Use Diatomaceous Earth to Kill Fleas in 3 Easy Steps

Over the last couple of 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 think 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. Let’s start with a very common question that many people ask on a regular basis; what is it and is it safe to use?

What Is Diatomaceous Earth and Is It Toxic?

Back in the 1830s, an old farmer discovered a 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!

Since you have likely done some research on diatomaceous earth before reading this article, it’s highly probable 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?

diatomaceous earth powderPlease note, 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 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? That is a great question, let me go ahead and answer that!

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

Picture of a 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 dangers 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!

Can You Apply Diatomaceous Earth On Cats Or Dogs?

I get this question a lot, so I decided to add this into the article itself (lots of answers in the comments section if you want to read over them as well). Although I personally don’t suggest you use DE as the primary method of killing fleas on your adult pets, it won’t do any harm to them (besides the skin getting a little dry) and many of my readers have reported success in doing so.

The reason I don’t recommend directly applying to your cat or dog is because it is very short lived (powder will easily fall off, they often try to lick it off, if it gets wet it is no longer effective, etc) and there are better options available for pet fleas. Speaking of which, here are some suggestions for treating fleas on your dog and removing fleas on your cats.

NOTE: Please don’t use DE on smaller or very young pets (e.g. kittens, rabbits, hamsters, puppies, etc.) as the powder can sometimes cause minor respiratory issues. This is not due to toxicity or anything like that, it is just because they have small noses and it can get clogged up.

5 Minor Concerns for Using Diatomaceous Earth

DE For Flea Control

  1. Since DE is commonly used in your carpets, it can be a bit difficult to clean up. I recommend using a decent vacuum cleaner but don’t use anything fancy, a bag based vacuum is best as the power can get stuck in more “modern” systems. In fact, if you can get hold of a shop vac, that would be ideal.
  2. Keep it away from moisture. As previously mentioned, this significantly reduces its effectiveness.
  3. 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 instead.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

  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 24 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 to 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 so 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 Borax Instead of Diatomaceous Earth?

This is definitely an option as boron based products are very effective for flea control, and I have personally used borax powder to kill fleas around my home over the past couple years (with great success). However, there are a few considerations (health, etc.) so before you go ahead and purchase anything, I recommend that you read over my dedicated article on using borax for fleas (on this blog).

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! 🙂


  1. Avatar William Goss says:

    Hello – Thank you for putting together this helpful web site. I believe I have racoons camping out under my deck, or else something flea-ridden died under the deck and all the fleas on it jumped ship. I was pounced on by many fleas while on the deck for just a couple minutes. I have borrowed a live trap for the racoons, but I am wondering if I use DE outside on the deck and adjacent ground if that will harm any nematodes I plan to release afterwards? Thanks, Wm.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi William, rather just use the nematodes first and see how that goes, as from my personal experience, DE isn’t great outside. Let me know please, I will help you through this.

  2. Avatar Tara says:

    Hi I just found your site. It is very helpful. I wanted to sprinkle DE on my carpets for a flea infestation, then vacuum it up. If I leave it on overnight then vaccum is it safe for my cats to be walking around on it? Thank you.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Tara! Yes it will be fine if you are leaving it down for that duration, let me know how it goes!

  3. Avatar Izzy says:

    Hi Natasha,

    How do I apply DE on hardwood floors and how much do I use? Would using dawn be more effective? My parents brought home a puppy and the poor thing is infested with fleas. For some reason I’m the only one getting a bite. My parents don’t. Is it also safe to use DE? Also I have set up a flea trap in my room. It caught like 4 it now I don’t see any. Is it because at night some rooms have lights on? Or do I need a lamp that produces heat? I noticed mine doesn’t really.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Izzy! For your hardwood floors, normally just cleaning them with your floor cleaner (whatever one is safe for your wood) is enough to kill fleas on contact. My suggestion is that you do that, then give your doggy a bath in warm water and dawn soap (I have an article on this, check it out under the fleas category). Once that is done, sprinkle some DE on your carpeted rooms, and leave that DIY flea trap (again, I have a guide on this) out at night (it must be the only light). Hope that helps!

  4. Avatar Michele says:

    Question can this diatomaceous earth food be used to give to my dog to prevent the ticks and fleas?
    If so what’s the dosage to give my52 pound dog and
    When to give on a weekly basis monthly basis etc
    Thank u

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Michele! It cannot be used as a preventative measure unfortunately. However, I am in the process of writing an article on using a mix of tea tree oil and water to do just that, stay tuned for it 🙂

  5. Avatar Suzanne Randall says:

    We have a very small kitten that we found and bless his tiny heart he is covered in fleas. Gottaga is white so you can actually see them crawling all over him. We have bathed him with dawn, rubbed him down with Natural Care + and dusted his bedding area with this powder. Help?????

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Suzanne, the dawn and warm water should have killed the fleas instantly, if it didn’t, perhaps you didn’t reach all areas during the wash. Alternatively, it is possible that he got the fleas from his bedding before they were flea free, thus starting the cycle again. Repeat and make sure that his bedding is 100% flea free 🙂

  6. Avatar Abigail Clark says:

    I have put some DE on my cat directly and rubbed it in. I put a lot on my carpet but vacuumed it up too quickly. I am also sprayed Zoecon Precor 2000 Plus Premise Spray, 16 oz and all carpet and cloth couch. What else can I do? I bathed my cat with Dawn dish soap too. We have released bug bombs and had out yard treated. Thank you.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Abigail! The DE can be (and should be) left down for a couple days. I also recommend rubbing it in with a broom (to reach down into the fibers). I actually leave mine down for 2 weeks, as that ensures that larvae, etc. is also killed by it, I suggest you give that a try. Hope that helps!

  7. Avatar Wayne says:

    Found out about this product through a pest control friend. But I was looking for a little more information about the use of it being applied directly on the dog. I’m sure that can’t be applied very frequently. But any information regarding this application use would be very helpful. Thanks. Wayne.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Wayne! I personally don’t recommend that you use it for direct application, if you want to kill fleas on your dog just give them a wash in dawn soap and warm water. If you want to learn more, check out my article on the topic under the “fleas” category (top menu).

  8. Avatar Sandy says:

    I had used de last year for flea control and i will never use anything else since this worked wonders and did rid my flea infestation. Now for my question (or concern):
    I didnt quite know exactly how to apply n spread this into my carpets (my entire house is carpeted) so i used a parmesan cheese container to sprinkle it and yes a broom to make sure it got into all the areas nice n deep, however as i read your article here , the broom is exactly what you suggested, but this was indeed a nightmare to clean (as its a powder…add a swipe with a broom and you end up with dust on everything, and i do mean EVERYTHING. So, how did you avoid this nightmare using your broom as you instructed??? I again have a flea problem from rescuing a kitten we found outside (my 2 cats are strictly indoor but this lil gem has spread her unwelcomed ”itchy invaders” thruout her new home and play mates. Please help suggest some way to apply my
    De in a less hellaceous manner. Thank you in advance.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Sandy! Good question! Firstly, the application is important, as you only want a fine layer of DE so when it comes to brushing it in, it doesn’t go everywhere. Use a plastic container with a lid, poke small holes in the lid and use it to gently spread the DE over your carpets. Secondly, when using the broom, it is all about small, mainly downwards movements. This will push the tiny granules into the carpet, without causing a dust cloud. Lastly, when cleaning it up, I highly recommend you use a shopvac, as they are very effective and you can usually hire one affordably.

  9. Avatar george ruggles says:

    Natasha, many times you mentioned dawn dish soap for killing fleas on the animals. I would like to expound a little further on this dish soap thing. Not to get to far off track but my dog had a close encounter with a locale skunk. The dog lost, and so did i .To my amazement however I found that skunk scent is an oil. And dawn takes gress out of your way. It took the smell completely away with one bath. It is a true storie. It works.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi George! Wow that is incredible, thanks for sharing that experience with us 🙂

  10. Avatar Jean says:

    Just tried this tonight. This morning the fleas were jumping up on both my daughter and my legs at regular intervals, all over the house. I sprinkled this rather liberally throughout the house. A couple of fleas could be seen shortly afterwards. It’s been two hours now and I haven’t seen a flea. I’m leaving it overnight into tomorrow just to make sure but, this stuff is clearly superior and fantastic. $9.97 for a bag at Home depot – 100% diatomaceous earth. Wonderful!

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jean, super glad to hear that it worked for you, and thanks for taking the time to share your experience 🙂

  11. Avatar Jane Brophy says:

    Natasha, thanks for the great info. I seem to see some conflicting info about how long to leave the DE before vacuuming…ranging from 3 days to 1 week. I’m trying to get a handle on a flea problem that we are having and want to come up with the best plan of attack. We are going to be using Capstar daily x 5 days per our vet, followed by Nexguard (they said that the topical flea prevention isn’t regulated and fleas have become resistant to most). We put down DE on the couches and carpeting on Tuesday. It’s now Thursday and my house is a dust bowl, but I’m trying to figure out when it would be best to vacuum and repeat. I’m going to make some DIY traps tonight (thanks for that tip).

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jane! The longer the better, so leave it down for 7 days if you can. Good luck, let me know how it goes 🙂

  12. Avatar Natalie says:

    HI Natasha.

    Over the past 2 weeks I have seen 4 fleas in my new apartment. 2 were in my hair, 2 were in my bed (and both bed fleas were spotted yesterday and today). I don’t have pets, but the people who just moved out had 2 outdoor cats. I’m assuming this is the source. Yesterday I vacuumed and washed all my bedding, and today I saw one sitting on my pillow after I woke up. Does using DE seem like an appropriate way to handle this situation? Is it ok to sprinkle near the headzone of my bed? I have a few area rugs – do you think it would be a good idea to sprinkle them with DE then vacuum up? As I said, I don;t have pets so this is new to me. Also I’m sure they;re fleas because they jump, and I’ve looked at their pictures on the internet extensively. I hope to hear from you soon.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Natalie, yes DE will work nicely in your case and you can use it like that on your bed/rugs. Good luck, and sorry for the delayed response.

  13. Avatar Alissa Marquardt says:

    Does anybody have the links to an applicator that they can recommend? I see several different ones online. I’ve tried diatomaceous earth to tackle my flea problem before and had great results, but I wound up with a cloud of dust over everything.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Alissa! I recommend that you use a plastic container with a lid. Just poke little holes in the lid and use that to apply the DE (like a salt shaker). Hope that helps, don’t waste your money on buying something unless you really need it.

