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Thread: Diatomaceous earth to treat fleas?

  1. #1
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    Diatomaceous earth to treat fleas?

    Has anyone used diatomaceous earth to get rid of fleas? Was it effective?

    I fostered a cat recently but had to find another foster because I thought I was allergic to her.. now I think she just had fleas as I'm still getting bitten and Keeva's starting to itch (the Shelties don't seem to have any because the cat liked staying in my room.. and the Shelties prefer to stay out). I'm going to pick up Advantage for the dogs but I need something for the carpets and mattress. :\

    Kai [Sheltie], Kaedyn [Sheltie], Keeva [Malinois], Kwik [Malinois]

  2. #2
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    Havent heard of that but I use frontline and it works great.

  3. #3
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    Ashley, you may want to post this in the General Section. I have a very vague recollection of this being discussed in the past, and for some reason I think it was Richard who had some knowledge or experience with it. I did a search but couldn't find anything. Maybe someone else will remember.

  4. #4
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    Try a search for that word. It looks like it's good for killing some things, but not fleas.

  5. #5
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    Isn't that used for killing slugs? I remember this topic being discussed as well, and I believe the consensus was that it isn't effective as fleas will merely jump over the substance. The best way to get rid of a flea infestation, in my experience, is just to find a day for major cleaning. Get a steam-carpet cleaner, throw all the dog beds in the wash, and you should be two steps ahead of the game

  6. #6
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    I'm not familiar with that substance. And I'm not as familiar with Advantage, however Frontline Plus has an extra ingredient that when the animal sheds hair/dandruf it takes that ingredient into your carpets/furniture to help stop the larva stage of fleas, as well as the main ingredient in Frontline Plus also kills adult fleas on the pet. The ingredient Fipronil in Frontline Plus is the same ingredient used in fruit orchards in the US since the 1980's it's very safe. Frontline Plus is pricey, but actually less expensive than using a myrad of other more chemical methods that only partially solve the problem or just plain don't work.

    Either way, if fleas are biting people it's a BAD flea problem and could take up to a year or more of regularly treating the pets to get it back under control. Vacuuming alot (throwing away the sweeper bag), washing pet bedding will all help also, but that alone will never stop it. A single female flea lays 2,000 egss in her short lifetime, and fleas can live for months as larva stages in your carpets.

    RIP Dusty July 2007 RIP Sabrina June 2011 RIP Jack 2013

  7. #7
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    I tried looking into that but couldn't find it around here. You can try the laundry additive - BORAX. I used that this summer and it was excellent!
    Keeganhttp://www.dogster.com/dogs/256612 9/28/2001 to June 9, 2012
    Kylie http://www.catster.com/cats/256617 (June 2000 to 5/19/2012)
    Kloe http://www.catster.com/cats/256619
    "we as American's have forgotten we can agree to disagree"
    Kylie the Queen, Keegan the Princess, entertained by Kloe the court Jester
    Godspeed Phred and Gini you will be missed more than you ever know..

  8. #8
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    I use it for ant control. Googled and found this about use for fleas (scroll down a little). http://wolfcreekranch1.tripod.com/no_flea.html
    One thing to remember when using, for oneself or animal, is to avoid breathing in the dust or getting it in the eyes. Ingesting is safe so if your dog or car licks it there isn't a problem (some people put it in food for worm control)

  9. #9
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    Thanks for your responses guys.

    I went out and bought it anyways since it was really cheap ($6.50 for enough to do the entire basement). I'll let you guys know how it goes.

    Catlady711: The Frontline Plus sounds great.. but it isn't sold in Canada.

    Kai [Sheltie], Kaedyn [Sheltie], Keeva [Malinois], Kwik [Malinois]

  10. #10
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    Borax might not be sold in Canada either but if you do use it you just have to remove the pets first- let it sit- then sweep it up.

    Here is what I found googling borax for fleas......

