Use Diatomaceous Earth to Kill Fleas in 3 Easy Steps

Over the last couple years, people have been blasted with such a large amount of different flea removal methods that it’s become difficult to determine what’s best for your flea problem. Some experts are adamant that only flea insecticides will work and ridicule those that thing otherwise while others advocate a completely natural approach. While both have their pros and cons, this article is going to investigate a substance called diatomaceous earth (sometimes called “DE”) that has over a decade of successful results for killing fleas in homes around the world. I recommend you read the entire post but if you are in a rush and want to skip to the usage instructions, please click here.

What Is Diatomaceous Earth and Is It Toxic?

Back in 1830s, an old farmer discovered hard substance that he initially thought was limestone. However, after further investigation of its chemical makeup, this soft, often crumbly deposit was actually diatomaceous earth in its natural form.

While a history lesson doesn’t help you kill those fleas that have been bothering you, it’s comforting to know that since people behind to extract these deposits, it has been used for a large variety of farm, industrial, and even food based situations where it has proven to be an extremely valuable asset. Additionally, this substance is very cheap and can be purchased at most supermarkets. We will discuss specifics on this a little later but be assured, it’s definitely not going to cost much!

If you have done some research on diatomaceous earth before reading this article, it’s highly likely that you have come across people on forums, blogs and even social media getting rather vocal about the dangers of diatomaceous earth. Is there anything to worry about?

Is Diatomaceous Earth Safe for My Family and Pets?

diatomaceous earth Powder

Diatomaceous Earth For Fleas

As an introduction to this section, let me just make one thing crystal clear. You can purchase diatomaceous earth in a variety of forms (remember we mentioned it has a large variety of applications) and one such use is for cleaning pools. This is often referred to as “pool grade” diatomaceous earth and it’s important that you don’t use this!

So what should be used instead? Simple answer, when purchasing diatomaceous earth online or in a brick and mortar store, make sure you get the “food grade” product. Unlike the other varieties and mixes, this is completely safe for the family and will not cause any problems in the house. Even though you may have read that DE can cut your lungs if inhaled, this is completely false and if you find anyone who thinks otherwise, ask them to contact me and I will set the record straight for them. Need some additional reassurance? No problem, your wish is my command ;)

Based on my research, I have found that diatomaceous earth is a very commonly used with grain storage as it keeps pests away. Since this substance is also absorbs water and humidity, it also keeps things nice and dry. After digging around even further, it seems that it can even also be consumed in small quantities to deal with various ailments! Why does this matter? Well it gives you the confidence that you can use it for flea control without stressing about potential complications with health.

Since diatomaceous earth is completely non-toxic, how on earth can it kill fleas? Well that is a great question and the good news is that there is a satisfying answer!

How Does Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth Kill Fleas and Does It Really Work?

Picture of a bowl of diatomaceous earth

Bowl Of Diatomaceous Earth

Ready for another simple answer? Instead of poisoning the buggers, it actually cuts their exoskeleton (their hard outer shell) and sucks the water out their bodies. Since their body needs this to survive, they die after a short amount of time. What do you think of that?!

Going into a little more detail, the diatomaceous earth is formed from algae with siliceous shells. When extracted, they are already dead, but their shells remain. These are razor sharp and while they are too small to even have a small effect on humans, they are deadly to pests. In fact, food grade diatomaceous earth can even be used to kill other pests like bed bugs, chiggers and gnats so feel free to try it elsewhere if you are having a problem with those in your home. Here are a few more implementations for flea control where diatomaceous earth is very useful.

  1. It can be used for killing fleas in your garden. Just remember to use it when the grass is completely dry as moisture will significantly reduce its effectiveness.
  2. Diatomaceous earth is extremely effective for killing fleas that are hiding in carpets, either in your home or even outside where your pets might enjoy taking a rest. If you don’t have any carpets, it can also be used on hardwood floors as a very effective way to kill off any flea infestations that may have found its way into your life.
  3. Situations where you want to use natural methods for flea control. There are many dangerous of using flea poisons, both for your pet and the people in your home. While it is sometimes required, it’s always good to give a couple tested home remedies first before taking a drive to the nearest shop for flea products, especially when they work as well as diatomaceous earth does!

5 Minor Concerns for Using Diatomaceous Earth

    DE For Flea Control

    DE For Killing Fleas

  1. I don’t recommend rubbing it on your pet’s skin on a daily basis (I have heard of people doing this) as it can cause dry skin, itchiness and dehydration. It’s better to treat fleas on your dog or remove fleas on your cats by using alternative methods. As for smaller pets (like young kittens, puppies, rabbits, hamsters, etc.), please keep them away from DE as due to their small body mass, it can be dangerous.
  2. Since DE is commonly used in your carpets, it can be a bit difficult to clean up and I recommend using a decent vacuum cleaner and brush to do so.
  3. Keep it away from moisture. As previously mentioned, this significantly reduces its effectiveness.
  4. Only use the “food grade” Diatomaceous Earth for flea control and stay away from the “pool grade” one. If you cannot find any in your area, consider using borax for fleas as its also safe, works well and is very affordable.
  5. If you have major asthma, keep in mind that the powder may cause some irritation so keep your asthma pump handy and cover your nose and mouth with a damp cloth while applying DE.
  6. Be careful of diatomaceous earth products that mention its concentration is less than 90%. In higher quantities, crystalline silica (which is often the reason for the deficit) can cause toxicity and this needs to be avoided if you are going to be using it for flea control. Ideally, try and purchase a product less than 1% of other ingredients (the purer the better) as this will ensure it’s completely safe for humans and pets.
  7. When using diatomaceous earth for killing fleas in your home, don’t put any household fans or anything that creates a draft as it can blow the fine granules all over your home, making it a nightmare to clean.

Instructions: 3 Simple Steps for Using Diatomaceous Earth for Fleas

Ok enough chit chat. It’s time to get down to business! Here are a few easy steps that you can follow to get rid of fleas in your home using diatomaceous earth.

    Using Food Grade diatomaceous earth For Killing Fleas

    Use Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

  1. Give all your carpets a brush (stiff bristles) and a thorough vacuum. This will aggravate the fleas and get them moving about in preparation for your natural flea powder attack.
  2. After reviewing the cautions for using DE (in this article), simply sprinkle the powder where fleas are usually found. This could be in the grass in your yard, your carpets in your home or even the areas where your pets sleep and play. I highly recommend that you rub the powder into the carpets with a broom to make sure it reaches the fleas. I have had a number of readers asking about the density of DE that is needed. My answer is that it should be enough to finely cover the surface and if you are unsure, a little more is better. Just be careful you don’t get too much powder puffing into the air when you apply it to the targeted area.
  3. How long does it take for diatomaceous earth to kill fleas? Well research shows that once the fleas come into contact with the powder, they usually die about 4 hours later. However, I recommend leaving it for 12 hours before vacuuming up all the powder (and any dead fleas) to ensure they die.

It’s really as easy as that. Since flea eggs hatch after about a week of being laid by female fleas (in most scenarios), it’s recommended that you repeat this process once a week for a total of 3-4 weeks. This will prevent a repeat infestation after you get rid of the adult fleas.

Where to Buy Diatomaceous Earth for Fleas

Thoughts on purchasing diatomaceous earth for fleas online at Home Depot or Amazon? – If there are “limited brick and mortar” shops that sell it or if they are selling a mix of DE and other substances, buying from Home Depot or Amazon is my preferred way of obtaining diatomaceous earth as it’s very affordable and you are safe from scams or dodgy products. However, you still need make sure you only purchase the food grade product and you will also need to check the concentration (ideally it should be as pure as possible, preferably around 99% to ensure its safe for pets and for the family).

Buying diatomaceous earth from Walmart or Lowes – This is definitely a great option, especially if there is one of these outlets near your residence. Again, all the previous pointers need to be reviewed (above) but to add to them, don’t purchase any DE products that are marked for “pest control”. Why not? Well although these will probably kill fleas faster, they are usually not safe for your animals as they often contain other toxic elements such as flea insecticide.

Other than those outlets, remember that you can definitely purchase it from your local shops in your area. As long as you make sure its quality stuff, it doesn’t really matter where you get it, as long as its going to do the job without risking anyone’s health.

Success Stories – Diatomaceous Earth Fleas Reviews

Here are a few encouraging success stories for using this powder for effective flea removal. Hopefully this will give you the confidence to start using it if you are not convinced already.

Green Tick For diatomaceous earth Reviews “This product is everything the previous reviewers stated and then some. My cat had been suffering from fleas for the majority of the summer and every flea spray I purchased failed miserably. Within 24 hours her biting and scratching had minimized to almost nothing… my home is officially flea free.” – BlackDiamond from Home Depot

Green Tick For diatomaceous earth Reviews “When I got this package, I immediately sprinkled the 3 inside dogs. I have been using the chihuahua as the “control” because he has short white hair and fleas are easy to see on him. I HAVEN’T SEEN ONE FLEA SINCE I APPLIED diatomaceous earth!!! I’m sooo relieved! Finally, I can get my house back under control!” – Emily Brooks from Amazon

Green Tick For diatomaceous earth Reviews “I had some fire ants who had decided to move in to our house and I also have been trying to kill the fire ants outdoor with various poisons and nothing had a very good success rate, I heard of diatomaceous earth and that it is safe to animals and kids, so I gave it a shot and it killed off ants inside and out in two days. AWESOME!” – Beejorn from Home Depot

What About Using Boric Acid for Fleas Instead of Diatomaceous Earth?

This is definitely an option as boron based products are very effective for flea control. Borax and boric acid are slightly stronger and I have personally used it to kill fleas around my home over the past couple years. However, they have a few more health concerns and so you need to use it with caution. While the decision is still yours, I recommend using DE instead of borax for your flea removal needs. UPDATE: I have written an article on using borax for fleas (on this blog), check it out if you want to know the details and how it compares to DE.

In conclusion, using this simple and natural powder can do wonders for household flea problems. The power of diatomaceous earth for killing fleas in the home and yard has been proven over the years and regardless of what you may have been told, it does work and its very effective. Thanks for reading my article on using diatomaceous earth for fleas and I encourage you to share this article with your friends. Remember, if you have any questions, you can always leave a comment and I will get back to you! :)

Natasha Anderson

Natasha Anderson

Hi there! My name is Natasha and I would like to thank you for reading this guide. If you have any concerns or would like to ask a question about this article, I encourage you to leave a comment below and I will provide a reliable answer within about 24 hours. Remember, all this information is provided at absolutely no cost and if you have enjoyed what you have read, please show your appreciation by sharing this post on your favorite social network below. I look forward to helping you!
Natasha Anderson
Natasha Anderson
Please note that the contents of this guide is for informational purposes only. If you would like to receive professional advice to diagnose a pest control related problem, please contact your local exterminator or certified expert immediately.

Comments

  1. frances says:

    Thank you thank you! This guide has brought a new life for me and my pets!!!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Frances! Its a pleasure, I am glad that it has helped you find some relief from fleas. I also bet that your pets love you for it hehe :)

      • Jon says:

        Hello,
        I just did a treatment with D.E. and I swear the fleas have multiplied. We put a pretty thick layer on the carpet, beds, basement, animal areas and animal then went camping for three days. We got back and did a thorough vacuuming, dusting and cleaning and now the house is a cloudy dusty mess with a flea problem worse than before. We will be vacuuming and dusting a thousand times before our house will free of D.E. This stuff is messy and we are covered in the stuff. Do you have any suggestions for us?

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Jon, in addition to the PM I sent you, try my DIY flea traps :)

        • Barbara says:

          You applied DE incorrectly. If applied correctly it is very effective. Incorrect application makes a mess that is difficult to clean up. You need to DUST all carpets and leave it sit for about half an hour, then vacuum all areas where the vacuum can reach. Carpet under furniture and very close to baseboards can be left with the dust to keep killing bugs. I dust under beds and under sofas, behind the TV and cabinets as these items are difficult to move and fleas love to live in such areas. They come out to feed on you or your pet, then go back to their hiding spots. With DE in those spots they eventually make contact with the powder dust and die. New hatches develop into adults and then go looking for food and that’s when they get the powder dust on them.

          I apply DE with a plastic applicator that is made for this purpose. It has a long thin nozzle and you squeeze the plastic container and the dust puffs out the tip, directly where you want it to go. It does not go all over the room. With DE, less is better. You should not dump this product all over your floors, that is not only ineffective but it is a dusty mess for months afterward and it is wasteful. Used properly, DE is effective as a preventive immediately; with a flea infestation it takes about a month after you dust with DE then vacuum. You have to vacuum daily if you have an infestation; twice a day if you can.

          Most of the time when someone does not get results from DE, it is because they did not apply it properly or they failed to use additional flea control measures such as daily vacuuming.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Barbara! Thanks for the lovely summary on how to use DE effectively, you really hit the nail on the head. I am sure that Jon appreciates your help and I think the community will benefit as well. Much appreciated, have a fantastic weekend, please share this with your friends!

      • Sharon Mc says:

        Can it be used on chickens and chicken pens? Chickens like to take a dust bath, will the silica aggregate or cut them?

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Sharon, it will be fine, just don’t use an excessive amount :)

      • Helen Frew says:

        I have been using apple cider vinegar to get rid of fleas on my dog and cats but I have noticed that my dog has got fleas again he still has apple cider in his food and water every day it did work at first and can I use diatomaceous earth with Apple cider vinegar and other natural herbs and oils on my dog and cats

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Helen, I recommend that you use a spot on treatment on both animals, unless you are able to wash them in warm water and dawn soap (works really well). Don’t use any essential oils on your cat, it is dangerous for them.

    • Nancy says:

      I live in an apartment complex and there is grass, but I am not sure about where my outdoor indoor cat is picking up the fleas. I would have to sprinkle over a large area I suppose. I will do our carpets tomorrow. I have been dusting my cat so that when he lays down, it might deter fleas. Boy, this is interesting for me. But they are still around.

      • Natasha Anderson says:

        Hi Nancy! DE is great, let me know how it goes.

      • Bonnie says:

        I’ve been using DE for a couple weeks now, and although it has lessened the amount of fleas, my 2 cats and dog are still biting and scratching at themselves, and I am, too. I have sprinkled it on them into their furs, I have sprinkled it in all areas where they lay, I have sprinkled it wherever we get bitten while standing or sitting…..and EVERY horizontal place in my home is now covered with the ‘dust’ from it. I suppose it is better than it was before, but…………..

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Bonnie, yeah that “dust effect” is a bit overwhelming but don’t worry, you will be happy when you are flea free ;)

        • C.J. Oakman says:

          @Bonnie, the itching and scratching will usually last awhile, especially if they were infested pretty bad. But also remember that allergies bother pets just as humans. Pet food allergies are very common, especially if their food has any type of corn variation or soy in it. Lamb and Rice foods have a pretty low allergenic value. People who have constant itcher/scratchers that switch to a Lamb and Rice,corn and soy free food usually have happy pets within a couple weeks. Other non-food allergies are harder to pinpoint, for example I found out after 3 years that my dog’s allergy was to grass!

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi CJ, thanks for helping Bonnie, much appreciated :)

    • Diana says:

      Just an fyi for anyone looking for this stuff, I just bought a 20 lb bag of it from tractor supply company for $9. They had smaller bags of it but I will be puting it in the dogs beds, where the lay in the yard, etc. Plus they’ve got them pretty bad, so I figured I lay have to retreat them multiple tubes to get rid of them. I dusted my dogs and within 10 minutes they ask settled down, quit itching and started resting. My drugs are white, so I could see the fleas trying to get out of the de.

      • Natasha Anderson says:

        Hi Diana! Not too sure what you mean by drugs but glad the DE worked for you :)

        • Annie says:

          Pretty sure they meant “dogs” not drugs, auto correct is bad, it even got you a couple times in your blog. We all suffer from it!

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Annie, yes that does make a lot more sense now lol, thank you. I will also check my blog :)

      • LBear26 says:

        I also purchased food grade de from my local feed store – think horse supply. Don’t forget to feed food grade de to your pets for control of internal parasites they’ve picked up – especially worms caused by fleas they have invested by licking themselves. 2% maximum of de in your pet’s ration. I mix mine at a rate of 2 tablespoons per 5 cups of dry dog food topped with olive oil to help with my German shepherd’s coat and help it stick to her food. She loves it! Be absolutely sure it’s food grade de- very important!

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi LBear, thanks for your lovely comment and contribution to the community.

  2. Meeshell says:

    Natasha,
    I got your email, thank you and I added you on FB and shared too. I tried Borax again, it seems a lot better the second time around. I haven’t vacuumed yet, gonna wait 1 more day. Thanks again!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Meeshall! Its my pleasure and thanks for taking a moment to share this article, I really appreciate it :) I am glad that you are starting to see results, if you need more help, just shout and I will see what I can do.

  3. Ami says:

    Thank you for sharing such thorough guidance. I’m convinced and will try using this method to control fleas. Do you have any guidance ow much DE I should purchase per room?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Ami! Its an absolute pleasure, glad you have found it useful :) I recommend getting about 10lb but since they do come in different sizes, I recommend getting enough to finely “dust” each room in your house. You shouldn’t need too much but the good news is that its fairly cheap so you could even store the leftovers in a dry area for future use.

      • sarah says:

        I have fleas on my bed and in my bedding. Will this work if I put it on and then vacuum later? I have a 9 month old daughter and I saw one on her neck! I CANNOT HAVE FLEAS!

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Sarah! That will be fine, hope it works out for you!

        • Connie says:

          I would also recommend washing your bedding in HOT water and drying it in a dryer to kill the fleas and their eggs. Putting it in your bedding would be VERY drying to your skin…and I wouldn’t want to be breathing it either… Dealing with leftover fleas from dang foxes that moved into my barn. Have killed the foxes off, now dealing with the flea infestation. Have also used a product called IGR, which keeps the fleas from maturing and laying more eggs…and lasts for 7 months…so another thing you might consider. Be sure and read ALL info on the label before using…around pets and yourself in the house…

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Connie! Thanks for your tips, really appreciate yo helping out Sarah!

        • Barbara says:

          I would wash all the bedding as Connie suggests, in hot water with detergent, then dry on high heat. The DE could be dusted around and under the bedroom furniture, especially under the bed. If you store items under your bed you need to move them, vacuum, then dust the entire under-bed area with DE. Make the bed with the newly-washed bedding and you should be OK. Be sure to vacuum the room daily while waiting for all the fleas to be killed. You may see one or two now and then but do not panic–they missed the powder somehow but they won’t avoid it for long. Otherwise, the vacuuming will pick up many fleas alive or dead. And if you have vacuumed up some of the DE powder that is an excellent way to kill bugs in the vacuum cleaner–no need to remove and toss vacuum cleaner bags. Also, I always recommend a bagged vacuum cleaner; using a HEPA type bag helps keep dust and other particles from being sent back into your room as you use the machine. With fleas you need to not be having to empty debris from a bagless vacuum. However, if that’s what you have, be sure to do the emptying outdoors away from any open windows.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Barbara! Wow thanks for helping my readers, I really appreciate your time! You are 100% correct! :)

  4. Hope says:

    I really like your webpages, Natasha. I have a very hard time of finding food grade Diatomaceous Earth in a certain part of Canada. There is only 1 place that sells 300g Bug Killer Dusts which contains food grade DE. And I have yet to find out how pure it is. The store is very far away from where I live. It is also much more expensive than buying in bulk on Amazon. For some reasons, Amazon rejected my order because my shipping address is Canada. The funny thing is that they do have a separate webpage that shows the shipping rates for Canada (maybe, it’s just for other products like Dvds only). I couldn’t find any contact on their website. Do you know why?

    I read quite a bit on how to deal with fleas. However, the websites did not mention how to deal with books, notes, Cds, Dvds, computer, printer, drawers, air conditioner, and other items in a home infested with fleas. I wonder if I have to throw away a lot of stuffs. I read in a couple of your comments saying fleas on humans are not that common (or something along that line). However, it seems pretty common here. I don’t have any pets and don’t have a garden. As an fleas-infested person, do I need to use special shampoo/conditioner, soap on myself? Do I need a special comb?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Hope, thanks for your detailed comment, really helps me understand what needs to be done :) While I don’t live in Canada, I have done a little research and I recommend you try Terra Greenhouses or Herbies, not too sure if they are near you. Alternatively, I have noticed that a number of garden and hardware shops are starting to stock them, perhaps give a couple near your location a call. Lastly, not too sure if you went to the .com site but there is an amazon specifically for Canada, just add a .ca at the end (instead of the .com). As for human fleas, its possible but fleas cannot actually live on human blood permanently, they need to find a better host (such as a pet) otherwise they will die. I am not saying that you wont be bitten from time to time (check out my article on flea bites) but they wont take up permanent residence in your hair for example. :)

      • Kas Anderson says:

        I get DE from the farm supply store. They sell small and large quantities for poultry mites and parasites.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Kas, thanks for the heads up!

    • crystal says:

      so hope its good to hear i wasnt the only one that had trubles finding this product to. so i just wanted to tell u that i found 100 % grade DE.on amazon.com for low coast ,also have many different size selection .sorry for being nosie but hope info helps.they will deliver it to your door to.

      • Natasha Anderson says:

        Hey Crystal! Thanks for your suggestion and taking the time to let the community know, I actually really appreciate it!

        • kim says:

          In Ontario Canada feed supply stores carry it. They sell it at farm supply stores for horses, cattle etc.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Kim, thanks for this tip, appreciate it.

    • Rob ONeill says:

      Hope, You’re probably getting infected outside the home and bringing them into your home on your clothing. I camo up and photograph game animals in the wild. A couple times I must have been standing in an old deer bed because I’d come home after leaving the woods and would find fleas all over my clothes. So I’d immediately shove them in the washing machine, then take a good shower and fortunately never infested the whole house. Going out into the woods I searched for a product that would do the job if sprayed on my clothes. Cedarcide is the product that I came across and it works. I spray it on my boots and my clothing when I go into the forests to photograph game animals. I didn’t even think of using it in my home for the fleas until I read your comment. You can find it on the Cedarcide web site. You can also use it on your lawns. It’s supposed to be completely safe for people and pet use. I’m going to use it also and will come back to this site to see if there are comments from others on the matter. Good Luck. It is used by hotels to control bed bug infestations also.

      • Natasha Anderson says:

        Hey Rob. Thanks for the suggestion, I have never heard of that product. I will also check it out, thanks again!

      • Sally says:

        There’s a vet in my area who uses a cedar spray to treat infested pets…poor cat looks like she stuck her paw in a socket afterwards but it works, as long as your home is not infested and she’ll pick then back up.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Sally, thanks for the suggestion.

    • Kelly says:

      You should be able to order DE from your local Home Hardware or a farm store or feed store in Canada.

      • Natasha Anderson says:

        Hi Kelly! Thanks for helping Hope, much appreciated!

