We already know fleas are bad. These small, wingless parasites not only affect our pets and spread serious illnesses like typhus, but they have also been known to infiltrate our homes and infest humans, bedding, carpets, and kitchens.
Worse, getting rid of fleas can be difficult. This is especially true if fleas get into your house, where using chemical insecticide sprays and products could be hazardous if you have children and pets in the home.
The good news is that there is one all natural product you can use to manage and kill fleas both inside and outside of your home fast.
That’s right – we’re talking about Diatomaceous Earth. You might have heard of this product, which is available for a number of home and personal uses, but it is also one of the world’s most effective forms of natural pest control.
Best of all, it’s completely safe to use around children and pets and diatomaceous earth for fleas is highly effective.
So, how do you use diatomaceous earth for fleas? That’s what we’re talking about today. But before we begin, let’s take a quick moment to talk about fleas.
What You Should Know About Fleas – The Bad and The Worse
Fleas are considered to be parasites and they can spread serious diseases.
We don’t know many people who actually like fleas. And while you can add us to that list of non-flea fans, we should also note that felas do play a role in a healthy ecosystem. In fact, fleas are beneficial decomposers, especially when they are in their larval stage.
This is especially true when fleas lay their eggs in soil. Once the larvae hatch, they emerge from the soil and feed on a variety of organic matter including feces, dead insects, vegetable matter and more.
Adult fleas also have a specific and important role, though to many this role is what makes them so problematic. Adult fleas spread a number of parasites to the animals they infest, which has been shown to help regulate breeding numbers and populations in certain species.
With all of that being said, most experts still consider fleas to be parasitic, which means they are mostly considered to be pests. Worse still, they are dangerous little creatures to boot.
What Are Fleas:
Fleas are small, wingless parasites that grow to be between 1.5 to 3.2 millimeters in length. Though people often assume that fleas are black, up close they are generally dark brown. They have very long hind legs in which they use to jump, which is how they often transfer themselves from host to host.
Fleas cannot survive without a blood host, and will typically die within a matter of days if they are unable to feed.
However, this doesn’t mean they are easy to get rid of. Most fleas tend to stay put once they find a suitable host, and they procreate rapidly.
In fact, a single female flea is capable of laying up to 500 eggs in her lifetime. And while adult fleas typically stick to their same host, eggs do not stick to the host and fall to the ground immediately after being laid.
Their eggs are small and difficult to see, and if flea eggs are laid in your home or yard, an infestation can occur rapidly.
Understanding The Life Cycle Of Fleas
Fleas go through four life stages. These stages include egg, larvae, pupa and adult. Depending on the climate and conditions, going from an egg to an adult can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
Although having any form of flea in your home or yard is unnerving, fleas are most hazardous in their adult stage. It is in this stage when they can bite and transmit serious diseases to both people and pets.
These diseases include Typhus, the plague, cat scratch disease, tapeworms, lyme disease, rocky mountain spotted fever and anaplasmosis.
Where Do Fleas Come From?
Fleas are common throughout the world, with roughly 2,500 different species of fleas living globally. The United States is home to around 300 of these species, though it is a very small few of these species that cause problems to people and pets.
Still, fleas are quite common and are becoming more common, especially in highly trafficked areas with a lot of people, unclean city environments, and areas where wild animals frequent.
Most commonly, fleas are brought to your property by wild animal hosts looking for food. This includes squirrels, raccoons, and other types of mammals that make good hosts for fleas. The pests then either leave their eggs on your property or they transfer to your property to find another host like your cat or dog.
If a cat or dog is unprotected, they can easily become infested with fleas and bring these fleas into your home.
Signs of Fleas
Do you have fleas in your home or yard? If so, then you’re a good candidate for how to use diatomaceous earth for fleas and flea removal.
However, identifying a flea infestation can be tricky. Remember, these pests are very small, and though they are visible to the naked eye, you must be quite vigilant to detect them.
Some common signs of fleas in and around your home include:
- Flea Dirt
- Flea dirt are the droppings left behind by fleas. They often look like small pepper flakes and can be found in pet bedding, carpeting, curtains, furniture, pet toys, etc. You might also find signs of flea dirt in your pets fur.
- Your Pet Is Itching Constantly
- An itchy pet that scratches or chews at himself constantly could be exhibiting signs of a flea infestation. If you think your pet has fleas, grab a comb and look carefully through its fur. Look for signs of flea dirt, small red bites, or the fleas themselves. If you discover fleas, take your pet to the veterinarian for treatment immediately.
