How to Get Rid of Fleas Without Using Chemicals

Would you like to know How to Get Rid of Fleas without using chemicals? This is the million dollar question. Many people have cats and dogs that go outdoors and bring back one of the greatest enemies to their health. Adult fleas are not only a nuisance to humans and their pets, but can cause medical problems including flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), tapeworms, secondary skin irritations and, in extreme cases, anemia.

I have experimented with numerous methods in trying to rid my 6 cats, house and carpets of this determined and intolerable insect. I have tried spot treatments like Frontline and Advantage, but the fleas in my house have developed an immunity to the stuff. I have tried natural powders like "Sentry Natural Defense" and "De Flea" but two of my cats hiss at me whenever I go near them with it. My cat Gracie even hides in a bag or under the bed when i treat the carpets. There are also many chemical powders and aerosol sprays by Zodiac and Hartz that seem to work temporarily, however the cats end up with skin rashes or lose patches of fur. I've even tried flea bombs. The bombs work for several days but the cats need to be moved constantly and they are not fond of the chemical smell left in the air.

Several months ago I was beginning to reach my wits end, so I did what many people do when faced with this type of dilemma. I researched the topic on the internet. The solution that resulted seemed logical, but it needed to be put to the ultimate test. It had to be effective, while at the same time, my cats had to be safe and able to tolerate the resulting atmosphere after its usage. The result of my research was Diatomaceous Earth or DE.

DE is a non-toxic, safe substance made up from crushed fossils of freshwater organisms and marine life called diatoms. Crushed to a fine powder and observed through a microscope, the particles resemble bits of broken glass. Deadly to any insect and completely harmless to animals, fish, and fowl. Most insects have a waxy outer shell covering their bodies, called the exoskeleton. DE scratches through this shell causing the insect to dehydrate leading to eventual death. More and more farmers are putting a special feed friendly diatomaceous earth in their animal feed. Ever wonder why? Diatomaceous Earth mode of action for insect and parasite control is strictly mechanical. The microscopically sharp edges contact the insect or parasite, and pierce their protective coating, so they soon dehydrate and die. The larvae is affected in the same way. This makes Diatomaceous Earth an excellent and totally natural control, with no mechanical or chemical damage to the animal tissue. It can be used as a dust for fleas, lice and other external pests by rubbing into the coat of the animal.

This form of pest control will result in improvement in health, appearance and behaviour of our cats and dogs.

There are several warnings that should be noted here. When applying the chalk-like powder to your rugs or pets coats, minimize the dust effect and keep it out of their eyes. Just like many aerosol sprays the dust will irritate the eyes. Also, Diatomaceous Earth sold for swimming pool filters is dangerous to human and animal health. It has been chemically treated and heated to change it's composition. It will kill fleas but it can harm you and your pet as well.

I have been using this treatment for several months now and it has been very effective. Just like any other treatment, you should repeat when necessary and treat your pets if they return from outdoors.

This is one very effective answer to the question of How to Get Rid of Fleas without using chemicals.

All Natural Flea Killer

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Comments 47 comments

Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 8 years ago from Georgia

I have two questions after reading this... You say deadly to insects and harmless to animals, but in general isn't any pesticide a tad harmful to your pet, especially if it's supposed to go on the fur and the pet ingests it? I realize there's the powder form and the form the pet is to ingest, but wouldn't form that goes on the coat have slight risks if ingested or are they both the same ingredient levelnd makeup just in different forms?


hglick profile image

hglick 8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author

Yes, any pesticide is harmful if they contain chemicals that are poisonous if ingested. However, Diatomaceous earth, in its pure form, does not contain poisonous chemicals, It is a powder consisting mainly of dead sea algae. Diatomaceous earth that is heated and crystallized and used in pool filters is poisonous. The main reason that it is so deadly to insects is that the diatoms cut into their exoskeleton and cause dehydration. Humans and animals can not be harmed by these microscopic forms of algae. Insects, being much tinier in size get cut up and destroyed.