  5. eileen says:

    Hi, love your advice ! We recently rescued a choc lab that was going to be “dumped ” at the shelter or the pound ! Beautiful pup w/papers etc but the owners never bothered to keep up on his care. We have been fighting an uphill battle with fleas .but I used the DM around the yard and outside the house..I put small amounts in his food (which I was assured was perfectly safe) along with using a topical treatment on him. The Dm (which I was able to find at a local hardware store ..I live close to the Canada border and it was not easily available at the local
    walmart etc) was less effective in my home . For inside the home I used old fashioned 20 mule team Borax..It seems to be working better then all the high priced stuff we tried.. Both the Dm and Borax can be hard to spread evenly but I purchased a fine pasta strainer at the $ store ..It makes both easier to spread and keeps down on the extra dust..FYI I have severe asthma and using these products in this way has not induced an asthma attack. As for fleas sticking to me I have found that if I use a body lotion that has lavender in it (not just lavender scent but the actual oil ) the fleas avoid me.Thank you again for the advice ..I was thrilled to hopefully get these little buggers under control while not breaking the bank..Keep up the good work !!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Eileen! Thanks, appreciate your kind words and I am very glad that you have followed my advise. Most importantly, I am happy that you have had positive results. Let me know if you need any further help and thanks for sharing your success with the community. Cheers!

    • Sharon Seiber says:

      If there’s a flea any where near my son, they get on him. They love him. He stated he was coming down with a little cold, so I said I can’t imagine how you can catch cold when I use so much garlic cooking. He said AHA! That’s why the fleas have been avoiding me! Anyway, I can’t understand why all of a sudden we have a major flea infestation. I bought the DE, flea products for the animals, and am washing bedding. Hopefully this will eliminate the problem! Unless it’s because we have had a very warm year, then it suddenly got cold. I also need to know how to get under the beds, as I am elderly, and can’t move furniture?

      • Natasha Anderson says:

        Hi Sharon, I am sure that those steps will definitely help. For under the beds, just put DE or use a flea spray of sorts. Let me know how it goes.

  6. Tammy says:

    Hi Natasha…the article was very informative, so thank you so much for that. As we have both pets and kids in the house, we were looking for something safe but effective, and came across DE in our research. We were actually able to find one place that carried it without having to place a special order, so we were able to get a 4 pound bag. We did have a few questions that we can’t seem to find answers for, though. Is it better to shake it, like a powder, or “poof” it, like a dust? We have found articles mentioning both, with pros and cons for both. Also, our animals (one cat, one dog) sleep on our beds at night. Is it safe to either sprinkle or dust DE on the mattress, say in the morning, and then vacuum it off in the evening before making the bed? I have seen no mention of anyone using it on human bedding, so I would love to hear your thoughts on that.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Tammy! Glad you managed to get hold of it locally, definitely saves you a load of trouble. Good question, I usually place it in an empty coffee tin (or something like it) and punch holes in the top (kind of like a massive salt shaker). I then proceed to shake it wherever needed, I recommend that you do the same. Its perfectly safe for your pets and is often used on beds to kill both fleas and bed bugs (as well as a few other pests). Just one suggestion though, if you are going to use it on your bed, place it under the sheet as it can make some people cough a bit if it “puffs” into the air. I hope you find these answers satisfying, thanks for taking the time to comment!

      • Deb says:

        I’ve used DE on several occasions. To apply I have used an old fashioned flour sifter! I discovered that just putting a half a cup of DE in the sifter and just shaking it lightly while walking around the room works great. Turn off all fans and the DE actually falls straight down to cover whatever area you want sprinkled. It’s a good way to sprinkle your pets as well because it comes out of the sifter in a fine dust and not clumping. I’ve left it down for a week at a time before vacuuming and I’ve used it on the couches and chairs both under the cushions and on the surface of the cushions. I hate fleas!!

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Deb, thanks for your fantastic tips, really appreciate it.

        • Julie says:

          Hi Deb
          I have been using DE for some time for internal consumption for myself and my cats as it is a brilliant wormer for pets and a marvellous health benefit for all sorts of internal problems etc etc. I was concerned about your freely shaking it while walking around as before I used it I did a lot of research and found that the silica can be harmful If breathed in as it may be minute but each minuscule portion is very sharp although we can’t see it with the naked eye, I bought a double layered cloth mask from Amazon that just slips over my nose and mouth and has a stretchy band that goes over each ear. It is even pretty to look at and I only need it on while there is a risk if inhaling the DE . Also when using on animals be careful not to get it into their eyes or breathing parts.
          When preparing it for consumption I mix half a teaspoon DE per cat with a little of the dry cat food that I have soaked for a few minutes in a little water to make a paste. They love it.
          I mix for myself 1 tablespoon per day of DE in a glass of rice milk or ordinary milk with a few drops of camp coffee to flavour, helps strengthen hair and nails too when you drink it.
          Not tried using it for fleas but am about to start as a friends cat got infested and unfortunately some came with my friend when she visited and despite my 4 indoor cats being on Stronghold neck drops the fleas are just starting to appear. Drat.
          Hope that helps. Can’t be too careful when it comes to our lungs.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Julie, thanks for the fantastic tips, I really appreciate you sharing those gems with us!

  7. amanda says:

    Hi. Glad I found this site. I was about to apply the DE I bought at a small hardware store but was hesitant because it says its toxic on the back label.
    Its in a yellow bag, 4lbs. Safer brand.
    It doesn’t say “food grade” and is for pests. I used the online chat to ask safer brand if it was food grade, they assured me its safe for kids and pets. But I’m not sure. Any suggestions? And what brand?
    Thanks.
    Amanda

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Amanda! I wouldn’t take their word for it. No offense to them, but if it has a toxic label, its very unlikely that its safe for your pets and kids. I recommend purchasing some 40 mule DE, its affordable and pure. You can usually find it locally otherwise get it online :) Hope that helps!

    • Adrienne says:

      Amanda: I saw the same bag the other night at my local home improvement store. It contains food-grade DE, but it also has other “active ingredients” (read: chemicals) in it to kill faster. The Customer Service guy was really helpful and helped me search through their system. Apparently, they only sell the food-grade brand online. If you visited the “orange” hardware store, they sell St. Gabriel online for about $11 a bag. The bag is the same size as the Safer brand, 4.4 lbs. If you spend $45 bucks, they’ll ship to your house for free. I decided to do Amazon and purchased Thomas Labs Organic DE. 3 pounds for just under $16 and free 2-day shipping. It arrived this afternoon and my husband has already scattered quite a bit of it around. Crossing fingers! ;0)

  8. Susie McLemore says:

    I bought a jar of diatomaceous earth to sprinkle on my dogs food. Is there a measurement that I should give to my dogs. This is the first that I have bother with fleas infestation I have had dogs for years. I really want to know if it is safe to feed my dogs the diatomaceous.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Susie! Fantastic, glad that you are taking action based on what you have read in this article. Don’t feed your dogs DE, its not going to help in any way. For your pets I recommend a decent spot of treatment or just simply give them a bath using dawn dish soap each day for a couple days. Provided you don’t have a flea infestation in the home or garden already, your pets should be safe forever :)

      • Ashley says:

        DE does help if your dog has worms. Our dog was so bad she was nearly dead. Had her drink one teaspoon mixed with chocolate milk (yes chocolate is bad but it was the only thing we could get her to drink) and when we woke up in the morning (within 8 hours of treatment) she was finally up and about again. Within 12 hours, there were no worms in her feces anymore. We also fed it to her and it killed the ear mites. It worked its way into the bloodstream so when she was bitten by both fleas and mites, they died.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Ashley, interesting, thanks for sharing this, will pass it on to those that need this info ;)

    • Pamela McDermott says:

      I give my cats a small sprinkle on their wet food every day. in fact, farmers use it all the time in their animals’ food (about 3% is the norm) and if you google around a bit, you’ll see how helpful its been for their health! My fiance and I take it in water daily and have noticed it helps our general health.

  9. Anita says:

    Hi Natasha, I have two baby pigmy goats, 30 chicks (number to be reduced as soon as I determine which are roosters) that share an enclosed area. I also have intense reaction to fleas bites. I spent about an hour in to pen/coop cleaning and walked away with about seventeen bites on my back and one arm (none on my legs?) at the end of cleaning a dusted (with an applicator) the entire coop pen and both goats (not the chicks) I will dust again in a week (at this time I plan to wash the chickens) Question: ongoing how often do dust?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Anita! It depends on if there is an ongoing flea problem in that area. If you find that fleas keep popping up randomly, I recommend doing it each week or two as a bit of a proactive measure. Since its rather cheap the only real challenge is finding time to do it but I promise you that it will be worth it as it works great :)

  10. amanda says:

    What about red lakes brand of diatomaceous earth? Its I guess what farmers use for their animals food. But it doesn’t say any percentages of what’s in it. And its brown powder like dirt.
    I was frustrated because I sprinkled it all over but the issue is my carpet mostly and the kids are always crawling on it. And upstairs we have wood floors so I sprinkled it here and there only to fibd out I was seeing fleas still and we’re all still being bit. So my two kittens are now in our basement until we can figure something else out.we may just have to bomb the place :-/
    I have seen soooo many flees on them but I’ve read original dawn is great for killing the fleas on the animals, it did but then we quickly realized ourhome is infested because they keep infesting our kittys.
    Any advice for the red lakes powder would be much appreciated.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Amanda! From what I can see (I havn’t personally used it though so please double check) it seems fine. However, since we don’t know its exact compound makeup, I recommend going online and just getting it delivered to your door, thats what I do :) Just make sure that you get the pure stuff that doesn’t contain insecticides. Cheers!

      • Kathy says:

        I have the Red Lake brand. It has a clay in it that acts as a desiccant. It is supposed to be safe (gives instructions for feeding cattle right on the bag) and says it is food grade. I decided to get the pure stuff and use the red lakes stuff for outside pests. The clay makes the DE brown which gets stuff dirty. I like that the pure stuff is white.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Kathy, agreed, white is better. Good luck!

  11. Stacy says:

    My house was infested with fleas. Before I read this I had the house sprayed and bombed yesterday by an exterminator. I have only seen a few fleas since then but I am hearing they will come back.
    When do you suggest I use this! Thanks!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Stacy! I recommend that you give it a couple days before following the steps outlined in this guide as there may still be residue chemicals that may take effect after the house was treated by that exterminator. However, this is just a suggestion, doing it right away is not harmful so its really up to you. :)

  12. laura says:

    Hi there…major flea problem in our basement. Our cat lives down there. We live on a nature preserve and have found them in our yard. Def where the problem lies. However…our basement is so bad we can’t even walk down there anymore. I’m reading all the benefits of DE and since our basement is unfinished I was planning on keeping a coating of the powder on the cement floor and in the separate entrance doorway for no less than 4 days. Will it be safe for me to allow the cat to go back down there when the DE is still present?

    We have an exterminator coming next week to spray the house and both our dog and cat will be getting groomed and flea baths.

    Any input would be great. THANKS!!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Laura! Yes, its absolutely safe. The only thing that you need to keep an eye on is that your cat doesn’t bring fleas up to your living areas which can potentially spread them around, something you definitely want to avoid. Let me know how the flea treatment goes. I am sure that the exterminator knows what he is doing but it will be nice to get some feedback for the community if you get a chance.

  13. Nina says:

    Hello. I am battling a flea problem. I have already used borax through out the entire house. Let it sit for 8-10 hours and even longer on my furnature and swept it all up. I am still finding fleas. Or should I say they are finding me since I am the only blood in the house that isn’t treated. I was planning on weekly treatments of the borax. But should I try DE instead or move onto something stronger?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Nina! I recommend that you apply DE once a day in the morning (rub the stuff into the carpets, etc.) and vacuum it up in the evening. Repeat for a week and there is no way that any fleas will survive ;) Let me know how it goes, looking forward to hearing from you!

  14. Rachel Kennedy says:

    I have reduced the amount of fleas caught in my flea traps to just 1 or 2 in the last few days, last week I caught 42 in just a few days, YUK. I am now struggling to vacuum it up, my filter gets blocked in a couple of minutes and I cant see around my house as the DE flies into the air. Help! D E seems to work but I dont want to ruin my expensive hoover. How can I get it up without spreading it all over my house?
    Thanks

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Rachel! It seems that you used way to much of the stuff, just a fine coat (almost as you would salt your food) on the carpets, etc. is more then enough. I recommend that you use a brush and pan to get most of it up and then use your vacuum to get the rest. I am not too sure which model you have but preferably use a non-water based vacuum to suck the DE up. Good luck!

      • Sharon says:

        Hi Natasha!
        I’ve been reading through your article and comments and was wondering why you recommend to use a non-water based vacuum cleaner to clean up? That’s all I have and I was thinking that it will work great for it, but now I’m curious of your reasoning…. Thanks!

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Sharon! You can use a water based one, its just that the DE can make it get a bit clogged on a low-grade model and I don’t want to inconvenience my readers in any way hehe. In other words, if you have a decent model, it will be fine :)

        • Pete Norris says:

          you might try using a sho-vac (sometimes called a wet/dry vac). the majority of those do not have a filter -so they will not get clogged.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Pete, thanks for helping Sharon with that great suggestion!

      • Victoria says:

        I have been dealing with a flea infestation in my home. I purchased DE yesterday, and in a hurry to slove the problem, POURED the DE powder everywhere; baseboards, carpets, couches, etc. After reading these replys, I am afraid that I used too much and will not work. As mentioned above, I vacuumed and put out the DE and has been sitting for nearly 24 hours now, have not vacuumed up yet. I had some fleas jumping on me this morning in the kitchen while making my coffee, I plan on vacuuming when I get home this afternoon. Do you think this will work ok? Or have I made a huge mistake? FYI: my house is a complete dusty mess! Thanks!

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Victoria! Too much DE is fine, it just is a bit of a mission to clean up lol. Ideally a fine sprinkling is perfect, sorry that you have so much down :(

  15. Laura says:

    I just purchased a hand duster for the back yard to use to spread the DE. We have a HUGE yard, and as I mentioned in my previous post…we live right on a nature preserve. There is a lot of brush and natural ferns that outline the perimeter of our yard and also on outside of our fence. Do you think I should have my husband cut all of it down and then spread DE within our yard and also on the outside?? My dog and cat were shipped off to get flea baths/grooming today and the exterminator is coming today to do my whole house (since we are starting to see some in our living areas now….I feel like we are bringing them in with us because we see them on us in the yard as well now!!!!)

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Laura! Cutting down the trees would be a bit of a shame but it would reduce the flea population so its really up to you. If you do use DE outside, keep in mind that it needs to be dry otherwise it wont work at all. Glad to see you are treating your pets otherwise you will never win the fight against fleas. Keep me updated!

      • Doreen says:

        I bought DE and have used it like suggested here. Carpet, bedding, dogs. Nothing seems to be helping. Even the flea sprays are not helping. I am lost as to how to get my dogs relief. What am I doing wrong.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Doreen! If there are fleas on your dog, I suggest a topical spot on treatment. Check out my “fleas on dogs” article on this blog :)

  16. Adrienne says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Natasha for this post! Our dog has brought us the summer gift of a flea infestation. My kids are itchy, I’m itchy and yes, the poor dog is itchy too. And, while fleas aren’t technically supposed to take up residence on people, the ones we have seem perfectly content in my daughter’s thick locks. (She was sleeping on my bedroom floor at the start of the outbreak. And, the dog had been on the foot of my bed.) I’ve done extra long shampoo sessions. I’ve used vinegar on our hair during shampoos. I’ve flea-dropped the dog. I’ve flea-sprayed the carpets and furniture. Nothing was helping. I’ve been researching DE for a few days now and am sold out on it, even though it’s only just arrived in the mail and is barely out of the box. BUT, I could find nothing on how long it was going to take to kill these little boogers once they made contact with it. It’s so great to have a light at the end of the tunnel now. I can deal with a markedly improving situation over the next few days and then repeating the process for the next month to make sure they’re all dead and gone!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Adrienne! Fleas can live on humans but its not their preferred target. In fact, although they do bite and can make you very itchy, fleas have to find an animal host eventually otherwise they will die. Of course, you still want to get rid of them asap so that you dont encounter those nasty bites, trust me when I tell you I know how horrible they can be. After fleas come into contact with it, it should take about 4-6 hours before they die. However, I usually leave the DE rubbed into the carpets, etc. for about 12 hours before vacuuming it up. Remember to repeat the process a couple times! Hope that helps!

      • Lisa says:

        I just want to add, if you want a dusting of DE put it in a powdered sugar shaker to distribute it.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Lisa! Thanks for the great tip, much appreciated!

  17. Katy says:

    Hi, I recently purchased some DE because my cat has a flea problem. I’ve just put it on the stair carpets and upstairs carpets but I think I might have used a bit too much, will that affect its ability to kill fleas? Also can you recommend a way of spreading it lightly without using a duster? I can’t seem to find one in any of my local shops or hardware stores (I live in a small town in Ireland).I heard if you just sprinkle it with your hands it can dehydrate the skin. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Katy! No it wont negatively affect its ability to kill those fleas. I recommend using an icecream container (those plastic tub ones) and after punching small holes in it, use it to sprinkle the DE in the places that need it (kinda like a salt shaker). It can dehydrate the skin but to be honest, its so incredibly short-term and you will be washing your hands afterwards anyways so its not going to have any effect.

      • Katy says:

        Thanks a million for getting back to me Natasha! That’s a great tip :)

      • rebecca gray says:

        I put the DE in an old flour sifter to use on my bed and my dogs. That I can spread evenly and not get too much.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Rebecca, that is a fantastic idea, thank you for sharing!

  18. Suzie Nelson says:

    Hi Natasha
    I have a sudden and unexpected flea infestation in my bedroom. I have 2 cats and 2 dogs, and the cats have free rein in the house. Until recently, they both slept on the bed, but we have been having building work done (the roof is off) and a burst of very hot weather. This has had the cats seek out alternative sleeping sites. They are brother & sister, but while she is tiny (and oh, so lively and affectionate) he is about 16lbs, and very nervous. He wants to be fussed, but will only tolerate it when he is half asleep. I have had pets all of my life, and I know many times they have had fleas, but I have rarely, if ever seen one. Until now. Each time I go in the bedroom, they jump on my feet. The little girl will allow me to groom her, but he runs when he sees the comb & brush, and he is being eaten alive. He sits in the wash basin, and when he gets out, leaves lots of flea poo/blood behind. Have you any advice? I have bought DE, and have scattered it around the bedroom, but as I understand it, the fleas are just waiting for a body to hatch from larval stage and then leaping on me!
    And I would love some advice on how to help my baby boy. The irritation is making him even more anxious. He won’t even come into the bedroom now!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Suzie! Sorry for the late response, I can definitely make some suggestions! My recommendation is that you get a monthly spot on treatment for him, this will keep the fleas away and protect him from any further complications. As for the DE, I recommend actually rubbing it into your carpets as it will kill the adult fleas on contact and if any eggs hatch, it will kill the larvae. You can repeat application every couple days (the stuff is very cheap) and vacuum it up each time after waiting a couple hours. Hope that helps :)

  19. Michael Allen says:

    I just bought and applied some DE yesterday Natasha. We have a flea problem and I’m so sick of them! I will post again soon to let you know the results!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Michael! Fantastic, looking forward to it. If you have any concerns, let me know and I will assist you personally :)

  20. Ann says:

    I have a terrible infestation of fleas and have had my small apartment sprayed twice with an all natural product used by a professional exterminator. Still have fleas. Using Borax on the floor near the bed and have a pan of water with a light on it for night time. But all I have to do is lay down on my bed to sleep or just take a nap and I an finding little beige-ish bugs that run but I catch them in kleenex and flush them down the toilet. I have bites all over me and no end in sight. Any further ideas? I think I will try the DE but need some further help. Thanks.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Ann! Wow, it sounds like you have a fairly bad insect problem but trust me, DE is going to help you get rid of more then just those fleas. Since DE is effective vs a number of pests, its definitely the right option in your case, even for bed bug problems. I recommend giving it a try and reporting back your results, looking forward to hearing from you :)

  21. Melissa says:

    Can I rub DE on my cat? I’m worried because since my cats have fleas all they do is lick themselves all day. I know if I rub it on them they will lick it. I just sprinkled a lot of DE around my house. There is powder everywhere.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Melissa! While it wont hurt your cat (if its the food grade one as I mentioned in this guide), I recommend alternative natural methods like dawn soap and warm water for treating fleas on cats. In fact, I have a dedicated article that covers cat flea control, check it out when you have a chance, I am 100% sure it will answer any other questions you may have on the process.

  22. Susanne says:

    I once put borax in my carpet and when it was humid, the borax absorbed all the water and then the carpet was actually damp and almost felt wet. is the DE going to do this also?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Susanne! Yes, unfortunately you will experience a similar situation with DE. However, there are other alternatives for flea control and I highly recommend that you take a look at and if you would like me to point you in the right direction, let me know what else you have tried and I will help you out :)

  23. Katrina says:

    Hi,
    We noticed our cats had fleas and immediately did a ‘spot on’ treatment of Frontline on them. I sprayed the whole house with a pesticide and have been frantically vacuuming. I have seen a couple of fleas in the house so decided to try your homemade traps. I only caught two fleas. I am vacuuming daily and re-sprayed the house today (7 days later). I found one live flea in each room, does this indicate there are hundreds? I have washed furnishings and vacuum chairs as well as floors.
    I have been on amazon and ordered food grade DE, we have a combination of laminate, hard wood and carpets. How should I use the DE and do I need to treat the beds? We are not getting as many bites so think we are on the way to winning the battle.
    Also I have been worried to let the cats into the main house, will the frontline rid them? They do scratch a bit and I still see some flea dirt on the bed but that is lessening too. I thought maybe it takes a while for the cat to get rid of the dirt from their coat? or is it an indication the treatment didn’t work?
    This is really stressing me out as we have a tiny baby and two toddlers.
    Help!
    p.s. This blog is amazing!!!
    Katrina

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Katrina! Thanks for your kind words, they are really appreciated :) Those homemade traps that you made, did you use my guide from this blog? No it doesn’t, a couple fleas here and there isn’t usually an indication of a major problem but it should be addressed as soon as possible, just in case. Glad to hear that you are going to use DE in the house, combine that method with Frontline on the your pets like you mentioned and you will see fast results. Let me know how it goes and I will help you further where necessary!

  24. Rich Winter says:

    Can you use it on sofas and ceramic tile , in other words all other surfaces?
    Thanks for the information! I will run out and purchase some the first chance I get.
    Rich Winter

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Rich! Yes you can, it may look a little unsightly but since you will be vacuuming it up a couple hours later, this wont really matter. Let me know your results :)

  25. Amy Brown says:

    I came across your site with sheer desperation. I have a indoor cat who has made herself comfortable outside lately, what a bad idea on my part. Now we have fleas fleas and more fleas. I was at my wits end trying to figure out what to use that would be safe for her as well as my 2 yr old and 5 yr old. Then I saw your site. Finally tracked down DE food grade, very hard to do. Very popular around here and now I see why. I definitly have a ton of work to do yet but finally I see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have been trapped in the upper floors of our home due to these pest and we are now on our first floor flea free and working on the family room which is the final level. Insane is what these pests make you. My kitty is finally scratch free and part of the family again she has been missed. Thank you so much for this site. I cant thank you enough .

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Amy! I am very glad that my blog has been useful to you, really makes writing these guides worthwhile when I hear that people are appreciating them :) If you need any further help, let me know and I will make some time for you. Cheers!

