Looking for a natural flea killer so safe it can be used orally as a natural wormer? Diatomaceous earth flea control is the best natural flea remedy. It is a non-toxic, yet highly effective simple home remedy for fleas that works.
How safe is it?
Despite impressive diatomaceous earth insecticide properties, it is completely non-toxic to mammals. The toxicity of diatomaceous earth is so low that it is not even counted as a foreign substance by the United States Department of Agriculture when used in grain for weevil control. It is also approved for use on organic farms without affecting their organic certification.
Diatomaceous earth is truly remarkable and amazingly useful around the home and farm, but what is it exactly and how does it work?
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is composed of the bodies of tiny fossilized phyto-plankton or diatoms, deposited as marine sediment 20 million or more years ago.
DE is high in silica (around 75%) plus contains 15 essential trace minerals (e.g. calcium, potassium, phosphorous, selenium, magnesium, copper, zinc and iron). Taken orally as a regular food supplement it promotes health and vitality.
DE Ain’t DE…
There are a range of different grades of DE, varying in purity and fineness.
The diatomaceous earth fleas fear is the highest quality “ultra-fine” grade having a particle size of less than 15 microns. Only this quality of DE (Absorbicide) is registered with the Australian Veterinary and Pesticides Authority for use against insect pests and is effective as a natural flea killer.
DO NOT use DE treated for swimming pool filter use, as it contains crystalline silica, a dangerous respiratory hazard and potential poison.
Diatomaceous earth insecticide properties have been scientifically confirmed throughout the world – e.g. in Australia by both the CSIRO and Queensland DPI. It has two modes of action.
Being razor sharp, the tiny diatoms get caught in insect cuticles, rupturing the protective membrane. Due to its high silica content DE is also a strong dessicant that then draws out the insect’s moisture and kills them via dehydration. These effects are especially lethal to small insects, making DE a great natural flea remedy and natural flea killer.
Due to the development of chemical resistance, the usual “back-line” or “spot-on” chemical flea preparations we use on our dogs recently failed us completely. And this was despite the sound rotation from one type of chemical to another. Nothing was working any more and our poor doggies were over-run with fleas!
What to do?!
Well, because we keep chickens, we had some diatomaceous earth on hand because we had found it wonderful to control chicken lice. In one scientific study we read about, a single application of diatomaceous earth completely wiped out poultry red mite, and protected chickens from re-infection simply dusted onto nest boxes at 100g per square meter.
Impressive! So we thought we’d try out DE as a natural flea killer and put it to the test. It is the simplest home remedy for fleas around. We just dusted it lightly but thoroughly into the fur just like you would other powdered flea remedies, and it worked great!
What did surprise us about this natural flea remedy was, unlike normal flea powders that need to be applied every day or so, a single application kept our dogs flea-free for a few weeks. Truly amazing, and probably linked to residual diatomaceous earth fleas contact with other stages – residing in the places dogs frequent – where the diatoms have undoubtedly shed from the fur into the environment.
However, for best results also apply this homemade flea killer to the bedding of your pets and give the carpets they frequent a light sprinkle too (leave 3 days and then vacuum).
You can even use DE for worming dogs and other pets, and to control household insects (see below).
Other Fantastic Uses for DE
From Natural Flea Killer to Diatomaceous Earth for Worming Dogs
DE is reported as an effective, non-toxic natural wormer to control most types of intestinal parasites – including tapeworms, roundworms, pin worms, etc – in dogs and a wide range of other animals including horses, poultry and ruminants. As a natural wormer, feed food grade diatomaceous earth should be given long enough to cover a whole life cycle of the intestinal parasite you wish to control. For most 60 days is recommended (90 days for lungworms).
If your pets are not egg-free after this period, increase the dose – diatomaceous earth is non-toxic, so there is no danger. And because parasites can’t develop immunity to its physical mode of action, there is no need to rotate your wormers.
Just add DE to the daily ration. You can also safely offer it to all your pets free choice, so they can take whatever amount they feel they need.
Here are some recommended dose rates in different animals for natural worm control:
• Dogs: To use DE as a natural dog wormer, give puppies ½ – 1 teaspoon/day, and dogs 1 teaspoon for every 17 lbs (8 kg) body weight per day.
• Cats: Give kittens 1/2 teaspoon/day, and cats 1 teaspoon/day for the best of natural cat wormers.
• Livestock: As a natural wormer for sheep, natural cattle wormer, natural goat wormer for worming goats, and similarly for alpacas, pigs and other livestock, feed out as 2% of the dry feed ration.
• Natural Poultry Wormer: As a natural wormer for chickens and other poultry, give as 5% of the dry feed ration.
• Horses: Between ½ and 1 cup a day for the best of natural horse wormers.
• Humans: 3 teaspoons a day taken as 1 tpsn in a glass of water on an empty stomach between meals three times a day.
Fed daily, DE also reduces fly loads around the farm because of its presence in the manure of treated animals.
From Natural Flea Killer to Safe Household Insect Control
Prevent household infestation by a wide range of insects and bugs by simply incorporating DE into the walls, floor and ceilings of your home or barn. Insects controlled include ticks, flies, silverfish, centipedes, earwigs, cockroaches, ants, fleas, mites, bedbugs, and termites.
Control any insect problem inside your home by dusting DE along skirting boards, inside cabinets, and lightly in your carpets. For best results leave for 30 days to cover all stages of the pest life cycle. Do not apply too heavily to carpets as DE can clog or damage the vacuum cleaner!
When applying diatomaceous earth as a natural flea killer to dogs or for other uses, avoid inhaling the dust, especially if you use it regularly over a long period of time (wear a face mask). Being a dessicating agent, it will dry the eyes, so protect your eyes with goggles and avoid applying when your animals or people are downwind.
Use sparingly on carpets as it can cause problems with your vacuum cleaner if applied too liberally.
DO NOT use the Diatomaceous Earth designed for pool filters – it is ineffective as a natural flea killer and potentially toxic.
You can use DE in the garden to control pests but be aware that it is also lethal to bees, wasps and other desirable insects. Avoid use in worm farms.
DISCLAIMER: The foregoing information are suggestions only – not recommendations – based on user experiences. It is not offered as a substitute for qualified medical advice nor your own independent judgment and personal responsibility.