Has anyone used diatomaceous earth for flea control?

judyag_44(SW FL)October 14, 2005

We have two young cats that are "head quartered" in an outbuilding where we have had some mouse problems. They have fleas. Am wondering if Diatomaceous Earth (DE) would be effective since we could dust the entire building with it?

If that would work would really prefer not to use chemicals. (By the way I now live in Mid Mo....zone 5b instead of SW FL.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Diatomaceous Earth info

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Pipersville_Carol(z6 Bucks PA)

I've used it on my chickens, by applying it directly to the birds. I don't know if dusting a whole building with it would be a good idea, I've read that it injures lung tissue if breathed in.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 3:10PM
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gardenofheaden(Z7 /MD)

don't know if this will help. I have used it in my yard, we have 3 dogs. Not one dog has ever had fleas. Don't know about use in buildings tho, but mine was a granule, not exactly a powder, so I don't know how much one would really breathe in...actually, i do know someone who has used it INDOORS, upon a vet's recommendation...again, not sure about the breathing stuff tho. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2005 at 11:46AM
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ianandsara(z5 IL)

Hi, Judy. Please be sure to use pet-safe diatomaceous earth. We had success with a product from OnlyNaturalPet.com; I've included the link. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Only Natural Pet All-in-One Flea Remedy

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 7:23PM
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judyag_44(SW FL)

Thanks for the website "ianandsara" will give them a try. Had looked at Lowes (they do carry rather large bags of DE) but theirs also has an insecticide added..............NOT what I had in mind!

When we lived in FL a pest control group sprayed DE into our attic for an ant problem....worked like a charm.

Sure appreciate everyone's input.

Judy

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 12:07PM
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Cena(S CA 10A)

There are MULTIPLE types of DE... most of what you will find at large box stores are for swimming pools.

I have used Horticultural Grade DE within the house with great success for our two cats. At that time, they only had access to the Great Outdoors via a catdoor onto our balcony. You might think that would have kept them flea proof, but I have had fleas make their way up to that balcony using bougainvilla bushes. We had a Terrible Year for fleas, and I actually quit using the balcony that year!

When I put down DE, I use a breathing MASK, not just a cup that places over nose and mouth. This mask looks like an alien snout or somesuch, and has two changeable cartriges on each side. I also used goggles, rubber gloves, and mechanics coveralls. The goggles I started using when I found that the DE was scratching my eye surface, leaving it irritated and rawish. I also kept the cats confined to another part of the house, when doing this. I never let them into that area until I was done with all the vacuuming up after.

I sprinkled it around, using a shaker cannister from some other product. You can make your own punching nails through a coffee can, or placing a spice shaker top onto a container that it fits. Tape can be used here, too. I think I taped a spice top onto a Cyrstal Light tube container.

I beat the powder into the carpet sometimes using the beater bar of my vacuum, or using a swifer pad with no duster on it. I just beat it in like I was tamping ground. Left it set for about two hours, then vacuumed everything up (once again, wearing all my gear). Not all of the powder will vacuum up, the first time, or the next several times, but this also helps keep the flea population non-existant. After the first application, and once the powder had settled out of the air, I never bothered to suit up again to vacuum, as the powder never stirred up from the carpet in large amounts again.

My carpet was already old, but I never noticed further damage, or discoloration from using the HG DE on it, or in the house.

If you are willing to take these types of precautions, you should be Just Fine. Remember, this stuff is NOTHING to play around with, or at. Take plenty of precautions, use the type best suited for your application, and like my experience, you could be flea free for up to 18 months.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 2:30PM
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