  26. Jessica says:

    I bought a bag of DE for fleas and got it home and its brown, will this work for fleas or does it have to be the white DE?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Jessica! After doing a little research (havn’t seen that in my country), it seems that you may have purchased “feed grade” variant of DE. This is usually made up of about 30% Bentonite and 70% DE and while it should still work for pest control, I recommend that you try and get a pure DE (as high as possible) for maximum results.

  27. Kristina says:

    Can the cats remain in the house when the carpets and furniture are treated with DE? Will it harm them if they walk or lay on treated carpets or furniture? Thanks!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Kristina! Absolutely, unless you have very small kittens (even this shouldn’t be a major problem), its completely safe for your family and pets. To be extra cautious, just take your cats out the room while you are applying the DE to the carpets, etc. as the powder can “puff” into the air and cause slight respiratory issues for a short amount of time. Other then that, you are golden and can start using DE right away :)

  28. Michael Allen says:

    Thanks so much for the info Natasha!! DE is the bomb!!! Within 24-48 hours of application, 85% of my flea problem was solved!! Didn’t wipe them out with the first application but what a relief to beat down most of them. After vacuuming and laying down another layer, we’re pretty much 99% flea free!! You rock Natasha!!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Michael! I am glad to hear that you have had such good results and thank you for your kind words. I hope that your comment encourages those that have not had a chance to use DE to give it a try :) Cheers!

    • Debbie says:

      Glad to hear it worked for someone. I have read many comments but none that stated it finally worked. So thanks for posting!

      • Vickie Coleman says:

        Natasha, I just got some DE this morning and I already see a big improvement. Thanks bunches. Im thinking another round or to will do the trick. Put it on my dogs and also see a huge difference. :)

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Vickie! It’s a pleasure, glad you found it useful.

  29. Shawn says:

    Got the food grade DE after trying foggers, traps, etc. None of them worked. On top of the dog and cat getting chewed up they had a major taste for me. Was getting bit like crazy. I applied the DE to the carpets and spread it in with a broom to insure it got in there good, and a little on the animals. This stuff completely wiped them out. Glad to have gotten it.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Shawn! Another great success story, thank you very much for sharing it with us. I hope that you share your new found knowledge with your friends and family so that they can also have a fantastic method for getting rid of fleas :)

  30. Debbie says:

    I too came across your site when looking for a flea treatment that actually works…and after tlalkin to others that had also used DE i decided to give it a try tonight…keeping fingers crossed!!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Debbie! You have come to the right place and I am sure that you are also going to get good results from using it. My recommendation is that you really rub it into your carpets (I use a broom) and after leaving it for the day, vacuum it up and repeat if necessary. Let us know how it goes, would love to hear another success story :)

  31. Muriel Ganon says:

    Hello Natasha,

    your article has been very helpful, thank yu so much.

    We have two little dogs, and my question is how long do I have to leave the bedroom close in order for the dogs not to approach the area
    and should when I vacuum the entire bedroom after the treatment.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Muriel! Its a pleasure, glad you have found it useful :) I recommend that you leave the DE down (rub into the carpets, etc.) for the entire day (a minimum of about 4 hours). Although the DE should be fine around your dogs (the food grade is completely safe), you can keep them out for this time period. Good luck!

  32. David says:

    Is it safe to apply directly on my dog? I have inspected my dog and I can only find one flea so far. I’ve washed his bedding and will apply DE to our one piece of carpet in the house. Thank you so much!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey David! You could but its better suited for killing fleas in carpets, etc. For your dog, there are a number of other natural flea treatments that you can try, check out my dedicated guide on removing dog fleas and let me know if you have any questions. :)

  33. Kim says:

    I also heard that DE (food-grade) worked well for getting rid of worms in cats. Do you know if this is correct? Another website said that I should sprinkle a little bit on their food.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Kim! Yes, although I haven’t used it for that purpose myself but I have also read that its fairly effective for removing all sorts of internal parasites. Just make sure its the pure, food grade variation and it might be worth your while to get with your vet first :) Good luck!

  34. Catherine Appell says:

    Can. I put it directly on my 2 small dogs and 1 cat, used Bio Spot and Zodiiac Spray still see flea poop! Just ordered 25lb bag of DE food grade with duster! How long does it stay on pets? and when I put it all around house, when do you vacuum it up?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Cath! You can but its not really the best choice of action, rather use a couple of the other natural flea control methods for your cat. I have an entire article on the best flea treatments for cats, check it out and hit me up if you have any questions about the steps :)

  35. Lori says:

    I just purchased food grade DE and am wondering how many times and how often should I repeat application of the DE on my carpet and furniture and also my yard to get rid of fleas and larvae for good?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Lori! I recommend placing it for about a day and vacuuming it up afterwards. Remember to rub it into the carpets, etc. As for your yard, you can use DE if its very dry but keep in mind that water will significantly reduce its effectiveness. It might be worth your while to get your yard treated by an exterminator and then leave the house (and your pets if you have) to you. Let me know if you have any more questions! :)

  36. Colleen says:

    I was just wondering if the DE washes out of things easily. A stray cat adopted my family and we treated her w/ drops (like we do our other pets every month) less than a week later. It’s been 4 months and my 3 cats and 2 dogs have all been flea free. My house, however, is not. They’re in my carpet, in our beds, and worst of all on my toddlers stuffed friends and therefore him. I’ve tried washing the friends, I’ve tried freezing the friends, I’ve even submerged them in a tub of soapy water for days and those little black jumping devils keep coming back. Can I use DE on the friends and then wash them? I have never had a flea problem before in my 27 yrs as a pet owner, and I’ve only recently heard of DE so I was just wondering what the best way to use it would be. Thank you so much.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Colleen! DE is great for getting rid of fleas in carpets and beds so I highly recommend that you give it a try. DE is also completely safe for the family so you can use it without worrying, just give it a dust off after about 24 hours. Good luck!

  37. April Smith says:

    It is also great to use on their food to get rid of worms, and supposedly the Food Grade is safe for humans for the same purpose! It also is said to contain vital minerals that help both. There are a lot of uses for it and I love that it safe around my little ones.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey April! I will definitely add that to the main article so that others can benefit from your suggestion. Thank you!

  38. Colleen says:

    Hello again. I had a quick question: I have a house w/ a basement and have noticed fleas in both levels. On the main floor, we have hardwood w/ area rugs and in the basement, we have tile. Would it be better to do one level at a time to try to chase them all to the basement or just do both at once? And w/ furniture, how long should you leave it on? Thanks again for being awesome and helping us bug infested people reclaim our homes and sanity.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Colleen, welcome back! I would personally recommend doing them all at once, that way there is no chance of them escaping into either area. You can leave the DE down as long as you like to be honest, as long as there is no moisture or humidity which can reduce its effectiveness. Glad I can be of assistance, I am always willing to help my valuable readers :)

  39. Brenda K. Thom says:

    Hello, I read a post up above not to use the Safer brand of DE.. however, I have already put it down in a few areas, mostly room perimeter and a window seat where the dog hangs out. (blocked off for now.) There are only 2 small rooms carpeted and am treating those with borax. Is the Safer brand really that bad? The label states that it’s organic and OMRI approved for organic gardening. I would certainly order food grade if need be, but in the meantime the fleas have to be dealt with. Thank you.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Brenda! It should be fine, just lay it out where it needs to go (don’t forget to rub it in with a broom) and vacuum it up after about a day. While it should be fine (based on you description of the product), I recommend keeping your pets, etc. away from the treatment areas until its sucked up. Let me know how it goes!

      • Brenda says:

        It actually has helped a lot along with the Frontline. Still a ways to go yet as the dog seems to have a histamine reaction to the fleas, but haven’t seen live ones in a few days. Cooler weather is helping too. Thank you for all the information and reply.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Pleasure Brenda, thanks for getting back to me :)

  40. Vicki says:

    My house is large and we need to cover the whole house. Can I mix DE with borax when I put it down on the floors and carpet?

    Thanks -

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Vicki! While I haven’t personally mixed the two, it shouldn’t be a problem and it may actually yield excellent results. If this is the case, let me know and we can share it with the community!

  41. Mary says:

    I have a question I cannot seem to find the answer to-no matter how many sites and blogs I visit. Yours seems particularly informative so maybe you could answer.

    How MUCH of this DE do I need to buy? I have no idea how much to order.

    Thanks much!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Mary! I recommend grabbing yourself about 5kgs, thats around the size that my local supplier gets. However, its really based on how much you need. Basically you will need to “dust” a fine layer around your home. If you have a large home, grab yourself a slightly bigger one. Hope that helps you and thank you for stopping by, hopefully my blog has provided you with a satisfying answer. If I can help in any other way, please let me know! :)

  42. Mary Jenson says:

    So I bought 1.5 lbs of LUMINO Diatomaceous Earth at Kahoots Pet Store in Southern California. Hadn’t read your website, though, until this morning (great, detailed information, and such a quick turn around for questions). What I bought is only 78% DE, 22% Other. Should I, could I, use this ON my two dogs and the house because I have it already? Or is it just not a good idea?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Mary! Thanks for your kind words, they are appreciated! Don’t use anything that isn’t highly pure, food grade DE on your pets as it will make them sick. You can use it for inside the house (carpets, etc.). Just rub it in and leave for about a day before vacuuming it up, that way it won’t go to waste. Perhaps grab a spot on treatment for your dogs and you will be flea free in no time :)

  43. Cath says:

    Hi Natasha,

    We have to take our dog to doggy day care three days a week (every other day). He had a small flea problem that we think he picked up there, so we treated him and the house with DE during an extended period of not having to take him there. He is now flea free. How can we keep him from picking up fleas from this place again? If we keep him dusted about once a week, will it keep him flea free? We definitely don’t want to stop taking him there since he loves it and it is now part of his routine. Thanks for any help you can offer!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Cath! The only two ways that you will keep fleas off your pets is either constant grooming with a flea comb (check out my guide on this) or a monthly spot on treatment. I don’t recommend dusting him with DE too often as it can dehydrate him slightly (in some cases). Hope that helps you!

  44. Victoria says:

    We have a 4 bedroom house with 3 living rooms and it’s a split level house so 3 sets of stairs and most of our house is carpeted how much DE would you recommend that i buy?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Victoria! Since I usually recommend applying the DE a couple times in heavily infested areas (vacuuming it up each time after about a day), you will probably need about 10kg’s. If they sell them in slightly larger quantities, get the bigger one as its always a useful product to have around the house. Good luck!

  45. Tami says:

    Ah, Natasha, so glad I found you!!

    First, thank you for the article. It was very informative even though I’ve been researching DE for a few weeks. I put down DE last night and after reading your article I went around and used a broom on the carpets.

    Anyway, here’s my situation. We have 3 dogs and 3 cats, plus we recently began fostering cats through our local humane society. Our latest “batch” of kittens came with their nursing mama in the beginning. However, her milk dried up very quickly and she had to be separated from her litter as kittens sadly do not understand that there will be no milk from that source and you’re hurting your mum. So we put mum into a big, lighted … and carpeted … walk-in closet. Boom! Flea infestation. Erg!

    My oldest and biggest dog has gotten the worst of it. I’m going to take your advice and give her daily baths with Dawn (miracle soap, I swear) but my other senior dog has a skin infection so I’m not sure what to do there. She’s always been a “licker” and managed to lick herself right into an infection. The vet had said avoid bathing as it would dry out her skin, but applying DE may as well. What are your thoughts on that?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Tami! It makes me happy knowing that i have assisted with your fight against fleas :) For your old dog that has licked himself dry, using natural treatments (such as lemon, dawn, etc.) is going to be your best option. I have a great article on the best flea treatment for dogs, check it out for more details. I don’t recommend using the DE directly on your pets. I usually use DE in the home (carpets, etc. this will be great for your walk in closet) and then either a natural or product based method on my pets. If you need any further help, let me know!

  46. EF Anderson says:

    This is a very good and very factual article on DE. I researched DE years ago using different web sites to gather information and was pleased to see an article on this subject featured here along with the diligent attention/details you brought to this topic. I’m reading articles here that right now don’t apply to any current situation I have, but I just love these kinds of articles…you never know when you’ll need them!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey EF! Thanks for your kind words. I hope you don’t have a flea problem anytime soon but if you do, I am glad that you have found a resource on the web that you enjoy. DE really rocks my world as well :)

  47. Lynette says:

    We just purchased a home and it has fleas about 5 on each leg. We want to treat it before we move furniture in nd have 8 days and were thinking of Leaving the de down the entire time. Will this kill fleas and eggs or will new ones hatch when we move in and walk around. And if new ones hatch will they go into furniture fabric instead and lay new eggs? Also does painting hardwood floors trap the eggs?

    Are there spots they like to lay eggs more than others? There is no carpet just hard wood flooring and tile.

    We were going to do terminix because they guarantee application to kill active and new fleas that hatch but afraid of long term side effects to lungs etc for us our children and pets. If there is no carpet do you think exterminator would be safe?

    And can we put de in the cupboards?

    Thanks so much in advance for any advice and for listening!

    Lynette

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Lynette! The DE will kill fleas but will not kill their eggs, unless the larvae emerges while the DE is still down. However, if baby fleas do not find a host, they will not lay eggs so you job will be to simply kill the adult fleas and stop the eggs from hatching. You can stop the flea life cycle by using a IGR (insect growth regulator) spray. You can put DE in the cupboards and anywhere where you think fleas may be hiding. To be honest, if you can afford the exterminator and they can confirm their treatment will not affect your family, go for it. Hope that helps!

  48. Lisa Vanz says:

    thank you very much for this comprehensive ariticle on DE — but I don’t have a clue how densely it should be spread it around. And is it just for crevices or areas where my pets will lie or is it to be used on entire surface areas? I had a professional steam my carpets and then he used boric acid powder – but I would like to add DE if I could learn how it is used.
    Thanks so much,

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Lisa. I usually dispense the DE by using an ice cream container that contains small holes (I use a knife to do this), almost like you would use a salt shaker. So in other words, you don’t need to put tons of the powder down, it just need to be enough to finely “dust” the surfaces. Remember to rub it it with a broom afterwards :) Good luck!

  49. Lacey says:

    Natasha,
    Your site is very helpful and gets right to the point. I used DE a few years ago, very successfully, to get rid of fleas in my apartment and treat my cats. This weekend our dogs came home from my in-laws farm completely covered in fleas so I went to work this morning. I needed a quick reminder on the application process and your site was perfect. I would like to say that when I use it in my house I do have to wear a mask while applying because it bothered my lungs pretty bad last time. I also think I used too much. I apply it with my hands, they get a little dry but nothing a good wash and some lotion won’t cure. It does make a bit of dust when spreading with a broom, but it’s worth it to me. I almost went crazy last time and DE saved my sanity.

    I even use it on the dogs periodically. This time they both got baths, then a spot on treatment and also some DE to kill the ones that were still hanging on. Love the stuff, it’s natural and chemical free as long as you get the food grade. I would recommend it to everyone. Keep up the good work! Thanks!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Lacey! Thanks for your kind words and for sharing those valuable tips with the community, its really appreciated! I am glad that I could be of assistance and hope to see you back soon. Cheers!

  50. Shannon Maldonado says:

    Thank you so much for your informative articles! We’ve recently had some stray cats staying under our shed and have just noted a major infestation around, under, and inside of the shed. We have 3 indoor cats that I have subsequently treated with Advantix as a preventative measure since I have not seen any fleas in the house… YET!! Your article says that the DE can be sprinkled on the lawn but it becomes less effective once moist. What is the best way to go about treating an outside infestation? Should I wait until the dew is dry in the morning and sprinkle it around, under, and inside the shed? Should I be doing this several days in a row? Also, is it better to use the DE mixed with Borax or just on its own? Thank you so much!!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Shannon! For outside infestations, I have recently been recommending either a lime treatment or for my readers to use “beneficial nematodes” to kill fleas in the yard. I suggest you use DE (or borax, using both is not necessary) only in the house. Good luck!

      • peggy leonard says:

        What is ‘Lime Treatment’ and ‘Beneficial Nematodes’? Where can I get these? Can I use these in my very damp basement as well as my yard? Are they safe for my pets? etc., etc., etc.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Peggy! They are for outdoor use, usually you can order them online from a variety of retailers.

  51. Niecy says:

    Hi, Natasha!

    I am battling a second flea infestation problem, I used boric acid, salt and baking soda mixture, and DE when if finally arrived.I used those products around the house and carpets the first time leaving the last treatment on the floor and carpets for 72 hours. I am now battling a second time with them. I thought they would dry up the eggs and larvae too. I don’t know how they got in here again, Unless through open windows (with screens.) I don’t own any pets, so it’s even more frustrating. At least then I’d understand why they’d want to be in my home. It’s weird. I have lived here for 5 years and this is the second time I have seen them in this apartment. I think it’s an environmental thing,if so, How can I repel them and kill the ones in here off for good? I have to wear repellent in my house and to bed, what a shame. Another question is, how long can they go without feeding on blood before they die?.. As replant is my new cologne and linen spray.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Niecy! DE will kill any larvae it comes into contact with but it will not kill the eggs. I recommend getting your yard a lime treatment (its not too expensive) or alternatively, as I just recommended to Shannon, get yourself some “beneficial nematodes” to kill those fleas outside. For inside the house, use some DE. Good luck!

  52. Denise says:

    Hi! Your article was very informative! Anyways I had a few questions I bought some DE a few days ago I assumed it was food grade and also looked up the company who was responsible for putting it on the shelves their DE is actually grey/light dusty coal colored not white. on the box it has a variety of animals on it and says it’s ok to use on them as well as the lady who rang me up said she uses it for her chickens. I have used it to rub on my dog and cats fur and I have put a little in their water I was just wondering fur wise would you know how long it would last on them? They haven’t itched or had any side effects but I’m not sure how to to wait till reapplication. Thanks!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Denise! Thank you very much :) DE won’t work if you mix it with water (for killing fleas that is). I usually use DE for killing fleas on carpets/etc. and for my pets, I either use a natural treatment (check out my articles on specifically killing fleas on either dogs or cats) or a spot on treatment like Front Line. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  53. Laura Howe says:

    I tried DE today in our bedroom. My husband is furious! It is an amazing dust cloud! I’ve had to put a fan in the window and it is boggling how much dust comes up when I broom it. I’ve read through some of the comments, clearly I am using WAY too much. I found your last comment to be hopeful, I will take a yogurt container (big) and punch some holes in it to lightly sprinkle. Not sure I can do this in our offices as the dust will be killer on our computer equipment.

    I will use it on the dog beds, I can apply it outside to minimize application dust. So can I go without cleaning those beds every couple of days if I just keep dust on them? We have way too many dogs beds for 2 dogs!

    Lastly, our bed. The dogs sleep on our bed. Should I try a light dusting on the comforter cover? Extra light? Ideas on how to make this work without it being icky?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Laura! It sounds like you used to much hehe, sorry about that. Yes, definitely give that a try as it will help distribute the DE evenly. Yes, you don’t need to keep washing them to kill fleas if you have DE in place, just make sure its food grade. Dusting the comforter cover will work, just do it lightly and you will be fine. Thanks for your questions :)

  54. Nancy Sargent says:

    Thank you for the info. I had bought food grade diatomaceous earth before and sprinkled it around for fleas, but no one ever said to vacuum it up after 12 hours, and I never knew anything about the pureness factor in the concentration of the product. So you have helped me greatly! Also I wondered if you could feed it to your pet and yourself to deal with bugs and or worms? My kitty has tapeworm, and is never going outside again because all she does is eat grass. (She thinks she’s a cow). But this is the second time she got tapeworm, and I can only gather it’s from her trips outside??? The last tapeworm meds I got from the vet. It was a liquid that you apply to the back of your pet’s neck. She was so sick from it I thought she was going to die. She’s very sensitive to medicines, that is why I want to try this product for her tapeworm. Any thoughts or better ideas?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Nancy! Glad you have found this information useful :) I haven’t used it for that purpose myself but I have read that it is good for parasite removal and things like that but rather contact a medical practitioner for confirmation. I usually remove tapeworm from my pets using a tablet so I suggest grabbing something like that from your vet, not too sure why they recommended a liquid, very strange lol. Good luck!

  55. Claire says:

    Hi Natasha! I am lucky to find your so helpful information! I followed your tip, sprinkled three levels all together including the mud room where my cat’s whole station is, and left the powder for three days as of today. Our home is over 85 years old Victorian style, remodeled kitchen with over 85 years old wood flooring on the first and second levels. Lots of clevises, cracks and fire places that hasn’t been used for some years, seem to be offering a good places for these feline fleas, I am devastated at this point. I saw a bug flying across over our dinning table this morning as I was about to decide to clean up the powder all over on the floor. I’ve seen some eggs and feces on our hand towel in the bathroom although it is way less than it was before. I also wanted to ask of any product that will do to get rid of flea in my head and my daughter’s. I feel like I am out of resources now and debating whether if this problem existed before we moved in, it is our first summer with this home. It doesn’t seem to stop at any time soon.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Claire! I recommend that you keep using DE, its a fantastic product, especially in homes where there are lots of those cracks, etc. in the floors as it can usually get in there and kill more then just fleas. Leave it down for a day or two and then after vacuuming it up, repeat a couple times over a few weeks. If you do have fleas in your hair, a simple wash under hot water will kill all of them so you don’t need to worry about that. You can also try using a flea bomb, I have an article that outlines the exact steps and I encourage you to check it out. Good luck!

  56. Susie Driver says:

    Hi Natasha – Your article was so very informative. A friend of mine told me about DE, and your website was the most informative one I got when I googled it. I intend to get some and use it in my pets’ beds and in my yard. My friend suggested I might also find it useful in getting rid of roaches. What do you think?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Susie! Thanks for your kind words and I am glad that you found it the most informative, that was my exact goal while writing it ;) DE and borax (both used for flea control) are both very effective against these pests. I will be writing about roaches in the next couple months and I will definitely include something about this. Cheers!

  57. Anita Gilbert says:

    Plz help me; I recently had my male dog neutered & had to keep him inside for a few days & brought n our other dog as well but after bathing & treating them good. I now have a horrible flea infestation. I bought food grade also but is also brown. Was told it was safe to use on my 13 house cats, yes 13 cos they r so ate up with fleas. But now I’m worried I may have harmed all my babies . The place I bought it told it was very safe to use on them & the house. I didn’t know I was suppose to use the white kind. Though there was only one color of food grade. How long should I leave it on them before I bath them or just leave it on them. They seem to be fine & its been about 4 hrs. No problem with breathing. How long will it take to start killing them on my cats.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Anita! While the product I recommend is usually white, this definitely doesn’t mean that you have the wrong stuff. If you were told by a certified individual that it will not hurt your pets, then you should be able to trust them. Your primary goal is to make sure its as pure as possible, the color doesn’t really make a difference. However, on that note, I don’t usually recommend DE for direct application on pets as it can dry out their skin. Rather use DE in the house (carpets, etc.) and a decent spot on treatment for your pets and you should be flea free in no time :)

  58. ilona taylor says:

    Thanks so much for all the info on DE and fleas! I just found your website yesterday, but have been using DE on carpets for two weeks now. We aren’t seeing any on the floors, only on the cats. We still are finding fleas and flea dirt on them. We had treated them with Advantage and it’s time to retreat. However, before i read your info here, i put DE onto the cats and worked it into their coats hoping to kill off the ones that Advantage hasn’t. Now, though, i’m concerned that the Advantage won’t work if there is still DE in their fur. Do you think that the DE will absorb the Advantage and prevent it from spreading over the cats? I’m really sorry now that i did that.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Ilona! That is a good question hehe, I am actually not sure. However, there is no need to take a chance, just give your cats a quick wash (I put mine in the shower and yes, they do hate me for it for a good couple days) and only after they are completely dry, apply the Advantage. Also, I recommend using DE around the entire house (wherever there may be fleas) at the same time (that you use the spot on treatment) to make sure that all those fleas die. Good luck!

