Natural Flea Control for Dogs with Diatomaceous Earth

dog scratching for fleas

Fleas are blood-sucking parasites that live outside, in our homes, and on our pets. The good news, though, is that fleas hate diatomaceous earth.

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a natural pest control that is great to use around your home because it's natural and safe, making it the perfect option to treat your dogs for fleas.

Follow the steps below to use DE as a natural flea control for your dog.

dog laying on bed

Step 1:

Take note of the areas around your house where your dog likes to spend his or her time. This might be a bed, kennel, or favorite pillow or rug. These areas will be the focus of your diatomaceous earth application.

vacuuming carpet

Step 2:

Vacuum the kennel, rug, pillow, and other areas where your dog likes to hang out. This helps collect any flea eggs that might be lying around; collecting these eggs before you apply the diatomaceous earth is essential because flea eggs aren't affected by DE until after they hatch.

squeeze duster spraying diatomaceous earth

Step 3:

Dust the area with diatomaceous earth. You can use a sieve, a tied off sock filled with DE, or one of our applicators. Dust the area, pet bed, and/or blankets thoroughly. DE is most effective when it's dry, so make sure the areas where you apply aren't damp. Leave the DE applied as long as possible. A couple of weeks is ideal.

Step 4:

After a few days of letting your dog lounge around in diatomaceous earth, give your dog a bath with a thorough shampooing. We don't recommend bathing dogs very often, since it can dry out their skin, but since DE can also dry out skin, it's important to revitalize your dog's skin with a soap-free or moisturizing shampoo.

dog being washed in bath

Step 5:

It's unlikely that fleas will survive vacuuming, diatomaceous earth, and a bath, but go ahead and comb through your dog's fur with a flea comb anyway, just to make sure none get away. Do this every few days.

man combing dog for fleas

Step 6:

After a couple of weeks, vacuum thoroughly. Along with cleaning up the diatomaceous earth, vacuuming will collect any surviving fleas, as well as their eggs, larvae, and pupae, helping to break the flea's life cycle. A word of warning here: DE is very hard on traditional filtered vacuums. Unless you're only cleaning a small section, we recommend using a shop vac to avoid burning out your vacuum's motor. For more information on cleaning up diatomaceous earth after you've applied it, check out our article about cleaning up diatomaceous earth here.

If you have questions about how to treat your cat for fleas, click here.

If you have questions about how to treat your home for fleas, click here.

Please Note: only EPA registered products should be purchased for pesticidal purposes.

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