  14. Avatar Judy says:

    Can I use it outside in my yard and on my patio? How should I apply?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Judy, yes you can but it only really works when it is dry (so no humidity or rainy weather), so I recommend you give beneficial nematodes a try. I have an article on this topic, check out the homepage of this blog 🙂

  15. Avatar Dennis says:

    I am in the third week and there are still signs of fleas. Two cats get little welts after being bitten. A third cat shows no externals signs except for scratching. Although I have not seen a flea for 2 weeks both cats are still getting welts. I lay down DE around the walls and in bedding areas. I have no carpets. I vacuum every four or 5 days and then re-lay the DE.I clean bedding areas periodically with vinegar and water. I have twice rubbed DE into the scruff and tail area of the cats. The DE I purchased was food grade from a health store but I am not sure of the DE% in the mix as it came in a plastic bag without info. Any tips, am on on course or do you think there is a problem? It has been a really hot and humid summer and I have no air conditioner so I am sure that does not help.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Dennis! I recommend that you continue that process for one more week, but also get a spot on treatment for your cats. Lastly, I also recommend that you put down a few DIY flea traps at night, I have an article on how to make them super cheaply on this blog. Combine all these and I am positive you will win the battle.

  16. Avatar Karen says:

    Can DE be added to cat litter?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Karen, yes it can. Just make sure that it is food grade so that it’s safe.

  17. Avatar Susan says:

    I’m wondering if a mixture of both DE and Boric acid would be more effective than just using one or the other. Also, once I dust the house and carpets, how long should I wait to go back into the house without fleas jumping on my legs.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Susan, I have never tried to use both at once because to be quite frank, it is not necessary. I recommend DE over boric acid, as it is easily acquired and cheap. I recommend leaving it down for about 5-7 days, and if you want “bonus” points, take a broom and rub it around a bit to make sure that it reaches all living fleas.

  18. Avatar Mandy says:

    Seeking flea advice! I have only a tiny 4lb yorkie and no other pets. So many theories about where the fleas could have come from, but let’s not dwell there and move on to advice on how to get rid of them! I have been vacuuming every day, washing bedding, the pup is now on Sentinel and I give a dose of Capstar here and there. We also have shampoo. I’ve been using sentry home home spray (kills all bugs but not sure if it works on the fleas!) Here’s the thing… I’ve only found one flea on my little girl at a time, but nearly 10 fleas total in the last month! Flea comb picks up nothing except maybe eggs? Maybe dandruff, she’s always had that. The only way I find a flea is visual inspection by hand and I always catch the little “buggers”. I never find them in the carpet, in the bed, on the sofa…. or anywhere else, so… questions are how bad is the infestation and what do I need to do to get rid of them for good? Thank you so much for the support, Sincerely,
    A Clean Freak

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Mandy! It sounds like you have taken the necessary steps to put a dent in their population, and it doesn’t sound like you have a big infestation. Best way to check is to use a DIY flea trap at night. I have article on it, check it under the fleas category and let me know how that works out for you.

  19. Avatar Susan B. says:

    Hi All, I am just seeing this site and I love it. Just wanted to throw my 2¢ in here. I had bed bugs probably eight years ago and after researching and researching, found that DE kills them. I was thrilled and yes, it did work. It took a lot of work on my end as I lived in an apartment complex and they came from a downstairs neighbor – of whom the complex eventually kicked out. However, this was like a miracle and I could finally sleep again and not be afraid. I have been using this on my two cats’ flea problem. It’s a work in progress on the flea situation since my cats are carrying them around. I live by myself so I sprinkle the carpet and just leave it on there. I have also sprinkled their window beds. The experience with bed bugs and fleas is, the fleas are harder to get rid of due to having two animals walking around as hosts. The bedbugs were just killed – the fleas are hopping on the cats and wandering around with them. I will eradicate them but for those of you fighting these – DE is an amazing product and I WILL win this fight. 🙂 BTW, I have ordered it on Amazon both times I have needed it. Easy Peasy! All the best.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Susan! Appreciate your lovely comment and your kind words. I am certain that this info will hugely benefit anyone reading it so thank you.

  20. Avatar Julie says:

    I’m pretty sure the fleas my cats have bite me more often than them. . . If I take food grade DE internally, will it deter fleas from biting me???

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Julie! No it will not deter them, sorry 🙁

  21. Avatar Lisa says:

    After I sprinkle the DE, can I continue to walk on and live in the rooms having been treated?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Lisa! Yes you can, thanks for the question!

  22. Avatar Lori Massini says:

    I’ve been rescuing/ rehoming cats for 15 years. Up to 30 at a time in my own home. Cost from my own pocket. Imagine the vet bills and flea / worm treatments.
    My only complaint is I wish I knew about Diatom 15 yrs ago! Omg. A miracle cure. De fleas..De pets have never looked so fresh and healthy. And it is odorless so they don’t freak out from a nasty smell. All natural.Plus the money I save I can afford to buy them better quality food and treats.
    At the moment I have 10 cats a dog & 6 guinea pigs . They are all Diatomed! Hhh
    This is the best thing I have ever discovered I am so happy. I live in Malta (near sicily Diatom is not easy to find. One place on the island I found. 15.50€ for a small bottle. But is gold dust to me. I never want to be without it! Thanks everyone. Good day.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Lori! Thanks for sharing your experience and keep up the good work, it is very admirable 🙂

  23. Avatar Sharon says:

    Thank you for this info. I am a little confused about when to vacuum up the food grade DE. Do you wait 12 hours and vacuum or some articles state 3 days. It sounds like some vacuum up immediately.

    2. Is it okay to live and walk around on the carpets that have been dusted?

    3. We have fleas in a vacation home so we cannot vacuum for one month straight. Is it okay to leave for a few weeks and come back later and vacuum?

    4. Can we do one room at a time or will the fleas move the room that has not been treated?

    I appreciate any insight.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Sharon! I recommend leaving it down for around a week, longer the better honestly (so a few weeks is great). Yes it is safe to do that, and I recommend that you do all the rooms at once (or well, maybe one per day is fine). Hope that helps.

  24. Avatar Julia says:

    Hi Natasha,
    I’ve been reading through some great info here on DE & Borax for fleas, but wonder how to effectively use it on hardwood floors if I don’t have a vacuum. Can I mop it up after sweeping? Also, I live in 80-90% humidity right now so dry climates for preventing a sticky mess are impossible. I’d appreciate any advice you can offer! My one cat keeps getting reinfected with tapeworms even after medication and applying revolution. And now we have a kitten in the house with fleas too so I worry about what you mentioned in your article (inhalation, lower body mass, & being in closer contact with the powder)
    Just want everyone to be safe and flea free.
    Thanks so much!

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Julia! I recommend just using a soapy mixture that is specifically made for your hardwood floors, as most cleaning agents will kill fleas on contact. Then to take it a step further, put out a couple DIY flea traps each night (see my article on this, just browse to the “fleas” category at the top of the page). Let me know how it goes, would be happy to help you sort this out.

  25. Avatar Erica clarke says:

    Hello! I found 2 fleas on my adult male cat today and immediately bathed him with flea replenent. We are getting front line in the morning to treat all 3 of our cats. I would prefer to avoid using a bomb and am interested in DE. Can the cats be around when the DE is settling into the carpet etc? Will they be able to come into direct contact with it and lick paws if stepped in? I have a small apartment with no doors inside besides the bathroom so it is difficult to put the cats somewhere specific. Please give me any advice you have I appreciate it greatly!!

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Erica, if you get food grade DE, it will not be harmful to your cats (they won’t need to leave your apartment), just make sure that you apply it carefully so that it doesn’t fill the air with dust hehe. Yeah I would advise against letting your cat drink from it, but i think that as soon as she tries, he will taste the soapy liquid and hopefully stop, so maybe just keep an eye on him in the beginning.

    • Avatar Carrie Gardner says:

      Just a heads up…Frontline doesn’t seem as effective as before. The little twits (fleas) seem to becoming immune. Same thing might be happening with Advantage too.

      Was just at our vet with two infested kitties…she gave them a Capstar and used Cheristin topical – that lasts 30 days and is only for cats. The active ingredient is lower than other topical making it easier for cats, who have a hard time with chemicals and medications.

      Another thing to try are Seresto flea collars. They work for up to 8 months. In all fairness, my cats had them on when they became infested. However, they were to loose. They should be tight enough where you can fit one finger under. It has to make contact with the skin. If the infestation is bad, it is safe to use the Cheristin and have the collar one. has GREAT prices on Seresto and is a GREAT company. Been going to them for years for both my cats and reptiles.

      Speaking as a former vet assistant, I would recommend not bathing with a repellent. The first thing post-war kitties will do when wet is groom so they ingest at least some of the chemicals. And since it’s a repellent, it will only work until it wears off. They can’t reach where topical are applied or the collar. And they are spread throughout the body.

      • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

        Hi Carrie! Really appreciate your comment, it contains some great information that I know will beneficial to my readers! Thanks!

  26. Avatar Deniece Burns says:

    I have a flea infestation and want these buggers gone! I went to Home Depot and bought two 5lb bags of the Safer Brand DE. I was just about to use it on my carpets but wanted to check your site to see how it was applied. I read that Food Grade DE needed to be used and the Safer Brand didn’t indicate that it was in fact Food Grade. I ordered from Amazon the correct type of DE to use on the carpets and patio.
    I do have a large backyard. Would it be a bad idea to use the Safer Brand DE on my lawns and fence line? I’m not entirely sure where my cats venture when in the yard areas other than the patios. I plan on buying larger bags of the food grade and using it from here on out but I’d hate for the first 2 bags to go to waste. What do you recommend?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Deniece! Yes you can use that outside, it will work nicely (presuming that its not too wet outside. I recommend that you apply it on a hot day just to be sure. Hope that helps!

  27. Avatar Aileen says:

    I’ve been using the de in the rooms, and switched to baking soda and salt, I been brushing the cats, vacuuming and etc. Today a flea was on my husbands leg, do you think this means I still have a lot of fleas everywhere, or could it be a couple that haven’t died yet?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Aileen, probably just a couple to be honest. Keep up the treatment and see if they start to disappear over the next 2-3 days.