  59. Judith says:

    Hi and thanks for all your helpful information. I have three cats and one dog with fleas, have used DE (food grade) all over the house and on them. This has reduced the flea population by about 75 percent. I’m going to be traveling for several weeks and I wondered if it’s safe to leave the DE on the carpets while I’m gone. (The cats will be in residence; the dog will not). I’m worried about coming back to a huge flea infestation! Thanks for your help.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Judith! Its a pleasure and I am glad you have had such good success with DE. To answer your question, yes, its completely safe and I actually recommend it. Enjoy your trip!

  60. Linda Connor says:

    OH NO my husband just spread Pool grade DE all over in the cats out side pen. Is this gonna hurt them?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Linda! It shouldn’t hurt them, just vacuum it up as soon as possible and replace with the food grade variation. :)

  61. la hoover says:

    Great article I’m going t try de this weekend. My dog can’t walk 5 steps without scratching. And the puppy is the same way. Can I use it around my 2.5 month old puppy. How about my 2 year old son?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey La! Thanks, glad you liked it :) Yes you can use the food grade variation around your puppy, just don’t use it ON your pets. I always recommend a decent spot on treatment for that. Good luck!

  62. Mary Lou Dawson says:

    I have a cocker spaniel who always finds the fleas. How often is safe to dust her with DE?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Mary! It won’t hurt him but I would rather recommend a decent spot on treatment or just simply giving him a good bath using dawn soap and warm water. If you are going to use both, make sure you bath him first and then apply the spot on only afterwards. DE is mainly for your actual house, not really for direct pet application. Hope that helps!

  63. Annelyse says:

    Hello! I’m glad to have found your website! My dog brought fleas in and they are destroying me. I treated the dog and now the fleas are eating me alive in my bed every night. I put DE all around my bed and removed the bedskirt, but they are directly jumping onto me and my blankets :-(. Is it safe to put DE on my mattress and sheets and sleep with it on there?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Annelyse! First of all, I recommend that you wash all your bedding and once its dry, place DE under your sheets and on your carpets. If this still doesn’t remedy the situation, get yourself a steam cleaner as the high temperature will kill those fleas fairly quickly. Good luck!

  64. Yvette says:

    I purchased Red Lake Earth DE from my local feed supply store. Will this product work as we’ll. Before this, I used a mixture do baking soda and salt. Not quite sure if that made a huge difference. Patiently awaiting your reply.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Yvette! That will work perfectly! Looking forward to hearing your experiences!

  65. Karen says:

    DE appears to be working for us. We have hardwood floors and have used it along all floors and keep a dusting in the gaps in the floors. We are vacuuming twice daily and washing clothing we are wearing and bedding every other day. The use of a light and dish of soapy water at night helps us see if there are adults still around. We are in week 3 and seem to have gained the upper hand. We will continue this treatment just to be safe and to make sure we catch any that have recently “woken up”. Much better than using unsafe poisons etc.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Karen! Sounds like you are making good progress and I am glad you are trying the natural route, I also prefer them over chemicals where possible. Let me know if you have any questions!

  66. Judith says:

    Hi Natasha, what happens to fleas in colder weather? I have a screened porch I haven’t allowed my cats to hang out on because of fleas, and I’m wondering if it’s safe to let them out for a while in the winter. After the first hard freeze? Second? Never? Thanks for your great information.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Judith! Fleas are fairly resilient and although they are less active during colder weather, it won’t kill them in most situations. However, if you really want a number, I would say that after a couple hard freezes its unlikely that there will be many fleas around. I highly recommend actually treating your garden (with lime, etc.) for fleas to get rid of them once and for all so that you can let your dogs out whenever they want.

  67. David Stone says:

    Thanks for all the information Natasha! I just bought a box of DE from Diatomaceous Earth.net for a basement flea problem. My basement has a concrete floor with 1 large rug and 1 small piece of extra carpet. I was planning on dusting the rug, carpet and concrete then vacuuming up after 24 hours. Is method dangerous for a vacuum equiped with a HEPA filter…will it kill the vacuum? Thanks for your time.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey David! Its a pleasure, glad that you have found it beneficial! I have never used one with that filter but let me put it this way, its basically just dust. So although you may need to clean up that filter a couple times during the process, it should be fine. Otherwise your timings and target areas is perfect, let me know how it goes :)

  68. Daniel says:

    Hello! My problem recently has actually been with ticks. I found over 15 on my dog in a two day period. Also found one on my pillow (after he jumped up on the bed) and one crawling up the wall in the kitchen (I imagine they fell off the dog and wondered away, I put some geranium oil on his collar, they seem to hate it). My wife and have a 6 month old daughter and we have been sick with worry. I purchased some DE food grade and applied it to the carpets and all of the dogs bedding/hang out spots. I applied it when the dog and baby weren’t home. In your opinion could it harm the baby in any way after it’s settled? If she was on the carpet, got some on her hand (I’m sure it would be a minuscule amount) then placed it in her mouth, would there be any adverse reactions? Sorry, these ticks have me all flustered. Thank you for your time!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Daniel! Although its advisable to vacuum it up completely, the food grade (this is incredibly important)) variation of DE is perfectly safe. Good luck!

  69. tom says:

    Hi, thanks for this informative article. 2 questions:
    1. is there any value in adding DE to my dogs food? small doses of course.
    2. does DE work against roaches?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Tom! Its a pleasure :) I haven’t done it myself but I have had a couple of my readers saying that it does have health benefits. Yes it does. Simply mix some of it with cocoa powder and flour in equal parts and leave it in the area where you have a roach problem, works really well :)

  70. Jenna says:

    Hello, I found your blog this.evening and found it very informative. This week sadly my house came in contact with fleas due to my sister-in-law spending the week with me while my husband was in florida at a work conference. The little buggers were in her bedding! Luckily my cat is on advange and has been before we moved into our new house. I have been using borax periodically as a precaution, but after doing some research heard about DE and that it was more safe then borax, which is still a great product but not something I would use in the kitchen, on bedding, or near my pets food dishes. After using the DE I have found that it is effective from the first application. What I have learn is that you need to wash all your bedding on a hot cycle as well put it in the dryer, repeat more then once. While applying the DE move all furniture, vacume as you go, apply, work with broom, also make sure you get the baseboards thats where they really like to lay there eggs. Again I have found your blog verg helpful in answering any remainer question I have, and i will make sure.to reapply the DE over the next six week fo kill the flea cycle. Sincerely thank you!!!!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Jenna! Thanks for sharing your experiences with borax and DE, its much appreciated. I also appreciate your kind words and hope to see you back again soon :) Let me know if you have any further questions!

  71. sharon blickenstaff says:

    i am confused…if DE kills fleas why would I use the chemical based products like Frontline? My vet has me using the DE alone. If it doesn’t kill the fleas we already have why bother with it? Why not use the Frontline all the time?
    Thanks!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Sharon! Good question, basically DE is only for non-pet related treatments. This means that DE is great for places like your carpets, floorboards, etc. but I wouldn’t advise you use it directly on your pets. Its not dangerous but its best to combine a pet specific product (e.g. Front Line) with a house based flea solution (such as DE) for maximum results. Hope that clears things up, thanks for your comment!

  72. Leon Eakes says:

    How do I know if it’s the food grade DE? And whats the best way to apply it on the carpets so it don’t make so much dust? Thank you for your help

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Leon! It should mention it on the label. I usually use a plastic container with holes in the top (I usually make the holes lol) and use it like a salt shaker. I find that it distributes it quite nicely.

  73. Jason says:

    Glad I ran across this guide. Our cat is normally an indoor cat but she decided to sneak out and explore one day and brought some fleas back with her, which we didn’t expect because she gets frontline treatments regularly. A few fleas quickly turned into a huge infestation. I can’t even walk across my bedroom without getting bit 3 or 4 times on my feet and ankles. Just ordered some DE on Amazon after reading this guide. I ordered 10 LBS and need to do 4 rooms and a hallway, do you think that is a good amount? Thanks for what you do on this site, you have a lot of great advice. Keep up the great work!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Jason! Thanks for your kind words! I plan to write a number of additional articles in the near future, time permitting of course. That sounds perfect, let me know how it goes and make sure that you apply it slowly otherwise it can make a bit of a mess ;)

  74. Rob Marcelletti says:

    I purchased a 5lb. box of food grade of DE 3 days ago I applied it as directed topically to our 4 dogs and my ferret with little to no affect at all it seems to not work , how many applications are you supposed to do and how long does it take to kill fleas ?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Rob. DE isn’t really for direct application on your pets. As mentioned in this article and in the comments above, its better suited for killing fleas in your home (carpets, floors, etc.). For pet flea treatment, you can use a spot on or check out my best flea treatment for dogs article on this site for a few natural methods. Hope that helps, good luck!

  75. Cheryl8 says:

    Hi, I have enjoyed reading your articles. I have a question for you. This past Summer I had a TERRIBLE flea infestation in my home. I believe it’s something I did to myself! I have a problem area of my yard that was full of ants and was dried out from the previous years drought. I wanted to plant grass so I tilled up the yard, pulled out all the weeds, and planted grass seed. Long story short – It didn’t work, so I redid everything, still no grass. BUT, the fleas were a nightmare. I don’t know how or when they got so bad but, my home was infested. My dog was infested. I bathed and removed fleas and treated him with Frontline. Sprayed the house with “Ultracide.” Washed everything in sight with bleach and Borax. And still had fleas. So, I then treated the whole house, all 3 floors, with Borax. Me and my dog moved to my sisters for about a week. I started cleaning the Borax from my hardwood floors and I couldn’t believe the amount of fleas and flea dirt I was seeing. It was disgusting. But, I think I finally got the problem under control. My question is after all of the cleaning, washing, vacuuming, treating my dog, why am I still seeing flea dirt on my floors when I sweep? And in my laundry, there are black specks in my clothes? I sit and pull these specks out one by one. Are they leftover from the fleas? Are they dead fleas? Are the fleas really dead after repeated washings? I am freaked out by all of this. It is now December and I’ve been treating and cleaning and washing EVERYTHING since September. I do need to add that after I did the Borax my vacuum cleaner broke and it took 4 days to get it back. But, I did vacuum with another smaller vacuum I have.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Cheryl! Thanks, glad you have found them useful :) To be honest, it sounds like its just leftover flea dirt, shouldnt be anything to worry about. However, if you start seeing live fleas, please let me know as soon as possible and we can measure up some options. I also recommend that you try making one of my flea traps (guide is on this blog) as it will help you figure out if you have a flea problem or not. Good luck!

  76. Ellyn Devine says:

    Hi Natasha,
    I came across this site a few months ago when I was looking for a solution for the fleas that were in my home. We got rid of our cat (for good, I have 2 children and just couldn’t have the fleas biting them, so I got rid of the main source) and then I did the DE treatment throughout my home. As I had mentioned this was about 2 months ago. After 2 treatments I haven’t seen any fleas and thought they were completely gone, until today. I seen 2 of them, so far. How could this be? Is it because there are still eggs in my home? I put more DE down today after I seen them, I just thought they were gone, and I was so relieved, until today :(

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Ellyn! Yes, its most likely a cause of left over flea eggs from the previous flea infestation. However, don’t stress. I recommend that you just keep an eye on the situation and vacuum everything really well. If you want to be really safe, repeat your DE treatments in those areas once every two weeks and you will be flea free ;)

  77. Joan says:

    Hi Natasha. Great informative information. The one thing I didn’t see here is how the DE might effect a pet bird. I have three Chihuahuas and a green cheek conure. The dogs do not go outside but somehow we got fleas last month and I’ve been trying to fight them with natural products but it’s a battle. My bird thinks she’s a dog and runs around the house on the floor with them and on the furniture. Everything I’ve read says that birds lungs are very sensitive and to not expose them to chemicals, candles, etc. Do you know if the DE will hurt her if she walks on the floor or furniture where it was? Thanks for any help you can give.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Joan! While I havn’t had a problem with my bird, DE is rather dusty and it if you don’t apply it carefully, it could “puff up” and that wont be good for your feathered friend. I recommend keeping her off the ground for a day while you leave it on the floor and vacuum it up at night.

  78. Linda cotter says:

    I got safer brand DE 77 percent 22 percent is that ok I can’t find anything else what is the brand name of the 100 percent I put it on my dogs is it going to be ok??? Thank u so much for info, I really appreciate your info please answer

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Should be alright but just make sure its not “pool grade” or anything like that. Just keep an eye on it, remember its done at your own risk hehe. Surely there is an online store near you that can supply 100% DE?

  79. xara says:

    hi i found small infestation of bed bugs in my bedroom , i did deep cleaning , i sprayed bed bug killer spray couple of time ! i called 311 inspector came after couple of weeks of spray and could not find anything , but my kids still gets bite here n there! its certainly better than before ! now i am thinking to put food grade DE ! just wondering where should i apply it ? as visibly we can’t see them(bed bugs) and my both room mattresses have zipper covers / protectors ! if i apply lightly around the corners of bedrooms and around bed can we sleep in that room ? is it safe to sleep in that room ?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Xara! Put it under their sheets (vacuum it up after a couple days though and don’t use too much) and put it liberally anywhere else, you don’t need to worry because food grade DE is completely safe.

  80. Ashlee says:

    I get rid of the fleas but one of my dogs keeps playing with a neighbor cat that is infested and gets them again. I have a 5 moth old infant and was wondering if it is safe to use DE…

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Ashlee. Just make sure its “food grade” and isn’t infused with other stuff and it will be fine. However, since it can dehydrate the skin, I highly recommend vacuuming it up after a couple hours and that you keep your infant off the floor during this time.

  81. Mery Miranda says:

    I just got a nine week puppy and my yard has fleas, I have a canal in the backyard and also some stray cats, squirrels and opossum visit my yard. When I first got the puppy she had no fleas but last week I noticed a flea on her and I’m freaking out. I took the vet for a check up and he advised me that she is highly anemic and so I’m treating her for this condition and now fleas!!! How can I get rid of the fleas on her. Please let me know. Thank you so much.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Mery! I suggest using fresh lemon and warm water, around once a week. Just make sure that she doesn’t react to it. Hope that helps :)

  82. PJ Tucker says:

    I have 5 cats and 2 dogs all live in the house. Im going thru this flea invasion and have discovered something that may be helpful to some of you. Fleas like a certain amount of heat. They love a warm lamp, even on the bottom of the lamp. They also love TV’s. They will lay the eggs in places where your lamps are at. Check the cords for eggs as well. I discovered hundred of eggs in these place. Its disgusting and gross. God should never have given us fleas. They are good for nothing!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey PJ. Thanks for the great suggestion, really appreciate your contribution. I will add this to the article when I get some time as you make a good point :)

  83. Claudia says:

    I’m giving the DE a try. I put in in my backyard today. The grass and plants are dry. In three days the gardener will be here to mow the lawn. Do I need to reapply the DE after the gardener is done? Thank you!!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Claudia! Three days should be sufficient to kill those fleas so you don’t need to reapply. Good luck!

  84. karen rigg says:

    Hi! I have 2 questions. I planned on starting my dogs on vet flea treatments AND use the DE for inside the house an yard. Is that overkill an dangerous for the dogs to do both? Secondly, I’m up on a mountain an my back yard is ALL DIRT and very large!!! Is one bag enough? An do I just sprinkle it around with my fingers or buy a sifter? How much do u put on yer dogs body?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Karen! No its not dangerous, provided its “food grade” DE. To be honest, I use it primarily for inside the house and get a insect spray for the yard. However, you can use DE but you are going to need that sifter and probably more of it. Rather wash your dogs with lemon water and dish soap for effective flea control, it works really well. Hope that helps!

  85. rebecca says:

    My house is old, I live with my grandfather, and he refuses to get rid of all his old stuff around the house (making it very hard to deep clean and de-clutter, which makes it very hard to thoroughly clean to get rid of fleas). I’ve tried everything to get rid of the fleas but nothing works. I have three cats, one doesn’t have fleas really but the other two…boy do they have fleas. And they’re all indoor cats! I’m constantly finding flea eggs and droppings EVERYwhere, mostly in hard to reach places where I can’t properly clean.

    I’m going to try the food grade DE option now after reading your article, but was wondering…once I sprinkle it on the carpets and furniture, can I still walk around on the carpets and use the furniture like normal? And how often do I need to sift the DE over the carpets + vacuum? And lastly, what’s the procedure for putting DE on cats? Do you put it on and leave it (and if so does this harm them if they start to lick the DE/clean themselves?), or do you put it on and then wash them? Thanks!!!

    Also,

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Rebecca! Yes you can, its completely harmless (just a bit dusty that’s all hehe). You can do it whenever you want to treat the area, there isn’t really a limit per say. I wouldn’t recommend putting it on your pets (even though it won’t hurt them), rather use a spot on treatment :)

  86. W. Kimball Englehart says:

    Natasha,

    Thank you so much for your informative article. I live in the California High Desert, where we don’t normally get flees. However, my wife and I foster dogs (eight) for a non profit organazation and I recently fostered a dog that must have been dumped up here because she had flees. The rest of the dogs caught them and we have been having a hard time getting rid of them. Hopefully, this will work. Again, thank you.
    Kimball

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Kimball! I am sure that it will help, thanks for stopping by and best of luck!

  87. Jessica says:

    Hello! I’m so glad I came across your site, I’ve read several articles, all very helpful! My husband and I took in a 5 1/2 week old kitten last Saturday and immediately took her for her first vet appointment. We learned there that she had a flea problem, and quite a few for such a little thing. We’ve completed a Dawn soap bath on her and applied Revolution, which seems to be killing the last few left on her. Even though she was only in our home for a day prior to starting her Revolution, we are looking for something to treat our apartment, as we don’t want anymore popping up. I believe I read either in the article or in a response to another question to be careful with younger pets; at 6 weeks old and weighing just about 1.2 lbs, is she too young for us to use DE on the carpets and allow her to roam freely as she does? Also, can DE be used on the couches? Thank you so much!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Jessica! Glad that you like them :) Provided you get food grade DE, she will be fine. Yes, it can be used on couches but it creates quite a bit of a dust cloud so take it easy hehe.

  88. Davy says:

    do I need to add anything to this like it says to do with the borax were talking about adding salt and all that other stuff. thank you

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Davy! You can definitely add stuff like that (it would probably help) but its not absolutely necessary. Good luck!

  89. G says:

    Hi
    we live in south of England, very close to forest area
    how often would we need to repeat treatment as a preventative?
    and roughly how much would be needed for 2 Jack Russel cross dogs?
    many thanks for reading this
    G

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi G! I don’t usually recommend DE for dogs, its mainly for areas inside your house. I suggest that you just keep up a monthly spot on treatment for them and they should be fine :)

  90. Damien says:

    I just bought a home and it so happens that one room is infested with bird mites
    Just wanted to ask that if DE would work with that
    Tried everything but it’s a killer at night I have sprayed my room with Lysol all around
    That is the only way that I can rest at night

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Damien! Yes, DE will work. Let me know how it goes!

  91. Linda johnson says:

    I don’t have carpet or grass. My dogs are inside dogs but have access to a large patio area. How can I use this product on concrete or laminate?

    Thank you.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Linda! For laminate or concrete, you can just mop the floor with hot water and dish soap every now and again. If the fleas really are in these areas, they will die. However, just keep an eye on the situation around the house, use my custom flea trap to check for them.

  92. Maria Isabel Hibarra says:

    I bought a bottle of Diatomaceous earth from green acres market brand is LUMINO does this work for roaches plz help

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Maria! I havn’t personally used that brand but provided its “food grade”, it will kill a ton of insects including roaches.

  93. Jessie says:

    Thanks so much for all your helpful information! Is that t safe to use DE in the yard if we have sprayed with nematodes or will DE kill them? I understand Nematodes a while to be effective and are more of a long term solution so wondering what we can use in the yard that’s safe for them to get faster results?

    Thanks again!
    Jessie

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jessie! Its a pleasure. If you have sprayed with nematodes, you don’t need to use DE so don’t bother :) If you are having success with that, I suggest sticking with it as for outdoor use, I think its a better solution.

  94. misty says:

    Just bought a house from people who were obviously oblivious to the fact they were harboring millions of vampiric nasty bugs! My 4 yr old has been eaten alive. She looked like she had chicken pox there were so many bites. I tried excessive vacuuming and boric powder. Bug guy has been out twice in Two weeks and she’s still being eaten up. I finally doused all 2800 sq ft in food grade DE! Excited to update you with the results.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Misty! Please do, I am excited to hear your feedback!

    • Terri says:

      Did Misty reply, I’m interested in how it went. I have had my pest control come out 3 times and I still have an issue and getting eaten up at night. I’ve purchased an expensive steamer to steam clean my beds and hardwood floors but I’m still seeing them periodically jumping on my clothing. I can’t sleep at night, constantly getting up with a flashlight to see if I see whatever I feel is crawing on me. I need some help, this is consuming me.

      • Natasha Anderson says:

        Hi Terri, she didn’t but DE does work. Alternatively, I can get you a quote from an exterminator in your local area that will sort you out (they are vetted), let me know if you need it.

  95. Electlady says:

    Electlady
    Hi just wanted to comment and say that I have 2 Boston Terriers .
    For about a year now I have been using this Earth I place 1/2 tsp on their breakfast every morning.(they luv it )
    I sprinkle it on there bedding and also on them I have had no fleas problems if a flea jumps on them it dies .I use it out side as well
    Great stuff highly recommend it .
    Also I took it myself in water for a few week I had been suffering with vertigo it took it completely away!!!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Electlady! Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it!

  96. Andrea says:

    I got my DE at the health food store. So is that safe enough to use for fleas in the carpet?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Andrea! If it says “food grade” then yes, it is safe.

  97. wendy kiser says:

    Hello. I live in an apartment and have to walk my dog so he can go to the restroom i use a spot on treatment but i am still seeing fleas..my pomeranian is alergic to fleas. .and scratches all the time. He likes to stay under my bed when he sleeps. But when I walk around my bedroom i do not have fleas jumping on me. Where is he getting them??

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Wendy! Might be from the garden, check out that possibility.

  98. Shelby R says:

    Hi there!! I’m pretty positive that his article saved my life and my wallet!! I moved from WA to FL and have NEVER experienced fleas like they have here in florida, holy cow!! But since I’m here, of course my dog was playing in the yard and fleas jumped on him! While I have never gotten bit, seen them in the carpets, furniture, etc, every so often I will fine 2 or 3 on my dog. So I started panicking! Read this article and went to home Depot the next day and bought a huge bag. Came home and vacuumed each room a few times over and rubbed the diatomaceous earth over every inch (even under and all over furniture) by hand. I know it says it’s okay to vacuum after 12 hours… but I did it 4 days ago just to be sure :p and I’m going to clean and reapply tomorrow. So! My question is, how often should I reapply? And thank you for the article!!!!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Shelby! Reapply every couple weeks when you think fleas might be invading. Otherwise, don’t stress about. Also give my flea trap article a look at, I think you will love it.

