Your powder can be used on your pet as well as on carpet, area rugs, and your pet’s bedding.
II. Diatomaceous Earth in the Garden
Do you garden? Use DE to eliminate fleas and other pests from your yard or garden. Fill a shaker container with DE and shake the powder onto your plants and shaded areas of your yard (where fleas are more likely to hang out). Do this at dawn or dusk, when a dew coats your plants and yard; this will help the DE adhere to everything. When it dries, it’ll be effective against pests.
DE is non-toxic, so when harvesting your vegetables, simply rinse off the powder before eating.
Food grade diatomaceous earth has several uses other than being a flea and pest killer. Let’s start with how much DE to add to your pet’s raw meals.
III. Diatomaceous Earth for Internal Parasites
DE has also been found to be effective against internal parasites such as whipworms, roundworms, hookworms, and pinworms. Add DE to your pet’s diet for 30 days; this will allow the DE to work on the full life cycle of parasites, including eggs waiting to hatch.
How Much Diatomaceous Earth for Pets
- For very small dogs, ½ tsp
- Small Dogs < 50 pounds, 1tsp
- Medium Dogs 50-100 pounds, 1 tbsp
- Large Dogs > 100 pounds, 2 tbsp
- For small cats, ½ tsp
- Medium Cats 7-13 pounds, 1 tsp
- Large Cats > 13 pounds, 1-½ tsp
IV. Diatomaceous Earth for Detox
DE can be used to detox a pet’s system after a round of antibiotics, vaccinations, or exposure to chemicals (household cleaning and gardening products) in the environment.
Where to Buy Diatomaceous Earth
When shopping for diatomaceous earth, it’s important to look for food grade DE, which is safe for use internally and externally. DE can be ordered online or at your natural health food and supplement store.