Here is a website that gives a good explanation about the product http://www.ghorganics.com/DiatomaceousEarth.html  

I bought the insect killing Diatomaceous earth at a local Agway store in a 4 lb. bag. So far I have rubbed  it into my carpets and into my cats fur without any incident.

There are precautions though about creating too much dust with the powder or making contact with the eyes. Other than that, my cats clean their fur all the time and they are OK.

My largest gripe about Diatomaceous earth is that my cats resemble powdered doughnuts for several hours, and that the carpets temporarily contain the powder. I usually vacuum after 2-3 days.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 8 years ago from West Virginia

I have it for the garden but didn't think of using it for floors and actually putting it on my cats. Is it safe for kittens?


hglick profile image

hglick 8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author

Lady Guinevere,

I would probably not use it with kittens that are too young, but I can't see the harm in brushing a small amount of powder into the coat of an older kitten of at least 3 months. Be very careful that you don't get it in the eyes and use a very tiny amount (maybe 2 fingertips)


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 8 years ago from West Virginia

Would it be a good idea to use in the bedding in a crate from kittens that are over 12 weeks old. How about a mother cat that is in another crate? Would them sleeping on it get into their eyes enough to do harm?


hglick profile image

hglick 8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author

I am not sure about using it in an enclosed area like a crate. I have primarily used it on rugs, in their bedding and on their fur (when they were free to roam around).


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 8 years ago from West Virginia

Thank you.


hglick profile image

hglick 8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author

Lady Guinevere - I have just been researching food grade DE and you may be able to use this on kittens coats. See this link http://www.earthworks.citymax.com/page/page/410179...


jim10 profile image

jim10 8 years ago from ma

I thought about using this for my dog, but haven't tried it yet. I read about it online too and it sure did look promising. I was also debating whether to use a flea trap.


solarcaptain profile image

solarcaptain 7 years ago from california

thank you for the information. i will try it. My cat is so sensitive to my coming near her with any product that i have my doubts. But you never know until you try it. I never had a problem in Nevada with fleas. It's just nit condusive to the little pests health.

thanks


hglick profile image

hglick 7 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author

jim10,

It will work for dogs as well as cats. I've never tried flea traps. Let me know how those work for you

solarcaptain,

The best way to treat your cat is to rub it into her coat using small samples for every rub. Make sure you don't overpowder her or get the dust near her eyes. Also make sure the room is properly ventilated so that the dust doesn't sit in the air.


FleaTreatment profile image

FleaTreatment 7 years ago from California, USA

Glad to see you get into the details of DE. So many people don't realize that there is a difference. Finding food grade is easy if you visit a health food store, feed store, or even go online at eBay. You usually won't find it at home improvement centers as many recommend. I am new here but please stop by my Hub. I just wrote a book on the topic and have a bunch of videos posted.


hglick profile image

hglick 7 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author

Thank You for stopping by FleaTreatment. Yes it is extremely important for pet owners to know the different types of DE and the precautions that need to be taken. I look forward to watching your videos


Shari 7 years ago

My cat is ate up with flea's. He has big patches of fur missing and they are red and raw. My poor cat stays up all day and night bitting and scratching himself to death. I took him to the vet only to get another treatment of advantage and a shot....I read your post and got the DE dust. I put it in the carpet and took the broom and brushed it in....I hope I did this right but the house filled up with thick dust everywhere...Its on everything..lol Please tell me if this is normal. Also how long do I leave it on my carpet?


hglick profile image

hglick 7 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author

Shari,

Be very careful when rubbing it into a carpet. I suggest brushing it into localized spots rather than sweeping it in. Also make sure there is some ventilation like a fan, AC or window open. You can leave it for a day or two and then vacuum it up.

Also be very careful rubbing it into your cats fur especially if there are sores. Stay completely away from the eyes.