  99. Shannon says:

    Thanks for all the information. I have a question. We have sprinkled some DE on our dogs but they are still scratching like crazy. How long does it usually take for it to start working? Also the fleas are heading towards parts of the dog where I have to be careful putting the powder. I’ve found them on their heads and other areas I’m not sure how to use the powder there without getting it into their eyes. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Shannon! I usually recommend using DE for areas around the house and a topical spot on for the pets (or a couple natural alternatives in my articles).

  100. Deborah says:

    I live in Texas and just recently bought my first bag of DE. I found it reasonably priced at a feed store. Fot application on my carpets I used a small seive with a handle for hard to reach spots, and an old hand crank sifter, probably 50+ yrs old, and it worked beautifully depositing finely sifted powder on the larger areas. I also purchased nematodes and put them out a week ago, then the DE for inside yesterday. I’m attacking the fleas on all fronts!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Deborah! You are and it sounds like you are doing a good job, well played!

  101. Betsey says:

    My husband sprinkled this all over the driveway yesterday. What’s the best way to clean it up? Can I hose it down?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Betsey! Yes you can do that.

  102. Dan says:

    Hi Natasha,
    I did a search of this page for the term Red Earth with no results. I am wondering if you have ever heard of that brand. I live in south Alabama and they had it at a local tractor supply for $17 for a 40 lb bag. It is called food grade, as in it talks about using it as an anti caking agent in animal foods,
    It also says Food Chemical Codex Grade, it has Diatomaceous Earth and Calcium Bentonite, guaranteed analysis says moisture maximum 8%, ash (mineral matter) maximum …95%.
    After I bought it I read it is a little coarser grade, although it is an off white color it is still like talcum powder.
    Anyway, we have a 10,000 sq ft warehouse and a pit bull that stays here, she and the shop is infested with fleas. I have tried all kinds of stuff. I put this on her and all in the yard and in the shop yesterday and the fleas are still all over the dog. Under her belly especially and under the arms.
    I can use something else to get them off her, i am just wondering if you have heard of this brand and is it too coarse for flea control?

    Thanks and thanks for taking the time to write this. I know i have owned dogs and cats all my life and never used this for flea control.
    I will be sharing this on my facebook page, I think everyone needs to know there are safer solutions to pest control than just spraying chemicals. I hate pesticides, I fell like I have it all over me and like I am eating it for weeks after using it.

    Dan

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Dan. I am not sure what “food chemical grade” means, sounds like a contradiction so just be careful with it. Yes, use warm water and dawn soap, kills the fleas instantly. Thanks for the share, really helps :)

  103. Anne says:

    For years I have searched for a remedy for chiggers and have recently hit upon the prospect of using DE. I don’t have a flea or tick issue since I apply Frontline Plus to my 9 pound dog a couple of times during the summer (however, if DE could replace those chemicals, that would be my preference). I live in a rural area next to a creek so there is lots of brush and wooded area. My yard is too large to consider treating, so I want to treat my dog. It sounds as if I could apply a dusting to her with no ill effect. As nearly as I can figure, the chigger larvae attach to her hair when she is in the yard. Then she comes in the house and the larvae transfer to me and make my life a misery. She doesn’t get bites, but I am covered with them every summer and suffer greatly. I do not walk in the grass myself without boots on and mostly avoid being in the yard. I don’t like being restricted like this, but it seems like the best policy for me. In the spring and summer I have to avoid physical contact with my little friend except for some petting on the head and stroking her back, and it makes both of us unhappy. She is a little lap dog and we miss our hugs. However, she sleeps on my bed; she has for 10 years and there is no changing that. I would like to try applying DE to her (short) hair and tummy and legs since it will not be toxic to her when she licks herself. I am wondering how often I can get away with dusting her. Could I do that every morning and expect it to last the whole day? What schedule would you recommend? And what about myself?? Can I dust my skin with DE? Have you ever heard of people doing that? If I could apply it to myself, maybe I could enjoy the yard a little bit (I don’t want to use the chemical Deet). Thanks in advance for a response. I will be looking for it.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Anne! Food Grade (this is important) DE will not be toxic, you can safely use it. I don’t usually apply it directly to pets but you can, let me know how it goes (I usually use a spot on). You can “dust her” once or twice a week, just keep an eye on her skin because it can dry it out on some dogs. It’s not necessary to apply it to yourself, just take a hot shower and fleas will die :)

  104. Christy says:

    Hey there.. so excited to finally try DE. We have tried borax, chemical sprays, dawn dish soap .. you name it we have tried it. We thought they were getting better.. at first we were not getting bit and now I am getting bit all over (although no one else is.. so weird) I have seen little baby ones crawling on my dog but only a few here and there.. So I know we are making progress just want them gone completely. We are going to buy DE today and put it on the carpets, couches beds etc. We have a book shelf with books and some of the kids toys.. how do we know if the fleas have gotten into the books? should we sprinkle our counter tops etc? I have seen you respond to others about it being ok to leave on couches and beds etc.. I also read that you mentioned to someone if they leave the DE on for 3 days after vacuuming there is no need to reapply, but earlier you had mentioned that it takes a bout a week for the eggs to hatch.. wouldn’t it be better to either reapply or leave on the carpet longer? Would it be safe to say that applying it on a regular basis would help maintain a flea free home?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Christy! Just wipe the counters and check the books, I don’t think using DE on them will help. The longer the better, I say three days because that’s the most people are usually willing to stand hehe. I suggest applying when when you see fleas, unless you find the application and cleanup entertaining ;)

  105. Carrol J says:

    Is DE effective against bees? I have access to the hive in my wall by drilling small holes through the wallboard, would that be a good way to inject DE?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Carrol! I havn’t tried it but after a little research, I don’t recommend it.

  106. Lisa says:

    Hi I just notice diatomaceous earth in a pet food supplement. Do you know how this benefits pets or is this not a good idea? Thanks

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Lisa! Food grade DE is great for your pets, even when ingested.

  107. Alethea says:

    Hi Natasha, As a big proponent of the benefits of food grade DE, I was very pleased to find this website. I’ve read all the posts on this page,
    and found the probable explanation for my three dogs’ itchy tummies — too frequent use of DE directly on their skins. Based on previous experience,
    I think it is OK to massage into the coat initially (avoiding the face), then toweling off the excess.
    I hope you don’t mind if I offer some answers/suggestions/info for some of the previous posters’ questions:

    1) DE goes a long way. The 50-lb bag I ordered was enough to fill almost five 31-lb Fresh Step cat litter containers. Three years later, and I’ve only
    1-1/2 containers for 2,000 sq. ft., including deck, house perimeter, and crawl-space.

    2) Use a face mask or damp scarf to cover your mouth and nose until you’re accustomed to using this powder. DE can also absorb moisture
    from your eyes, so don’t hesitate to rinse them from time to time.

    3) DE kills any critter with an exoskeleton (insects/”bugs”/spiders), snails and slugs. Unfortunately, it also wipes out all beneficial insects, such
    as ladybugs (who eat aphids for a living), and pollinators(bees, butterflies, etc). If you decide to apply DE to your yard, please do it on a non-windy
    day, keep dusting to ground level, and consider temporarily covering flowering plants. Thank you!!

    4) For the poster who has bees in her wall: If you can locate a beekeeper or beekeeping club in your area, you may be able to enlist their help
    to capture and relocate your bees. Once the bees leave, you can get rid of any stragglers by hanging Almond Extract-soaked cotton balls as
    close as is possible to their now former hive. (They hate this stuff). After a few days, remove the cotton balls, then plug up any hole(s) that the
    bees may have been using as their entryway.

    Natasha, thank you for providing this site. Please feel free to edit this as you might see fit. I just thought you would like
    to have some more information to pass on. I love food grade diatomaceous earth!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Alethea! Thanks for taking the time to provide all this info, I really appreciate it :)

  108. Melanie says:

    Hi Natasha,

    After reading many posts on here I am still a bit confused, is this safe to apply to your pets? And I am finding that the labels I am reading says 100% pure freshwater DE is that what I want? I have a fairly large flea problem and I will naturally treating my pets as well, can you suggest the best way to achieve being flea free? Do I put the DE down and treat my pets at the same time or how would you suggest I go about the whole problem. I am normally not bothered by them but this year I am terribly, my dog also sleeps on my bed with me, so sprinkle on the mattress and then put the sheets on, leaving the DE on there? I thank you in advance for any further help in this matter and I thank you for this wonderful site and information already gathered.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Melanie! Yes its safe, its just not the best way to kill the fleas. Give you dog a wash using dawn soap, use a flea comb, put DE on the floor and try my flea traps for a more effective solution.

  109. Theresa Robinson says:

    Will DE also kill cock roaches?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Theresa! Yes it will, provided they come into contact with it.

  110. Jessica says:

    Hi Natasha, glad I have come across your article. I have heard about DE from a friend with dogs. I put DE all over my carpet yesterday, I did not use a broom to sweep it into the carpet but I’m going to do so after this comment. We have one large dog and the fleas have gotten extremely bad to the point he has missing patches of fur, and they are on his face and biting the insides of his ears. I have been bathing him every weekend on my days off with flea shampoo. Tonight I’m going to try using dawn dish soap in hopes it will help. I’ve heard to put a table spoon of DE in the dog’s food to also help. Any feedback will help, thanks in advance!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jessica! You are doing fine, keep it up. I wouldn’t bother about the spoon in the food though. Good luck!

  111. Carlos Bañales says:

    I was recommended using DE, food grade of course, on a dog forum last year. I was so desperate back then because my dogs were infested by fleas, we even had fleas inside the house. I tried everything, bathe the dogs every other week, I asked about frontline plus, which I was provided with good reviews but I had 9 dogs and that was too expensive for me. Anyways, I tried frontline and to my surprise it wasn’t working, I was told it could be working but it might be a case that I needed to treat the house too, indoors and patios (we don’t have grass areas) and somebody suggested DE. I live in Mexico on the border with San Diego so I went up there to get it and started treating the house and continued with frontline for another 3 months. It was so successful that my dogs were really happy and finally could lay around or play without being bothered by fleas and start scratching themselves every 10 seconds, no kidding. Two of my dogs got the worst of the fleas and had some really bad skin problems and tons of loss of hair but they recovered fantastically. It took me 4 months to get rid of the infestation, July-October and since then I only had to bathe the dogs every once in a while and stopped using frontline for the next 7 months, I stick to DE to treat the house every now and then and no fleas were present. Great product!

    Now that is summertime, it seems they have come back, I just applied frontline again on all my dogs and treated the house with DE, unfortunately two of my dogs, the ones who had the worst results last year as to the skin problems, where the first to show signs of allergy again, hopefully it is controlled soon. I can’t remember how long it took me last year to take care of the situation but hopefully it will be soon.

    So after this really long story, lol, I still have a question. Last year when I bought DE, I got a 40lb bag which of course I still got plenty and I was thinking if should I be worried about some sort of expiration date? Or that the bag has been opened for the whole year, although it has been stored in a room temperature place, away from direct sun, etc. ?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Carlos! Thanks for your detailed experience, its appreciated! Provided it’s not wet, DE can last for ages so you should be fine.

  112. Catherine says:

    Recently acquired a new cat who seems to be a flea manufacturer. Treated him and the other two cats with Advantage and hundreds fell off. Ugh! The bedroom floor is old hardwood and soon developed a HUGE flea infestation. I sprayed and bombed but still get them all over my ankles when I enter. They seem to be newly hatched ones as they are all tiny – not adult size. I called a professional exterminated but still have a bad case of fleas. So I’m trying the DE approach. I put it on the floor 3 days ago. I stomp around to activate the pupae to hatch out and get dozens on my ankles. It never seems to get better. There’s always more fleas jumping on me. The DE is still a powder so it’s not gotten wet. I suspect my problem is coming from residual pupae waiting to hatch. How long will this go on? Should I vacuum up the DE I put down and reapply?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Catherine! Yes, vacuum it up (if you are using a Dyson, be careful) and reapply every couple days for a week or two. That should be enough to wipe out the next generation of fleas. Good luck!

  113. Cindy says:

    Couple of questions. Why above did you say, IF you are using a Dyson, be careful?
    I have 2 cats and lots of fleas this year, tried advantage, didnt work so 2 weeks ago tried Frontline, I still had lots of fleas. The are biting my legs at night and I can take my smaller kitty, turn her over and pop fleas, so I tried a Zodiac house flea bombs (we had to stay out of the house for 4 hours and do massive clean up afterwards) . I did 3 of them in my house and no change.
    I even give my kitties a flea bath. (this was all in a 2 week time). Someone told me about DE, so I got some and used it 2 days ago, not sure if it is working or not ??
    The strange thing is the bigger cat has stiff type fur, so I cant pop them like I do on the little cat BUT what I am finding now is black dots of ? wherever she lays. She sleeps on a pair of shorts of mine on the dresser, they were covered with this small gravel like dots. Also she jumped into the tub this morning and it was also covered with black dots of stuff. Is this flea eggs or somehow the DE coming off and turning black?
    Any suggestions to rid of these fleas would be appreciated.
    Does giving DE to the cats in their food help?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Cindy! I said that because I have heard that sucking up the powder can damage a Dyson. Those black dots are probably flea dirt, check my article on this subject. No, DE in their food will not help with fleas. At this point (since you have tried a couple things), I suggest you get professional help from an exterminator. This doesn’t need to be expensive, drop me an email and I will organize some free quotes for you.

  114. Marie says:

    Hi! I have two pups and was using Triflexis on both of them but that stuff is expensive and I can’t afford it month after month. Living in Florida, fleas are a huge problem! Going to try the food grade DE in the yard but I have a question: Will it hurt snakes? We have snakes living under our house and we are cool with that as they eat mice that may want to enter our home. We don’t really want to hurt the snakes as they are harmless black snakes and are doing a good job of keeping rodents from entering our home (we live in a huge hay field so we are a target).
    I’m also using a vinegar/water spray on the pups after their nightly walk. I then comb them with a flea comb and drop the fleas into a bowl of water and Dawn. We don’t seem to be having a problem in the house but I’m going to pick up some tea lights and make some flea traps to make sure.
    I posted a query on facebook asking friends how to get rid of fleas without dangerous chemicals and a couple people directed me to this site or told me about food grade DE. Love my friends for giving me good answers and ideas. Appreciate this website for answering all my questions about DE. I started reading all the comments and now it’s way past my bedtime!
    Thanks for helping people with flea problems! Their pets appreciate it!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Marie! I am not sure if it will hurt snakes but if they stay away from it, it won’t affect them. It’s a pleasure, I am glad to help the community with these frustrating bugs hehe.

  115. Calmtmpr says:

    Hi Natasha
    I believe I purchased a non food grade DE from Home Depot (Safer brand 4 lb. Diatomaceous Earth Ant and Crawling Insect Killer) but I am not sure. It doesn’t say food grade anywhere. I was just happy to get DE the same day since Home Depot was a few blocks away. Last night I sprinkled with a flour sifter between my box spring and mattress and between the mattress and fitted sheet and slept in same bed. Was that a terrible mistake? I thought I would vacuum tonight it up tonight. I haven’t sprinkled it onto my area rug but I did around the bed and wall door crevices.

    I ordered online on Amazon a few other items: Alpine Flea Insecticide with IGR-20 oz can 795903 but that won’t be in for another 5 days. I also ordered: Applicator Bottle + Diatomaceous Earth with Calcium Bentonite. Food Grade. (More Effective than DE Alone) 1 lb By Abundant Living. Kills Bed Bugs, Fleas, Insects. Safe for Humans & Pets which should arrive in 2 days time.

    I tried the candle in a pool of soapwater but haven’t seen any fleas floating yet.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Calmtmpr! You will be fine, don’t stress just always use food grade in future. Sounds like you have a couple good flea fighting tools at your disposal (in the next couple days). Let me know how they work for you!

  116. Lisa Phillips says:

    I have a question I bought Diatomaceous red lake earth with calcium bentonite food chemical codex grade is this safe to use on my dog and cats? Also my renters have moved out and the house is infested with fleas will it work to kill the fleas? I have had cancer before and this I bought doesn’t say food grade. Will it be harmful to me?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Lisa! I have never used that type of DE but it should be safe, just do some research please. Yes DE (even if its chemical based, not ideal though) will kill fleas.

  117. Lee says:

    Hi! i purchased Diatomaceous Earth, food Grade from a company called “Root Naturally LLC” off of amazon prime. I received a 5lb bag of the stuff for $13.95 with free prime 2 day shipping. Only ingredient is Diatomaceous Earth, 100%.
    I just sprinkled a ton of it all down my log very rugged hallway, and i let the kiddos run and play all day and track it all over the house. I have lots of hardwoods and tile. I figure tomorrow i will vacuum it up, do it every 3 days or so for the next 2 weeks and it should kill anything in my house, at least thats what i am hoping! I have had cats forever and NEVER had a flea, and they dont even go out. We are so infested my 3 year old looks like he is just a red bump, no one else is that bad though. We came back from a 5 day trip in july and i could see them crawling on my cats faces from 2 rooms away… there had to be hundreds on each of them. i dont know WHAT HAPPENED!!!! I ran and bought frontline and put it on all 3 of them, then 13 days later they became infested again! I just put advantage on them last night, and i am going Diatomaceous Earth crazy all over my house lol. Thank you everyone for sharing… it gives me hope that this will work! I will keep updating!!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Lee! Please do, you are doing well though, keep it up!

      • lee says:

        A few days in… i must have super fleas or something. They are everywhere and the cats are getting infested again!! I cant put anything else on them for 3 more weeks! I put tons of de all over the hallway, in the rugged bedrooms, the sofa, the hardwood floors, EVERYWHERE and i think i still have the same or more fleas. :(

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Lee! Might be time to call in a pro, let me know if you need a couple free quotes :)

  118. Brantley King says:

    Hey Natasha,
    We have had a really bad flea infestation! I have finally gotten rid of the fleas in all infected parts of the house with bombs and then had my carpets professionally cleaned to make sure all residue was eliminated. That being said…. I still can not get them out of my bathroom!!! I have a tile bathroom and have washed the bathroom rug 100 times! I do not want the fleas re infesting my bedroom and was wondering if you had any suggestions to get rid of these last few.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Brantley! Use a soap and warm water solution and wash down the bathroom (mops, cloths, etc.), this will definitely sort them out.

      • Brantley King says:

        Hey! I ended up sprinkling the floor with borax and leaving it over night then doing what you said and have been flea free since! Thanks, you have an awesome website with great info!

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Brantley! Awesome, please share this article with your friends :)

  119. rhonda says:

    You say “not to rub directly on pets skin on a daily basis “…is it OK to sprinkle it on cats say, once a week? My cats are miserable! How would you suggest I use it on them? Thanks

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Rhonda! You could but I suggest rather using a spot on, it will be much more effective.

  120. Rachel Cederborg says:

    The fun with the especially evil cat fleas! Have been doing research for my brother in law. He has indoor cats & the apartment is infested. I will be giving him the info on the de & borax. Other stuff I have used with success -our dogs we give them whole lemons to play with & the acid kills the fleas. I use Theraneem soap on the dogs and found a product called flea flicker /tick kicker spray. Literally field tested it during hunting season with great results! Sprayed the dogs before we started & it kept the ticks off. After getting wet from the grass/bushes reapplied. The little nasties were jumping off like they were on fire! This is the height of tick season and when you leave the field with the dogs there are so many it looks like a flea infestation but it’s ticks.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Rachel! Thanks for the suggestions!

  121. valerie stephenson says:

    can i apply this to my dogs/cats ……i hear every day is a no….but how about once a month in place of topicals…….

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Valerie! Its safe to do so but it can dry your pets skin, that’s why I don’t recommend it. Give it a try though and let me know how it goes.

  122. Parent of itchy and scratchy says:

    Thanks for the blog. Okay, gonna give this a try… I have 3 cats, an old boy and 2 younger girls. All are bad at bathing–when I try, I get scratched, bit, crying, and it’s exhausting. The vet won’t give me tranquillizers, so I’m at wit’s end. While it’s not a big problem for me–the fleas don’t like me much–it’s driving the cats more nuts and honestly, it’s embarrassing. They scratch constantly and have scabs beneath their fur. I don’t have carpet, but I have dusted the house quite well. I will leave it over the weekend, clean and reapply next week. Gotta figure out what to do for the animals though…

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi! Use a spot on treatment like Frontline on your pets and let me know how the DE application goes.

  123. Michael Morris says:

    Thank you for the info I had my wife stop in at a TSC. store to pic up some DE for me there web site said call to see if they had it in stock so i did so when my wife got home she had a 40 pound bag of RED LAKE EARTH DIATOMACEOUS EARTH AND CALCIUM BENTONITE, 40 LB.instead and that is all they have I looked up reviews on the stuff and people seem to happy with it both feeding it and just using it by putting on the skin so I thought I would try it just not sure of the % of clay to DE and how well it will work was wondering if anyone has ever tryed using this product instead of just general reviews on a website thank you for your time.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Michael! I havn’t use that specific brand but I am sure it will work fine :)

  124. Alison says:

    Apologies if this has been mentioned already, but I have a question regarding treatment of plank flooring. I have it throughout my house and dusted DE over the entire floor and swept it into the cracks and baseboards. A day later, I wonder if I should let this application sit for a while or if I need to vacuum it up and dust again? What’s the benefit to a repeat procedure? I already have shoes dedicated to walking around the house so I’m not too concerned with appearance or tracking and there is no dust. I have lots and lots of fleas jumping about and have been using your tealight traps at night (they’re great!). I hope the DE does the trick!!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      HI Alison! You can apply it, leave it for a couple days and after vacuuming it up, repeat (if you still find fleas). Fleas have to come into contact with the DE to die so a repeat application will just ensure that it works 100%.

  125. Danny says:

    Oh no! I just spread some (probably rather thickly) all over my carpet. It says it is 85% silicon dioxide, 10% “other oxides”, 5% moisture. Should it be safe to release my cats to walk on it?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Danny! It won’t hurt them, don’t stress. :)

  126. Denise says:

    Thanks for such a good article! I have a 2 years old daugther and I was thinking in applying this during the night and then vacuum first thing in the morning before she wakes up. Is safe for her, I mean, she loves to play on the floor. Can I be sure this is good for her? Thanks in advance!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Denise! Yes, provided its food grade and you vacuum it up (otherwise it can be a bit dehydrating to her body), that will be fine.

  127. Karen says:

    My daughter used de, a bit too heavy and vacuum doesn’t work and wet rag does help. She is frantic about how to clean it all up. What is best for vacuuming. She has mostly carpet but used it on Everything! Help!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Karen! Just a regular vacuum with a bag works well. How much did she put down lol?