  28. Avatar Jamie says:

    Hello there! Really enjoyed reading some great information and advice from the article and comment section. Maybe looking for a second opinion on my case in particular. I went on a trip to Chicago. Two days after I had gotten home, I noticed that I had been bitten by something. As I did more research, I noticed it wasn’t actually a spider bite, but BED BUGS instead. Mind you, I have NEVER had bed bugs, so this was incredible scary and unexpected. Once, I had found their dropping on my mattress, I striped the bed, bagged up all clothing/anything on the carpet. Took it to the laundromat, washed and dried everything on high heat. That day after we realized we had a problem, we had pest control come in to spray my room, bed, carpet, living room couches, baseboards and everything in my sisters room. I was incredibly paranoid and didn’t sleep in my bed for exactly a week. A few days after our house had been serviced by pest control, we noticed my chihuahua started itching. Took her to the vet only to find out she had fleas. Vet gave us some topical ointment to put on her and on my cat (just to be proactive about the situation). The next day, my sister had used BORAX on EVERYTHING while I was work. It was such a pain to clean up as it was on the couches, carpets, beds, cushions on the table chairs, you name it. A few days after this cleaning mission, my sisters paranoia continued and spiraled into her doing more research and came across DE. Was a mission to find this product, but we were able to purchase it at Lowe’s. I came home to a house with an entire bag of DE layering the carpets, beds, couch, couch cushions chair cushions, dog begs, etc. So much so, that the fumes were strong and we had to sleep elsewhere for night. The DE stood on our carpets for about 17 hours. Was a mission to clean it up, but honestly was SO worth it. The house fells incredibly clean, but our dog is still scratching herself after we placed a flea collar on her and my cat (cat isn’t scratching). Not sure what you recommend on our next steps to ensuring this problem goes and stays away. Our beds are wrapped in mattress cover protectors after we vacuumed them of DE. Would love to hear your thoughts on our process and the likelihood that we got rid of everything.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jamie, thanks for the lovely comment! I cannot promise that you have gotten rid of them, but reading through your comments makes me believe that you really went all out with the borax and DE, so yeah you have probably succeeded. Just for future reference, you don’t need to get the stuff everywhere, controlled application is possible when you place the DE in a plastic container with holes in the lid and apply it as you would use a salt shaker. As for keeping them away, if you have succeeded in killing the current infestation, and you don’t bring anymore into your home, you shouldn’t have a problem again. Regarding your dog and it’s fleas, I highly recommend that you use a spot on treatment and not that collar (see my article on the subject of flea collars, they are bad news). Hope that helps and thanks for stopping by.

  29. Avatar Aileen says:

    I used de from lowes on my carpet in the living room, I just did some research on their website and it says its not food grade. Is it safe for kids and pets to be around? How often should I vacuum and put more de down? Can I also use baking soda and salt, is that as effective?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Aileen! Food grade is ideal but it is completely non-toxic, but that doesn’t mean that the other stuff is highly dangerous. That being said, rather don’t put anymore down if you can easily purchase some food grade stuff because it is better. Yes you can, but it isn’t as effective as DE. Hope that helps!

  30. Avatar Krista McKown says:

    HI Natasha!
    HELP! I have two small poodle mix dogs and I’ve never had the flea issue I’m having right now! They are Covered In Them!! So, of course, now i have them all over the house as well! I just used some DE in my living room this morning on the rug and the couch, but just in there as I only had a very small jar that my friend gave me. My question to you is, what is the best thing I can do to treat my dogs at the same time I’m treating my house? I don’t think just using DE on the dogs will work at this point since there are so many on them. Should I have them flea dipped at the groomer and then treat the house while they are away?? I’m feeling overwhelmed by this as I’ve never had a flea problem this bad ever! OH! I also have Comfortis (flea med) coming for them which has helped in the past, but it won’t be here for another week or two so I need to do something now!
    Sorry, if I seem all over the place…I’m just at a loss.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Krista! Best and cheapest solution that is extremely effective (presuming that the house and garden are not infested with fleas) is putting them in a bath with dawn soap. I have an article on this blog about it, find it under the “fleas” category and tell me what you think. Apologies for the delay in my response, just catching up on commments atm.

  31. Avatar R Trail says:

    I have DE but is says insect control. I am pretty sure I used it directly on my cats fur as well as all over the house. What is the danger?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi R Trail! Should be fine honestly, but in future ideally use food grade because it’s 100% safe (even for consumption lol). Hope that helps!

  32. Avatar Peter says:

    Hi Natasha,
    We think our 2 cats brought fleas into our home. They have been treated with frontline and show no signs of fleas. However, we have 6 bedrooms all carpeted and we have been experiencing flea bites. It’s been about 4 weeks now and we’re getting new bites about once a week. We have been vacuuming, washing bedding, stuffed animals
    etc, we sprayed Vet’s Best natural spray everywhere. Our cars do not go outdoors at all. We finally decided to try food grade DE. I sprinkled and brushed into all bedrooms carpets and box springs. I moved all of the beds and made sure I got DE everywhere. We don’t have anything else on the floors of the bedroom. We left the DE for 3 days and vacuumed, except under the beds where the cats hangout. We’re stlll getting bites! How long should this process take? How many times should we repeat? Also, we still got bites while DE was in the carpet. Our vet told us it could take months to get rid of the fleas. I set out homemade traps to see the extent of the infestation but did not catch any fleas. But I have seen flea “dirt” in the sheets just 1 or 2. Can you give us some suggestions?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Peter, leave the DE down for at least a week before vacuuming it up (provided it remains dry). Note that it will only kills fleas that come into contact with it, so make sure that your coverage is sufficient. RE the flea traps, try making the DIY ones on my site (not sure if you followed that article, but you don’t need to buy any from the shop). Put them out at night, as the light will attract the fleas to their doom. Hope that helps!

  33. Avatar Joseph says:

    I have a bad flea problem in my basement where I let some cats stay in there for the winter. I just purchased some DE, to spread on the floor. The floors are concrete, so how much should I put down? Should every square inch of the floor be covered lightly?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Joseph! Yeah so the fleas won’t die unless they come into contact with it. So lightly cover wherever they might travel 🙂

  34. Avatar Margie says:


    I have read your complete article and many of the comments as well. I have 5 indoor/outdoor cats and one dog. They all have fleas. We have been doing the best we can but the nightmare is that they wander off outside of our yard (we live in the country) and they come back full of fleas. We use flea applications monthly on both cats and dog. This has worked very well up until this year. Will using DE for a month take care of the problem or will we be battling this forever or until the fleas are nearly gone in the environment – next winter. We live in Florida and we do get freezing days a few times but that is over a year away. Do you have a particular recommendation for us?


    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Margie, I recommend that you give beneficial nematodes a try for your yard, it will stop your pets from catching fleas from outside and they are completely safe (and affordable). I have an article on this blog about them, but will email you a link for your convenience. If you like the article, please feel free to leave a comment there as well 🙂

  35. Avatar Brooke says:

    I love the article! I just bought some diatomaceous earth to help deal with a burgeoning flea problem and I’m excited to begin using it. And while I know it is a non-toxic and an overall safe product., I am paranoid about spreading it around my house for my family’s lung’s sake. Because even though the article say’s it’s safe for lungs, the bag itself (Harris brand, food grade, 100% pure) says the dust can “cause permanent lung damage” and to “wear an approved respirator and goggles” and “work area should be equipped with adequate dust collection or exhaust ventilation”. Why does the bag say that if it is safe? Please help. Thanks:)

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Brooke! It probably says it to be safe, which is a good thing. However, if you apply it gently (using a plastic container with holes in the top) like you would apply salt on your food, it doesn’t “puff” up into the air, which is what you want to avoid. Hope that helps!

  36. Avatar Carol T. says:

    Have a question. We have hardwood floors, how is the best way to get rid of fleas on these types of floors, using DE? Looking for a permanent solution, tired of being aggravated by the little pests! Thanks so much.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Carol, do you have pets? If you don’t, the first step will be to find out where the fleas are coming from, and deal with that with haste. Regarding your hardwood floors, you can try leaving a few DIY flea traps out at night, they are very effective. I have a article on making them yourself on this blog, under the “Fleas” category.

  37. Avatar Jake says:

    Does anyone know if salt and baking soda work as well as using DE when combating fleas in the carpet?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jake, from my experience, no. Hope that helps!

  38. Avatar Janice says:

    I use it in our rabbits bedding. Just a very small amount! A little goes a long way. I’ve made an old bulk size spice bottle to have more control of where and how much I put down! Works great! Also works great on those gray kissing bugs and stinkbugs.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Janice, thanks for sharing your experiences and for the suggestion 🙂

  39. Avatar Donna says:

    I was so pleased to read your article. I sure hope you can help me. I got fleas about a year and a half ago., Now here is the problem, the fleas are living on my body..
    I have done everything known to man kind, but nothing has worked. It is so horrible, iI don;t know how much longer i can live with these things on me.I bought some
    Diatomaceous Earth. I am starting it today. Thank you so much for your time. I will appreciate anything you say on the matter.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Donna! It is a pleasure! I suggest that you get a plastic container (with a lid, in which you put little holes into) and after filling it, you apply the DE as you would use a salt shaker. This will avoid getting the DE into the air. Hope that helps!

  40. Avatar Megan says:

    I put de all over carpet basement and left it there now for 5 days. The fleas seem to be thriving in it. We have no pets but everyone in the house is getting bit still. I have set the soap dish traps and caught 15 fleas in 6 hours again this was 5 days after laying a thick layer of de on the carpet. How do we get rid of them? Yes we know they are fleas and not bed bugs.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Megan, that is unusual, but may I suggest using a broom to “brush” the DE into the carpet? That will accelerate the process. Also, you don’t need a thick layer (might be why its not working, not sure), but rather a thin layer, almost a “dusting” of the stuff. As for the flea traps, put them out at night for the best results. Do that for a few days and let me know the results!

