Homemade Flea Powder – Flea, Tick, Ant, Mites, Fly, Mosquito and other Insect Repellent. Ditch the toxic chemical repellents and kill fleas and other insects naturally with this homemade flea powder!
Ever since I posted my success with a natural tick repellent (see that post HERE), I’ve been getting tons of questions asking about a natural flea repellent or a natural flea powder.
And I didn’t have any experience with any of the natural flea repellents out there so I couldn’t make any personal recommendations to you……until now.
My big boy just turned 5 at the beginning of summer (isn’t he so handsome?!). And we’ve been blessed with not having any flea issues during those past 5 years.
But at the end of April, we moved into an older house even deeper in the woods of Pennsylvania. And soon after we moved in, we discovered that it was totally infested with fleas. UGH!
My poor buddy was being eaten alive by these nasty fleas. Ohmigosh, it was so horrible. I literally felt sick to my stomach watching him scratch and itch. His poor tail was raw, red and inflamed from him chewing on it so much.
I absolutely hated the idea of putting any sort of toxic chemical flea treatment on my dog. Those products are the #1 cause of pet poisonings. Did you know that on those commercial flea and tick repellents, there’s a big warning to not let it come into contact with human skin. So somehow it’s ok to put all over my dog?!! I don’t think so!
I needed to do something and using toxic chemicals was going to be my very LAST resort. Once I realized that we had a pretty major flea problem, I broke out my holistic pet care books (THIS and THIS) and consulted with a holistic vet friend.
And today I’m giving you my homemade flea powder recipe that I now swear by. This flea powder worked at getting rid of a pretty major flea infestation in our home.
And I didn’t have to use any toxic chemicals!!!! Bonus – this flea powder also works at repelling and killing ticks, flies, mosquitos, ants, spiders and other bugs. This is awesome stuff!
*Note: If you don’t want to make this recipe yourself, you can buy Buck Mountain Parasite Dust HERE – I based my homemade flea powder off of this product. But it is much more cost effective to make it yourself, especially if you have a flea infestation because you are going to need a lot of it.
Ingredient List and Benefits of Homemade Flea Powder:
This homemade flea powder is composed of Diatom Flour, Neem Powder, Yarrow Powder and Eucalyptus Oil. All 4 ingredients are traditionally used as very effective insect repellents and recommend by many holistic vets as a successful flea and insect killer and repellent.
Food Grade Diatom Flour (also called Diatomaceous Earth or DE)
Diatomaceous Earth is soft powder made up of fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms called diatoms. Their skeletons are made of a natural substance called silica. Under a microscope, DE is very sharp, allowing it to puncture the exoskeleton of insects and causing them death by dehydration. Diatomaceous Earth kills insects by physical action, not chemical. It’s important to note that DE particles are so small so it just feels like a fine baby powder to humans and pets. It is a simply a mineral silica. Food grade, fresh water DE is harmless to humans and pets. For more information about the safety of food grade DE, see the end note at the bottom of this post.
Neem is an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine. It has been used for centuries as a very effective herbal insect repellent, repelling fleas, ticks, lice, mites, ants and mosquitoes. Neem has a few natural active ingredients that make it so effective . For example, the compound in Neem, Azadirachtin, disrupts the metamorphosis of insect larvae. So by inhibiting molting, Neem keeps the larvae from developing and they die without producing a new generation. Azadirachtin is so repulsive to insects that they would rather starve to death than touch anything with traces of neem. Another neem compound is called salannin and it’s equally as effective of a repellent. In a few studies, it’s even been proven even more effective at repelling biting insects than those repellents containing the chemical concoction of DEET.
Neem also has many moisturizing properties and helps get rid of excess dryness and scaling. It helps soothe irritated skin. The anti-bacterial properties of neem prevent development of any further skin infection. Because Diatomaceous Earth can by very drying, Neem helps protect your pet from excess dry skin.
Yarrow’s most ancient use and most famous use in the herbal medicine world is as a natural wound healer. It’s also considered a sacred herb by many cultures around the world because of it’s healing ability. Yarrow is a wonderful anti-inflammatory for skin conditions and soothes irritated skin. It is also anti-microbial and has pain relieving properties. Because pets with fleas tend to get secondary infections from flea bites, Yarrow protects your pet from those secondary infections and also helps soothe red, irritated skin.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus citriodoro) is a natural bug and insect repellent. There is evidence that the components in eucalyptus oil are as effective and sometimes more effective than DEET. Eucalptus oil also has antiseptic properties for healing after bites.
Homemade Flea Powder Recipe:
1 cup Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (find HERE)
1/2 cup Neem Powder (find HERE)
1/2 cup Yarrow Powder (find HERE)
20 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil* (find HERE) *Leave out the essential oil if using for cats.
Mix all ingredients together and put in a shaker top container. I used a mason jar with a shaker top lid (I got my mason jar shaker top lid at Christmas Tree Shop, but you could make your own by drilling holes in a regular mason jar lid).
