My dog Harper at his favorite place, Lake Tahoe, where luckily, there are no fleas.
Here in Nevada, we’re lucky to be high enough in elevation that we don’t have problems with fleas or ticks on our pets. It’s simply too high for those pests. But in lower elevations across the US, we know that fleas and ticks are a huge problem. Pet owners are looking for all natural, non-toxic ways to keep their pets pest-free. OMRI tested (organic) diatomaceous earth is an excellent, chemical-free pest control product to keep your pets bug free. I found this post by Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM, which provides good information on the subject.
What is Diatomaceous Earth?
This product is a fine flour-like powder, the microscopic remains of fossilized diatoms, a type of algae. Diatom cell walls are made of silica, a component of glass. It has been used for years as an all natural insecticide to control mites, fleas, and other insects; find out how it works here.
How Diatomaceous Earth Works to Kill Fleas and Other Insects
Fleas and other insects with an exoskeleton (hard shell) are susceptible to the glass-sharp edges of the microscopic diatoms. The silica shards cut through the waxy exoskeleton surface, effectively drying out the flea, resulting in death to these types of insects and their larvae.
- The good news is that DE is non-toxic to humans and animals; it is used in some foods food (food-grade quality) and some health supplements. DE is also used for a variety of beauty and health care products.
- Daily vacuuming is an important component of household flea control. can be used safely on many surfaces and floor coverings, vacuuming up the DE after allowed to sit for at least a few hours or overnight. A few days, if doable.
- It works on pet bedding, in addition to weekly washing of pet bedding in warm water.
- It is safe to use around the yard, but large amounts may be necessary to have a positive effect on flea control. Regular mowing and trimming of vegetation also helps. For serious flea infestations of yard and garden, a consultation with a pest exterminator is in order.
- The product is not toxic, does not have any residual problems, and because it is a mechanical killer versus a chemical killer, resistance to DE is not a problem.
- It is a very fine, silky powder; similar to flour or talc. It is messy and may irritate eyes and throat. Use caution and wear a face mask when applying.
- It must be dry to work. Wetting it down or trying to mix it with water to spray it and not breathe in dust negates the useful action of DE. Always wear a mask when applying DE.
- DE is less effective in humid environments.
- Some advocate using it directly on pets. It is very drying - it may dry out your pet's skin. Protect your pet’s eyes, nose, and mouth when applying. Shampoo your pet within 12 hours, a conditioner is recommended.
Fleas are a pain to deal with, for pets and people. Fighting fleas effectively necessitates knowing about the flea life cycle and addressing fleas both on the pet(s) and in the environment. DE is an effective natural bug kiler that can be an add-on to an existing plan or as a standalone flea fighter.
For more information on DEsect, EP Minerals’ OMRI tested insecticide for use on pets, visit:
For large industrial orders of DEsect, please contact EP Minerals. For small home size DEsect packages, please contact Pro-Terra, our online sales partner at www.pro-terra.com.