- Flea Eggs In The Carpet
- Look around your home. Check your pet’s bedding, your carpets, and any other areas your pet frequents. Look for signs of flea dirt and especially eggs. Flea eggs are very small and white. They may look like small granules of salt in the fibers of your carpet. Where you find flea eggs, you may also find flea dirt.
You can learn more about common signs of fleas in this video below:
What Is Diatomaceous Earth And How Does Diatomaceous Earth For Fleas Work?
Diatomaceous Earth is a natural substance derived from fossilized algae.
Discovering that you have fleas either inside or outside of your home is never fun. The good news is that you have a few different options for how to manage and get rid of the fleas causing you and your pets problems.
The first thing you should do if you discover fleas is to get your pets treated. Fleas are not only a nuisance to your pet, but they can also be very dangerous, as we mentioned above.
Next, it’s important to go through your home and do a thorough cleaning. Wash and dry whatever you can on high heat and then store it in sealed bins or plastic bags. Vacuum your carpets, curtains, and other areas around your home, and throw out any items you feel may be infested that you are unable to clean thoroughly.
Next, grab the diatomaceous earth for fleas.
What Is Diatomaceous Earth For Fleas?
Diatomaceous Earth, commonly known as DE, is an all natural substance derived from fossilized algae. This substance is ground down into a very fine powder and often resembles flour.
The product contains drying properties, but other than that it is perfectly safe to use around people, pets and children. It is an environmentally friendly form of pest control as well and will not harm beneficial insects like butterflies or bees.
But how does Diatomaceous Earth for fleas work?
Fleas, like many other pests, have exoskeletons. These exoskeletons are made of a hard coated shell that helps to absorb water, protect the pest, and keep the pest hydrated.
Diatomaceous Earth works to penetrate this exoskeleton of fleas, which in turn dehydrates them and causes them to die.
How To Use Diatomaceous Earth For Fleas
You can use Diatomaceous Earth for fleas both inside and out, and you can use this product in areas where people eat, play and sleep. Because it comes in a powder form, it is best applied using a duster or applicant that allows you to apply the powder to specific areas neatly.
Because fleas are small, we recommend using an applicator with a nozzle that allows you to apply Diatomaceous Earth to smaller cracks and crevices.
The best way to use Diatomaceous Earth for fleas is to follow the cleaning instructions above, then dust your home with the product. Allow it to sit for three to four days before vacuuming it up.
Dispose of the contents of the vacuum bag in a sealed container outdoors. You may need to repeat these steps a few times until you are certain you have gotten rid of the fleas.
As we did mention, you can also use Diatomaceous Earth for fleas outdoors as well. However, Diatomaceous Earth is a product that works only on contact and it works best when it is dry.
If Diatomaceous Earth for fleas gets wet, you should reapply it outside in your lawn. Luckily, Diatomaceous Earth for fleas is a good option to use in gardens and lawns because it will not harm vegetation, children, pets, beneficial insects or the ecosystem.
The Pros and Cons of Using Diatomaceous Earth For Fleas
Diatomaceous Earth only works to kill adult fleas. It will not work on flea eggs, larvae or pupa.
Choosing to use Diatomaceous Earth for fleas is an eco-friendly and effective treatment that is safe for people, pets and the environment.
Of course, that doesn’t mean this product is perfect. If you do choose to use Diatomaceous Earth for fleas and flea removal, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of this product before investing.
Pros of Using Diatomaceous Earth For Fleas
- Diatomaceous Earth is all natural and eco-friendly
- It does not harm beneficial insects
- It can be used both outdoors and indoors
- It works on multiple pests with exoskeletons including fleas, bed bugs, roaches, and earwigs
- Diatomaceous Earth is perfectly safe to use around children and animals
- It works quickly on contact to kill adult fleas within a few days
- It is easy to apply and easy to clean up when you are done
Cons of Using Diatomaceous Earth For Fleas
- Diatomaceous Earth for fleas only works on adult fleas and does not kill eggs, larvae or pupa
- Diatomaceous Earth will not work as effectively if it gets wet
- This product can be drying to skin and irritating to the throat and nose if inhaled
- Diatomaceous Earth for fleas should be used in conjunction with other pest control products to keep your pets, your home and your family safe.