Low Power Microscope 6 years ago

Always a pleasure to come across some work that is useful, thankyou for the information keep the good stuff pouring in


hi-me 6 years ago

I used this years ago when we had fleas infest one of our bedrooms. I had toddlers at the time and a friend gave me the DE, saying it was food quality. I cleared the room of furniture, sprinkled it throughly into the carpet, then put a bowl of hot water in the center of the worst area. heat and moisture cause the unhatched fleas to burst out. They break out fully hungry and ready to bite. Just as a precaution, I kept our pets and toddlers out of the room for a full week. It probably didn't take that long. I then dusted the room again with carpet fresh and vaccumed. We never had another episode of fleas in that house for the next year we lived there. :)


6 years ago

kitten has fleas can't get rid help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :[


hglick profile image

hglick 6 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author

Thank You Low Power


hglick profile image

hglick 6 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author

Excellent Info hi-me


hglick profile image

hglick 6 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author

m, you'll need to show some patience

Based on your ID and your question, you show me that you have no patience for anything that takes you more than one second to accomplish. If you have the patience reread this blog and try DE. If not, bring your kitten to a vet to get de-flead. This way you will not have to actually do any work.


aliw 6 years ago

Just got a new kitten and she was covered! I gave her a flea bath and dusted her with FGDE as well as the room she was in for two days before realizing the fleas were there! One piece of advice...be careful when you dust the carpet that it is not too thick and it is rubbed in well. I feel really bad that my dog laid his head down and must have gotten some in his eye because it was very teary and swollen. Don't let it get near pets eyes or nose, thank goodness he is ok! Will see if it works for kitty's fleas.


hglick profile image

hglick 6 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author

aliw, you need to make sure that your dog or cat dust not place their head or eyes near the carpet when treating it with DE. Frequent vacuuming will help reduce the DE powder effect.

The following warning was placed above in the text:

"There are several warnings that should be noted here. When applying the chalk-like powder to your rugs or pets coats, minimize the dust effect and keep it out of their eyes. Just like many aerosol sprays the dust will irritate the eyes"


John 6 years ago

That is a good anti flea, I also use anti flea powder but it is Fleabuster/Rx for fleas. I do love it so much for it keeps me safe, chemical free, safe with my Dogs and my family, and it is 100% effective and suggested by most Vetmeds.

I search it from google and I found it at this link

http://www.fleabusters-rxforfleas.com/

I tried to use it. Last year was a stress when I am still using a non powder based product, but now when I started to use this powder It gives me a total freedom from fleas.


hglick profile image

hglick 6 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author

Thanks John for the tip.


lindajot profile image

lindajot 6 years ago from Willamette Valley - Oregon

Since DE can be hazardous if left in the house too long to breath in, you can put it in your vacuum bag and it will kill the fleas vacuumed up - you may have to repeat it several times, but, it does help.


hglick profile image

hglick 6 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author

Excellent suggestion lindajot. I use moth balls for my vacuum but DE is definitely the safer choice.


Gouranga 5 years ago

This is a really helpful page. I have just bought 2kg of the food grade thingy earth (can't spell it). Haven't used it yet, but thought I'd mention that the powder can be ingested by pets for worms and stuff and for humans for unfriendly bacteria! I have a 13 year old cat, a 10 year old dog and a kitten who has brought six million fleas with her! As some of your other guests have done, I have treated them with sprays, spot-on, baths and still can't get rid. I think this product is my last hope. Thanks to you and all your guests I'm girding my loins to do the pets and flat next week. As someone already mentioned, every time I pick something up that will spray them or dunk them or rub them (except for petting) they run for cover. Wish me luck and I will let you know how we get on...


hglick profile image

hglick 5 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author

Gouranga, The insect killing form of DE works best on killing fleas. The food grade form is used throughout the midwest as an additive to grain used by livestock.


JoyceL 5 years ago

Not sure if the DE is a solution to use. If your told not to get it into your cats eyes, what about them licking and cleaning themselves. Cats groom themselves a lot and I cannot see this product being healthy for them in any way.


hglick profile image

hglick 5 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author

Joyce, DE is not a solution, but a powder. It is safe to ingest as long as it is not the crystallized form that is used to clean pool filters.