  41. Avatar pam carlin says:

    Natasha,can the DE be used on cloth furniture (sofa etc?). Will use on carpeting also. Have 3 cats, they have no fleas on their bodies d/t using Advantage II for cats, and I don’t see any adults crawling around, but I do occasionally feel them crawling on me or in my hair. I think we brought them home from groomer when they were shaved in July. Been fighting them since 10/1. Using AdvantageII, Siphotrol Premise spray, and I bombed w/ Raid flea and bed bug bomb that 1st week of October. Driving me crazy. I have vacumed entire house daily for past 2 weeks.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Pam! Yes it can, and I suggest that you combine the DE treatment with nightly DIY flea traps, they work fantastically together. I have an article on flea traps on this blog, find it under the “fleas” category 🙂

  42. Avatar Elizabeth Nice says:

    Hello Natasha! Thank you for your article! You answered every question I had.
    Very sincerely,
    Elizabeth Nice

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Elizabeth! Glad to have helped, and thanks for taking the time to leave me such a lovely message.

  43. Avatar Justin Johnson says:

    Thank you so much much for all this information. I bought a 10lb bag of DE. Used it once with no results. Just found your article. Will definitely do as you suggest. We are infested badly and its killing our cats. I will be spending a whole day doing all this and giving 12 cats baths. Thank you for all the great information and hard work you have on this site. It is greatly appreciated.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Justin! It is a pleasure, thanks for your kind words. Tip: Put the DE in a plastic container, punch some small holes in the lid and apply it like a salt shaker. Also, leave it down for a week, while putting a DIY flea trap (article on this blog) in each room at night. It will provide excellent results.

  44. Avatar Sarah says:

    I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned this but don’t try the Red Lakes food grade DE found it at local farm store, it caused my flea problem to get even worse, 10x worse!! I tried to figure out why and then read somewhere else( I don’t recall where) but that the calcium bentonite in that particular brand makes this DE worthless to use against fleas. Trying the tealight method now these last few nights which seems to help some, will try to order some DE online that were mentioned here in the and try that soon. Don’t want to have flea bomb my house, but might have to if these don’t work. Great blog and suggestions.. Thank you all. 🙂

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Sarah! Thanks for the heads up, will definitely keep that in mind if anyone asks in the future. Let me know if you come right, if not, I will help you further.

  45. Avatar CHARLENE S. says:

    Hi, we noticed a few fleas yesterday. I had DE food grade on hand. I vacuumed everything last night and brought my large dehumidifier up and had that running all night. I put the DE down this morning sprinkling it all over the carpet. Then I brushed it in with a stiff broom. I was pretty heavy handed in some spots and while sweeping it caused a dust bowl. It’s all over the downstairs. Where I used a lot, does this mean it’s not going to be effective? I am freaking out and would appreciate any advice. Thank you.


    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Charlene, it will still be effective. Leave it down for a couple days before removing it 🙂

  46. Avatar Alicia says:

    Ok I’m confused. A few years ago i had a flea problem put this stuff down and boom problem solved. I tell everyone about this but i used the pool grade. Went to the pool store and got a 10lb box lol. So why not use pool grade? What’s the difference? Please contact me through my email

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Alicia! Pool grade gets the job done, but so does the food grade alternative. The benefit of the food grade one is that it is completely safe, hence the recommendation. Hope that helps!

  47. Avatar Michelle says:

    So many great insights shared by yourself and your many commenters! Thanks to everyone! As for myself, I called my local Coastal Farm store to ask if they had a Food Grade DE product on the floor. The sales person, said that, while the packaging did not refer to the terms “Food Grade” on the packaging, she said the instructions indicated that it could be added to feed…so I am assuming this is the right product? Also, I asked her about the concentration, and she said that there were no other ingredients listed on the packaging other than 100% DE. So, again, I am assuming that this is the correct product. On a seperate note, do you know anything about using salt as a flea killer? Used in the same way as DE, but left on for a few more days? I am concerned because I have two elderly (15 year olds) cats, one is asthmatic, and I frequently babysit my grand-cat who is 4, who has allergies and so, licks himself a great deal. They all like to roll about on the carpet, stretching out, indicating they want pettings. ;o)

    Thank you in advance for any light that you or your readers can share on these questions.

    Best regards and many thanks,


    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Michelle! While I cannot be 100% certain, the fact that it can be added to the feed, tells me that it should be safe. It is a pleasure, thanks for stopping by!

    • Avatar Justin Johnson says:

      Some brands dont say food grade. However if it says 100% DE. Then it is food grade and safe. Less than 100% I would not Recomend..

      Also, Salt and Baking soda can help. But we are infested bad and seen 0 response to it… Also, salt is really course and over time can damage the fibers in your carpet.

      • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

        Hi Justin! Thanks for helping out Michelle, really appreciate it. Your comment will also help the community, so I appreciate it.

  48. Avatar Jon Reed says:

    Hi guys,
    I’ve recently had my small 2 bed flat sprayed with K-Othrine to kill fleas I inherited from an abandoned cat I took in for a week before I found him another home. Naturally I’m extremely paranoid and am doing all I can to kill them. I’ve been told not to hoover for 3 weeks following the K-Othrine treatment and its been one week so far. I was wondering, would I be able to use the diatomaceous earth alongside the K-Othrine? Or would I need to wait the 3 weeks, hoover, then apply the DE?
    Many thanks!

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jon! Sorry for the late response. I havn’t used that treatment before, but I recommend waiting. Hope that helps.

      • Avatar Jon Reed says:

        Thanks Natasha! I’ll wait and then try the D/E. I’ve only seen dead fleas to be honest but hate not knowing if I’ve got them all or not ha. Guess I’ll never know!

        • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Jon! Pleasure, have a good one and thanks for stopping by to read my blog 🙂

  49. Avatar Jen says:

    This article has definitely been one of the best I’ve read in all my research. I have used a spot treatment for both of the cats I rescued from the shelter, but found they’re still scratching and I’m seeing fleas. I purchased DE that says it’s 100% DE however I misread the bag; it said safe for food establishments but it’s not food grade (sob). Is there a specific brand you’d recommend? I’m going to order it asap as the poor gals are miserable. (Side note, one rescue was mostly feral but very friendly. She doesn’t like contact unless she initiates it, so giving her a dawn bath to give her immediate relief is out of the question unfortunately.)

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jen, thanks for your kind words. The cheapest brand is the best lol, just make sure its food grade 🙂 Hope that helps!

  50. Avatar vicki says:

    in the article it says that it shouldnt be around kittens, puppies…bout how old should the puppies be before they can be around it. like sprinkling on the carpet

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Vicki, it depends on the size, it’s not so much the age. You can always put them on it, see if it affects them and then make a decision.

  51. Avatar Kathy purvis says:

    Just how much do I sprinkle on my three pound and eight pound dogs don’t want to use to much please help thank u

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Kathy! I suggest that you use DE for your carpets, etc, and a spot on (or just a warm bath with soap) for your dogs 🙂

  52. Avatar Kevin Edgins says:

    Just Bought DE with a duster and gave the house a thorough puffing. Now that my war on fleas has begun I had a few questions. My girlfriend is allergic to seafood and shellfish. Would it end up affecting her even if it is food grade? How long should I let it sit for? I work 10am to 7pm and so I cant vacuum very often? I have 3 cats. 2 adults and 1 kitten about 5 months old. they are covered in fleas. I know its not recommended to use it on them but could I use it on them at the start of the flea war and if so how often can I to minimize irritation? Also the place I am at is a bit humid. How badly will it affect the DE efficiency?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Kevin, apologies for the late response. The DE shouldn’t affect your GF, leave it down for as long as 2 weeks, just brush it in. For your pets, just get a spot on (such as Frontline). Unless its VERY humid, the DE should be fine. Hope that helps you.

  53. Avatar Suzanne says:

    Shopping around, I have discovered DE food grade can have different colors, from medium gray to white. What color should it be?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Suzanne, I have only ever used the white one, so probably go with that.

  54. Avatar Shelby says:

    Thank you so much for all the great information. After spending a fortune in flea foggers and adding way too much toxicity to the environment the fleas are as bad as ever! After reading your blog I ordered food grade D-Earth from Amazon and put it down today. I’m now realizing I probably used more than necessary so will sweep first then vacuum.
    I have two questions. The area I’m treating is vacant and has no carpet. May I leave the powder down for the recommended 3 weeks or is there a benefit to vacuuming and reapplying the D-Earth?
    Also, I’m a bit confused after reading the above comments. Should I or should I not treat my dog with the powder?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Shelby! First of all, make sure that you use a shopvac or something sturdy to vacuum it up. Secondly, since its not carpets, just leave it down for the full three weeks. Lastly, don’t use it on your pets. Although it does work, it can dry their skin. Hope that helps!

  55. Avatar Heather says:

    Hello! I saw a comment above about garlic being toxic to dogs. Garlic is toxic when given in high amounts. I use garlic in my dogs food as a flea preventative and it seems to work well. My holistic vet recommended using it. Check out my article on dogs naturally magazine.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Heather, thanks for your comment. I don’t allow links in the comments but I have left your blog name in there so please can google it. Hope that helps!

  56. Avatar Neal triton says:

    Hi we tried everything to get rid of fleas . I washed floors with apple cider vinegar deleted ,flea traps with dawn dish soap and water.vacumed floors ,even salt ,and borax, in areas where they hide.we have 3 cats.2 female 1 male .we keep 2 upstairs the male on main floor.we also have tried the boiled lemons.and put in spray bottle .so now I have just purchased a bag of diatomaceous earth food grade and going to try it soon ,by the way the best place to find it is a hydroponic store.the guy said to wear a mask when you use it .i will keep you updated on my results

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Neal, awesome, thanks for sharing that with the community. Just make sure you use a shopvac or a sturdy vacuum to suck it up, as it can get clogged up easily.

  57. Avatar Patrick Park says:

    I had been suffering from pesticide resistant mutant fleas for about almost a month now. Owner of 3 dogs and 2 cats in a house with 2 backyards. This summer weve been getting a lot of rain and bad humidity so im sure my dogs picked em up outside. Tried bayer flea collars, home flea spray, flea traps and pretty much nothing worked. Came across DE randomly one day and never even heard of it. Bought a 10lb bag on amazon for 25 bucks, think i was ripped off but if it works ill be happy. In a family of four the fleas only bit me… my legs and arms look like swiss cheese. Every night id get bitten 10 times no matter which room I slept in, tried throwing my bed away to sleep on the floor and same thing. Got my powder spreader and DE today and sprayed the crap ton in all my rooms.
    Saw one of them buggers dance around me as I sprayed. I plan to leave the dust for at least a month till i dont get bit anymore, heard the eggs take weeks to hatch unless they sense carbon dioxide. Tried vacuuming everday and flea combing the animals but i just puffed the powder on all of them to see what happens. Wish me luck

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Patrick, goodness, that sounds like a serious infestation. Its been awhile (sorry for the late response), did that work out for you?