    Boric acid, which is in Borax , kills fleas and the larvae by dehydrating them--drying them out is how I understand it. You can go to a hardware and buy boric acid or pick up a box of Borax at the grocery store. If your area doesn't have it, ask around for a laundry aid that contains boric acid. Sprinkle it on the dry carpet, allow it to sit overnight if possible, then vacuum in the morning. Vacuum twice if you have to, then throw away the bag. If you aren't sure and your carpet is newer --I'd test a spot first to make sure it doesn't fade. You will have to repeat this every two weeks--to make sure you get them all. Keep up the steady vacuuming. It also might be easier to put the borax in an empty oatmeal or cornmeal container-then poke holes in the lid-then take the top to make sure it's secure, and sprinkle on that way. An extra option is to add 20-25 drops of an essential oil to the borax first---working it in with your hands (wear rubber gloves). Let it sit a couple of hours, then put in the container and sprinkle. You can use cedar, citronella, pennyroyal, lemongrass, rosemary, eucalyptus, and lavender. This is optional though...
    Keeganhttp://www.dogster.com/dogs/256612 9/28/2001 to June 9, 2012
    Kylie http://www.catster.com/cats/256617 (June 2000 to 5/19/2012)
    Kloe http://www.catster.com/cats/256619
    "we as American's have forgotten we can agree to disagree"
    Kylie the Queen, Keegan the Princess, entertained by Kloe the court Jester
    Godspeed Phred and Gini you will be missed more than you ever know..

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by binka_nugget
    Catlady711: The Frontline Plus sounds great.. but it isn't sold in Canada.

    WOW, I did not know it wasn't sold worldwide! Learn something new every day I guess. It's so common around here it never occured to me that everyone couldn't get it, and it seems to be on every pet supplies website I see, just never paid any attention to where it was allowed to ship to.

    RIP Dusty July 2007 RIP Sabrina June 2011 RIP Jack 2013

  12. #12
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    Borat?






    IT works great but you do have to look for it..

    It dehydrates insects by slicing them open, apparently the stuff is microscopically sharp and cuts them to shreds and it's cheap!

  13. #13
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    I treated the three with one dose of advantage and spread diatomaceous earth on the carpet all over.. seems to have worked!

    Kai [Sheltie], Kaedyn [Sheltie], Keeva [Malinois], Kwik [Malinois]

  14. #14
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    I had gone through flea shampoos, topical gels like Frontline and Advantage, flea collars, flea combs. I had such an infestation in my house that nothing. worked. But they are gone now.

    My secret? I treated the source before I treated the animals. I used a Borax/Salt combo on the carpets and vacuumed up about 12 hours later. Then, I religiously killed any fleas on the animals with natural sprays. I retreated the carpet 2 times a week for 14 days, 1 time a week for 21 days and then now I'm up to every 6 months as a precaution. I haven't had a flea since.

  15. #15
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    As far as pet pests go I've only used it for de-worming. The not breathing DE in or getting it in the eyes worried me. That and King was so severely allergic to fleas. (We used Frontline Plus on him.)

    I DO use it though around the perimeter of the house. about two inch spread near the foundation.

    If you use the DE in their fur (for major infestations) do beware of it drying out the skin. I'd say leave it in for a day then throughly wash it out.

    Oh... and DE works GREAT on fire ants!

    Also, buy a flea collar and cut it up and put it in the vacuum (In the bag if it's a bag vacuum.) Make sure to vacuum two or three times a day.

    You can also put a light on the floor and a small dish of soapy water. The fleas will go right to it. There's details online for making successful versions. (make sure the pets can't get to it of course.) (Or you replace the soapy water with a pan of DE. just an idea.)

    Oh and if you use the DE inside i suggest just putting it around the baseboards. Vacuuming it up can spread it into the air.

    Quote Originally Posted by binka_nugget
    Has anyone used diatomaceous earth to get rid of fleas? Was it effective?

    I fostered a cat recently but had to find another foster because I thought I was allergic to her.. now I think she just had fleas as I'm still getting bitten and Keeva's starting to itch (the Shelties don't seem to have any because the cat liked staying in my room.. and the Shelties prefer to stay out). I'm going to pick up Advantage for the dogs but I need something for the carpets and mattress.
    .

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