Natural Remedies

Natural Flea Control

Diatomaceous Earth

21 User Reviews
5 star (13) 
1 star (8) 

Posted by Melissa (Vancouver, Bc) on 09/07/2011

I find that diatomaceous earth works well for flea control. I have used it on my cat and both my dogs and have not had any problems since!

It is all natural, easy to use and much less expensive than other alternatives.

Just sprinkle the DE throughout your animal's fur, especially on their backbone. The diatomaceous earth will kill the fleas by lacerating their exoskeletons and dehydrating them.

Both pure DE and brands containing calcium bentonite or montmorillonite will have the same effect.

Diatomaceous Earth
Posted by Pennie (Indpl, In, Usa) on 10/16/2010

Natural Flea & Tick Remedy

Hi everyone! After almost losing our Baby Kitty to those dangerous advantage medications, I decided to figure out a way to live without using them year after year. So I did searches and found out about, " Diatomaceous Earth". This stuff is miraculous! I found mine at the local True Value Store, but you can also buy online at different retailers. BUY: FOOD GRADE! I spread this in all different areas of my lawn as well, and within 48 hours you have no more ticks or fleas. It harms all insects. I have plenty of flowers bees, and other wonderful insects roaming around, but this gets rid of the fleas and ticks really great. And I put it down on the ground on a NON-Windy day. ALSO: WEAR A MASK TO PREVENT BREATHING THIS SUBSTANCE! It worked great and I will never have to buy pesticide and put it on my animals again!! Late fall I again had fleas on my dog and all I did was put small quantity on his fur and within 48 hours all fleas were dead, then I washed him, the fur was slightly dry, but so well worth it to keep him flea free. After 3 days I washed him and put some good conditioner on him and he felt great. Usually you just have to put the Diatomaceous Earth around their tail and back area. Again in the fall, I put more of the earth around the areas that he lays in and no more fleas, after it rains you will have to put it back down again, but it's cheap. I also put it on all my fruit tree's and surrounding tree's to keep the leaf hoppers off, and my tree's look great too! Hope this works for all of you looking for a natural approach. With carefully placing it on the ground, I did not harm any beneficial bugs that roamed freely on my flowers. Lot's-O-Love to all our Animal Lovers out there! Pennie

Diatomaceous Earth
Posted by Bb (Atlanta, Ga Usa) on 10/16/2010

FOOD GRADE diatomaceous earth & cedar based product, PCO is very effective at killing fleas in your yard.

Diatomaceous Earth
Posted by Cleoppa (Cleburne, Tx) on 08/28/2010


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!

Diatomaceous Earth
Posted by Erna (Venice, Ca) on 09/10/2009


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.

Replied by Mommyof2
(Tampa, Fl)

Wow- THANK YOU for letting me know this, I have 2 little ones and that would not be good at all..

Diatomaceous Earth
Posted by Doglover-gsd (Morganton, Nc Burke) on 08/17/2009


diatomaceous earth - is a poisonous vapor producing substance.

Replied by Dewan
(Waxahachie, Tx , Usa)

In response to doglover in NC, NATURAL diatomaceous earth does not emit a poisonous vapor. All it contains is ground up diatoms (fossils). It is about 86% silicon, so you don't want to breathe the dust (like any other dust). However it can be very drying, and may cause dry skin. It is included in some dog foods at about 2% by volume. Swimming pool DE is another story, it IS toxic. Do NOT use it anywhere except in the pool filters.

Diatomaceous Earth
Posted by Stacey Rae (Brentwood, CA) on 12/20/2008

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

Replied by Kira
(Saratoga, NY)

I bought my "food grade Diatomaceous Earth" off of Ebay. There's lots of people selling it there. The private websites wanted a minimum order placed that was too high for me.

Replied by June
(KC, KS)

Hi, I bought my DE from www.herbalremedies.com. They have great prices. I mix it in my cat's food, and sometimes sprinkle it on their fur but don't use it on the carpet.

As far as keeping fleas out of your house, vacuum of course, this kills fleas. I mix up a spray that really helps. I use a blend of any of these oils: neem, eucalyptus, tea tree, citronella, etc...and add water in a spray bottle. Add as much oil needed to get a strong smell, roughly 20-30 drops of each oil. I spray this on the carpet as often as I need and lightly on furniture. It helps repel and will also destroy eggs.

I've also read you can place liquid dish soap in a plate and put these around your house. The fleas are supposed to be drawn to the soap and drown. You then pick up the plate, dump the fleas and start over. I haven't tried this, but heard it's a good remedy.

Also, google for information on www.holisticat.com. This site charges for membership, but their old posts are free to read. They have great suggestions on natural pet treatments.