Apply from head to tail along your pets spine in dry conditions. Brush your pets fur going the opposite direction so the powder comes in contact with the skin. Avoid the eyes and nose. Rub the powder on the belly and legs. Try to get the flea powder on as much skin as you can.
I have found that brushing the fur in the opposite direction and applying the flea powder with a cosmetic puff (like THIS) works really well. I also found the fleas seem to like the tail, the area right above the tail and the belly/groin area so I made sure to pay extra attention to those areas to get them well covered.
How often to apply flea powder?
To use this as a general repellent (with no serious flea infestation), applying once a month during active flea season (end of spring/summer) is sufficient. If the pet gets a bath or gets wet, it will need to be reapplied.
If you have a flea infestation:
You will need to apply more often, depending on how bad of an infestation you are dealing with. I applied every other day until I saw no more traces of fleas (now I’m just using it as maintenance). Some are successful with applying as little as once a week, but others need it more often – it just depends on the level of infestation. Also remember to reapply if your pet gets wet (important!).
If you have a flea infestation, you will also need to apply this flea powder to your floors, windowsills, door sills, pet bedding, sofa, etc. Focus your efforts where your pet spends the most amount of time, since fleas and their eggs will be the most concentrated in those areas. Just apply a light dusting to the areas in your house and leave it there overnight. Vacuum in the morning or sometime the next day. Do this once a week for 4 weeks if you have a flea infestation.
This flea powder works amazingly, BUT, it will not work overnight if you have a flea infestation. You must be diligent about applying it to your pet AND applying the powder to your home and vacuuming at least once per week for 4 weeks in a row to get rid of an infestation.
You can even use this flea powder it in your yard to repel and kill fleas, ticks, spiders, ants, mosquitos, etc!
I also leave a little bit of this flea powder in my door and window sills to prevent spiders, ants and other bugs from entering.
Based on my research and the advice of my holistic vet friend, I’ve learned some really great tips and other options about how to get rid of fleas naturally, including a few options that are holistic vet recommended that you can purchase if you are not a do it yourself-er. That is covered in PART 2 that you can read HERE (this post was already long enough 🙂 ).
End Note: Is Diatomaceous Earth safe?
Somewhere along the line, a rumor was started that Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth was harmful to your lungs if breathed in. This is true for Crystallized or Filter Grade Diatomaceous Earth where it can cause a disease called silicoses if breathed in for very long periods of time. But this is NOT true for food grade Diatomaceous Earth, which we are using (it’s very important to make sure your DE is FOOD GRADE!). Food grade DE is processed and shaped differently than crystallized diatomaceous earth and is not harmful to pets or people. Food grade DE is recognized as safe for animal and human use, safe for consumption and even safe for those pregnant and nursing. Like any dusty product, you probably want to wear a dust mask if you will be breathing it in for a long period of time such as when dusting your yard.
Has your pet ever had fleas? What worked for you? Have you tried any natural options before? Let us all know!
I noticed that, in your list, after Eucalyptus oil, it says “do not use on cats.” If I leave out the eucalyptus oil, would it be safe to use on them then? Or do any of your readers have other suggestions? I have two cats & just want to be prepared in case this happens. I thought it happened last year, but it turned out, those were chiggers & we ALL got bit. Hopefully, this will work on those, as well as the ant infestation we get every year. Thanks for the info & the recipe!
Yes, just leave the oil out for cats. Most agree that many essential oils should not be used on cats. Ugh, chiggers are awful, too, but this should work on them. I do have experience with it definitely working on ants. It only took one application and they were completely GONE after that!
I would like a recipe to kill (dead) fire ants.
DE is awesome for killing them, Rosemary! Just sprinkle it around where you see them and they’ll be gone so quickly!
You can use corn meal is very effective in killing ants.
Have you tried straight orange extract? it seems to do the trick and it smells delightful.
We use to use grits to get rid of ants when I lived in the south. They take it back to their nest, swallow, drink water, swell up and die…
Can I just use Diatomaceous Earth if I’m spreading it the yard? What is the best way to mix it with the sand? Could you use fine cat litter instead of sand? I feed stray cats in my yard, so I can trap, spay/neuter and release them back in my yard! 17 of the 95, in the last 3 years, I have not yet found homes for, & some of the feral cats, I’ve tamed, but they were miserable with flea’s! I spent a fortune of Revolution, but couldn’t get it on some, so I need to treat my yard! I have 5 inside cats also! Can I use the rose oil on the inside kitties? Lots of questions! Sorry! Thank you, Sheri
Hi Sheri! Yes, DE can be used by itself if spreading in the yard and inside. I’m going to let someone else answer the sand question because I’ve never done it with sand yet so I’m not sure 🙂 But I would think you could use fine cat litter, too (great idea btw). My vet is ok with using rose geranium on cats, but apparently it’s a pretty controversial subject – I’ve gotten reamed out by some commenters about using rose geranium oil on cats! But in all the holistic vet books I’ve read, they also advise using rose geranium as a natural tick repellent on BOTH cats and dogs. So I will leave that up to you. But this particular flea powder is very effective at getting rid of fleas AND ticks (and all other mites, too).
be careful using it in the yard because it will kill beneficial insects, too!