  128. Alice Jean says:

    Hi. Sorry if you’ve already covered this, but does the DE have any effect on the flea eggs or larvae? The only rug in my apt. is a fairly large oriental rug (which is one of the nicest things I own), so I am a little leery of putting something on it, for fear it would make it powdery and/or affect the colors – ? And what kind of brush would you use to brush it in? Thank you for your input.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Alice! If you leave the DE down for a couple days and brush it in, yes, it will kill everything. It won’t affect the colors but if you are nervous, just use a DIY flea trap near it and that should draw the fleas out. Any brush with stiff bristles :)

  129. michelle says:

    I have read this but yet to find the answer i need to know can you use this in your yard i have a dirt floor kennel ???

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Michelle! You can but its sensitive to moisture so it’s usually more suitable for indoor use. You can definitely put it in the kennel though, will work well.

      • Ronda says:

        Can you put this on bedspreads/clothes? I have cotton bedspread that I am afraid to wash and dry in heat. Could I put some DE in bag with bedspread, shake it around, let it set for day or two, then wash in warm water and warm dryer. Would the DE get the fleas and larvae, and washing would rinse away eggs?

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Ronda! Yes you can and you are correct with both your statements. Good luck!

  130. lynn says:

    Hi,
    I washed my dog with dawn and a little bit of lavender oil. I was so disappointed when I found fleas still on him after the bath. I received the DE today (food grade of course) and put some on him directly as well as spreading it all over the carpets with the duster I purchased with the DE. I hope this works, as I feel so bad for my doggie itching and biting himself to get at the fleas. From all the comments, I believe this is going to work. Can’t afford an exterminator.
    Thanks for all your suggestions, I feel relieved.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Lynn! It will work, good luck!

  131. Teri Smithe says:

    Natasha, first thank you for the great article and for responding to all the comments!!! You are an angel. Most people write, but never care about the people that are reading. So, my hat’s off to you!

    Ok, I have fleas, I have sprayed, bombed, put down IGR, etc…and now I’m leaving for a month, and I still have a few fleas. I don’t want to come back to a house full of new fleas, so this is the plan…I bought Boric Acid, and DE. I plan on putting both of them down, and also getting some flea traps with the lights in them, and putting them on timers for the night. Yea, I’m that sick of them!! I also want to hook up a radio loud, to keep them thinking someone is home, or whatever they say to do, to keep them hatching. I live on a farm, so it’s ok that the music is blasting. LOL

    Am I forgetting anything? Thanks again!! You are an angel… <3

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Teri! Thanks for your kind words :) That sounds like a fail safe plan, I love it! Let us all know how that goes :)

  132. Teri Smithe says:

    I just put down some DE and Boric Acid on the entire lower floor and the stairs (Carpet and tile) Today I woke up and thought they were dead. I’ve already had 3 jump on me. Did I not put down enough? I CANNOT find ANYWHERE on the internet – ANY demonstration on how to put this stuff down, or in what amount!! Everyone talks about putting it down and how great it is, but not ONE demonstration!! Ugh… HELP!!! I’m leaving to go to my mom’s for a month and don’t want to come back to a flea infested house!! (My house will be empty, no pets.)

    Thank you so much for keeping up with this article of yours!! Everyone else blogs, etc…and just leaves the readers with questions hanging. I really appreciate it!!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Teri! Sounds like you put down enough, just leave it for a couple days. Also put a flea traps down (I have a guide on how to make your own) and you will find relief.

  133. Dallas says:

    This was so helpful, thank you!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Dallas! Pleasure!

  134. eva says:

    Thank you for the advice!
    Shd be done w/the DE process by morning. Only did carpets, furniture, & beds. Haven’t seen any in rooms where linoleum & hardwood floors are, so just did the furniture that the cat likes to sit on. Shd I have done the floors anyway? & I thought I’d do the Borax treatment to prevent the return instead of retreating w/DE 3-4 times? Is there any problem w/using both treatments one after the other that way?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Eva! That won’t be a problem at all, let us all know how it goes!

  135. Karen says:

    Hi Natasha,
    I am a senior lady who lives alone, and has NO pets. However, I do have a little granddog, who is a chihuahua, and comes over with my daughter & granddaughter about twice per month. The last time Honey, the dog, was here laying on my couch, she was getting bit by fleas. This was about 3-4 wks. ago. The dog has not been here at all since that time. My daughter used borax all over in their house, and washed all of their bedding in the house, as well as getting Honey a flea shot and doing the vinegar washes, I believe. Anyway, I am wondering how much I ought to do to make sure I don’t have anymore fleas in my own house? One night recently, I had seen numerous small beige-colored bugs crawling around on my black night table next to my bed. I do not know what fleas actually look like, so am wondering if this is what they were? I have not seen any more since that time; about 2 wks. ago. My daughter is planning on coming over to wash ALL of my bedding, and doing the complete borax treatments here in my house this week. Do you think we need to take such drastic measures as this? Please help! Thanks!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Karen! I suggest you try using my DIY flea traps first. They will give you an idea of how many fleas are hiding in the home and they are very effective. If you keep catching fleas in it, then proceed with the more drastic steps :)

  136. shari says:

    Natasha,
    We have tried sprays, foggers, DE, traps, boric acid, homemade lemon spray & essential oil spray for the furniture(along with all the others listed), others I didnt even mention for months now & use a monthly rated #1 pet medication for our INDOOR cat & yet everyday fleas are in traps& back on our animal… At our wits end …. we never had a problem until this year. We treat regular inside & out & our indoor cat sometimes I think they are gone but then traps filled in the am….HELP Please!!! Thanks!!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Shari! Sounds like you need a pro to come take a look, sorry :( Let me know if you want a few free quotes!

  137. Brandi says:

    Can I use it on furniture and mattresses too?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Brandi! Yes :)

  138. Cat says:

    Hi! I had a few questions, and I love that it seems you respond to most questions even two years after posting this article. I recently moved into an apartment and found out that the patio is infested with fleas. I mean, infested! I suspect my neigbors are feeding stray cats and their fleas are spreading all around. Even opening the door means I get reinfested inside the apartment.

    I put down a heavy dusting of DE and will vacuum up in the morning as well as bomb the place in a few days, but is there even a point when as soon as I leave the house they get back in? I don’t know what to do. Is there a way to clear my patio of them? I’m terrified of going out there because my angles and legs are so scarred from continuous bites (they must like Chinese food hahaha) everytime I open my front door I see some jumping around. I’ve spread the DE outside my door way to but it doesn’t seem to be doing much good. Please help.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Cat! It’s a pleasure! That sounds like a fairly serious infestation, I honestly recommend that you call an exterminator in to deal with that, its a bit much for a DIY job. Let me know if you would like a few free quotes :)

  139. Karen Turner says:

    Hi! I was wondering how DE can be given to animals for parasites like worms in dogs and cats? I’ve been told you cans give them some in small amounts. Can you give instructions on how much to feed them (with their food). Is this something I can do? Thank you! Karen

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Karen! You can just put a spoonful in their foot, that’s pretty much it. Just made sure its food grade please.

  140. Cate says:

    Hello! Thanks for all your help already. We are expecting a baby in a few weeks. Would it be ok to simply distribute the DE around the whole house and leave it on for at least a week before vacuuming to be sure we get both the adult fleas and their eggs? We want to do this as quickly as possible. Thanks!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Cate, DE won’t kill the eggs but yes, you can definitely do that :)

  141. Kathy says:

    Thanks for all your great info. One question on DE – U said to keep smaller animals away and mentioned puppies. What about a 9 lb. Chihuahua mix? With a choice between the two, do u still recommend DE or borax for a small dog ?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Kathy, it probably will be fine, just keep an eye on him. I would choose DE :)

  142. Joe says:

    Great article. Have you heard of Perma-Guard Crawling Insect Control? It says that it is 100% DE, but I am just wondering if you have heard of it and if it is the correct DE to purchase for a flea infestation. I plan on using it indoors and outdoors. Perma-Guard also has a Perma-Guard pure Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth product. I am confused as to which one to purchase.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Joe, I have not but if it is 100% food grade DE, use it.

  143. Kim says:

    I recommend Vet’s Best Flea + Tick Home Spray for treating your pet. It’s peppermint oil and clove extract. Spray it on your hand or directly on your pet and massage it to the skin. The fleas die. Keep out of their eyes though. You can also spray it on furniture or bedding. Check for color fastness. And it smells good! DE for the carpet.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Kim, thanks for your suggestions, love them!

  144. kim says:

    So is it okay to let my little one (approx 9 week old kitten) run about freely around the house like normal while the DE is out before I vacuum it up?
    I want to leave the DE out as long as possible but have no where to put the kitty really, we have an open flow house. I could crate her in the small
    dinning room if necessary but wouldn’t want to do that for too long.
    Thanks

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Kim! Its not dangerous but it might make her a bit wheezy so rather keep her away from it until its cleaned up.

  145. Sharon says:

    Reading through your article and comment feeds, I find I do have a question. I have DE’d my back yard yesterday and today (it’s a rather large fenced in area) And I’ve applied it rather heavily (I realized after reading your comments). My backyard nearly looks like it has snowed (I live in Florida and its September!). My pups (7 & 4 lbs) run around through the DE ‘snow’. I understand you are not a vet or a doctor, but do you have an opinion about the wisdom of allowing them to romp in the back yard?

    It will rain here (Florida!) in a few days, so will wash most of it away, and I’ll reapply it more lightly next time – but I’m wondering if its bad if they breathe in some of the dust.

    Thanks for the article!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Sharon! In my personal experience, it can dry out their skin and potentially make them cough a little but it should be fine. However, just keep an eye on it or ask your vet for more details :)

  146. Nic says:

    I haven’t seen any mention of Home Depot or Lowe’s. You can find DE at hardware stores. Just specify that you are looking for the kind for pest control, and NOT for pools and they’ll show you to the food grade package.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Nic! Thanks for the recommendation and for taking the time to comment :)

  147. Jerry says:

    I have used topical treatments (Advantage Frontline) for years with great results. This year, we’re infested. I’ve searched around and found this site about using DE. Luckily, there are a few natural food stores in the area that carry DE. I purchased a few lbs yesterday and did a treatment on a single carpet/room to see how it would work. So far I am very impressed. After one night, I can see the difference. I found dead fleas on the carpet and on the hardwood floors. Also the few that did jump up on my socks, fell off since they were too weak to stick. I’m sold! I just treated the whole main floor of the house and plan to do the upstairs. If all goes as planned, I’ll wait a few days and treat again.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jerry! Glad its working for you and that I could help! Thanks for sharing!

  148. MoMo says:

    Hello Natasha. I have a relative that came to visit, who has a KNOWN flea infestation. While sitting and chatting, a flea jumped onto my arm. At first I wasn’t sure what it was, but after the normal reaction of hitting it with my hand and it leaping to another part of my arm, I knew that it was a flea! A few seconds later, I saw one on my baby’s face as she crawled around on the floor. At this point I’m not sure if only one was brought into the house, or multiple. I now find myself unable to sleep, up at 3am, nervous and searching online for answers!! Although I don’t have an infestation per se, what would you suggest to get rid of what ever is here before it turns into a problem. I don’t have any pet’s, but I do have 2 other children in addition to the baby. I saw something on here about DE. Can I sprinkle it into the couch where my guest was seated?!?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Momo! Since its still in its infancy stages, make a couple of my DIY flea traps for each room, repeat and you will be sorted.

  149. barb says:

    Hi, Natasha, great article, and kudos for staying on the job. I have 3 dogs, 4 indoor/outdoor cats and 1 (sometimes 2) outdoor cats, plus the occasional opossum visitor and the odd stray or wandering feline. We live in Tennessee. Last year the fleas were incredible, but after a really cold winter this year’s crop hasn’t been too bad. Treating everyone for fleas with a topical product isn’t financially feasible no matter how heavy the infestation, plus I’m convinced that Frontline and its relatives have been so widely used that the fleas are laughing at us behind their backs. I just treated the dogs with Pronyl (Sergeant’s version of Frontline) with limited success and great disappointment. Then I remembered seeing some DE in the bathroom cabinet. Based on where I see fleas and remembering what I read long ago about where fleas get the moisture they need, I’ve put a little DE on the dogs’ tummies and the tops and sides of their heads. Tomorrow I’m going to treat the bed, furniture and carpets as you suggest. I’m looking forward to seeing what effect it has on the dogs, especially the big one who also has a big flea allergy. Mainly just wanted to pass along the suggestion on where to use DE on your pet if you get that desperate, and thank you for all your hard work.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Barb! I typically use DE for actual areas, not really pets. However, I have had a couple people tell me that direct application works, just make sure it doesn’t dry your pets skin out too much! Good luck!

  150. Bobby says:

    I bought DE today at Lowe’s and is labeled as a pest killer obviously but I’m afraid to use it. I currently have 3 cats and 1 dog living in my house. The places I need to apply it I would be walking over it all day and night. How safe is it really? Like I don’t want to hurt my cats or chihuahua and while this is probably selfish of me but even more so I don’t want to hurt myself. I tried Hartz flea spray and while I think it lessened the issue it didn’t really fix it. You should see my legs :(. My legs have sore all over them and I dunno for some reason this summer they are just horrible.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Bobby, if its food grade, its safe, promise. Its definitely less toxic than that flea spray ;)

  151. ogopogogirl says:

    Hi Natasha
    I wanted to thank you for your information, I recently moved to an apartment with a patio where pigeons and gulls come to sit and within a week was noticing I was being bitten on my feet when they were bare and when I would sit or lay on my sofa. I tried sprinkling borax which may have helped a bit but not much then cloves and tea trea oil, the cloves really helped in my bath but the second I sat on my sofa I was being bitten again within an hour or so, so after a few restless nights I found your site last weekend and went to my local vitamin shop and got a bucket of food grade diatomaceous earth. The woman at the health food store recommended that I cut up some old nylons and put the powder in and sprinkle it lightly, not to just not waste it but also to ensure a fine and even coating. I did it the first night with the windows open but the breeze made it circulated and i wheezed for a day, but that has gone and I have put a light layer on 3 days running, then vacuuming the next evening and am happy to say I have not been bitten in 2 days. I plan to reapply it every couple of days for a few weeks to ensure I catch any eggs that hatch, but just wanted to write in how happy and restful I feel being able to relax on my sofa with my tea and a movie and sleep without fear of nips in the night. You are an inspiration.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Ogopogogirl, thanks for your kind words and for your sharing your experience. You inspire me ;)

  152. Christine says:

    Hi Natasha! I am so glad to have found your article. I’ve dusted my entire house with food grade DE (may have used a bit much, lol) and plan to leave it over the weekend. My question is about humidity – I know moisture diminishes the effects, but will it work if my house is a bit humid? It doesn’t “feel” humid in here, but I live in Austin, Texas, so it’s always kind of humid! I’d hate to have done all that for naught, especially since cleaning it up will be the big chore!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Christine, it will be fine, please post your results :)

  153. nicole says:

    I have used the DE in my house and I have all wood flooring. After sweeping it up, I am still going to have a powder residue. Okay to go ahead and use my normal liquid cleaner after vacuuming the hardwood??

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Nicole, while I am not an expert when it comes to flooring, I am sure that should be fine :)

  154. Jessica says:

    Hello!
    I have read a bit on this product due to an unfortunate run in with a flea infestation in the house I just rented! My only concern is with my parrots, many products that are safe for animals aren’t so safe for birds due to their fragile respiratory system. Do you have any experience with this product and birds?
    I would love to know more about this! Thank you!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jessica, I have not tried it with birds in the house. However, I am sure that removing them, applying the DE and once it has been removed, bringing them back should not harm them.

  155. Dave says:

    I have used diatomaceous earth as an effective method of insect control for years (decades) I have a technique that I use for the application of it that I want to share. It’s particularly effective for allergy/asthma sufferers and is so simple it’s almost criminal. It may have been mentioned in previous comments but I don’t have the time to read every post so so it is (again possibly). I use a spray bottle, with a 1:2 ratio of DE:Water. (1 part DE mixed with 2 parts water), to spray a fine mist onto the carpets and soft furnishings as well as under furniture. The water/DE solution dries quickly and gives a very even coating of DE on every fibre thereby increasing its effectiveness. Also it removes the ‘dusting’ often created by using it in powder form which is beneficial to allergy/asthma sufferers. I’ve recently experimented with using a ‘power sprayer’ (think Wagner™) for large area coverage in a very short amount of time (in our rental property) and had great success. I was able to get 4 rooms done in half an hour and the carpet in the first room was dry before I was even finished with the 3rd room. Quick, easy, inexpensive and non-toxic.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Dave, absolutely fantastic suggestion. I always advised against using water but doing that and then letting it dry, such a good idea. Thank you!

  156. Laura says:

    what about using in/on shavings….. have our dogs bedded on shaving in buildings, dog houses and sheds. how would I use? sprinkle on top then mix it up or sprinkle and leave alone? what about them inhaling while they sleep….. or am I over thinking…… :^)

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Laura, definitely mix it up. Just don’t put an excessive amount and they will be fine :)

  157. Terry says:

    Found the De at our local farm feed & supply store (widely used on farm animals & their sleeping areas). Hope someone else can use this info to locate the product

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Terry, thanks for the suggestion!

  158. melissa says:

    If you add Neem powder to the DE before you dust your animal
    It will take care of the drying of the skin. Yarrow powder and
    Eucalyptus oil added also is beneficial. Neem is a natural moisturizer (Indian Lilac). Yarrow helps with the flea bite inflammation as so does the oil. 1 cup of food grade DE, 1/2 cup of yarrow powder and neem powder and 20 drops of eucalyptus oil. I use a old large spice shaker jar for application. DO NOT add oil if treating cats! I use just the neem powder with water to make a paste for my own hair, rub into scalp, leave on for 30 minutes and wash out. Great for hair breakage and thinning hair!! I refuse to put another chemical on my animals. I came across the above recipe after one of my dogs vomited for 3 days after advantix. The powders work. They are all natural and do not harm your animals! I stood Luck. Oh, neem is green so your animals will have a green tint to them!! Fleas are gone. I also use just the DE food grade alone on carpets, floors and bedding.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Melissa, thanks for the great tips!

  159. Linda Brown says:

    Hi, I bought Red Lake Diatomaceous earth, it doesn’t mention killing of fleas. Could you tell me if I need another type?

    Thanks

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Linda! As long as its food grade DE, it will work.

  160. Renee says:

    Hi! My friend just sent me this article-my cat is highly allergic to the traditional “back of the neck” flea products, and I have tried all the herbal remedies (shampoos with cloves, Rosemary, etc), And now my bed is flea-ridden. The cat itches nonstop!! So I buy this DE and sprinkle it on my cat and my bed every week for a month? Do I give my cat a bath later that day? I just want to confirm before I move forward, and would love an email!! Thank you!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Renee, yeah that sounds good, let me know if you don’t come right!

  161. C says:

    DE is safe to use on all animals from the very large to the very small, I have even heard of people using it on their snakes and reptiles for mites. I personally used it on my rabbits and in their litter box and on my dog. They all eat it as well. I don’t know why you said it wasn’t safe for kittens and small animals because it definitely is.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi C! It’s not that its dangerous chemically, its just can cause respiratory issues for small animals, if handled incorrectly. I know its possible to apply safely but I am not going to recommend it and have hundreds of people knocking on my door with pitchforks in their hands ;)

  162. Francine says:

    Does it help kill fleas for cats to take some orally?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      H Francine! No it will not help.

    • Edith Masters says:

      Food grade DE can be mixed into pet food or added to their water in small amounts. This will kill ALL intestinal parasites!

      • Natasha Anderson says:

        Thank you, appreciate you helping Fancine. It won’t help kill fleas though but its still very useful :)

  163. Jessie says:

    Hi there, my 6 month old kitty got out a bout a month ago and weve noticed a few weeks ago that she broughtback fleas and now my 3 cats are infested, ive done alot of reasearch and my plan is to use dawn to bathe them should i sprinkle some de on them afterwards? Also i do not own a vaccum and we only only have hard wood in our appartment but our couch and bedding have gotten quite bad, as i dont have a vaccume is there a way i could create a spray with water and the de for my furniture? And what would be the best way to get it off the cracks of my floor afterwards just wash with soapy water?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jessie! Bathe them and then use DE around the home, not on them. No, you cannot mix water with the DE but I suppose you could wash it off, not recommended though as it will takes ages hehe.

  164. Cathy says:

    Is it safe to put this up on my upholstered bed that my kids and myself sleep on? How should I apply it? Will it work on an upholstered bed or should I get rid of it?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Cathy, it’s safe, you just need to have a decent vacuum to suck it up (preferably a regular bag one). Make sure you get the food grade one and ideally put it under your sheets.

      • Cathy says:

        But how shouldn’t apply it then on the headboard since it’s an upholstered one? And how long should I leave it on before I vaccum it? Can we still sleep on the bed or avoid for a while?

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Kathy. I suggest you get a plastic container with a lid, punch small holes in the top and apply it like a salt shaker. Leave it on for a day or two and then vacuum up. Repeat if needed. Also check my article on flea traps ;)

  165. Sue Breckenridge says:

    I have a free range house rabbit and 7 cats, I live in New Zealand. The cats bring in the fleas. We have a large non carpeted sun room where I can sequester the rabbit and keep him there with a child’s gate. I plan spreading the food grade DE on the carpeting in the rest of the house, let it sit for 24 hours then vacuum, then re apply. Do you think that keeping the rabbit off the carpeting being treated will make it safe for him? I love your site! Great information!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Sue, yes that should be fine. DE is not poisonous but keeping him off it will prevent a few issues.

  166. Yera says:

    Hi Natasha!
    Would this work for ticks? If not, do you have any suggestions?
    Thank you!! :)

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Yera, not really, will be writing some articles on ticks soon, stay tuned.

  167. janet says:

    hi – and thanks for all the info. in the 20 years i have had dogs, this is the first time any have had fleas. my vet treated with a pill, and all seem to be dead – however, i am convinced i need to treat my home to prevent any future problems. i plan on using the DE treatment left for 24 hours, then vacuum, followed by carpet cleaning – every 3-5 days. overkill? or is the carpet cleaning even necessary? I am really picky about ‘stuff’ even DE being around.

    thanks for a reply.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Janet! That sounds like a good plan, try it and let me know how it goes!

  168. Chanta says:

    Thank you Thank you this product is amazing. The funniest thing I already had DE for an ant problem I was having and I need something that I could use around my grandchildren, I know have an inside/outside cat and my home and my cat and dogs have fleas, they all have been treated I needed something safe and stumbled across this blog, so once again thank because I used last night and within hours of use, my dogs stop itching and scratching.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Chanta, it’s a pleasure! Please consider sharing this article with all your friends :)

  169. Becky says:

    Hello
    After reading the article, I wonder if I can use DE with my smaller dogs. They are doxies. The article says that I should not use for small animals. How small are you meaning?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Becky, I suggest using DE around the home, not directly on your pets.