  58. Avatar Diane says:

    Hi I’ve been battling fleas for two months. Threw out my expensive area rugs, my couch as I was being eaten alive when sitting on it. I have used DE for to weeks. I’ve border my parrot for the past week dog who doesn’t have fleas has been at my parents for a week, I threw out 75% of my stuff, (I had a lot of clutter) so that’s a good thing it’s good to purge, BUT, they got me. Had back surgery on 7/11 and that’s when I began to realize there was a flea issue ( never had one before and dog is on advantage II large breed religiously, every three weeks now. Bathe her once per week lately, never find fleas on her. My hair has fallen out, I’m mostly bald on the top of my head. That’s about when I realized I was dealing with fleas. After surgery laying on the floor was the best option, or so I thought! I became a host, now my battle is ongoing. About to fog again ( 2nd time in two weeks) had my hair cut to two inches long to ensure there are no eggs on my head. Being half bald it had to be done anyway :'( anyway with the parrot, flapping his wings because he is frustrated being stuck inside his six foot tall cage, the eggs were scattered EVERYWHERE!!!) I can’t shut off my stove oven (living in an apartment I have no access to the valve under the crawl space) my apartment looks like a scene from Scarface! Using DE heavily while the pets have been away. I have one chair I still feel bitten up at night, tomorrow I bomb with the no Mess fogger that doesn’t require you to shut off the gas but it doesn’t have an IGR BECAUSE OF THAT. I used this once before and it was good for a day or two then boom back again. I’ve no doubt in my mind the parrot made things worse with the flapping spreading eggs everywhere in closets if one was open….every area of my home has been effective. . He seems fine not bitin or scratching, he sits about 5 feet off the ground mostly. So I’m prayin the DE drys out the eggs and larvae too. Does it? I can’t find an answer online. I’ve been spraying clean clothes with Sentry that does kill eggs and larvae while throwing out a lot of clothes. I have to go to the laundry Matt, after a hot wash and dry the clothes still have fleas in them. I’ve treated my car, having my father transport the pets back and forth because of the pesticides I’ve used in it. Their health comes first which is why I chose Food Grade DE first I’m bombing tomorrow with Hot Shot no mess, but it only kills live fleas. Does DE dry out eggs and larve too or t least eggs? I’m bringing the pets home Tuesday night so please give me your knowledge or oppinion PLEASE!!!! I never was able to recover from my back surgery and I’m at my wits end. Half my furniture was trashed 70 % clothing thrown out. A ton on the back patio I need to do but there are only so many hours in a day. Any help/Advice would be tremendously appreciated as I’m ready to put a bullet in my head! Or burn the apartment down, (if I wouldn’t go to jail I’d consider it!!!! Sincerely Desperate. HELP

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Diane, I have dropped you an email with a link to my ebook. I don’t usually like to hard sell something, but its only $9 and since you need a holistic approach here (that covers everything), its going to save us both time lol.

  59. Avatar Betty says:

    Hi, I’ve been adopted by a feral cat who hangs around outside. She is pretty friendly and I was trying to figure out what to do about her scratching (fleas) feral cat = fleas. I knew the DE is used in chicken pens to keep fleas out, so I went to a local farm supply store and picked up a jug of food grade DE. I sprinkled it all around the patio where she hangs out and when she would be eating I’d sprinkle it on her back. I noted where she napped and sprinkled the DE there also. She appears to be scratching less and I noticed that the small bugs, ants, etc. on the patio are mostly gone too. This is great stuff. My poor little feral came limping up my driveway today, don’t know what she did but I fixed up a box with a blanket, sprinkled the DE on the blanket and she is napping in the box. Hopefully, she just sprained something – the life of ferals. Thanks for putting the info about DE on the web, so much better than all the poisons out there.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Betty, thanks for sharing your story and for the kind words, I really appreciate it 🙂

  60. Avatar Mary says:

    Thank you for all the wonderful information on DE. I do have a question and I am sure it has already been answered but there are so many comments I can’t read them all in one sitting. That being said, thanks to all those that gave tips I will come back each day and read more of them. I have an elderly cat that is infested with so many fleas I can’t even go in the same room with her without getting attacked by fleas. I bought the DE, food grade, sprinkled it all over the room and on the cat. I removed her from the room and placed her in a smaller room that had already been treated. I read on one of the comments that you should only do a light dusting and vacuum the next day, then repeat every week for 4 weeks. Since I don’t use that room can I just leave the DE there for the duration and vacuum later or does the DE lose it’s effectiveness after a while? I really don’t want to enter that room until I know that they are all dead. I don’t want them hitchhiking on me and investing the entire house.

    Congratulation ! ! !

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Mary! Yes, you can just leave the DE there, it is actually more effective that way. Hope that helps, thanks for your kind words 🙂

  61. Avatar Melody Cobb says:

    This is addressed to anyone at all that would be able to help me. I recently purchased a 25 lb bag of DE I applied it to both of my dogs and both cats all of my pets are inside not outside animals. My dogs have brought fleas into the house and nothing that I have tried seems to work the first two times that I applied it to all of them I put it on with my hands and rubbed it in real good that was the first day that I actually got it. The second day I dusted them with a Shaker and rubbed it in real good but there are still fleas on all four of them. I’m wondering if there is something that I am doing wrong as far as the way that I am applying it to them seeing as I have read such good reviews on this stuff.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Melody, DE is not for direct application to your pets, just use it for everything except them. It is best used in conjunction with some DIY flea traps, put out at night (article on this blog), as well as a good spot on (such as Frontline) for your pets.

  62. Avatar Kathy ostrander says:

    I love my DE!! I have the DE you can put on your food n dogs food but stopped using this past year sue to life lol but I am dying to start using again cause I bought like a 50lb bag from a all natural place few years ago and have kept it in my dining room away from moisture or heat, and wondered what the life is for DE, someone told me can be 10yrs if kept dry and wondered if true before I begin to use again. Tyvm

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Kathy, glad you have had success with it. I am not sure about the 10 years thing, but I think that as long as it is dry, it should be good.

  63. Avatar Kimberly says:

    I just purchased Red Lake earth diatomaceous with calcium bentonitie for use on my carpet. The package also states Food Chemical Codex Grade. Just want to be sure I got the correct product. Will my cat be safe around it? As well as myself. Thanks-

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Kimberly, if it doesn’t specifically say “Food Grade” on it, I don’t recommend it.

  64. Avatar Heather McBride says:

    Hey I put DE on my cats and dogs directly and I haven’t seen a flea in 3 days i was wondering how often I needed to apply it to them to keep them completely protected?? I’ve also been mixing 1 teaspoon with their wet food twice a week and its cleared all the worms out bc they are gaining weight and their fur has never looked or felt better!!!!!!! LOVE THIS STUFF it’s a life saver.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Heather! Glad that it worked for you, and appreciate the feedback 🙂

  65. Avatar Jeremy Johnson says:

    I found a 40 lb bag of DE food grade at the tractor supply store for under 30 dollars and will be trying it today. Thanx for your articles!

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jeremy, it is a pleasure! Make sure you use a shopvac or something like that to suck it up, and leave it down for a couple days before you do it. Good luck!

      • Avatar Gail says:

        What can I use to sprinkle it with so I don’t put to much or make a mess
        Our fleas are getting out of control and this product was recommended by a worker at our local tractor supply…
        I absolutely hate fleas and it’s driving me crazy trying to get rid of them!
        I pray this stuff works…
        I came across this article doing research to see if it actually works and let me tell you I’m feeling a little relieved at all the positive feedback!

        • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Gail, sorry for the late response. You can use an plastic container with a lid. If you put little holes in it, you can apply the DE like a salt shaker.

  66. Avatar Allison Alan-Lee says:

    Hi there,
    I just purchased the diatomaceous earth and wondered if I should get my dog a bath and flea dip before or after the process on the carpet.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Allison, yes, I recommend that you treat your pet at the same time, either before or afterwards. The DE should be down for a couple days, so as long as you do it then, it should be fine.

  67. Avatar Gina Mitchell says:

    Thank you so much for the info, I just applied the DE to my dogs and cat, and already, they are not scratching or chewing much at all. We had tried everything besides this and I hated using the harsh chemicals to no avail. I also spread it all over floors and carpet. I’m very hopeful. Going to put it outside when it isn’t raining.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Gina! Glad that you are getting some relief, also try using some DIY flea traps (article on this blog) at night, it is a great combo.

  68. Avatar Mary says:

    Regarding applying DE to cats–if they are strays that won’t let you near to treat them, why not VERY lightly dust their favorite places to take dirt baths and in their favorite sitting/sleeping places with a flea powder or DE? Leave the area. Then the cats will come back and treat themselves.
    Two of my four recently got infested with fleas (30-40 on one) and normal treatments weren’t decreasing their numbers nearly enough. I dipped the flea combs in DE before using them, then shook them slightly in the bag so that there was a very minimal amount transferred to the cat, and combed them. (The idea at first wasn’t to treat the cat so much as kill the fleas trapped in the comb.) Then for the two that were worst I touched the tip of my finger to the DE so it was very lightly dusted and rubbed behind their ears, on top of their heads, and on their chins where the comb doesn’t reach well. It didn’t affect them negatively, and when I treated the window sills and rug they actually started going and rolling in those areas or pushing themselves into those areas until their coats were dusted again. Smart cats. This morning (three days after the first treatment with DE) I was down to less than 10 fleas between 3 cats, I think. I wouldn’t dump it on them, but 1/4 tsp or so per cat one time, plus whatever they do to themselves (which isn’t too much–it’s not like it’s sitting in piles anywhere) seems to have helped a lot. Once the predicted storms are done and things dry out again, I’ll put it around the yard, raking it into the dirt to dilute it a bit.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Mary! Thank for taking the time to share these fantastic tips with the community. I really appreciate it and I am certain that many will benefit from your knowledge and experience! Have a good one!

  69. Avatar Krissy says:

    I just bought the safer brand just for inside my house. We have no inside dogs. Will this one still work just a good as the food grade?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Krissy, I am sure that it will work just as well, let me know how it goes.

