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All-Around Non-Toxic Flea Control

All-Around Non-Toxic Flea Control

Letís face it. Fleas are the WORST, but applying pesticides to our pampered pooches doesnít make us howl with excitement either. In an attempt to find non-toxic flea control remedies, Care2 staff stumbled upon this amazing technique that kills fleas fast without toxic chemicals. While citrus peel extract (d-limonene) works well for dogs, cats can’t tolerate it, so this is an especially great choice.

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a powder comprised of microskeletons of deceased diatoms, which are a type of algae (both fresh water and sea water varieties occur). You sprinkle the powder on your pets and your carpets, and the fleas die from dehydration. As a foster care provider for hundreds of dogs, this stuff has been a miracle. You can use it on dogs, puppies, kittens, and cats.

How it works:

When applied to the animal’s fur, DE scrubs on the hard exoskeletons of fleas. The tiny granules of silicon (think finely ground sand) work in the tiny holes of the flea’s respiratory system and in the joints of the fleas. Every time the flea moves or breathes, the silicon grinds away at the exoskeleton, eventually killing the flea through blocking/maiming the respiratory holes or by water loss, as the exoskeleton helps keep in the flea’s body water. It works the same way when applied to carpets instead of fur.

How to use it:

1. Wear a mask and put one on your pet. Even though it’s nontoxic, you don’t want to get it in your lungs.

2. Sprinkle the DE along your dry pet’s spine. Massage it along the body, working your way carefully to the extremities, avoiding the eyes.

3. Spread some diatomaceous earth on the carpets, brush it in and leave for about four days. Then vacuum it up to remove most of the fleas in the carpet.

4. Repeat the application frequently during an infestation. You should notice a decrease in fleas within a couple days.

NOTE: Make sure not to use the kind of DE used in swimming pools. Use natural diatomaceous earth; it is available in gardens supply centers, some health food stores, and from natural-pet catalogs.

5 Solutions for Natural Flea Control
10 Ways to Protect Your Dog from Fleas
7 Tips for Chemical-Free Pest Control

Read more: Everyday Pet Care, Pests, Pet Health, Pets,

The Care2 Staff

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


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1:46AM PDT on Jul 16, 2014


3:26PM PDT on May 27, 2014

Fleas can be a geographic thing and or just errors in choosing the right healthy flea preventatives on pets Just like tics are the problem in New England. My 4 pawed boy is a swimmer in the summer and he or my home have never had a flea problem. Fleas drown in water they do not attach themselves under the skin use a mild shampoo to help dogs irritated skin oatmeal , aloe, or tea tree helps and is also a natural flea deterrent. I helped a flea infested dog and its owner a few summers ago Poor boy couldn't stop scratching and I couldn't bear watching it. I asked If I could bathe him The owner professed "He won't get in that tub." Well guess what He did and he laid right down as to soak right in a tub filled with water I soothed him and washed those fleas away They actually were running to his face to escape drowning, I used a wash cloth to wet his face and ears I watched the water fill with hopping and floating fleas A very long haired mixed chow/retreiver was very relieved and he was no problem because he knew help and trusting kindness was being delivered. I advised her to get her house rid of the fleas and purchase a preventative for her dog ,economical reasons can be the reasons also.

1:20PM PDT on May 27, 2014

I've been battling fleas in the bedroom almost since the day my adopted fur kid moved in. I know he's miserable but nothing I've tried works, I've tried three different expensive dab on killers, the work three days then they're back. Shampoos last a day or two then no more and he HATES to have anything sprayed or rubbed on him. I was having a lot of success with a natural oils concoction I made but now he sees me grab the bottle and disappears with great haste. I'm at my whits end he has spots with no fur on his legs where he's chewed at fleas too much, they aren't huge spots but I still feel horrible to see such a beautiful dog with bare spots on his lower legs. I discovered DE a few years ago, I keep it sprinkled on the floor in the bedroom and it controls them better than not using anything at all. I don't get why they're where they are the only place he goes is the bed but I guess they jump off and make themselves at home. Pure DE is harmless you just have to be sure it's pure and there are no added chemicals I got mine in the garden section at lowes a big bag lasts a long time, I filled up an old empty grated parmensan container it makes a great way to shake it around without getting it on your hands. I've tried putting this on him too but he doesn't want any part of that either, willful little snot and he knows mommy won't chase him too hard anyway.

9:05AM PDT on Apr 30, 2014


8:39PM PST on Nov 13, 2013

Thank you for the important information!

9:10PM PDT on Nov 2, 2013


12:09AM PDT on Sep 30, 2013

J.B. I understand just fine, but I wonder about your reading comprehension. Note that I said "No matter what anyone says, foodgrade or whatever, I would not use diatomaceous earth - UNLESS you research thoroughly how the food grade is to be used." Note that I'm simply cautioning people just to make sure that they are using it properly.

And you're welcome for the other positive information I cautioned people on - like using Dawn dish detergent on pets - NOT - and the added bonus of very important information on clumping cat litter, even though this site is addressing fleas.

Leave your arrogance behind next time you decide to comment - better yet, don't comment.

4:28AM PDT on Sep 29, 2013


9:40PM PDT on Sep 25, 2013

People like Marsha & JoA are having a hard time understanding the product DE & how to use it.
I have written several posts here & evidently either comprehension level is low & research skills are nil.
DE is NOT Fullers Earth. Someone else on this site has already told you this Marsha!
Food Grade DE is non-toxic, if ingested it is not harmful. It is anti-parasitic.
Use Common Sense when applying. Use small amounts, pinched in fingers, rubbing into fur. NOT handfuls. Don't do this on a windy day or in front of a fan.
If you are breathing this in or drying out skin, you are using too much.
Ingestion of Food-Grade DE is non-toxic. It is silica, good for skin & nails. Anti-parasitic.
I have used this for years for orally & topically without incidence. Neither have I or my dogs EVER had a problem. Review my posts below for more info.
Nanette, Advantage? Dawn dish soap? REALLY!?! Poor dogs!

9:19PM PDT on Sep 25, 2013

People like Marsha & JoA

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