Any form of DE will burn the eyes, just as sugar or salt will.


Loritlc72 5 years ago

Where can you buy the insect killing form of DE? Do you find that this is a permanent solution and if not how frequently do you have to repeat the use?


hglick profile image

hglick 5 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author

Loritic72, Agway stores carry this form of DE. You should use this whenever there is a need, however it will not destroy flea eggs.


HarryAR 4 years ago

Just picked up 10 lbs of this stuff... gonna fog the heck out of my back room and keep it sealed off for 3 full days... then move into the back room and do the same for the front area. Should be fun...


Mary 4 years ago

I found out about DE a couple of months ago, used it both in my home and dusted my pets, the feas were totally gone within 3 weeks, I dusted once inbetween the three weeks once to make sure I got everything. It worked fast.

I also feed it to my pets, they are parasite free, inside and out, the coats are beautiful. My husband and I also take it internally each day taking 2 tbsp. Our blood pressure, cholesteral, and his blood sugar have returned to normal! I recommend this to everyone!


hglick profile image

hglick 4 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author

Mary, Make sure you specify the type of DE you are referring to. Obviously it is the DE that is used in feed.


Wanda 4 years ago

You mention 2 types of DE. Does it have to be FGDE for use on my carpet? I have cats in my house & they are always getting into something! If using this outside is it ok to use the DE& not FGDE in my yard? We do have feral cats that come up to eat. Thank you for your reply.


hglick profile image

hglick 4 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author

Wanda, there are actually three types of DE, Crystalised DE used for swimming pool filters, DE used in grain for feed in the midwest and DE used to kill crawling insects. The most effective DE for the carpet is the crawling insect killing DE. YOU SHOULD NEVER USE THE CRYSTALISED DE in the house.


Shea95 4 years ago

Dear Hglick I cant tell you how much I've been looking for something natural to use. I am very ... ify about using flea powders and i dont like using chemicals or pet sprays exspecully if my dog hates it. I have tried every safest ( natural way) from scrubing my dog down with lemon juice, Herbal baths (wich works great) and even putting dishes of water with soap vinegar down in places .But they live and they r driving me my pets and the house insane. Literally. I cant tell u how much I apreciate this.


hglick profile image

hglick 4 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author

Shea95, Your welcome


Sage 4 years ago

Hello, thanks for all the info. Can I feed the DE to my dogs to help prevent fleas and ticks? If so, how much? They are large dogs over 55lbs.

Thank you!


hglick profile image

hglick 4 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author

Sage, You can feed FOOD GRADE DE to your dogs. I'll include a link here to illustrate the type of DE you'll need: http://diatomaceousearth.net/?gclid=CNCOgM_8w7ACFU...


hglick profile image

hglick 4 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author


Sam 4 years ago

We take in orphaned kittens all the time, and they're usually very young (youngest to date was less than 12 hours old), and always crawling with fleas and quite often lice or other nasties. Since they're too young for anything (even Capstar they have to be over 4 weeks old), I found DE, and omg, it's amazing. Our regular cats never really have a problem with fleas, but we keep them on topicals, and dose them up with DE when we take in a new one. However, a bath with antibacterial soap first, and then a nice dusting of DE when they're dried off again, and it's been an absolute life-saver. It also helps to kill parasites internally, and when they're too young to have wormers, the vet has approved me dosing them with some DE in the formula to help knock out the parasites.


hglick profile image

hglick 4 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author

That's an amazing story Sam!


ncowife 4 years ago

I bought some DE for my kitten and her fleas, I have noticed she has dermatitis from them is the DE still safe to use on her?


hglick profile image

hglick 4 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY Author

ncowife, You should be very careful with DE, especially with kittens. If their condition doesn't improve within several days, you should discontinue DE.

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