I've long been a fan of DE. I know it can do wonders, but it has been less than helpful with my recent problems. In trying to discourage fleas and roaches when I was on vacation, I spread it on my carpet. Not only did it not seem to discourage the bugs, but my vacuum cleaner started smoking when I vacuumed it up. There was still dust floating around for days (which really isn't healthful to breathe). I will definitely never try that one again!
This is a warning about Diatomaceous earth: it was extremely effective on the fleas when I used it in my carpeted apartment, however it had dire health consequences for me. I used it on my apartment, vacuumed it up and then left for several days to go out of town. I hoped this would dispel the dust in the air, but it was still there, and breathing DE after a couple of days brought on a severe first-time asthma attack. I eventually just had to move out of that apartment due to the sensitivity it created in me, and I have had an asthma condition ever since. I found out later that DE consists of billions of fossilized remains of prehistoric algae that under the microscope look like little razor blades. This is the effect that it had on my lungs.
diatomaceous earth - is a poisonous vapor producing substance.
Waxahachie, Tx , Usa
I need help finding the product you recommended for ridding your home of fleas. I cannot find this "Diatomaceous" non earth product, nor can I find natural Borax. Could you please give me some suggestions on where to find these products? I have tried the local nurseries, they only have the "earth diatomacieous". Thank you
Kansas City, Mo
First of all I want to say "NEVER" try anything on your pets you won't try on yourself. I won't give anything to my pets that I wouldn't take myself. The best rule of thumb is use human grade (whatever)you're using on your pets! I've noticed a lot of comments on Diatomaceous Earth. I would like to say that the only grade that is good for animals is the same grade that humans use, Freshwater, food-grade DE. If it doesn't state on the package that it is certified, food grade then you don't want to give it to your pets, period! I also noticed that on this site someone mentioned the use of "Neem Oil" it is a really good oil to use that is 100% natural. If anyone is interested in finding out more about Neem Oil go to, www.organixsouth.com or call 1-888-989-Neem(6336). This oil is good for human use also for dry skin and scalp treatments. The one that I use is Thera Neem ,skin soothing 100% pure cold pressed. I'm one of their customers and have no affiliation with this company and I'm not getting anything for this endorsement, this is just great stuff!
Stephenville, Tx Usa
I have been reading all of the suggestions and am planning to try some. I don't have a question or remedy to offer, but felt I must let you know about a dangerous option.
I've used Diatomacious Earth for years, I even used it to get rid of a horrific flea infestation in my asthmatic boyfriends house with no bad effects. It works against all insects and parasites. The IMPORTANT thing to note is that POOL GRADE D.E. IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND CAN CAUSE SILICOSIS (scarring of the lungs similar to asbestos poisoning) The only safe D.E. to use is natural pulvarized or ground D.E. that can be found in plant nurseries and food storage shops. This D.E. has NOT been superheated, a process which creates fine threads of silocone glass which makes it a better filtering product, but makes it dangerous to handle or breath. Flour grade D.E. is meant to be used in graineries as a bug and egg deterrant is fine enough to mix with flour. The Regular D.E. can be spread on carpets, or the cracks between wooden floors. Plan on not vacuuming for a while(like a week) in order to allow the D.E. to cut up and dry up the little buggers, and be prepared for a little dust to be produced for a short while as you walk on it. I've even heard of it being used a a coat powder and mixed in feed (for horses, cats,and dogs) but I've never tried that personally. I sprinked it in the carpets and brushed it in with the broom and let it sit for couple of weeks, them vacuumed and reapplied. This with Advantage treatment took care of all the fleas and there were none for the rest of the year.
Well I'm off to try an ear mite treatment on my new cat. Thanks for all the suggestions!
Oakland , CA
i tried everything, permetherin, ivamex, tea tree oil, lavander oil, washing bedding,cloths, even tried animal remedies. have battled it for 5 months only with temporary relief. Diatomeceous earth is the one that worked. Its' a natural remedy that you can buy at a grange coop or garden store. i use it 3 times a day putting it on with a powder puff or big cosmetic makeup brush. careful not to get in eyes and don't use on face or breath in dust. i used it for one day and noticed a big improvement but i am going to use it for a few weeks to be darn certain they are gone. I washed bedding and vacumed floors, washed rugs all in hot water with soap and borax. I sprinkled mattresses, couches, car seats in vehicles carpets and bedding daily with this diatomecieous earth. Every day I washed used towels, bedding in hot water. the items you cant wash daily (like comforters, pillows) put in dryer for 20 minutes every day.