Replied by Lisa
(Blakeslee, Pa,)

Diatomaceous earth works by slicing apart the vector, being it fleas,...what have you. It's not for indoor use, and if it works in this way, can you imagine how healthy it is to breathe it in. By all means, try neem oil, if you are looking for something natural and safe.

Replied by Gloria
(Chicago, Il)

I have used diatomaceous earth now for a couple of years. It is incredible and safe (as long as you don't use the pool-grade stuff), and works.

I have used it for fleas by just applying it on a wood floor and sweeping it to get it in the cracks and along the baseboard. I also applied it gently to one of my cats. I use the product at http://www.onlynaturalpet.com/products/Only-Natural-Pet-All-in-One-Flea-Remedy/999013.aspx and follow their instructions. There are a lot of reviews of this product on this page.

Believe it or not, I also used this particular DE product to get rid of bedbugs by applying it along the baseboards in all 3 bedrooms. Bedbugs gone - permanently. I used a really small paintbrush to apply and spread it (it was time-consuming and difficult - furniture had to be moved, etc. but it was worth it), and I shaked it as little as possible to prevent any dust flying.

It also got rid of an ant problem I had - I hate killing anything, but I had no choice and over the course of several days the ants diminished until they were completely gone. I applied it in 2 places - where they were coming in my house, and the threshold to my kitchen that they were crossing over.

I am NOT associated in any way with onlynaturalpet.com, just have had great results.

Replied by Jody B.
(Kansas City, Mo)

Hi. Thanks for all the great tips and suggestions. I have four cats between the ages of ten and fifteen years old, three of them strays (one feral) and one someone gave me that she's gotten from a shelter, all indoor/outdoor cats. They're all healthy and have shiny coats, and we have very little problem with fleas now. In the past I used Frontline and similar products to control fleas during the summer months, but after a bad experience with one of the products I stopped using chemicals. I try to feed my cats better-quality foods, grain-free as much as possible and no by-products. I occasionally mix about half a teaspoon of brewer's yeast into their wet food, sometimes put a drop or two of apple cider vinegar in one of their water bowls (so they have a choice if they don't like it - I don't want to discourage them from drinking water! ), and I use Herbal Flea Free Herbal Flea Powder on them when I see them scratching. Flea Free contains diatomeaceous earth, sage and yellow dock powders, eucalyptus, tea tree and other essential oils (unspecified). I sometimes spray Natural Defense, containing peppermint, cinnamon, lemon grass, clove and thyme oils on bedding and furniture. It says it's safe to spray on animals but they really didn't like it and would run from me when they saw the bottle, especially the feral cat, who is very skittish. With the Flea Free, I shake some into my hand out of their sight and then pet them with it. I think what has helped the most is that I sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the floor and carpets about once a month, working it into the baseboards and cracks, leave it on for a day or two, and vacuum it up. I'm careful not to create a lot of dust. (I don't have to worry about the cats because they take off when the vacuum starts up. ) This has also taken care of the bad ant problem I used to have in my kitchen. So I'm a big diatomaceous earth fan.

I took in a stray dog a couple of years ago that apparently had fleas, and my house was horribly infested for a few days. It was so bad I put the dog and cats outside and resorted to the chemical flea bombs and applications of Frontline Plus, and did a lot of washing and vacuuming. Since then, I've used no chemicals at all, just the things I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Good luck and best wishes to all.

Replied by Tamerad2004
(Asher, Oklahoma)

I found my DE at Home depot it is very important not to get the pool grade but the safe one is food grade if you had vapor problems then you got the pool grade. I found it by the insect sprays and bolms for the house. They try to direct you to the pool isle and most dont even know that its there or what its for so you may be better off looking they also sale it on homedepot.com in liquid or powder form and the brand I found was in a 4 lb yellow bag and the brand was "Safer" hope this helps. The one on line that has the liquid spray is a different brand but you cant get that in our local store. Hope this helps someone.

Replied by Tamerad2004
(Asher, Oklahoma)

I found my DE at Home depot it is very important not to get the pool grade but the safe one is food grade if you had vapor problems then you got the pool grade. I found it by the insect sprays and bolms for the house. They try to direct you to the pool isle and most dont even know that its there or what its for so you may be better off looking they also sale it on homedepot.com in liquid or powder form and the brand I found was in a 4 lb yellow bag and the brand was "Safer" hope this helps. The one on line that has the liquid spray is a different brand but you cant get that in our local store. Hope this helps someone.

Diatomaceous Earth
Posted by Amazon Thyrteen (Fresno, CA, USA) on 11/09/2008

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!