A Few Of Our Favorite Diatomaceous Earth For Fleas Products
There are a few forms of DE available but we recommend food grade DE or DE designed for pest control.
When you’re looking into using Diatomaceous Earth for fleas, keep in mind that this product only works to kill adult fleas on contact. While we do like that you can use it indoors and outdoors and we especially like the fact that this is an all natural product, it’s important to remember that not all Diatomaceous Earth for fleas products are made the same.
Some products are specifically for ingestion while others are for household uses. If you are considering using Diatomaceous Earth for fleas, it’s important to reach for the right product specifically designed for pest control and that comes with a quality applicator for easy use.
Not sure where to begin looking? We have listed some o four favorite Diatomaceous Earth for fleas products below.
Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer
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There are quite a few options you can use when it comes to picking out the right Diatomaceous Earth for fleas. However, we recommend using the Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer listed above.
We also like that it comes with an application duster that includes a nozzle for easy and precise application.
Harris Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth With Application Tip
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Food grade Diatomaceous Earth works just as effectively as Diatomaceous Earth crawling insect killer, and you can order this product in a half-pound order that comes in a bottle with an applicator tip.
Use this for smaller flea infestations or for creating barriers around doors or in specific infested areas around the house.
You can also use this to spot treat any areas around your home or your yard for potential fleas. Like all Diatomaceous Earth for fleas, this product not only works for fleas but also ticks, bed bugs, roaches, ants and more.
Garden Safe Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer
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If you are looking to use Diatomaceous Earth for fleas specifically in your yard, we suggest purchasing a large order of the Garden Safe Brand of Diatomaceous Earth for Fleas above.
This product is specifically designed to be used outdoors and you can order it in one count or six. If you are planning on using it in your yard and garden and if you have a lot of land, the six count will likely be your best bet.
And while this product is ideal for garden and outdoor use, you can of course also use it inside as well to kill and control adult fleas.
Other Products You Can Use Alongside Diatomaceous Earth For Fleas
It’s important you have your pets protected against fleas and that you also use other products along with DE to help keep fleas out of your home and yard.
Although Diatomaceous Earth for fleas can be highly effective, it only works against adult fleas. This means that you could have a higher chance of reinfection if you get rid of all these adult pests but their eggs and larvae are left behind to continue on.
With that being noted, we recommend using other flea removal and prevention products in conjunction with using Diatomaceous Earth for fleas.
We have listed some of our favorites for you to consider below. T
Wondercide Flea and Tick Spray For Indoor Use
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This spray is specifically designed for indoor use and use around dogs, cats, children and other animals. It is safe for the environment and is made with natural ingredients, and you can even spray this product directly on pets and even puppies and kittens.
This product uses essential oils to kill fleas in all their life stages, which is why we suggest using in conjunction with Diatomaceous Earth for fleas. The spray can also be sprayed on furniture, carpeting, and used in kitchens and in children’s bedrooms.
There is no spray and wait time when using this product for flea control, which means your family and pets can still go about their normal activities while you use this product.
Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Spray
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Another spray that works for fleas in all their life stages is made by Vet’s Best. This spray is designed to be sprayed both directly on pets but also around the home as well. You can use it alongside Diatomaceous Earth for fleas to kill fleas and prevent them from returning.
The spray comes in four size varieties and can also help alleviate itchy skin on your pet. The product is made with natural essential oils that help kill pests and keep them from returning. It is also safe enough to use on puppies and kittens over 12 weeks of age.
Home Remedies For Using Diatomaceous Earth For Fleas
Ground cinnamon works similarly to Diatomaceous Earth when it comes to flea prevention and control.
There’s actually no easy way you can make Diatomaceous Earth using home ingredients, but you can use some types of home ingredients and recipes to mimic this chalky substance that so effectively kills adult fleas.
Home Ingredients You Can Use In Place Of Diatomaceous Earth For Fleas
If you don’t have access to Diatomaceous Earth but you want to get the ball rolling on removal and prevention of fleas, you can always try using baking soda, ground up chalk, salt or ground cinnamon. All three of these products are drying and can help repel and kill active fleas both inside and outside of your home.
How To Apply Diatomaceous Earth For Fleas Using Household Ingredients
Applying Diatomaceous Earth can be tricky, especially because this product is ground down into such a fine powder. The good news is that you likely have a few items in your home you can use to apply this product.