  70. Avatar George Trahanis says:

    Hi Natasha,
    Our cats are restricted to one part of our house. They never go outdoors, but since moving to New Orleans, they have picked up fleas. Apparently they can get through the tiny cracks in our hardwood floors! All three of our guys are scratching and licking constantly. Our cat sitter recommended diatemeous earth. I’m a little worried about trying it because I adore my cats and I would be devastated if something should happen to them! Could you please go over the instructions for using it again? I just need to be reassured that it will not do any harm to either us or our furry guys! Thank you so much for your help!!!

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi George, sure thing. Just make sure its food grade, put some in a plastic container with a lid (put holes in it) and use it like a salt shaker to apply the DE over your floors (the small holes will ensure a fine, even spread). I don’t recommend that you apply the DE to your cats though, there are better solutions. Hope that helps!

  71. Avatar dawn says:

    Hi, I wanted to know if you can feed DE to pets for fleas…..we have feral cats and I know they have fleas….want to help them out. I can put around their homes, food area but they will not let me get close enough to put on them directly. Any suggestions?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Dawn, although I have heard of people directly applying it to pets, I don’t recommend it, as it dries out their skin. It is a tricky one, but I don’t think you can do much if they won’t let you near them 🙁

  72. Avatar Jan says:

    Hi, is it okay to just leave the powder in your carpet for a long time? Will it decrease effectiveness?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jan, yes that is fine! In fact, leaving it down (provided it doesn’t get wet) will actually improve the results. Good luck!

  73. Avatar Valerie Thompson says:

    Thank you for your easy to read and understand blog. I have purchased DE Food Grade and ready to give it a try. Im excited!!!!! City girl moved to the country. Country fleas are as big as horses lol. Thanks again.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Valerie! It is a pleasure! Have a good one!

  74. Avatar Ang says:

    Wow, tons of comments! Didn’t read them all, because I want these creatures gone fast, but I appreciate how you are taking time to answer everyone! My dog is 11, & this is our first experience with fleas. It’s rather overwhelming. Thanks to you & commenters who shared how they apply it! I got a spray for inside, but I’m about to sacrifice a Rubbermaid container & go shake some DE in the yard.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Ang! It is a pleasure, I try my best to answer everyone 🙂 Good luck!

  75. Avatar Denise says:

    I have used advantage 2 on my cat for fleas she will not allow me to comb her at all I can however brush her to try and remove eggs. I would like to know if it is safe to dust her cat tree that she sits in with safer brand d earth from home depot.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Denise, I have never used it on a tree before but yeah sure, if there are fleas that walk through it (and its dry), they will get taken out so go for it.

  76. Avatar Ella says:

    I have used DE and another flea powder. I notice all the articles say to vacuum up the powder after it’s been lying for so long. I did this and it broke my Oreck vacuum which was very expensive. I think it dried out the motor and made grind to a halt.
    I bought a new vacuum, cylinder (no bag type), and had to be very careful as there were still traces of powder on my bedroom carpet (I had tried to take up as much as possible with dust pan and brush after previous experience)
    This new vacuum has a washable filter.
    The whole thing clogged up and stopped twirling round I had to pull it all apart after a minute or so.

    I do think advice should be given to use an old second hand vacuum if possible, or the regular one if you’re thinking of replacing it anyway. I do think the powder does damage. Just a little word of caution folks.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Ella, thanks for your helpful comment! Yeah ideally you should use a shop vac or something with just a regular bag (nothing fancy). Provided you take this precaution, DE is fantastic for getting rid of fleas 🙂

  77. Avatar Derek says:

    Hi, I was wondering if DE loses effectiveness after sitting, for like a week inside? I gave all animals dawn bath, used a monthly flea treatment on all animals, washed everything I can, and have been vacuuming constantly also. My plan was to sprinkle DE all over the floors upstairs and let it sit for as long as it needed to… It has been a week almost, and it is definitely better, it seems like all I have now are baby ones now. I’m just wondering, if the effectiveness might go away the longer it sits, and if I would be better sweeping, then reapplying. I’m obviously on the right track, because the fleas we had, were the biggest I have ever seen, and haven’t seen any that size since doing all this, any advice would be great.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Derek! It looses effectiveness when it gets damp, maybe that happened. I suppose that if you leave it down too long, that is inevitable so yeah, maybe a couple days and then reapply after sweeping it up. Sounds like you are making process, well done! Keep it up!

  78. Avatar diane wener says:

    I had a bad flea infestation in my home. I used boms and everything out there on the market. I couldn’t get rid of these fleas. My animals, my husband & I were miserable! I happened to see a remedy on youtube and it truely works. Here it is: take a form plate and put warm water in it and sprinkle dawn dishwashing liquid
    in the water. place this foam plate on the floor and put a light over the plate. In the morning you will see hundreds of dead fleas in the plate. I set up a trap in every room in my home. within a week I caught hundreds and hundreds of fleas. I still keep the traps going even though I do not have anymore fleas in my home. It’s wonderful to see the foam plates with the water empty of fleas. I do not have anymore fleas. However, I still keep traps on floor under lights; just in case.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Diane! Thanks for sharing, I actually have an article on a trap like that, it is filed under my “fleas” category at the top. I really appreciate you taking the time to share that info with the community though, it will definitely be helpful and I am glad you have found relief.

  79. Avatar cheryl says:

    I have a 3-month flea problem, first had pest control company spray all floors with toxic chemicals guaranteed to work for 7 months, did not even work for less than 5 weeks. I then used Flea Busters powder although did not finish entire house due to its dustiness. I then tried DE a week ago, left it down for 3 days before vacuuming and it seemed to kill a lot of fleas. However, now that the powder is no longer there, they are back again. I am still getting them in my clothes even though they have been washed with borax and detergent and dried on high cotton setting. I am actually rubbing DE into all of my clothing which works for about half a day, then I can feel them crawling in my clothes. I have also brought them to my car and business office from clothing containing them. These things are only biting me and no one else in the house so everyone thinks I am crazy. I heard that salt can kill fleas also. Can I combine salt with DE for a stronger effect?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Cheryl! Have you actually physically seen the fleas, not just felt them? I just want to get that out the way first. Let me know please!

  80. Avatar Evie says:

    I’m caring for a small group of feral cat’s on my property. About 10. I found a spaghetti like brown worm (?round worm?) in their water bowl. And I know they have fleas. It’s very hard to watch one cat with long, thick fur, constantly scratching. My vet suggested Diatomaceous Earth food grade. Now, I’m interested in using Borax. Could you give me directions for using either one for outdoor feral cats ?
    Thank you so much,

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Evie! Honestly, I don’t recommend DE or Borax for direct pet application. I recommend it is used for the home and sleeping areas. If you want to kill the fleas on them, a bath in soapy water (be careful of claws hehe) will kill them all. For long term, use a spot on treatment (no flea collars please). Hope that helps!

  81. Avatar teresa hall says:

    I have Safer Brand DE and it says 100% on the bag. Is this safe for pets and is it “food grade”? Dont understand “food grade” part of it. I always bathe dog in Dawn mixed with vinegar but she is white and it seems if there is 1 flea anywhere its going to find her! I don’t like using the chemicals on her plus the flea treatments are so expensive! Thx for your help!

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Teresa! It is possible but honestly, I cannot recommend anything unless it says “food grade”. Food grade means that its 100% safe, even for eating. I know that you (or your pets) are not going to eat it but it basically guarantees that its non-toxic in every way.

  82. Avatar Rhonda says:

    We recently discovered we have a flea infestationafter myself and 3 of our children were getting mysterious bites. Did some googling, checked the dog and sure enough….fleas! I’ve sent my husband to the local farm supply to by DE. I am curious though as to what all I need to treat? We have 2 rooms that are carpeted and the rest are hard floors. The dog has snuck into the carpeted rooms a couple of times, but after reading I assume I should treat ALL floors since eggs drop and can be carried on shoes? I also know I should treat all upholstered furniture….what about clothing, stuffed animals, etc? We have 9 children who love on this dog so its untelling where eggs have ended up! Also, do I need to treat hard surfaces….such as bookshelves, our fireplace, etc? Just want to make sure I do everything needed first time around! Thank you!

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Rhonda! I would start with just the floors honestly, the likely hood of fleas being in their toys, the bookshelves, etc. are very very slim. Use a plastic container with small holes in it to “dust” your carpets, use a soapy mixture on the hardwood and make sure that dog gets a bath + a good spot on treatment. Good luck, please share this article on Facebook if you appreciated my help 🙂

      • Avatar Rhonda says:

        Thank you, Natasha. I actually went ahead and did the things I had read specifically in your article (taking into account with the holidays you may not be able to reply soon). I vaccuumed all upholstered surfaces and carpets (including beds and boxsprings) then sprinkled the DE….left for 6 hrs on the mattress & boxsprings, overnight on carpets and sofa & loveseat. I actually left the DE under the furniture and under the mattresses. Then mopped all hard surfaces with soapy water and gave the dog a spot on treatment. Not seeing a big difference as far as the bites we are getting yet unfortunately. 🙁 I am confused in one sense as I set a couple of the homemade flea traps in the carpeted rooms overnight and got nothing. My two older boys and I are bitten so bad we had to get benadryl and do baking soda baths to deal with the itching. My other younger son has a few bites but nothing compared to myself and the other sons. Oddly enough I have two 2 year olds and a 16 month old and a 4 & 6 yr old that play on the carpets all the time and have nothing. Perhaps my two sons and I are just more sensitive? I’m vacuuming all upholstery and carpets 2- 3 times a day as well as vacuuming the bare floors and mopping daily. I also wanted to ask….the DE my husband got is food grade mixed with bentonite clay (Red Lakes brand)….is that sufficient? Or did I just waste my time with that and actually need pure 100% DE? The local farm store didn’t have pure so Ill have to order it if that’s the case.

        • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Rhonda! Fleas sometimes don’t bite certain people, might have some thing to do with their skin. Pure is best and application matters as well. Are you applying a light “dust” to the carpets, etc. and brushing it in? Leave it down for 2-3 days and while it’s down, put those flea traps in place for night time. I recommend you try this process again, it definitely works. Good luck!

