Using diatomaceous earth is an effective method of natural flea control. This natural flea pest control method is chemical free. You have control over the dose and the application.
Some background info…
Diatomaceous earth is made up of diatoms. Diatoms are the fossilized remains of a type of algae. DE looks like powder as shown below. DE can have an abrasive feel, similar to pumice powder. Although it looks like powder it is actually a natural form of mineral dust.
In order to kill fleas, the powder like DE is sprinkled around the home and yard, in places where the cat hangs out.
It is the diatoms in the diatomaceous earth that scratch away at the waxy layer of the insect’s exoskeleton. The flea dies because moisture from the body of the flea evaporates and the flea then dehydrates and dies.
It does take more effort on your part than putting a flea collar on your cat or applying flea drops. However this is a chemical free option which can also be used to get rid of fleas from around your home. Plus it works just as well for dogs.
The photo below is Sarakiniko Cove on the island of Milos in Greece. The white mineral dust that looks like beach sand is Diatomaceous Earth.
Where Do You Buy Diatomaceous Earth?
Purchasing diatomaceous earth online is convenient because the larger bags are pretty heavy. You can avoid the heavy lifting by having it delivered. Once you have the bag at home the product can be decanted into smaller more manageable containers.
Diatomaceous Earth Reviews
All of the products reviewed here are 100% food grade. This is what you must use if you are using it for treating fleas on your cat.
Diatomaceous earth that is not the food grade version is a very effective insecticide however as this article is specifically about using diatomaceous earth for fleas on our cats, only 100% food grade products will be reviewed.
1.Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade
This product is listed by OMRI and has been reviewed against organic product standards. It has no additives or contaminants and is packaged using stainless steel machinery. It is made from 99.9% pure silica. This gives peace of mind, particularly when using around your family and pets.
To use, sprinkle in infested areas inside the house, for example pet beds and in the yard. Also think about the nooks and crannies where the cat likes to hang out.
If you have toddlers or young children you may have to restrict the use of DE in higher traffic areas to avoid the DE being picked up on feet and hands.
The fleas needs to crawl over the powder for it to work effectively. This is the reason sprinkling the powder on cat bedding, carpeted cat trees, hardwood floors and so on is recommended.
While you are sprinkling the powder add a small amount to the kitty litter. For every pound of litter add approximately 3/4 of a cup of DE and distribute reasonably evenly. It will help absorb moisture and odors.
It can be dusty when applying, so as a precautionary measure use a mask if using large quantities of the product. This applies to any other diatomaceous earth product also. Avoid using on windy days.
Although the bag looks like a plain paper bag in the image, it is actually thick and sturdy for repeated opening and closing.
Be aware that there are many health claims for humans made regarding DE. This article is only reviewing DE in relation to controlling adult fleas.
Food safe DE is safe to use around children and pets. Although it is safe, it is still in powder form, so exercise discretion. You can choose from these sizes, 1.3lbs, 2 lbs, 5 bs, 10 lbs and 25 lbs. The smallest container is a shaker bottle and the other sizes are in bags. One idea for small projects around the home, is to purchase the shaker bottle and a larger size bag. Then decant into the smaller more manageable shaker bottle. This product is listed by OMRI. It is made from 99% pure silica.
2. Harris Diatomaceous Earth
This is a 5lb bag. It has no additives. and as a bonus includes the powder duster which is actually in the bag with the diatomaceous earth. The duster may settle near the bottom of the bag. The duster is handy when applying diatomaceous earth directly to the cat and also for puffing the dust into small spaces.
Harris donates 10% of its profits to the Etowah Valley Humane Society, a non profit organization that saves thousands of animal lives each year.
This product is OMRI listed which means that it has been reviewed against organic standards. It is mined in Nevada and packaged in Georgia.
This DE is 100% ground freshwater DE.
Natural solution where you can control the amount of DE used to suit your situation.
It can be a messy job using DE.
Be aware that DE can be hard on vacuum cleaners, so check the filter periodically.
You can choose from these sizes – 1/2 lb which is in a plastic bottle with a puffer tip – perfect for small spaces. The other sizes are 2lb, 5lb, 10lb and they are in a resealable bag. Harris make a small powder duster which is included in some purchases. Harris make a larger DE applicator that has a 3 quart capacity. This would be perfect if you need to flea proof the yard.
3. Easy Go – 100% Natural Food Grade – DE
This is a food grade Diatomaceous Earth. Remember that you need to look for Food Grade if it will be applied to the fur of your cat and therefore coming into contact with skin.
This De is mined in Nevada and packaged in California.
DE is a dusty product. Wear a mask and use gloves, particularly when applying for the first time and the behavior of the product is unknown. A good suggestion when loading into a powder duster is to use a funnel.
OMRI certified, 100% organic food grade product.