If you didn’t order your Diatomaceous Earth for fleas with an applicator, you can use:
- A Bulb Puffer
- An old infant nasal aspirator (that you plan on not using again)
- An old spice jar with numerous holes in the top
- Or An old baby powder jar (swap out the baby powder for Diatomaceous Earth)
Other Do It Yourself Pest Control Options For Flea Removal
Getting rid of and preventing fleas can be done using other products as well, not just powdery substances with drying agents in them. And while we do like using Diatomaceous Earth for fleas, we also have to reiterate that this product will not work to repel fleas, nor will it control or kill eggs or larvae.
Some common household items you may already have on hand that you can use in conjunction with using Diatomaceous Earth for fleas include:
- Essential oils like rosemary oil, peppermint oil, cinnamon oil and tea tree oil can all help to combat and repel fleas in your home and on your property.
- Make your own essential oil spray by adding 10 to 20 drops of the essential oil of your choice to 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Then spray this mixture around furniture and carpets.
- Make Your Own Lemon Spray
- Make a DIY lemon spray using a pint of boiled water, a sliced lemon and a spray bottle. Allow the water and lemon slice to boil and then sit it aside to rest overnight. Then put the substance into a spray bottle and spray it directly onto furniture and carpeting.
- Make A Dish Soap and Water Trap
- Last, you can try using a bowl filled with water and a few drops of liquid dish soap. Place a few bowls of this combination in rooms where you feel fleas are present and wait.
- Jumping fleas will accidentally land in the water and become coated with the soap, ultimately drowning.
Tips For Flea Removal And Prevention From Experts
Wild animals like raccoons are common vehicles that transfer fleas to your property. It’s important to do what you can to keep these animals at bay to help reduce future flea problems.
Using Diatomaceous Earth for fleas is certainly effective, but it is typically much easier to prevent fleas from becoming a problem than to treat current fleas.
So, what tips do experts recommend we follow to help repel and prevent fleas from becoming a problem inside our homes and in our yards?
Take a look!
Have Your Pets Treated With Flea and Tick Prevention
One of the most common causes of fleas in the home is due to an infested dog or cat. The good news is that it is relatively easy to avoid this by simply having your pets protected against fleas and ticks.
Some of the most common methods of pet protection include flea and tick collars, flea and tick repellent applicators, and flea and tick repellent chews.
You can purchase many types of flea preventatives over the counter or at most grocery stores or pet stores. However, if your pet is sensitive to certain products, we recommend speaking with your veterinarian about which type of flea protection and preventative would be best for your unique dog or cat.
Use A Year-Round Pest Control Regimen
Along with ensuring your pets are protected, you’ll also want to keep your yard and property protected using a year-round pest control regimen that is specifically designed to repel or kill pests like fleas on contact.
You can use a few of the different products we recommended above including Wondercide Flea and Tick Spray as well as other products and powders. You can also use Diatomaceous Earth for fleas around your property as well to repel or kill adult fleas on contact, but other methods should be used in conjunction that target fleas in other life stages.
Keep Your Lawn Trimmed And Tidy
Make sure you keep up with routine landscaping. Both fleas and ticks prefer overgrown lawns or lawns with lots of leaf litter or debris. This helps provide them with shelter and an easier leveraging point when it comes to jumping to their next host.
Prevent Wild Animals From Coming onto Your Property
Wild animals are typically the vehicle that brings fleas to your property. To try and prevent this from happening, be sure to store garbage properly. Invest in pest-proof garbage bins and consider dropping ammonia, rubbing alcohol or essential oils over garbage while you are waiting for trash pick up day to arrive.
Wild animals are also attracted to ripe vegetables, left out pet food or bird seed, and fallen fruit from fruit trees. Be sure to store pet food or bird seed properly in a sealed bin in your garage or a storage unit when it is not in use and try and harvest any fruits or vegetables from your outside garden when they are ready.
You might also consider using special fencing or ultrasonic pest repellent products to keep wild animals from coming too close to your property and in turn transferring fleas to your pets or home.
And again, use Diatomaceous Earth for fleas when it comes to getting rid of adult fleas quickly. This can help ensure you reduce the chances of you or your pet developing serious illnesses from flea bites as you move on to using other methods of removal for flea eggs, larva and pupa.
We hope this has been a helpful guide on how to use Diatomaceous Earth for fleas! Be sure to keep us posted on how your flea removal and prevention tactics are going.
Best of luck and thanks for reading!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.