Diatomaceous Earth
Posted by Valeria (Athens, GA) on 04/17/2007


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!

Replied by Paul
(Oakland , CA)


Hi, I was just about to buy garden grade DE to put in my vacuum bag ...when this clerk told me to "get away from there, sir", saying the stuff is leaking out of the boxes....(you can see fine white powder on the outside of the boxes.) Then this helpful clerk told me to go outside and meet him...I thought he gonna sell me drugs or something, but he told me that he worked in Pest Control in the past and that if you put DE in your vacuum...that it's gonna come out and you are going to breath it. So in any case---I didn't get the DE. The clerk was very pro having your house "bombed" professionally etc....P

Replied by Denise
(Skowhegan, Me.)

@Paul from Oakland - Well, there's the reason right there...

Diatomaceous Earth
Posted by Deb (Oregon) on 11/09/2006

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.

Replied by Rebecca
(Portland, Oregon)

Be careful! Tea tree oil is toxic to cats!

Diatomaceous Earth
Posted by Lyn (Jeannette, PA)

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.

Replied by Kari
(Stephenville, Tx Usa)

Diatomaceous Earth is completely safe to use, as long as it's human/food grade and NOT pool grade. Most garden stores sell it as well as a plethora of websites. My only suggestion is to not put it on your carpet. Some people have a lot of luck with this, it mostly just made my vacuum cleaner sound [permanently terrible. It still runs fine, there's just a terrible noise when it's running and I can't seem to figure out the real cause (I've taken it apart down to the motor). Also, it's not healthy to breathe in ANY dusts, so wear a mask and remove your pets until the dust settles. Otherwise it's okay for you AND your pets to consume, it's okay to put some on your pets coat (although use caution, it can dry them out). It is a natural dewormer and will rid your animals of every worm EXCEPT for heart-worms. You need about 1 tsp for cats and small dogs, 2 tsp for bigger dogs... 1 tbsp for humans. It really has a lot of benefits. I strongly urge you to research it. I've found the best remedy for fleas is this... Make sure you've found a successful treatment for your animals. I had to switch spot-on treatments because the one I had been using for years was no longer effective. Then you need to treat the infected areas.. Best method for me? Frequent vacuuming. 3-4 times a week, every day if you can manage it. Make sure you throw the bag out or empty the canister outside. I also recommend NOT bathing your animals in chemicals... If you feel it's necessary to bathe them, try to use something like the original Dawn soap, and make sure the first place you get wet and put soap is around the neck... Fleas will always try to travel up to escape... You should never put soap or lots of water on your pets face, so treat the neck FIRST and get it good and lathered. If you wouldn't use it yourself, you probably shouldn't use it on your animals.

Diatomaceous Earth, Apple Cider Vinegar

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Mary (Wa State) on 05/25/2018

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.


2 User Reviews
5 star (1) 
4 star (1) 

Posted by Dr Ann (Chas Sc) on 10/22/2013

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.

Replied by Dharmony
(Ny, Usa)

Greetings. I am not sure why you are looking for a diet change for your pet for fleas. To rid of the fleas, you should look into FOOD GRADE diatomaceous earth. Do not confuse it with the stuff they use in swimming pools as that one should NOT be ingested.

Food grade diatomaceous earth can be purchased at feed stores. It is considered a natural non-toxic flea control. It works by dehydrating the insects. It is NOT a chemical that poisons. You can rub it into the cat's fur, sprinkle it and rub it into the cat's sleeping areas or on carpets etc. If your cat licks it, it won't harm him as it can also be used directly into their food as a natural de-wormer.

If your cat won't let you rub it into his fur directly, you could sprinkle onto a towel and wrap your cat in the towel, then work into the fur. It can have a drying effect on the skin. Take precautions to not breath in the dust while applying as it is an irritant to the lungs. Good luck and please let us know how you make out.

Replied by Fiona
(Tustin, Ca)

A year ago. I feed my 2 dogs tons of food grade diatomaceous earth for 2 months. I have seen how they detox. I mean at some point I can see a piece of leather(I don't know how to explain in other words.) will fall off from their skin. and I saw some gunk in their stool. And then I noticed after 2 months both dogs are alot calm. one of my dogs used to chase his tail alot. Guess what? comepletely stopped. After this experience. I give my dogs DE at least once a week. Other supplements are extremly difficult to feed them. I just mix big 2 table spoon with organice whole milk. They absolutely love it!

I rub into their ears too. this will go to their internal and also kills the bugs. I highly recommend DE for anyone who has pet. It is a must!

Posted by Deirdre (Atlanta, GA) on 09/09/2008

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.

Posted by DZ (CT) on 09/10/2007

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.