Some packs include a duster. There are links below to the products that include a duster.
Some bags have had a problem with the zipper closure making it difficult to reseal. Note: This may be solved now.
4. Diatomaceous Earth) by Earthborn Elements
The bucket has a tight seal to avoid spillage and contamination. A bucket opener may be needed.
The fact that the bucket has a tight lid is good but not if it can’t be opened. Either purchase a bucket opener or use, (carefully), a screwdriver to prise it open. Other plastic containers have similar lids so it is nothing too unusual but best to be forewarned.
This DE is in a bucket which is very handy for carrying around without having to decant first. It is made in the USA and sourced in Utah. The bucket is BPA-Free and Food Safe. The item on this page weighs 1gallon. The other sizes you can choose from are 3.5 gallons and 5 gallons.
Earthborn Elements’ Diatomaceous Earth is a fine powder with a median particle size of 10 microns.
5. Nature’s Wisdom Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Nature’s Wisdom report that this product which is mined in Nevada, is sourced from a food grade deposit that has pure water. It is 100% diatomaceous earth and is food grade.
The diatoms (that make up diatomaceous earth) form a harder shell (good thing) when the water supply is pure, in comparison to DE where the water supply is salt water.
Diatomaceous Earth treats many other pests and types of troublesome bugs, plus bed bugs in addition to fleas.
As mentioned earlier, this is like a fine powder so be sure to empty the filter of the vacuum cleaner regularly when using this product as the fine powder may clog the filter.
There are no additives or fillers in this DE.
Packaged using stainless steel machinery.
The DE will need to be decanted into airtight containers.
This DE is packaged in a 5lb plastic bag. It can be decanted into any any container that is airtight. Remember the DE does need to be kept dry.
Our Recommendation is…
1. Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade Powder
This is a quality product. It is mined, filtered and packaged in the USA.
This DE Applicator Is Good For Small Spaces
How to use: Apply gentle pressure when squeezing and the product will puff out. The long nozzle means that you can get into all those tricky spots that are difficult to reach. The powder will go where you want it to go when you use the applicator.
If it starts to clump just turn the applicator upside down and give a little shake.
The amount of pressure you give when squeezing will affect the amount of powder puffing out. Experiment with different pressures to get it just right for your needs.
An applicator scoop is more practical for treating larger areas like the yard.
There is something to be said for a flea control and prevention collar that lasts 8 months. The active ingredients in this cat flea control collar are released slowly and over time hence the 8 month time frame for repelling and killing fleas and ticks.
Should I Apply Diatomaceous Earth Directly On My Cat?
It is okay to apply to the cat in small doses. Use a squeeze bottle. This ensures small amounts are puffed out as needed. This means less wastage and you and the cat will not be covered in or inhaling dust.
Another way to apply DE to the cat is shown in the video below. It is a delightful video and well worth watching. Watch it to the end. Let’s face it, we probably like any cat videos.
Does Diatomaceous Earth Work For Killing Fleas?
It does work but bear in mind that you will need to be vigilant about treating areas around the home indoors and outdoors (if your cat goes outdoors) .
You will also need to reapply if the cat gets wet or if it rains and you have treated the yard.
Cats that spend time outdoors should be treated weekly and indoors cats, monthly. It is not a quick fix.
Is diatomaceous earth safe? Consult with your veterinarian if you are concerned about the ramifications of pet health from licking the DE when grooming.
Flea powder for cats. This flea powder is specially formulated for cats. It is a handy addition to have tucked away in the cupboard for flea emergencies.
How Is Diatomaceous Earth Used Around The House To Control Fleas?
In addition to using diatomaceous earth for fleas actually on your cat, you can also use diatomaceous earth in your home to get rid of a major infestation of fleas and other insects.
When applying DE to tight spaces, use an applicator. This will ensure you don’t sprinkle more DE than you need. With an applicator you can aim directly where you want the the DE powder to go rather than sprinkling in the general direction and covering everything in the vicinity with DE.
Don’t forget to treat the scratching post because as this is covered in carpet it will be a lovely home for fleas. Work the DE into the carpet with a brush.
Vacuum the DE approximately 12-24 hours later and reapply as necessary.
Diatomaceous earth can be hard on a domestic vacuum cleaner so be sure to check the filter and vacuum small areas at a time.
It is non toxic to humans (food grade diatomaceous earth) however it is still a dust and it is advisable to take a normal amount of care to ensure that you are not breathing in volumes of dust.
Wear a mask when spreading in the house and yard. Avoid windy days and keep the kids out of the way. Note: I am just super careful!
Using diatomaceous earth for fleas on cats is an effective way to control fleas using a non chemical method of flea control for your cat. You may even choose to use diatomaceous earth in conjunction with other natural methods of flea control. Good idea!