Fleas can cause some severe health issues with your dog; these pesky parasites are not only annoying to pets, but they’re quite a bother for their owners as well. The holy grail of treating a flea problem is, of course, doing so without using dangerous chemicals; with the correct use of natural solutions, you will never have to use chemical controls on your pet again.
There are natural ways that might help you get rid of fleas efficiently; this includes diatomaceous earth (D.E.), a natural, soft, off-white colored and sedimentary rock made of the microscopic remains of fossilized algae called “diatoms.”
What Is Diatomaceous Earth?
Diatomaceous earth is a white, chalky substance made from the fossilized remains of tiny, old one-celled algae, called diatoms (diatomaceous means “full of diatoms”).
These microscopic remains were encased in silica exoskeletons, and as the diatoms died, they sank to the bottoms of the bodies of water in which they lived.
The silicate shells remained, creating sediment; this sediment became compacted and fossilized, eventually forming a white sedimentary rock.
How Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Fleas?
To understand how Diatomaceous can be quite deadly to fleas, we need to recall D.E.’s most marvelous qualities; it’s abrasive and absorbent.
The hard silica structure and the microscopic diatoms cut the insect’s waxy coating and shells, while the absorbency of the D.E. absorbs the fluids right out of the flea; as a result, the flea dehydrates and dies.
Just walking or crawling over a surface covered with diatomaceous earth will kill most bugs within a few minutes.
Types of Diatomaceous Earth
There are two primary sources of diatomaceous earth, industrial-grade D.E. marine deposits from places where there once was saltwater and freshwater deposits, which provide food-grade D.E.
The first type (industrial grade) is not safe for humans and animals; however, it’s FDA approved, and it can be used for water filtration and dynamite production.
Food-Grade D.E. is what we are interested in; it’s safe for mammals and can be used inside the house where pets and humans live.
You can buy Food-grade diatomaceous earth from garden centers, agricultural supply houses, and health food stores. Still, if you can’t find it in your area, it is widely available through online retailers.
Is Diatomaceous Earth Safe?
Although Diatomaceous earth has been deemed to be safe when used appropriately, there are certain things that pet owners should be aware of.
One of the main qualities of D.E. is that it is non-toxic, but even non-toxic substances can lead to some health issues if misused.
A notable side effect of D.E. is Lung Disease. If your pup suffers from preexisting respiratory disease, you should look for an alternative product to get rid of fleas.
Food-grade DE is safe if ingested but should never be inhaled. When applying, take the necessary precautions, like wearing a protective mask and removing animals from the area.
Additionally, Excessive use of diatomaceous earth may lead to skin irritation and dryness; your veterinarian can guide you on how to safely apply D.E. on your dog.
How to use Diatomaceous Earth to kill fleas?
If you have outdoor pets and constantly facing problems with fleas and ticks, you can use Diatomaceous Earth directly on your pet to kill fleas crawling on them; also, D.E. can be used around the pet’s living area, this includes dusting the lawn, as well as the pets’ bedding.
Applying D.E. directly on your pet
You can use D.E. as a natural flea killer and deodorizer, just sprinkle it on your dog’s coat, rub it thoroughly and let it sit for a while, you can brush it out after a few hours, your dog will smell good, and he won’t be bothered with flea bites anymore.
Please keep in mind that fleas undergo three main life stages: flea egg, larvae, and adult fleas. You will have to keep applying D.E. regularly until you make sure that all the flea eggs hatch and get killed, this is crucial to prevent re-infestation.
Using D.E. inside the house
D.E. can help you get rid of fleas who have managed to crawl inside your house; it can be safely applied inside our home at no risk to you, your family, and your pets.
Sprinkle Food-Grade diatomaceous earth around the house, especially in places where fleas usually hide like cracks, crevice, and under the rugs.
It would help if you also focused on areas where your pet spends most of his time like beds and couches. Sprinkle D.E. and leave it in for 12 hours, then vacuum or sweep it up.