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Diatomaceous Earth for Fleas
Food grade diatomaceous earth is a great natural alternative to chemical pesticides, especially when trying to kill fleas and ticks. While the product is not currently registered for use on animals, many people do use it in this fashion and see great results!
Diatomaceous earth is composed of tiny organisms known as diatoms which have the ability to lacerate the exoskeletons of various types of insects and kill them through dehydration.
In the event of an infestation of fleas, mites or ticks it is important not only to treat the animal themselves but also the environment.
Below is a collection of consumer suggested application methods to help you control fleas, ticks and mites. For more information on applying diatomaceous earth for pest control in your home, please see: Diatomaceous Earth: Is This a Super-Product?
Using your hands, sprinkle a thin layer of food grade diatomaceous earth throughout your animal’s fur. Dust the powder in to their coat and on to their skin underneath. As well, sprinkle the diatomaceous earth along their backbone and work the powder in with your fingers.
Salt Shaker Method:
Fill an empty salt shaker with diatomaceous earth and shake the powder on to your animal. Dust the fine layer of DE in to your animal’s fur or feathers with your hands.
Cosmetic Powder Puff Method:
Fill a cup, bowl or other container with food grade diatomaceous earth. Dip a powder puff in to the DE and use it to spread the product over your animal’s body. (Note: do not powder the DE on like makeup, as this will create a lot of dust.) Dust the layer of DE in to the animal’s fur or feathers with your hands.
Wet Mixture Method:
In a dish pan or washtub/bathtub, add 1 cup of DE to 1 gallon of water. Dip your pet in the mixture or, for an all over application (recommended after bathing the animal), place your pet in the washtub/bathtub and cover them in the mixture.
For spot treatments, put the mixture of DE and water in a spray bottle and apply to hotspots. Shake well before use and be sure to have spray set to stream (or that the spray is wide open).
Be sure to leave the DE mixture on your pet to dry. Re-apply if the animal becomes wet or is bathed, as the DE is easily washed off.
This method courtesy of Imminent Danger German Shepherd Rescue, Greenville, Tennessee.
**A few things to note:
It is important that you keep the DE powder out of your pets’ eyes and ears.
For use with fleas, pay close attention to the animal’s backbone, thoroughly dusting the DE in to this area of the fur.
Be sure to buy food grade diatomaceous earth that is in a powdered granulation.
Diatomaceous earth is not effective when wet however it can be applied wet and left to dry. Once dry, the product will return to its original form and continue to be effective.
Due to the fact that diatomaceous earth is a light powder, it is easily washed away by water therefore it is important to re-apply the product if your animal becomes wet after the DE has been applied.
Red Lake Diatomaceous Earth is registered as an anti-caking agent and flow aid for use in animal feed therefore ingestion of the product is not harmful to an animal.
The amount of time it takes before you see results will depend on the extent of the infestation.
Image by katleneniven
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Although there are several web-sites out there that indicate all the other benefits of Diatomaceous Earth and the benefits of using DE for human consumption. There are no DE products registered with the FDA for Human Consumption. We advise that you do your own research on the benefits of Diatomaceous Earth and make your own decisions. Choosing to use the product for uses other than what it is registered for is done solely at the risk of the end-user. We are not in the position to advise the use of our RLE products for any purpose other than what the product is registered for and what is indicated on the packaging.
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