  83. Avatar Johnjohn says:

    Oh boy,I already applied it and left it for 24 hours and i still see them attack me.Should I leave the component for 4 days and more? Please help me! I had my entire house sprayed by a verminator one week ago and within one day,those bugs showed up….I live a nightmare..

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi John! Yeah it takes a while, just put it down and continue with your life, it will start thinning their numbers.

  84. Avatar J. Montgomery says:

    I’m ready to give this a try, do I have to leave with my pups (they are 15 and 18 lbs) or can I put the DE down and we stay home????

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi there, just make sure you have the food grade DE and you can stay at home.

  85. Avatar Christine says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for the article. I’ve been fighting fleas for awhile. My pets Are being treated, but I knew I would have eggs/larvae in my carpets. I tried refined salt, several bombs and what not. I think I might have used a bit to much DE on my carpet, but I can live with that. I plan to vacuum In 3 days and do it again and then bomb my house one last time before winter. ( it’s early November here in Wisconsin) and will continue with the DE if I feel the need. I have been fighting this for almost 2 1/2 months. I have limited income so I have had to do this in stages. There were days I cried it was so bad. Hang in there people it does get better. If anyone is wondering I used Capstar and bathed them in Dawn in the beginning. The Capstar was at Walmart and gave my pets tremendous relief. They will get Bravecta this week, I also used, Siphotroll Plus 2 a spray from the vet for my furniture (and carpets) You can also get the Siphotroll Plus 2 from Kmart for 10.99 for a 3 pack (online only) as a bomb and it is the same strength as the vet. My vet did not carry the bombs. That’s what I will be using in about a week or to when the cold snap begins. On a side note I did try Natural Care + , I don’t know if it did anything or not but it was natural and I could use it on my pets.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Christine! Thanks for sharing your story, I am here for you if you still can’t get rid of them after that, you are not alone! Please share this article with your friends and family.

  86. Avatar Patty says:

    I’ve read your whole blog : ) I only have a Dyson vacuum cleaner and I understand that it will become a casualty in my DE vs flea war. Is there any thing you’ve come across that will prevent this? I do have a shop-vac, but I’ve also read that they become clogged too. Maybe just buy a cheaper ‘bagger’ type vacuum? THANK YOU!

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Patty, thanks for checking out all my articles 🙂 Yeah you can do that, or just hire a shop vac perhaps? Both ideas will work, best of luck!

  87. Avatar Cathy says:

    I’ve kept our cats out of all of the bedrooms for two weeks while trying to win this battle but was wondering if I should let them in to help “stir up” any eggs/larvae and adult fleas that are hiding? So far, after finding fleas on our indoor only cats and throughout our house I instantly bought and used Capstar (which is an amazing pill that instantly kills adult fleas on pets), Frontline, Borax which I used to dust the entire house, some spray to use in harder to reach places, washed all laundry, blankets, bed sheets and anything washable that has touched the floor. While the cats are doing much better (only 1 a day), and I think the house is doing better, I continue to catch fleas in my boys’ room. I dusted their room with Borax, including under the bed, washed their sheets, vacuumed daily, now every other day, but I still catch about 5 per night. I’m waiting on my DE order to arrive and will dust their room again once it arrives.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Cathy! I don’t think that “stir up” approach is necessary. Keep doing what you are doing, you will definitely resolve your flea issue that way (especially with the DE)

  88. Avatar jim arnold says:

    I really wanted DE to work, but after more than a week, I’ve still got fleas on all 3 cats. It may work on carpets but it’s not working when dusting my cats.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jim. DE is not for direct pet application, it’s pretty much only for your carpets, etc. Try a spot on for your pets and continue the DE on the floors, etc.

    • Avatar Julie Buchta says:

      Hi Natasha,
      I shared your website address with Next Door Neighborhood Online Community Network because I found that DE also kills Oak Mites which we have all been suffering from here in the Midwest. Very itchy buggers on people and pets driving us all nuts, so I tried DE on my itchy self and it worked immediately! I had to share that it works so well since it was a really horrible year for the mites and our neighborhood is dense with old oak trees. I also found some ants emerging into my kitchen over the last couple of days and I poofed DE and they don’t like it at all. Great and repellant! So glad I found you and you’re super informative site, Natasha. Thank you!!

      • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

        Hi Julie! Much appreciated, the extra exposure will help and your kind words give me energy 🙂 Thanks for the heads up, I will definitely keep that in mind for my community! Maybe I should do some articles on mites, it’s actually a common issue.

    • Avatar Julie Buchta says:

      Stay with it Jim. Fleas have reproductive cycles so hang with the DE and vacuum-treat, vacuum-treat. Also, give Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract Formula 101 (for people) in the cats food. It goes a long way to keep fleas off cats. Search for further help with dose. It also makes them invigorated!

      • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

        Hi Julie, thanks for helping Jim out, really appreciate it!

  89. Avatar Julie Buchta says:

    Just a tip for small pet owners: Once you have your home and pet dusted and you are living in a crystal palace with white dust everywhere for a few weeks, check your cat or dogs eyes for built-up sand in the tear ducts. Their little faces are only inches from the dust so they are going to have more irritation that faces that are 5 plus feet off the ground. I found that clearing their tear duct (just the area at the inner corner – outside the eye) with a damp tissue brings them some welcome relief. Keep the moisture off the rest of the fur since it will deactivate the DE. I also put re-wetting/moisture eye drops in each eye just to give them relief. Make sure it’s *NOT* Visine GET THE RED OUT stuff. I wear contacts and after applying the DE dust my eyes got irritated. If my eyes got irritated, so did my animals eyes get irritated. Oh, I also touched the moist tissue to the nose just to moisten ’em up a bit. If your pet is coughing or sneezing, take them to clear air, make sure their bed is up off the ground for a while. Also, I think it is a good idea to brush the coat of your pet so the DE doesn’t get too thick in the fur. If you apply to the pets coat just don’t go nuts with too much or too often. A little goes a long way and rub it in real good to the base coat. If your pet is older they may need to be bathed to help get the DE out. Also, want to say that Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract Formula 101 for Stress And Fatigue in the cat’s food (1 capsule per day mixed in) every meal for a week has also helped kill off the last of the fleas. It’s an old remedy touted by June Lockhart of Lassie fame, and not only does it help with fleas but also invigorates the health of my cats. I highly recommend it. Oh, I also started taking the Kyolic 101 and it really does make me feel good too. Hope this is helpful and I also want to express how grateful I am to Natasha Anderson for the great guidance on the proper use of DE for fleas. Having researched the deadly effects of Avantix and other poisonous big company products, I found myself reading an FDA Study report from a major topical flea poison maker and was thoroughly disgusted with what I read. For example, they took 50 (Fifty) 6 to 9 month old cats, infected them with heartworms and fleas, applied the product, and then they kill all 50 of these young, innocent beings to do their autopsy for the FDA test results. This is just one of hundreds or thousands of horrible tests being done all over the country at this very moment. Where do they get their victims? Makes you think, huh! I don’t want to support this inhumane disgusting practice of animal testing and hopefully you don’t either. This website is a means to that end and I hope it helps get people off the idea that poisons are the only way to go. Grateful for this informative site! Thank you!!

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Julie, thanks for your wonderful comment, I really appreciate the time it took to write it up. I am glad that DE has helped you and thanks for sharing those tips. Remember DE can also be used in small quantities and be just as effective though hehe. Yeah it is pretty bad, unfortunately companies across many industries perfect horrible tests (e.g. makeup, etc.) and it’s very sad. Thanks again for your kind words, please share the blog with your friends on social media, it will really help me 🙂

  90. Avatar Pam Barrett says:

    Hi Natasha I’m going to get some DE tomorrow and vet recommended treatment for my cats. I have discovered my three cats have fleas and one of my cats has been diagnosed with cancer and I don’t want to add to her troubles. I couldn’t find your example of the flea traps. Can you send it to me?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Pam, sure thing, I have sent it to your email address 🙂

  91. Avatar Jessica McCarty says:

    Thank you so much for the great information!! Do you have a picture of what you use to spread the DE in your house? I used a drain strainer to put the DE through my entire house but I still think I may have used to much.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jess! It is a pleasure! I don’t but just get an empty icecream tub, punch holes in the top and use it like a salt shaker to distribute the DE. Hope that helps!

  92. Avatar Luanne S. says:

    Hi, I just bought some St. Gabriel Insect Dust DE and sprinkled it all over my bedroom carpet before reading your post about DE. It lists the ingredients on the bag as 85% DE silicon dioxide, 10% Other element oxides, 5% moisture. It does not say food grade on the package, but is listed as organic. Is this ok to use this product near my pets? Should I look specifically for food grade on the package next time I purchase this product? Thanks!
    Luanne S.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Luanne, yes I am sure it’s fine, just don’t let them ingest it or anything. 🙂

  93. Avatar sue says:

    i have used DE before when i had a dog and it worked well along with vacuuming and bathing him, but now i have 2 cats approx 14 months old
    is it safe for my kitties to be walking around with DE on the carpets, or should i keep them off the floors im treating?
    i would like to treat my whole house at the same time, but honestly dont have anywhere i can take them while its on the floor.


    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Sue, it is safe but I have heard that it can get in their nostrils a bit so rather keep them away, maybe put them in the bathroom?

  94. Avatar Katie says:

    Hi o was just wondering can I use it on my couch and recliner because that is where my dog sleeps some of the time and I am trying to get rid of the fleas in my house

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Katie, yes you can. Best of luck!

  95. Avatar barbara brandt says:

    I purchased DE from a Home Depot in NJ and asked the sales person if it was food grade. She said yes. Once I got it home I read a warning about pets and I realized it was not food grade. I went on line and checked it out and found out that the product was not food grade. I recommend that you check information available about the product before using any product inside your home. I took it back and went Rosedale Mills in my area and they had a product that this food grade. Even so, I am careful about putting too much of it on my pets because it dehydrates the skin. I use it in the yard and I removed my carpets with DE to the garage for the summer. I do not use it on wood floors but use a damp floor mop with liquid that has some white vinegar. I caution about using a vacuum every day to vacuum up DE because mine was badly damaged (heavy duty shop vac) and the wall outlet turned back. Electrician has not said if it was the fine powder but he has raised questions about stress on the appliance. I focus on my grass and use Front Line on the animals now. Go easy on DE on their fur.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Barbara! Thanks for the heads up, yeah while it depends on the amount of DE being sucked up, it is definitely hard on the vacuums. Thanks for all the feedback!