I just wanted to comment on the fleas section. It is true that any shampoo will kill fleas, but it needs to be left on for 30 min. Also, if you have a flea infestation in your house, just spraying your animal wont help. You must treat where the fleas live. See, they only feed on your animal. I have tremendous luck using table salt and food-grade diatomaceous earth all over the house to kill fleas and prevent. The salt (I prefer organic unprocessed sea salt) cuts into the body of the flea and then allows the DE to dehydrate the animal. Salt by itself does seem to work also, I just like a faster approach. Keep in mind though that this means of defense does take up to 2 months to work as some fleas are still hatching. In really bad infestation, it could take longer. I think flea eggs can survive up to 280 days. I would also like to recommend quadruped pet products. I work at a holistic pet care center and this is what we use to bathe the animals. They do not contain(unlike most pet shampoos) any harsh chemicals. Also, all their products are concentrates so it is much cheaper than buying the harmful stuff from pet shops or grocery stores.
I have used Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) in my pets' food for about 4 years for internal parasites. I also use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon 'organic' apple cider vinegar (ACV) per quart of drinking water all year. NO fleas or tics, the ACV causes sour blood... fleas/ticks don't like sour blood!! I like this better than putting DE on their fur. My one cat had severe fur loss on her hind end and weird pumps all over her skin, I 'think' the fleas caused this. Since using ACV in my pets water, her fur is thick. I also give Krill Oil in their food.
I would like a diet change (willing to make it at home) for the allergy and something by mouth (no weird flavors, tried that) to rid him of the fleas. My cat won't let me touch him. He's apparently allergic to fleas. I can't get him to eat any vet prescribed flea pill, nor am I able to put the drops on his neck but one drop at a time while he's eating (this produces issues with his approaching his bowl, if you can imagine!)
I had to "wait " until he was in bad shape to get near him and take him to the vet. He's fine but beginning to scratch again.
I would like a diet change (willing to make it at home) for the allergy and something by mouth (no weird flavors, tried that) to rid him of the fleas. Thanks.
This is the 2nd summer in a row where we've had no fleas. Last summer I found a total of 3 fleas on our 2 dogs. This summer, 0 fleas on 3 dogs (we rescued a stray last fall). Has this been the case with other folks in Atlanta area? Because of this, I have not applied any flea prevention liquid like Advantage. This seems strange to me because the dogs go to the dog park every so often and also because the 2 vets that I have seen (one was a holistic vet in Stone Mountain) told me shortly after I moved here that dogs need to be on flea prevention all year round. One of our dogs, Max, did get a hot spot last winter which the vet blamed on a flea bite reaction. But other than that... nada.
If other people in Atlanta are not experiencing this lack of fleas, then I can only surmise it's their good diet that repels fleas. So... for those that are interested: I feed them the Blackwood lamb and rice brand with a small amount of slightly undercooked ground beef, turkey or chicken and a tiny bit of flax seed oil. The pet grooming store that I was purchasing Blackwood stopped supplying the large bags, so I went to a big pet store chain here and asked what they thought was their best brand of dog food. Turns out to be Blue Buffalo, which I bought (but haven't yet researched). The 30 pound lamb and rice bag was very expensive, even more than the Blackwood 40 pound bag, but after 10 days on the new stuff, still no fleas. I think the slightly undercooked beef or turkey is a very important component, not just holistic brands of pet food.
Last spring I started my dogs up on Advantage flea control, thinking I would need to carry through with monthly application until November. Well, I ran out of it in June and decided to wait as long as I could before reapplying (not a big fan of chemicals). I am still waiting! I have combed off a few fleas in the 3 months, but no more than one at a time, with weeks passing before finding another one. What's amazing is that they go to the dog park several times a week and theoretically should be covered in fleas! I am guessing it is their good diet and regular exercise. I feed them Blackwood kibble for senior dogs (one of my dogs is young, but she gains weight fast on regular kibble), partially undercooked turkey or beef, and a teaspoon of molasses. I personally think that dogs who are infested with fleas are probably eating low quality kibble... if you've done your research, you know the kind of disgusting, cancer causing ingredients in the cheap stuff.
For fleas - set out a shallow pan of water with dawn dish liquid (few drops mixed in) place a table lamp over it in a dark room, A night light works too. The fleas are attracted to the warmth of the lamp and jump in.
I have 2 cats that both became infested with fleas. I put frontline on them a little more than a week ago. It did not work. They still had fleas, much to my astonishment, being as frontline is supposed to be good stuff... Not to mention, expensive! I just got done giving them both dawn dish soap baths. Got them wet, lathered them up very good, head toe, very good and thoroughly. Then let them sit for a few minutes in the lather. I almost immediately saw all the fleas dropping off, dead. Rinsed them down the drain and now I have a huge weight off my shoulders!
I use dawn dish liquid to wash my dogs and it instantly kills most fleas.