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.