  96. Avatar Katie says:

    Hi Natasha,
    I was just curious I was looking to use DE on my carpets and rugs upstairs where my cat was until i found fleas. Does this also kill the eggs that may be there? I have a 4 year old and I am 12 weeks pregnant. Is this safe to use? Also i used the flea traps u suggested as my cat had a bunch of fleas on him and didnt catch anything in any of them. Could this be that i found the fleas early enough? Or maybe because i used a battery operated tea light candle instead of a real one and wasnt effective? I bathed him with dawn and applied frontline while following up with flea comb daily. Still getting fleas off of him. I moved him to our basement as theres no furniture nor carpet. i have been vacumming daily but this is where most of our storage is that is used in house and or clothing in boxes is there anything else i should do so i can get rid of the fleas and make sure they dont populate? (before i did bathe him and apply frontline i found larvae underneath him where he was sleeping and rinsed everything in sink and or threw in washer)
    Thanks so much your page is very informative! Much appreciated.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Katie! It doesn’t but will instantly kill them if they hatch and the food grade one is perfectly safe. Yes it sounds like it, the traps almost always catch some if there are fleas around. The battery operated one works just as well, promise. Hope that helps!

  97. Avatar Trent says:

    Great article! Thank you for being so thorough!

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Trent, it is my pleasure! Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment!

  98. Avatar Beverly says:

    Your article was very informative and clarified some information about DE. All my rooms carpet and wood will have to be cleaned with DE, but putting DE down in every room at the same time is not a possibility. I.E. if I only treat 3 of the 5 rooms, then treat the other 2 immediately after finishing the first will the DE still be effective or the fleas just move?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Beverly, that will be fine! Check out my flea trap article, you can do those at the same time for maximum flea destruction 😉

  99. Avatar Rob says:

    Very helpful, and I’m anxious to try this out and see how this helps with some of the fleas in our carpet. Thanks for posting these detailed steps!

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Rob, it is my pleasure 🙂

  100. Avatar Peggy says:

    Hi Natasha, I have recently bought DE, Product of Canada, and it is labeled “Food Chemical Codex Grade”. Also on label Diatomaceoous Earth with Calcium Bentonite- Analysis: Ash(Mineral Matter) Maximum 95%,Moisture 8%
    Is the correct product to use, or does it need to be labeled only “Food Grade””?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Peggy! I only recommend using DE that specifically mentions “food grade”. However, best bet would be to phone them and ask if it is safe.

  101. Avatar Suellen says:

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

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Suellen, no it is not necessary.

  102. Avatar 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… 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 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 🙂

  103. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  104. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

      • Avatar Deb says:

        Update from last comment I have been doing de vacuuming and I am still seeing them.Im wondering if I should put on my cats but not sure if it will harm them any suggestions

        • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Deb, I don’t recommend it. It is not dangerous but it is not super effective for direct application to pets.

  105. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Sharlon, yes that sounds perfect, good luck!

  106. Avatar 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 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!

  107. Avatar 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 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.

  108. Avatar 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 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!

  109. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  110. Avatar 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 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!

  111. Avatar 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 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 🙂

      • Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  112. Avatar 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 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!

  113. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  114. Avatar 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 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.

  115. Avatar 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 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).

  116. Avatar 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 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.

  117. Avatar 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 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 😉

  118. Avatar Susan Ememrich says:


    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 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.

  119. Avatar 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 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.

  120. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  121. Avatar 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 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!

  122. Avatar 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 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.

  123. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  124. Avatar 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 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!

  125. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  126. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  127. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  128. Avatar 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 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!

  129. Avatar 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 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.

  130. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  131. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  132. Avatar Sally says:

    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%
    *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 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. 🙂

  133. Avatar 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 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.

  134. Avatar 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,

    • Natasha Anderson 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.

  135. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  136. Avatar 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 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.

  137. Avatar Tara Giblin-Cowley says:

    Ty for the info

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Tara, it is a pleasure!

  138. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  139. Avatar 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 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!

    • Avatar Debby Wiechnick says:

      I found food grade DE at our health food/vitamin store. You might try that if you have one.

      • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

        Thanks for helping HoneyBadger 🙂

  140. Avatar 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 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.

  141. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  142. Avatar 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 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.

  143. Avatar 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 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.

  144. Avatar 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 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 🙂

      • Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  145. Avatar 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 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.

  146. Avatar 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 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!

      • Avatar 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 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 🙂

  147. Avatar 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 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!

  148. Avatar 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 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.

  149. Avatar 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 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!

  150. Avatar 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 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!

  151. Avatar Sheryl says:

    How young is too young to use it around kittens?

    • Natasha Anderson 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.

  152. Avatar 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,

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Amita, yeah sure! Give it a try!

  153. Avatar 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 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.

  154. Avatar 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 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!

  155. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Connie, yes provided it is food grade 🙂

  156. Avatar Sharon says:

    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 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.

      • Avatar Sharon says:

        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 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.

      • Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Judy, completely agree and thanks for sharing!

  157. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Kathy, thanks for your tips, love them!

  158. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  159. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  160. Avatar Becky says:

    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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  161. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  162. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  163. Avatar Yera says:

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

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

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

  164. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  165. Avatar 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 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.

      • Avatar 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 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 😉

  166. Avatar 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 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.

  167. Avatar Francine says:

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

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      H Francine! No it will not help.

    • Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  168. Avatar 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 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 😉

  169. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  170. Avatar 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?


    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

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

  171. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Melissa, thanks for the great tips!

  172. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Terry, thanks for the suggestion!

  173. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  174. Avatar 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 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!

  175. Avatar Jessica says:

    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 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.

  176. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  177. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Christine, it will be fine, please post your results 🙂

  178. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  179. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  180. Avatar 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 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!

  181. Avatar 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 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.

  182. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  183. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  184. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  185. Avatar 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.

    • Natasha Anderson 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.

  186. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Kim, thanks for your suggestions, love them!

  187. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  188. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  189. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  190. Avatar 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 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.

  191. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  192. Avatar Brandi says:

    Can I use it on furniture and mattresses too?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Brandi! Yes 🙂

  193. Avatar shari says:

    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 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!

  194. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  195. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  196. Avatar Dallas says:

    This was so helpful, thank you!

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Dallas! Pleasure!

  197. Avatar 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 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.

  198. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  199. Avatar lynn says:

    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 Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Lynn! It will work, good luck!

  200. Avatar 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 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.

      • Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  201. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  202. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  203. Avatar 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 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.

  204. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  205. Avatar 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 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%.

  206. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  207. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  208. Avatar 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 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.

  209. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Rachel! Thanks for the suggestions!

  210. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  211. Avatar 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 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.

      • Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  212. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

      • Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  213. Avatar 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 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.

  214. Avatar 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 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!

  215. Avatar 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 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.

  216. Avatar 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 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.

  217. Avatar 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 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!

  218. Avatar 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 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.

  219. Avatar 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 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!

  220. Avatar Theresa Robinson says:

    Will DE also kill cock roaches?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

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

  221. Avatar 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 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.

  222. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  223. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  224. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  225. Avatar 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 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 😉

  226. Avatar 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 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 🙂

      • Avatar kidsnclutter says:

        Tapeworms in animals can be caused by fleas. The vet would have recommended a ‘spot-on’ liquid flea control product applied to the animal’s neck to combat fleas on the animal, thus preventing future tapeworms. The present tapeworm should have been dealt with using a medication of some sort, or if self-treating, the DE. I’m unaware of any ‘spot-on’ product killing intestinal parasites (tapeworms, etc).

        • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi there, thanks for the advice, I appreciate it 🙂

  227. Avatar 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.


    • Natasha Anderson 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 🙂

  228. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Betsey! Yes you can do that.

  229. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  230. Avatar 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 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).

  231. Avatar 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 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.

  232. Avatar 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 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  233. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  234. Avatar Electlady says:

    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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  235. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

    • Avatar 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 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.

  236. Avatar 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!

    • Natasha Anderson 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.

  237. Avatar 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 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.

  238. Avatar 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 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.

  239. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  240. Avatar G says:

    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

    • Natasha Anderson 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 🙂

  241. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  242. Avatar 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 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.

  243. Avatar W. Kimball Englehart says:


    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.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

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

  244. Avatar 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!!!


    • Natasha Anderson 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 🙂

  245. Avatar 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 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!

  246. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  247. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  248. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  249. Avatar 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 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.

  250. Avatar 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 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.

  251. Avatar 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 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?

  252. Avatar 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 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.

  253. Avatar 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 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 😉

  254. Avatar 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 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!

  255. Avatar 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 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!

  256. Avatar 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 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 😉

  257. Avatar 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 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.

  258. Avatar 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?

    • Natasha Anderson 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!

  259. Avatar 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 reapply the DE over the next six week fo kill the flea cycle. Sincerely thank you!!!!

    • Natasha Anderson 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!

  260. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  261. Avatar 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 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!

  262. Avatar David Stone says:

    Thanks for all the information Natasha! I just bought a box of DE from Diatomaceous 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 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 🙂

  263. Avatar 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 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.

  264. Avatar 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 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!

  265. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  266. Avatar 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 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!

  267. Avatar 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 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!

  268. Avatar 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 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!

  269. Avatar 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 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. 🙂

  270. Avatar 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 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!

  271. Avatar 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 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!

  272. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  273. Avatar 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 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!

  274. Avatar 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 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!

  275. Avatar 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 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!

  276. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  277. Avatar 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 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!

  278. Avatar 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 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!

  279. Avatar 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 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!

      • Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  280. Avatar Lacey says:

    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 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!

  281. Avatar 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 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!

  282. Avatar 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!


    • Natasha Anderson 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!

  283. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  284. Avatar 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 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!

  285. Avatar 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 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!

  286. Avatar 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 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!

  287. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  288. Avatar 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 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! 🙂

  289. Avatar 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 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!

  290. Avatar 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 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!

      • Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

          Pleasure Brenda, thanks for getting back to me 🙂

  291. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  292. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  293. Avatar 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 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!

  294. Avatar 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 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! 🙂

  295. Avatar 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 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 🙂

  296. Avatar 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 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!

  297. Avatar 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 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. 🙂

  298. Avatar 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 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!

  299. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says: