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Question DetailsAsked on 6/6/2014

best way to get rid of fleas in and outside of house

san Marcos

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2 Answers


Fleas are one of the hardest creatures to get rid of but I have fought them for years and have learned the best ways. First of all, there are pills that kill fleas on the dogs. The one I started using is Confortis. It kills fleas instantly on the dog and lasts for approximately 1 month. Female fleas need to suck blood and the Confortis kills them instantly. If you have a lot of fleas, an exterminator is best option. If the fleas are not totally out of control, you can bomb your house. It means taking all pillows off cushions, picking up all dishes and food, human and dog, so nothing gets contaminated. If you have carpeting, you need to vacuum before and after the bombing and then throw away the vacuum bag immediately. Fleas are an abomination and they can survive for months with no food and no heat. They can lie dormant in an empty house and wait for live food to enter. You may have to bomb more than one time. If they are in your bedroom, all bedding needs to be taken off the beds and washed in hot water. There are many more things that can be done but I am running out of time. As far as outside... there are multiple sprays, yard sprays, and you need to cut the grass short and spray spray spray. If you have wild animals that are near your home, they are probably carriers of fleas and will reinfest your place. You have to keep spraying and if a product says it last 30 days, figure three weeks tops!

Hope this helps.

Source: my own experience as a dog owner and breeder

Answered 6 years ago by angelwynd7


Diatomaceous Earth Flea Control for Cats

Diatomaceous earth has been shown to be an effective flea control method if not exposed to moisture.

Diatomaceous Earth is a type of flea control for both animals and yards that is made up of the powdered and ground-up sea shells. It is touted as a natural way of killing fleas without the harmful chemicals of flea shampoos and other flea control methods. Unlike many other types of flea control methods, it purports to kill fleas in the yard before they can get on your cat.

Theory Behind Diatomaceous Earth Flea Control

Diatomaceous earth can be used in two distinct ways: as a powdered form to be used on cats directly and in the soil in your yard. The shells are ground up into a find powder and then rubbed into the cat's fur or placed into the soil--in a way very similar to other types of powder flea control products. The shells act as microscopic razors on the fleas slicing into their shell and their eggs causing them to die or dry out.

It is important to mention that it is only safe to use food-grade Diatomaceous Earth and not industrial-or pool-grade in your home or on your pets. The nonfood grade version can be inhaled and cause microscopic cuts on the lungs and has been linked to an increase in lung cancer. The food-grade is safe to be used around humans and animals. Diatomaceous earth is available in pet stores and veterinary offices and is therefore safe to be used. You should be carful buying it online or other places on specifically associated with animal health.

Effectiveness of Diatomaceous Earth

A study by the Texas Department of Agriculture examined the effectiveness of diatomaceous earth on cats in both wet and dry conditions against other flea medications and a control group. The study found that the dry compound of diatomaceous earth was almost 100 percent effective in eliminating adult fleas in both animals and in dry potted plants. It was only 33 percent effective in killing the eggs and larval form of the flea.

On the other hand, when the powder was introduced to moisture its effectiveness dropped to only 33 percent of adults and almost no change in the larval form on both the animals and in the soil. It showed that when the powder is dissolved in water it is not effective in treating the fleas. It is an excellent tool in treating the animals as long as they are not wet before or for about two weeks after the treatment, and it is not effective in a residential yard setting because of the accumulation of dew on yards in the morning and because of rainfall.

What is Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a fine flour-like powder, the microscopic remains of fossilized diatoms , a type of algae. Diatoms are found in freshwater and saltwater. Capable of photosynthesis, they are an important food source for many organisms in these water ecosystems.

Diatom cell walls are made of silica, a component of glass. DE has been used for years as an insecticide to control mites, fleas and other insects; find out how it works here.

How Diatomaceous Earth Works to Kill Fleas and Other Insects

Fleas and other insects with an exoskeleton (hard shell) are susceptible to the glass-sharp edges of the microscopic diatoms. The silica shards cut through the waxy exoskeleton surface, effectively drying out the flea, resulting in death to these types of insects and their larvae.

Diatomaceous Earth Pros and Cons


The good news is that Diatomaceous Earth is non-toxic to humans and animals; it is even used in some foods food (food-grade quality, not the DE used for pool filtration systems) and some health supplements. DE is also used for a variety of beauty and health care products.

Daily vacuuming is an important component of household flea control. Diatomaceous Earth can be used safely on many surfaces and floor coverings, vacuuming up the DE after allowed to sit for at least a few hours or overnight. A few days, if doable.

Diatomaceous Earth is safe to use on pet bedding, in addition to weekly washing of pet bedding in warm water.

Diatomaceous Earth is safe to use around the yard, but large amounts may be necessary to have a positive effect on flea control. Regular mowing and trimming of vegetation also helps. For serious flea infestations of yard and garden, a consultation with a pest exterminator is in order.

Diatomaceous Earth is not toxic, does not have any residual problems, and because it is a mechanical killer versus a chemical killer, resistance to DE is not a problem.


Diatomaceous Earth is a very fine, silky powder; similar to flour or talc. It is messy and may irritate eyes and throat. Use caution and wear a face mask when applying. Food grade DE is ok to ingest, so it is not toxic to pets or people, but may be temporarily irritating.

Diatomaceous Earth that is used for pool filtration systems is very finely ground and is dangerous to breathe in. It is not recommended for flea and insect control.

Diatomaceous Earth must be dry to work. Wetting it down or trying to mix it with water to spray it and not breathe in dusk negates the useful action of DE. Always wear a mask when applying DE.

Related to this, Diatomaceous Earth is less effective in humid environments.

Some advocate using Diatomaceous Earth directly on pets. Caution is advised if you elect to use it on your pet. Use food grade DE only. DE is very drying - it may dry out your pet's skin. Protect your pets eyes, nose, mouth when applying. Shampoo your pet within 12 hours, a conditioner is recommended.

Fighting Fleas

Fleas are a pain to deal with, for pets and people. Fighting fleas effectively necessitates knowing about the flea life cycle and addressing fleas both on the pet(s) and in the environment.

Diatomaceous Earth is a safe and effective add-on to an existing plan or as a standalone flea fighter. There are many flea treatments available, depending on the severity of the problem, the climate, and your pet's overall health. Your veterinarian can help tailor a flea-fighting plan specific to your needs.

As an introduction to this section, let me just make one thing crystal clear. You can purchase diatomaceous earth in a variety of forms (remember we mentioned it has a large variety of applications) and one such use is for cleaning pools. This is often referred to as "pool grade" diatomaceous earth and it’s important that you don’t use this!

So what should be used instead? Simple answer, when purchasing diatomaceous earth online or in a brick and mortar store, make sure you get the "food grade" product. Unlike the other varieties and mixes, this is completely safe for the family and will not cause any problems

Based on my research, I have found that diatomaceous earth is a very commonly used with grain storage as it keeps pests away. Since this substance is also absorbs water and humidity, it also keeps things nice and dry. After digging around even further, it seems that it can even also be consumed in small quantities to deal with various ailments! Why does this matter? Well it gives you the confidence that you can use it for flea control without stressing about potential complications with health.

Since diatomaceous earth is completely non-toxic, how on earth can it kill fleas? Well that is a great question and the good news is that there is a satisfying answer!

How Does Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth Kill Fleas and Does It Really Work?


Bowl Of Diatomaceous Earth

Ready for another simple answer? Instead of poisoning the buggers, it actually cuts their exoskeleton (their hard outer shell) and xxxx the water out their bodies. Since their body needs this to survive, they die after a short amount of time. What do you think of that?!

Going into a little more detail, the diatomaceous earth is formed from algae with siliceous shells. When extracted, they are already dead, but their shells remain. These are razor sharp and while they are too small to even have a small effect on humans, they are deadly to pests. In fact, food grade diatomaceous earth can even be used to kill other pests like bed bugs, chiggers and gnats so feel free to try it elsewhere if you are having a problem with those in your home. Here are a few more implIt can be used for killing fleas in your garden. Just remember to use it when the grass is completely dry as moisture will significantly reduce its effectiveness.

Diatomaceous earth is extremely effective for killing fleas that are hiding in carpets, either in your home or even outside where your pets might enjoy taking a rest. If you don’t have any carpets, it can also be used on hardwood floors as a very effective way to kill off any flea infestations that may have found its way into your life.

Situations where you want to use natural methods for flea control. There are many dangerous of using flea poisons, both for your pet and the people in your home. While it is sometimes required, it’s always good to give a couple tested home remedies first before taking a drive to the nearest shop for flea products, especially when they work as well as diatomaceous earth does!

5 Minor Concerns for Using Diatomaceous Earth


DE For Killing Fleas

I don’t recommend rubbing it on your pet’s skin on a daily basis (I have heard of people doing this) as it can cause dry skin, itchiness and dehydration. It’s better to treat fleas on your dog or remove fleas on your cats by using alternative methods. As for smaller pets (like young kittens, puppies, rabbits, hamsters, etc.), please keep them away from DE as due to their small body mass, it can be dangerous.

Since DE is commonly used in your carpets, it can be a bit difficult to clean up and I recommend using a decent vacuum cleaner and brush to do so.

Keep it away from moisture. As previously mentioned, this significantly reduces its effectiveness.

Only use the "food grade" Diatomaceous Earth for flea control and stay away from the "pool grade" one. If you cannot find any in your area, consider using borax for fleas as its also safe, works well and is very affordable.

If you have major asthma, keep in mind that the powder may cause some irritation so keep your asthma pump handy and cover your nose and mouth with a damp cloth while applying DE.

Be careful of diatomaceous earth products that mention its concentration is less than 90%. In higher quantities, crystalline silica (which is often the reason for the deficit) can cause toxicity and this needs to be avoided if you are going to be using it for flea control. Ideally, try and purchase a product less than 1% of other ingredients (the purer the better) as this will ensure it’s completely safe for humans and pets.

When using diatomaceous earth for killing fleas in your home, don’t put any household fans or anything that creates a draft as it can blow the fine granules all over your home, making it a nightmare to clean.

Instructions: 3 Simple Steps for Using Diatomaceous Earth for Fleas

Ok enough chit chat. It’s time to get down to business! Here are a few easy steps that you can follow to get rid of fleas in your home using diatomaceous earth.


Use Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Give all your carpets a brush (stiff bristles) and a thorough vacuum. This will aggravate the fleas and get them moving about in preparation for your natural flea powder attack.

After reviewing the cautions for using DE (in this article), simply sprinkle the powder where fleas are usually found. This could be in the grass in your yard, your carpets in your home or even the areas where your pets sleep and play. I highly recommend that you rub the powder into the carpets with a broom to make sure it reaches the fleas. I have had a number of readers asking about the density of DE that is needed. My answer is that it should be enough to finely cover the surface and if you are unsure, a little more is better. Just be careful you don’t get too much powder puffing into the air when you apply it to the targeted area.

How long does it take for diatomaceous earth to kill fleas? Well research shows that once the fleas come into contact with the powder, they usually die about 4 hours later. However, I recommend leaving it for 12 hours before vacuuming up all the powder (and any dead fleas) to ensure they die.

It’s really as easy as that. Since flea eggs hatch after about a week of being laid by female fleas (in most scenarios), it’s recommended that you repeat this process once a week for a total of 3-4 weeks. This will prevent a repeat infestation after you get rid of the adult fleas.



Answered 5 years ago by haleyday

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