  170. Rachael says:

    Hi! I live in a old house with two small dogs that get flea treatments on the 10th of each month. They have been out of the house for about 5-6 days now visiting family. I found one flea last night and one today while in bed. My room is right next to the unkept yard that used to have 3 chickens until 2 weeks ago, now there is only one. I don’t really want to bomb our whole house. All of our floors are tile except for a few area rugs. How would you suggest resolving this situation before it escalates further?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Rachael, if you don’t want to use DE, give my DIY flea trap a try, you can make them from home :)

  171. Chris says:

    All I can say is thank you thank you thank you. Just got done blowing up my house with this stuff (100% food grade from organic store) already notice huge difference. Seen a few fleas but they were already twitching and trying to flea (pun intended). Cat is more calm and dog has stopped itching as bad, I see what everyone was saying bout the mess haha. Using broom made huge difference working it over floors. Also been using apple cider vinegar/lemon juice mix in spray bottle for pets and furniture and lastly applied frontline to cat and dog. This stuff is awesome considering I have a 17 month old son! Tomorrow I’ll be blowing up the front yard with it, after first rain I’ll attack lawn with dawn and sprayer. From what I’ve read you need to treat the the lawn, house, animals at same time…do one must do the others and vacuum vacuum vacuum. Time to relax sweating my butt off, have to love Florida bugs haha

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Chris, thanks for sharing your success story and best of luck with the rest of the treatment. Please consider sharing this post with your friends so they can benefit too :)

  172. Kathy says:

    I use DE on the dog bed. I see a reduction in fleas in my flea comb each day. The dog is much more comfortable. I can’t use the spot treatment for fleas so natural repellents are our only options. I’ve read that planting lavender around your house that the dog brushes past will help repel. I make my own bug wipes to keep fleas and mosquitos away from me because bugs find me delicious 5 select-a-size paper towels cut in half to make 10 squares. Fold each in half and make a stack. Add2 tbl spoons skin so soft oil, 1tbl ACV vinegar, 3 drops each lavender and clove essential oil to a container with lid that will allow you to store the paper towel stack flat. Shake this solution in the container until mixed and lay the folded paper towels in the solution. It makes a quick bug wipe and moisturizers your skin too. I make bug wipes for the dog without the clove.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Kathy, thanks for your tips, love them!

  173. Sharon says:

    Hi,
    Why do you advise not rubbing DE on pets directly? I have a 9 month old chihuahua mix and was planning to rub a DE /essential oils powder mix on her skin to prevent pests on her. Everywhere else says rubbing into skin is ok? Confused.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Sharon, it is not dangerous but if I did recommend that, people might do it too frequently which can leave the skin very dry, itchy and not in good shape. However, if you do it infrequently, feel free to do it. Just be careful with essential oils btw, it is often rather hard on their liver.

      • Sharon says:

        Hi,
        You also mentioned that DE isn’t advisable for smaller pets, like puppies, as it could be dangerous. Besides being drying, why wouldn’t it be good for pets that are smaller in mass? And, when you say that essential oils may harm the liver, is this from ingesting the oil by licking it off or by smell alone? Thanks.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Sharon, apologies, I meant to specifically say “cats” when advising about their liver. I know that you are referring to your dog but just be careful about telling everyone to use essential oils for flea control because it can be dangerous for felines.

      • judy in Langley BC says:

        I just used DE on my carpets which were infested with fleas. The first time I did it lightly with flea DE from Home Depot (only 90% DE) and the fleas were still there but less. I was so frustrated that I went to a local Feed Store/Co-Op and bought a 4 pound container of “Red Lake” DE and pounded it into the carpets throughout the whole house. We went away for a week and came back, no more fleas. In Canada, some Feed Stores stock the Red Lake brand. The DE is a pain to vacuum up because it will clog your vacuum cleaner filters quickly. I use a Shop vac to suck the clogged filters. When this flea-war is over then I will just put new filters in. I would rather clean the dust than have fleas. I did not want to use chemicals on my cat or myself. Thank you for this great article and all the comments people are posting.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Judy, completely agree and thanks for sharing!

  174. Connie Lindler says:

    If I apply this dust to my subfloors, we have this because our hardwoods have not gone in 6et. Will it be okay for my toddler to walk around on the dust while we are trying to kill the flees in our house

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Connie, yes provided it is food grade :)

  175. Sara says:

    Hi, this website is really informative.

    You recommended to leave DE for 12 hours before vacuuming up. And to repeat the process once a week for 3-4 week.s Can I leave the DE for one week, which means I vacuum once a week? This is so that DE is always on the floor to kill the fleas.

    Also, do you know if salt works to kill fleas? I read a lot online about mixing equal parts of salt of baking soda. Leave it, and then vacuum them up.

    Do you recommend using DE on the yard (cement, fake grass, patio stones)? If yes, how often should it be applied?

    Thank you for your time!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Sara! Yes that is fine, you can do that. Salt does but it is not as effective as DE. You can use it outside but it looses effectiveness if it gets wet so yeah. Hope that helps, share this with your friends!

  176. Desarae Smith says:

    Hi, i found your post recently when we started getting invested with fleas. We found food grade DE at the local feed store. We vacuumed, put down DE everywhere and left it for a week. It reduced the fleas but didn’t get rid of them. We put more down and left it for 3 days, still fleas. We used a fogger in our boys room as their room was the worst. We put more DE in the rest of the house. We still have fleas! Our cat got a good flea bath and we got some flea meds from the vet for her. I don’t know what else to do! My oldest looks like he hashas chicken pox cuz they love him so much. Every surface of our house is covered in a fine layer of dust. Are we doing something wrong? Is there anything else we can do?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Desarae, usually the DE works great, quite strange. I suggest that you give my DIY flea traps a try, just use a tea light instead of a candle if you want to be safer. If that doesn’t help, let me know and I will help you more.

  177. Amita says:

    Thank you so much for this!
    Im wondering if you think it would work to put DE in an A-frame tent? obviousloy you can not put it on the walls, would it still suck the moisture out, without being applied directly on the canvas?
    Thank you so much,
    Love
    Amita

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Amita, yeah sure! Give it a try!

  178. Sheryl says:

    How young is too young to use it around kittens?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Sheryl, it is not dangerous for them so you can give it a try. An easy solution is to just keep them out the room, just so it doesn’t affect their skin.

  179. Jennifer says:

    I’ve read in several places that Borax/boric acid is bad for kitties’ lungs. I would suggest researching that first. Thanks for this DE info. We are using it right now. I’m off to try and find your article about flea solutions for cats!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jennifer, thanks for your comment. Yeah it is not dangerous but since they are so close to the ground, it is not ideal hehe. Hope you enjoy!

  180. Susan Todd says:

    I just bought 40lbs of DE at our local feed store. I was wondering if this was the same as in your article because the stuff I have is a brown color. It shows photos of animals and says it is safe to use in a chicken coop. I just want to make sure it is in fact the same as the DE you use. For some reason I thought DE was a white powder. Does it come in a light brown too? hank you for any help you can give me.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Susan, yes it can be light brown. As long as it says it is food grade, it doesn’t really matter about the color hehe :) It is a pleasure, good luck!

  181. Cathy says:

    How do I use DE on hard surface floors? We have laminate floors and I am not sure how I would go about using DE. Going to dust my couch and their bedding. My poor cat is losing her fur because of these damn fleas. I’m hoping that getting her dusted isn’t going to be a big fight.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Cathy, you can put it in a plastic container and after punching small holes in the lid, use it like a salt shaker to spread the DE evenly. Hope that helps.

  182. Shirley says:

    This is my 2nd flea infestation on my dog! First time, I bought a Sarento collar and it WORKED!! Supposed to last 7-8 months but after 5 months, fleas were back so I bought a new one….Yes, it kills the fleas (eventually) but they bite FIRST. I took almost 30 fleas off my American Toy Eskimo this morning. .I have never seen one in the house but Now, I have DE all over my house, on my bed, his bed, throw rugs, behind the bed, EVERYWHERE…all over the sunroom – floor, cushions, (WHAT A MESS)… I understand it kills the fleas but has to be re-done to kill the eggs that have hatched. My question…How long before eggs hatch to reapply? I do not have a problem with just leaving this stuff down for several days… (just me and hubby, minimum visitors so the disheveled looking house is no problem)…If I just leave it…how long to make sure the new hatchlings get a dose? I do not see fleas in the house and no human bites, etc….am I to assume they are attacking him when he goes into the yard?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Shirley, I would leave it down for a couple days and then after cleaning it up, use a couple flea traps (article on this blog) to see if there are any fleas left. If they are in the garden (which is possible), it is usually a good idea to get a professional to treat that. Hope that helps!

  183. Amy says:

    First, let me apologize because this will likely get lengthy because I am super stressed and need to get it out. I live in a 2.5 bed apt. I have one large cat who we have owned for 4 years and he is indoor only. He has never had fleas. Well, I noticed about 2-3 weeks ago that he was disappearing alot. He used to spend most of his time in the kitchen or family room. My kids would tell me he was in their rooms sleeping. Didn’t think anymore about it. Then he starting staying in their beds sleeping with them and sleeping in the shelving in their room.Odd!?! So I started researching and hiding is something they do if they are sickly… So I began checking him over. I found a flea and flea dirt. I immediately gave him a bath with dawn and rinsed him down with vinegar and water and then dried him. I put frontline on him and gave him a capguard tablet. When I washed him, a few fleas came off in the tub, dead, and a few more dead ones while drying him. For a day or so he scratched a little and we saw a few crawling but now he seems fine and is no longer scratching.
    My apt though is another issue. I had my kids take all linens and clothes and put them in garbage bags. I have sprayed both of the kids rooms, carpet and mattresses. The one room I saw fleas and flea dirt though the fleas were dead, the other child’s room we just found flea dirt where the cat laid in one spot. I sprayed their curtains. I went through the entire house and put salt all over the carpet and furniture (real fine almost powdered). Then I bought some DE. I did one bedroom and the hallway and closed the door. All clean laundry is in plastic bags in my room because so far I have had no problem there but I did put salt and de 3 ft into my doorway for now while I get the rest of the apt. We sleep in my bedroom except my older child said he couldn’t sleep well unless in his bed. It already had salt rubbed into it and was sprayed earlier so we just put a clean mattress pad on it and he got a clean blanket and slept in his room. He said he felt nothing while in there and slept good (I still plan on putting DE in his room today). However, it’s a real process and I can only get to one room at a time… I have severe anxiety that is triggered by high stress. THIS has sent me into panic attacks which causes me not to eat, sleep, and then chronic fatigue. So, it takes me several hours to cover one room. I am trying to get every inch and move furniture as well. Some things i have just thrown out because I can’t deal with it all. No one has seen a flea or felt one till after I started treatment and they are only seeing baby ones. Is this a good sign that the process is working? I am leaving the DE in til I get all the rooms including mine. Then I will shop vac and go over it again with more DE or borax and flea traps. I know it seems like overkill… But do you think we will get rid of this quickly? I won’t be able to handle months of this, my stress will likely kill me and I can’t afford costly options. I have already spent $150 already and have no more to spend nor will I for another month and as a single mom with no family to help, it’s a lot.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Amy! I have read your comment and I feel that you are doing the right thing, you will get relief but I am sorry that it is causing so much distress. Do exactly what you have planned except, don’t go out and buy flea traps, just make them (info on this blog, check it out). I hope that helps, looking forward to your success story in the next week or two. Keep strong!

      • Amy says:

        I made the traps Wednesday night and put them in the boys rooms and my room. So far there have only been 2 or 3 in each dish for the 24 hour period. Today we did the living room because I only spread salt in there. We ran the vacuum and we had some spray left from the other day ( Raid flea and carpet). I sprayed, threw away and old chair that likely could harbor issues (cat’s favorite place) and my older son and I put DE all around the edges and covered the couch inside and out with DE (light coating). I also have been giving my cat 1 1/2 tsp DE to help in case he gets any worms. So far, no scratching for the cat except once today and outside of two flea sightings this morning before treatment… Nothing. I still have to do my room beyond what was done in the doorway but that may be tomorrow. Still, gonna keep going till the traps are ZERO. I will say this, the RAID Flea and carpet is good stuff – but chemicals (we left the house for a few hours and cat stayed in main bathroom sleeping)- and If I wasn’t losing my mind, I wouldn’t have used it. The Diatomaceus Earth (food grade), salt, and DIY traps are just as well… Just a little more effort but better for your health and pets well being. Thanks for all the info… Really helps, as does your reassurance.:-) I will let you know if we are a complete success…

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Amy, awesome yeah good luck and let me know how it works out for you. Thanks for your comment, please consider sharing this article with your friends :)

  184. Stephanie says:

    We purchased a shaker from the dollar store (like the ones used at a pizza place for pepper flakes) and used that to shake the DE onto the carpets. It was a lot easier to get it distributed evenly. This is a process, so don’t think after two days you will be flea free! We had a few weeks of constant cleaning, dusting, vacuuming, and washing laundry before we got back to “normal.” The DE was the only thing I felt safe using around my family and pets. It worked great. Also, we used some Dawn dish soap homemade flea traps.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Stephanie, thanks for the feedback. Although it can take awhile, it works and I am sure that you will be flea free soon.

  185. Gail says:

    I have a stray cat that I took in last November 23rd of 2015. I also have 2 house cats who live with me. The stray cat, Boo, is for the most part kept in our basement when he is inside, while the other cats are free to roam the house, but not the basement. Our basement is made of “slate” floors. Rock material, not concrete. (We live in an old coal mining area – I am assuming the floors are slate). The walls of our basement are whitewashed with lime, but getting bad since my Dad got sick and passed away 12 years ago. The whitewash is cracking off & falling to the ground of the basement in a few areas. The stray cat, I call him “Boo”, did not have any fleas all winter. I do leave Boo go outside to roam around during the day, and he mainly comes in at night to eat/sleep. Then again in the morning Boo goes outside with other cats around, some are feral. To get to the point, Boo has brought fleas into the basement. My 2 house cats AND Boo were treated with a medication called Revolution which you place between the cats shoulder blades. The Revolution did not work on Boo. It worked well on the housecats. I then gave Boo Capstar pills which killed his fleas. Fleas still existed in the basement.

    I was told about Diatomaceous Earth – Food Grade- from a friend. I did purchase it (the food grade DE), and covered our entire basement (except for a large workbench where my Dad’s old tools are & another table that has garden equipment, light bulbs, and do-dads on it , & of course our boxed artificial Christmas tree I did not put any DE on that). I let Boo in our kitchen briefly, he wanted to go down the cellar to eat & sleep, but with all the fresh DE down there, I was afraid he would get respiratory problems. So Boo was put outside for the night. It has been almost 24 hrs. since I completed putting the DE around the basement with a shaker bottle. Now, I have the job of cleaning it all up.

    I was going to sweep up the DE, and then vacuum, but since the floor is “slate” or some type of rock, and the walls are crumbling, I didn’t know how to correctly clean up all the DE. I am not even sure of our vacuum will pick up the DE. I did put the DE on an old dismantled picnic table, pipes, some old Christmas lights, old wooden chairs, snow shovels, plastic Christmas decorations, etc. How would you recommend for me to clean the DE up?? Especially if the vacuum does not “pick up” the powder well off of the slate?? And would I have to wash down everything else that I covered?? It will be alot of work. How long should I wait before I start the clean up process to make sure fleas are dead?? I completed the task of spreading the DE at 8:30 pm last night, June 5th. It is now almost 24 hrs. later. My sister offered her husband’s Shop-Vac for me to use which I thought might be a good idea. I have a big mess on my hands and don’t know how to go about cleaning it up properly. Any ideas? Do I have to “wash” everything down?? Of course I will be treating the stray cat “Boo” for fleas with more Revolution (it is due again) and more Capstar pills, before I let him in the cleaned up basement again. Just unsure how to clean up the basement since the floors, walls, and areas covered with DE are all different in texture & make. Does all the DE have to be cleaned up? Do I have to re-apply the DE to kill unhatched eggs? Will fleas hide in areas that I did not treat such as the old workbench, loaded with tools, and the boxed artificial Christmas tree?? Thanks for any help you can give me. Is is safe to put a small amount of DE (food grade) on Boo, directly on his fur?? Sorry for all these questions. Boo just wants to go down the basement again to eat and sleep, and I need to get this DE mess cleaned all up, and make sure the fleas DON’T COME BACK!!! Thank You!!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey! If the DE isn’t bothering you, you can just leave it down, will prevent any further infestations as well so that is a bonus. If you desparately want to clean it up, give that Shop-Vac (although I haven’t used one) a try, should work fairly well. Alternatively, you could always water down the area and mop it up, since it didn’t sound like it was on stuff like carpets, etc. Hope that helps, let me know if I missed anything :)

      • Gail says:

        Thanks for your answer…I was just wondering if my stray cat that stays in the basement can go down and sleep in the basement with all that DE all over the place?? He (the stray cat “Boo”) weighs 9 lbs. I was concerned the DE would affect his breathing or cause respiratory problems since he is so little and the DE is dehydrating… . Better to clean it up?? I wore a dust mask as I spread the DE around and noticed that my sinuses were very dry afterwards. Just want to ensure the safety of my stray cat “Boo”‘s Health!! I did use the Food Grade DE. Thanks!! :)

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Gail, honestly, he should be fine, just keep an eye on him and clean it up if he is battling.

  186. Kerry says:

    I see under your cautions it states “I don’t recommend rubbing it on your pet’s skin on a daily basis (I have heard of people doing this) as it can cause dry skin, itchiness and dehydration. It’s better to treat fleas on your dog or remove fleas on your cats by using alternative methods. As for smaller pets (like young kittens, puppies, rabbits, hamsters, etc.), please keep them away from DE as due to their small body mass, it can be dangerous.”

    I have a 7 lb dog, would this be safe to use around her? Not on her… just in house / yard.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Kerry, yeah that should be fine. Just keep an eye on it that’s all, ironically it is probably a lot less dangerous than other flea control methods.

  187. Kim gorman says:

    I just put down de for fleas. I have hardwood floors. It was put in small rugs that can be washed in washer. My pets are laying in it on floors. Will it harm them and when do I bath them? Also when do I clean it up after how long and how to clean up on hardwood floors? I understand on my mattress and furniture I use a vacuum.cleaner.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Kim, no it will not hurt them. You can vacuum it up with a regular bag based vacuum cleaner or just “brush and pan” it up.

  188. Katie says:

    Hi Natasha! You are great for replying to every single comment on here for so long, keep up the good work!

    Apologies for the lengthy post but this has been a nightmare. I recently came home from my boyfriend’s house to find that my cat, and now the house, is COMPLETELY infested with fleas. There must’ve been around 300 or 400 on him when I came back. It was bad (my mum refuses to comb him because she hates doing it/dealing with fleas which doesn’t help). I left my door open whilst I was away and he slept on my bed. When I inspected my bed closer I could see a lot of flea larvae wriggling on my bed, along with tons of flea dirt and eggs, it was absolutely disgusting! I ordered some Advantage and Indorex from Amazon as soon as I could and applied the Advantage onto him and sprayed the upstairs rooms with Indorex.

    Now after doing all of this, instead of combing my cat and getting 10-15 out at a time, I’m finding around 3 or 4 after a full comb which is great. I haven’t let him outside since as a precaution. However, the house itself is still completely infested. I have to walk around with my pants tucked into my socks and I’m constantly finding them on my socks and picking them off the floor. Pretty gross. Just tonight I found one just chilling on my chest. How did it even get up there?! Ugh.

    I’m thinking of using DE now as we don’t have carpets, only floorboards/baseboards with huge gaps in between them and holes everywhere and using Indorex isn’t really the best option for hard floors. As we’ve never needed a hoover (vacuum) until now I presume it’s going to become my best friend! How would you apply DE to floorboards with huge gaps and years of dust in between? Will it clog up the new hoover?

    I read that it can dry out your eyes, what precautions should be taken with this? What’s the minimum amount of time to leave it down for and is it generally safe for my cat to walk around on straight after application? Again sorry for the essay and I will definitely update you on this. I’m moving out soon so I’m just making sure that the cat is flea free for our new house! Speak soon :)

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Heya Katie, it is a pleasure! You can use DE on your wood floors but as for vacuuming it up using your hoover, I would be a little careful. I am not sure what model you have but it might clog it up. I usually recommend just a standard bag based vacuum cleaner with no fancy “cyclone technologies”, etc. I would put it down for a couple days and don’t stress, your cat walking on it a couple times is not going to hurt it. Hope that helps, please share this article with your friends :)

  189. Cindy says:

    Hi Natasha,
    Thank you for the very informative advice on how to treat flea infestations. I decided to go with “bombing’ our basement & following up with DE, The only problem I’m having is finding the DE in 90+ concentrations. The best I’ve found is 85%. Any advice on where to find the 90+ concentrations of DE? Many Thanks!! Cindy

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Cindy, try amazon, they usually have food grade DE. Alternatively, try your local garden shops or farm stalls if you have any nearby.

  190. Honeybadger5 says:

    Every website i’ve been to that talks about Diatomaceous Earth states that FOOD GRADE DE must be used as opposed to POOL GRADE. I’ve done some research on DE but having a hard time finding DE that is labeled FOOD GRADE. I found DE at the local farmer’s store but it says it is for killing bugs and spiders (yuk). Does not say anything about FOOD GRADE. Walmart doesn’t sell DE at all. Do I have to order my FOOD GRADE DE from AMAZON or online? Can I find it locally? Is the Spider Killer DE the same as food grade? Or no???

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Heya! I wouldn’t feel comfortable saying yes or no without actually seeing the product you are referring to. If I had to guess, I would say no. If it is not available locally then yes, Amazon is probably the way to go. Give it a try!

  191. Tula says:

    Hiya, I have my DE, do I need to cover every flat surface? If I just hit the rugs, cloth furniture and such will that help? Or will the fleas just move to the linoleum? I have no idea what level of cunning the possess. Also, I’m thinking of just leaving some under the places my cats can’t reach, like under the stove. Any pros or cons to not cleaning up the whole thing. Thanks!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Tula, just put the DE wherever fleas might be hiding. For example, that will probably not be under the stove but rather on carpets, your pets living areas, etc. You will have to clean it up but definitely leave it down for a couple days :)

  192. Tara Giblin-Cowley says:

    Ty for the info

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Tara, it is a pleasure!

  193. Lisa Braden says:

    Hi, Natasha: On advice of local pet shop, and before reading this article, we spread DE on the carpets and brushed it in well with a broom. It did raise a tremendous dust cloud. I’m not sure how to avoid this (it was a fine sprinkling) and wonder why you caution against raising such a cloud. Is it dangerous? Thanks.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Lisa, it can usually be avoided by brushing it slowly and no, it is not dangerous, it just makes a real big mess hehe.

  194. Candy says:

    I must have zombie fleas because nothing seems to work. We have treated the yard, put the DE down, left it for 12 hrs, vacuumed, bathed the dogs and cat in dawn, and used the squeeze stuff on them all. We have also sprayed multiple products inside the house. We did put the DE on the animals for 48 hrs before bathing
    them again in dawn. The flea trap catches a lot every day, plus I flea comb the animals and get over 20 off them. Advice?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Candy, sheesh that sounds like you have some seriously strong fleas there lol. At this point, it might be worth considering an exterminator, let me know if you want a free quote :)

  195. Shannon says:

    Hi, I spread DE all over my house 2 weeks ago& I’m still finding a couple fleas a day on my cats, I followed all your instructions to the letter, I have just left the DE down as I have a large house an it would be very hard to do it all once a week, figured I’d leave it down for the 3-4 weeks you speak of, should I still be finding fleas? I didn’t have an infestation or anything, not even enough for them to be biting me, please help, knowing they’re still in here is driving me nuts, an just FYI I can’t put anything chemical wise on the cats as they are allergic to most anything that’s not natural,
    Thanks

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Shannon, most of the fleas should be dead by now but if your cats are carrying them, they will just re-infest your home. I know it might be challenging but if you have to go the natural route, try washing your cat in warm water and dawn dish soap, kills fleas instantly.

  196. Kristi says:

    Hi Natasha,
    I used borax all over my wood floors and carpet 2 days ago, vacuumed it up after 12 hours. The next day, tiny fleas are biting the heck out of my feet/ankles. I have now bought DE to spread around the house.
    1. Should I use the DE on my laminate floors– which I do see fleas on? Or is there something else I can do for the laminate floors?

    2. How often should I repeat the treatments since I seem to be getting newly hatched ones so soon after the treatment?
    Thank you so much for all of your help!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Kristi! I would just wipe the laminate with warm soapy water and then use DE on your carpets. Repeat maybe 2-3 times, if there is still a flea problem of course.

  197. Sally says:

    Hi,
    I have read your article closely and am going to be doing a treatment very soon. Could you let me know how to tell the difference between “pool grade” and “food grade” DE? I purchased mine at Home Depot and it states the following for ingredients:
    (This is an exact reproduction of what is on the front of the bag)
    ACTIVE INGREDIENT: Diatomaceous Earth* (including silicon dioxide, other oxides and moisture….100%
    Total….100%
    *Amorphous Silica
    I have not opened it yet because if you tell me this isn’t the “food grade” then I am going to take it back. It doesn’t say anything in the directions about cleaning pools but it doesn’t say anything about it being a “food grade”. So if you could help me with this I would so appreciate it. Thanks so much.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Sally, I am going to be honest with you and say that I don’t know the specific ingredient differences. I suggest that you phone them and maybe just ask if it is food grade instead of driving all the way back there. :)

  198. Michael Corob says:

    Hello Natasha,
    i think that I understand the concepts, but I have 2 cats that wander everywhere in house, including on counters, tables, our beds, couches, every room! Does this mean that I have to treat everywhere? They are inside outside cats, so if I get ride of the fleas, do I still have to keep on applying it on a regular basis, even after they are gone, or can I stop using it when they are gone, and start up again if they come back?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Michael, nah just wipe those down, just focus DE on the floors and any fabric. Don’t forget to can just hot wash your linen. Can’t say for future, I usually just treat a new flea issue when I see it. Maybe use a spot on for your cat every month or two :)

  199. Jamie Wilson says:

    My indoor cat has fleas and now I’m scratching but I’m hoping it is just from paranoia…I’ve been reading up on natural ways to get rid of those nasty things and I came across an essential oil recipe that I was going to try but you said essential oils aren’t good for cats. Why not? Also, is diatomatious earth safe to use while I’m pregnant. (I’m 28 weeks along) I wanted to use it on our cat, our bedroom carpet, and our bed because those are the places he sleeps the most…but I wanted to make sure it was safe for me to use first.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jamie! It damages their liver. Yes it is safe, just make sure you get the food grade and maybe ask your hubby to apply it as it is rather “dusty” hehe. Ideally don’t use it on your cat though, just get a spot on. Hope that helps, best wishes for your future baby! Please also consider sharing my blog with your friends :)

  200. Siusan says:

    I did a dusting of DE all over my kitchen, bedroom, bathroom last night where we seem to have had a flea population for the last week or two (bleeding heart/rescue kitten/no forethought) … ANYWAYS, when I got up this morning the fleas actually seemed to be worse! Fortunately they don’t seem to bother my kids or husband, but I probably got 15 bites in an hour and caught about 10 of those and executed them. I need to have these gone by Friday and I am desperate to get them dead ASAP without using a bug bomb. Any suggestions on what I might have done wrong? (My DE is food grade, but I have had it for a year). I also put down salt hoping they would eat it and dehydrate too.

    Kitty has since been booted outside, I can’t handle the bugs.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi there! I suggest you do the DE again, this time rub it in with a broom and leave it down for a full 24 hours. Then after vacuuming, repeat the process to ensure that they are all dead. Let me know how that goes. Also might be worth putting a spot on for your kitty.

  201. dave says:

    This part of NC is terrible for pests. Its July and we wear tights/with socks in the house because we can’t wear shorts. For those who are having the zombie fleas, using advantage II, comfortis, capstar, etc. is almost required in addition to using DE. We have 7 cats- and we advantaged 6 of them and frontlined 1. The cat with frontline has the fleas. Fleas thrive in humidity and heat. We cant cure the fleas on a farm. We just have to keep them in check through the summer.
    We have used borax in the past but it doesn’t come up well with a rug doctor. We are giving DE a shot. To be fair, I capstar’d the cat that had been frontlined. I hate seeing them miserable. But we are implementing DE on the floors, bedding, doorways and such. One method we have done is to dust the rug and then play with the cats. They roll around and get the DE on their coats. I also took a flea comb and dipped it in the bag and combed around the hot spots.
    I will be back here in a month to let you know how this war turns out.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Dave! Thanks for sharing your experiences and thoughts on the matter, it is appreciated. I would love to hear how it goes, please keep us updated!

  202. Dave says:

    Very informative and good article Natasha! I just like to share that DE is a natural and good way to get rid if fleas. I have a shitzu who likes to bring her nasty biting friends over after a day outside the yard. Ever since the start of summer, I and my dog have been a walking free all you can eat buffet with this fleas and it’s miserable!! So I have my dog take a summer vacation to my daughter while I take care of the unwanted guest that is residing on my carpet. I bought a big bag of DE at amazon and sprinkled it all over my carpet on the living room, hallways and bedrooms carpet and left it there for at least 24 hours to be sure. I notice that I have not been bitten and jump upon this buggers so therefore it works! The cleaning part can be challenging but it works and that’s all that matters!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Dave! Thanks for your kind words! DE is great, glad you are having success! As a bonus, brush it into the carpet, etc. using a broom and leave it down for 2-3 days. Please share my blog with your friends on Facebook :)

  203. denise says:

    Hi we have fleas in our house and after I bombed twice and used flea killer spray for homes we still have them I went out and bought DE at tractor supply it the red lake brand and its food grade but what I’m reading from posts it should be white in color this is brown in color I’m just wondering if it will still kill the fleas?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Denise! Honestly, I have never used anything except the white one. However, it should still work. Let me know please!

  204. Donna lockey says:

    Hey my name is donna Lockey my question is if I put it in my pets food how much do I use and by giving it to pets in there for what does that do for them

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Donna, not too sure about ingesting DE, I only teach others to use it around the home.

  205. Cindy says:

    My dog has had fleas, we used different topical treatments throughout the months. He is an inside dog and sleeps in our bedroom. We have never had a problem with fleas in our home or biting us in the two years since we rescued him. We just had a huge heat wave here in Illinois with heat indexes in the 110′s. We usually have a window ac unit in our room but it broke. So we only have one in the living room, we keep our bedroom door shut to help keep it cooler in the living room where we are during the day. We have blackout curtains in our bedroom also. A week and a half ago, we noticed fleas all over our feet and legs. It was like an invasion out of nowhere. On a Friday we bombed with hot shot foggers with nylar an igr, throughout our trailer. That made things worse, like we pissed of an army, they came out like crazy with a biting vengeance. I continued to vacuum and spray the carpets with hot shot spray, this unfortunately doesn’t contain an igr. On monday, we set off Raid max foggers and took our dog to the vet for a chewable, they gave him Comfortis. I purchased a flea comb that day and started combing him before we could return in the home. I could not believe how infested that poor dog was, he is a 112 pound chocolate lab and seeing that many fleas was impossible. I’m suprised we never had a problem before now. To get to where I am today, I have put diatomaceous earth in our home, first started in parts of my bedroom carpet last night, I could see a difference. I plan to do our entire room. We do have linoleum in parts of our home, I have spread it there today but once walked on it moves leaving those areas uncovered. Would it be best to spread it and leave for hours before returning for best results in those areas? If people are unsure of this product, let me tell you it works. I placed less than a 16th of a teaspoon in a jar, when a flea got on me, I placed it in the jar, within an hour each flea was dead., and the areas I scattered it in my carpet and used a broom to get it down deep into the fibers, I had no fleas in that area after applying it 3 hours before I went to bed, had to give the dust time to settle. I plan on doing this each day for probably a month seeing as how a flea can lay 40 eggs in a day. So I am bracing for a hatching of who knows how many each day. Gonna do my bed, clothes, drawers and everything. I had a friend who got bedbugs from somebody giving them furniture, after months of chemicals from the store and 3 rounds of professional exterminators which they spent almost 2 thousand dollars, even getting new beds and still no help, they heard of diatomaceous earth and bought a 50 pound bag. They caked their home in it, to the point of overboard but they were losing their sanity after months of battling these nasty bugs. They even put it on the fans to blow it around, I don’t suggest this. Since using the diatomaceous earth also known as d.e., they never had a bed bug problem again. This was 3 years ago, also they haven’t seen a spider or any beetles or ants in their home since then. I’m gonna make a paste of this and use it to exfoliate. Readers, this is also beneficial for humans to take for many reasons. Thanks for your articles, I read almost all of them on several bugs, different treatments, products, traps and etc.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Cindy, thanks for your lovely comment, it contains so much juicy details. DE is absolutely fantastic and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on it, especially to help my readers. You rock!

  206. Terry Reine says:

    Do you find this method works well in basements where it is more humid? I seem to have an infestation there that is proving hard to eliminate, previously I had treated only the carpeted areas but i find that the concrete areas seem to be part of the problem as well.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Terry, humid environments are not ideal but honestly, it will probably still work. Let me know how it goes!

  207. Jennifer says:

    I tried a natural spray I found at hardware store without luck. I am open to try DE but just am scared for my son’s safety. Is this completely safe? Besides vacuuming is there any other special clean up procedures I should do?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jen! Food grade DE is 100% safe. I suggest you brush it into the carpet, leave it for 2-3 days, vacuum it up and repeat if necessary.

  208. Donna says:

    I have tile and wood floors…only one rug by front door and a rug in each bathroom. I have memory foam bed and a leather sofa. Where would I put the food grade D earth? We inherited a 4 month old kitty when the idiot neighbor moved and left it outside. He was loaded with fleas…got the flea med but he still has them and now my dog had some too….ahhhh. Cant figure where you would put this if I don’t have carpeting.
    thank you

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Donna, you can put it anywhere you think fleas might be hiding, don’t hold back hehe. Hope you come right!

  209. Allie says:

    Hi, love this article, very informative, and I’m heading out today to get some DE. We just moved into a new home, the previous owner had four cats, and also apparently a huge flea problem – which I didn’t know about until we brought our kitty here! My question is, how will DE affect electronics? We all have computers, and I’m a bit worried about the fridge as well. I’ll turn off the a/c while I dust with DE, should I cover the computers with plastic or something? I’ve been doing research on this topic [your site is MOST informative!] and saw one lady used a turkey baster to get into cracks in baseboards. Since our “new” house was built in 1947, there are tons of cracks in baseboards. I’m hoping this will also help with the enormous spider population, lol.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Allie! If the electronics are on the ground, yes it might be worth covering them as DE can be quite “dusty”. Yes that is a great idea, do that but be prepared to clean up the mess afterwards hehe. P.S: Leave the DE down for 2-3 days and brush it into carpets with a broom :)

  210. Kate Windsor says:

    Hu, some very useful comments on here! My dog has recently caught fleas and we have had some hot whether which has resulted in the fleas multiplying like mad! I bought some DE a week ago, all my furniture is in the middle of the room and I’ve used a sieve to evenly spread over the carpets, I’m 38 weeks pregnant and only managed to do one room at a time, is this any good or do I need to do the whole house in one? P.s.I haven’t yet hoovered so the DE is still in the carpets. Thanks. Kate

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Kate! You can definitely do it room by room, but leave it all down until the entire house is done. In fact, wait another 2-3 days (also brush it into the floor) before cleaning it up.

  211. Susan Ememrich says:

    Natasha,

    I have 3-4 week old kittens with fleas. They came off an Amish farm. I used DE on them tonight only to read one of your points which was not to use them on kittens!! Are they going to be ok?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Susan, yep they will be, its just a precaution. I don’t want to say to the world “its 100% safe” but realistically, it is very unlikely that it will cause issues. Joys of having such a wide audience i guess hehe.

  212. Jessica says:

    Hi Natasha! Thank you for all of the great information here. I called my local tractor supply store and they have Red Lake DE food grade, but I looked online at the contents and it is 95% “mineral matter” (max) and 8% moisture (max). It also has calcium bentonite. Is this a product that I want to buy to use to kill the fleas in my home? I am unsure about the moisture and the calcium bentonite. Thanks!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jess! It is a pleasure! I am also a little unsure honestly but since it says food grade (which means its completely safe), it should be fine. I suggest getting it and teaching the fleas in your house who is the real boss ;)

  213. Madeline says:

    I have no carpets (only a few rugs here and there) should i still try this on my hardwood floor? i feel like it would just slide around. but i am desperate to try anything lol

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Madeline. I suggest that you just use your hardwood floor cleaner on the floor, it will kill them as well. If there are cracks between the wood, DE can help a bit there. Have you tried making a few DIY flea traps? If not, there is an article on my blog about this, check it out.

  214. MIKE says:

    Hi Natasha, lot of really great tips on here. I too have 2 dogs, with fleas… Just started using D.E. & it seems to be starting to help….. But my question is how does D.E. Keep new fleas from getting on them when they go back outsde, since I havent heard the word Repellant used? Thanks

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Mike! Thank you! It doesn’t, it’s not really a repellent. If you want that, a spot on treatment is probably best (don’t use a flea collar).

  215. Help with gkeas says:

    I bought de from a pet food store. It didn’t say food grade. But the lady told me it was safe to use for flea control. I sprinkled it on carpet and sofas.. Is it safe for my 9 year old daughter to be me in the same room that I sprinkled carpet in?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi there, it should be fine. I only use food grade but I am sure that she knows what she is talking about.

  216. Bob Ellison says:

    I’ve recently purchased Diatomaceous Red Lake Earth. I read in a comment that it will dry out dog’s skin. would it be advisable to use the product on dogs that have raw skin due to either fleas, mites, dog lice, or sarcoptic mange ? I’m not sure which is the cause but my little friend is in bad shape. Please advise because I can’t afford a hefty vet bill.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Bob! I suggest you use DE in your home, not for direct application to your dog. Hope that helps!

  217. Lynn says:

    Just found carpet beetle larvae in my home!! Went to local tractor supply store and they recommended red lake earth diatomaceous with calcium bentonite. But got home & googled it & it says for treatment of fleas….I do not have fleas. Will this still work & if so…how do I use it?? HELP PLEASE!!!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Lynn, it works the same way and you can follow the same steps as described in this article. Hope that helps!

  218. Sharlon says:

    Hi Natasha, I’m currently living in a pet friendly hotel with my dog Thorn and we picked up fleas, a week or two passed before I discovered the invasion. So I panicked and put Frontline on him before I discovered DE. He’s been wearing the DE dust coat for a few days now, I flea comb him several times a day and I’m still finding flea dirt. Will DE kill all stages of the flea life span? Also I notice his skin is starting to very get dry and actually flaking off in areas, can I add olive oil to his diet without disrupting the effectiveness of the DE? Thanks for the great tips and website – this whole experience is nerve wracking and it helps to have others offering suggestions and sharing.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Sharlon! DE isn’t really for direct application (not dangerous though), rather use it in your hotel room (if allowed). I recommend giving him a wash in dawn soap and warm water, brushing him real good and then applying a spot on treatment. That combination should sort you out quickly. Hope that helps, please share my blog on FB if you appreciated my time :)

      • Sharlon says:

        Thanks for the prompt response Natasha, I really appreciate the info. I gave him a good 10min soak in dawn soap last night and afterwards brushed him out like crazy. This morning no signs of flea dirt, so maybe we are winning the war. I took your advice and put the DE on the carpet – and will continue to brush him out daily. Will let you know in a few weeks if the fleas have fled. Take Care and thanks for your help.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Sharlon! It is a pleasure, I enjoy helping the community!

  219. Wits end says:

    Also, have you heard of the brand “wolf creek” DE… It showed exact ingredient in the package unlike Silalive? Which is questionable. I’ve heard it can work wonders in this hair? Would love to know your feedback. Thank you for this great website!!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi there, I havn’t seen that brand but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good, does it say “food grade” on it? I recommend using it around the house, not so much for direct application. For applying the DE, use a broom to brush it into the carpet, that works the best. Hope that helps!

  220. Allison says:

    Hi! Thank you for this helpful article. We just found some fleas on our cat. We searched for them because I was bitten while doing laundry in the basement. I assume the fact that I am being bitten is a sign of infestation? They positively love to munch on me(found this out during the last infestation). Since then we have moved so there could have been a few stragglers. We have two cats and two dogs. My husband is bringing home the advantage today and i started laying DE in the closed off portion of the basement. We bought the DE last time not knowing about the food grade. It is the Safer Brand with insecticide. My question, though, and forgive me for sounding rotten, but after applying the advantage, could i let my cats roam through the open portion of the basement to potentially bring the fleas TO them and let them die that way before dusting the rest of the basement? The bag of DE with insecticide is already open and I wouldnt want to waste it. I will be purchasing the food grade for the rest of the house. I am the one that gets bitten the most, but have to do the work because my husband works many hours. Any suggestions to keep them off me? And also the cats love to lay in my wardrobe. Should i dust and/or launder them too? I do laundry for 6 so avoiding all that laundry would be a plus. I think it also may be that the weather here in PA is cooling, but still humid and i have recently turned the AC off. Thanks so much and I cant wait to hear from you.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Allison! Yeah that should be fine, just keep an eye on them for any issues. Yes, lavender oil repels fleas so you can use that if you like. Yep, dust there too and after you wash any clothes they could have come into contact with, keep them out the wardrobe. Hope that helps, please share this on Facebook if you appreciate my time :)

  221. Sharlon says:

    Hi Natasha, I have an update and a few questions. First the update, the carpets and furniture have been steamed cleaned, exterminator has been out to spray inside, I vacuumed like crazy then applied my first round of DE to the carpet and left for 2.5 days (killed the vacuum during DE removal, RIP Hoover). I used your homemade flea trap for a night where the dog sleeps, it came up empty the next day. I’ve been spraying a Peppermint oil & Clover product on all the fabric furniture (its suppose to kill fleas and fleas eggs). I’m finding no trace of fleas or flea dirt on the dog (1 week flea free). So Question 1, because its a very small room and I have no place to board my dog during the DE application I’d like to use a salt and baking soda combination instead and DE along the baseboards – how long should it stay on the carpet? Question 2, How long should I do the Salt/Soda combo, 3-4 weeks? Thanks for all your help, this website is a godsend.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Sharlon! Leave it down for about 2-3 days, that should be sufficient. Repeat 2-3 times as well, that should be enough. It is a pleasure, always happy to help! Please share it with your friends!

  222. Darlene Peterson says:

    I would like to know how to apply it to the pets skin fleas are not a problem in my carpet anylonger since I have removed them all from my home.I do have an old pet who has such a terrible time with her skin this time of year she is red and hot and smells horrible my heart aches for her I have tried everything and thought maybe this would help if I fed it to her and maybe put it on her coat.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Darlene! Given the circumstances with the pet’s skin, I don’t feel comfortable recommending any product, your best bet will be to take it to the vet. Sorry.

  223. Mandie says:

    Thank you so much for all of the suggestions here. We noticed our cats had fleas a few weeks ago and since then I’ve tried everything. I used the flea bath soap, Dawn dish soap, flea powders while my cats are locked out of rooms, flea sprays, small amounts of essential oils, you name it. Vacuuming twice (sometimes three) times a day for weeks now and always empty it outside and in a bag. My cats are still miserable. I’ve been putting the DE on my cats every other day… I know it dries their skin out, but I’m desperate. To be honest, my cats actually like having this dusted on them. Maybe they know that it’s for :) I bought a glass shaker and have dusted my house all over my carpets… I’ve done it in the evening and then vacuumed it up the next evening. I did my entire basement and actually just left that on the carpets since we don’t go down there much. I use the warm soapy water and light every night, but I’m only getting 10-15 fleas every morning. I’m washing blankets, sheets, bedding, and vacuuming the couch very well every couple of days. I’m so frustrated right now. I don’t want to hire an exterminator, because I’m wondering how much that is going to help if the fleas are all over my cats? I’ve seen that the DE is supposed to work pretty fast, but it’s just not helping, Does anyone have any other suggestions? The vet said a flea bath from a groomer may help, but they can’t guarantee to get all of the fleas, and then if our house isn’t completely free of them, it’ll start the cycle all over again. Losing my mind here :(

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Mandie! No it won’t help the fleas on your pet, need to get a spot on or something like that. Also try my DIY flea traps, they are easy to make and work well. Article is on this blog. Cheers!

  224. Sharlon says:

    Hi Natasha, well week 3 is upon my flea battle and after a lull I’ve had a few stragglers pop up. You were right about the salt/baking soda not being as effective so I put down DE yesterday. Would this plan work for DE application -> DE down on carpet for 2-3 days, then vacuum up, then DE immediately reapplied (so in effect DE two times a week or a continuous application for 4 weeks). My dog is scheduled for neutering in November and I really would like the bugs to be gone by then. Thanks for all your support!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Sharlon, yes that sounds perfect, good luck!

  225. Deb says:

    I just wanted to say I have a pretty big flea infestation and started using de and have had positive results and my cats haven’t been scratching as much.I have tried bombs,sprays and powder with no results,de will be used from here on out beginning flea season.I leave it on a few days and refresh de and will continue until completely gone

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Deb, excellent! Glad that you have had success with DE and thank you for sharing!

  226. Stina says:

    I hate fleas. I want them all to die now. My poor dog, and daughter… I got the DE, have used it once a long time ago and it worked great. I went on eBay looking for a bag, and I got a 10 lb bag food grade for under $20, shipped to the house. But when searching, there it was…. The pest pistol. It was like $10 and worth every cent. You put the de in it, it looks like an accordion air pump, and you pump it and it poofs out and you poof it all over, it looks like smoke, and it lays down a fine mist of de…. We poofed the house and yard. I hope the little diatoms act like ninja blades on the little evil fleas and they die every last one.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Stina! Wow that sounds legit. Thanks for the tip, I am sure that many will benefit from it!

  227. Kelly Smith says:

    Hi, I have a quick question. We live in Florida and this is the first time wr’ve encountered a flea issue. Its pretty bad to say the least. We’ve tried everything…..from dawn dish soap to nexgard. We heard about DE yesterday while at a dr’s appt for my daughter. Anothet woman told us about it. After reading some reviews, went out and bout a big bag for only $14.99. My question or questions are…..is it safe for your pets to ingest? And we have a nursing mother cat (kittens a little over a week) can it be used on or near them safely? Thank you for all the information in this blog. Hoping we can rid our home and our poor pets of these pests!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Kelly, if it is “food grade”, then yes. Kittens might be a problem, not because its poisonous but because it can cause a bit of breathing issues due to how fine it is. Although they will probably be fine, rather keep the small ones out the room to be safe. It’s a pleasure, please share it on Facebook :)

  228. Suellen says:

    Hey Natasha. Do you have to stay out of the house when you use DE like with the foggers?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Suellen, no it is not necessary.

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