Actually wrong, it will not kill many beneficials because they have different habits. It mostly kills the larval form of the flea. The adults are hardy little buggers.
Hi Melanie…I agree!!! I would NOT use it in my yard…It has taken YEARS for the honey bee to come back and to my yard and I don’t want to do anything to stop that…2 years ago, I saw one honey bee in my yard, last year I saw a few, this year I see MANY!!! Yay!!! I stopped spraying for wild clover because it appears to be the flower of choice for the honey bee…I can live with that…
Linda, whatever chemical you were spraying is what was killing the bees. Why would you want to kill clover anyway?
This herbal powder mix will NOT affect bees at all.
with the oil you want to make sure it is 100% pure therapeutic grade and steam distilled. the controversy tends to be cats getting sick from fragrance oils and aroma therapy oils or oils that were chemically separated and their organs cannot properly filter it.
Not true! Cats cannot process the oils out of their systems like humans and dogs. Especially citrus. It doesnt matter what brand you use, oils should not be used on cats and should only be diffused in rooms that your cats can leave on their own.
I am so happy I found you. I am from Miami and have moved to the country in NC. I have seen maybe 2 ticks in my life, lol and plenty of fleas. My pets are my children, and unfortunately, I do treat with Comfortis just as a precaution. I love that I found your home made flea and tick powder, as I have found 3 ticks, not on my dogs, but on my grandchild!!!! They are itty bitty ones, no bigger than a poppy seed, but all the same, I am going crazy!
I too love to live as simple and natural as I can, and so I grow my own veggies and raise hens for eggs.
My questions are….
1- will this powder mix hurt my hens if they eat it? (If I were to sprinkle the ground with it for ticks)
2- would this be good to somehow use on my plants to prevent insects? I am not sure about sprinkling powder, that probably would not work? Do you have any suggestions?
Thank you for all of your posts, they are GREAT!
Hi Tammy! I am so happy to have you as a reader – we sound a lot alike!! 🙂 My dog is my furry, 4-legged child, too – such a spoiled baby!
To answer your questions –
1.) I’d just use DE for your hens. That’s what a lot of people use for chickens and it will not hurt them at all if they eat it.
2.) Yes, you can put it on your plants, but again, I’d just use DE, as that’s what most people use for their plants/yards. DE can harm bees (although bees are smart and stay away from DE), so I avoid sprinkling directly on any flowers to avoid harming any bees.
Hope that helps! And enjoy country living in North Carolina! It’s beautiful out there!
diatamaceous earth is very good for chickens. It keeps mites away. I sprinkle it on the shavings in the hen house and nests. I also sprinkle it in the hen yard as it keeps down the smell.
since you already have chickens add a guinea fowl to your flock, then no more fleas and you have lots of noise, but a wonderful alarm for prowlers… 2 & 4 legged.
Please read up on Confortis..it is responsible for the deaths of many animals. It is poison!
How does the Rose geranium and rose essential oils differ? And why does it work so great on ticks but not fleas?
Probably a dumb question, I am just curious.
Rose geranium and rose essential oil are from different flowers so they have different benefits and uses. And I have no idea why it works so great for ticks, but not for fleas – not a dumb question at all – I’d like to know myself 🙂
One more question – Ok, maybe four questions (ha): (1) If I sprinkle the mixture on the dogs, do I leave it there and what happens if they lick themselves – it’s OK? (2) Is it safe to use on cats? (3)Is it OK to prepare this mixture and have it work well without the Yarrow? I can’t find it! (4) Do you have to mix the DE with sand to sprinkle in your yard – I don’t have any way to get sand. THANK you for answering these questions, and I apologize if you already answered and I missed it. This is great and I am pumped to get started!
Oops ….one more thing. On Amazon I found “Herbs: Yarrow Leaf and Flower Powder (Organic)”…..is this safe to add to the ingredients as opposed to the one you recommended or is it the same thing? Thanks, as I am wanting to place my order ASAP.
Yes, that one you found on Amazon will work, Carina!
Does the Yarrow powder and the Neem powder need to be Organic ? To work ?
No, it doesn’t need to be organic, Janette.
1. Yes, you leave the mixture on your dog. If your dogs are anything like my dog, they will lick it. It’s completely fine for them to ingest and the DE is actually good for them to ingest – it helps keeps internal parasites in check! It might make them more thirsty than usual, so just make sure they have access to extra water on hand. You may have to reapply more often if they are constantly licking it. If the powder gets wet or gets licked off, it’s not effective and will have to be reapplied.
2.) Yes, it’s safe to use on cats, but leave out the essential oil.
3.) Yes, the yarrow just helps to heal wounds or red skin. It’s still very effective without it. The main ingredient that really kills the fleas is the DE. The others are just added for redness, irritation and helps combat dry skin caused from the DE. But Neem is very protective and moisturizing so you will be fine without the yarrow.
4.) No, you don’t have to use sand, but I would imagine sand would make the DE much easier to apply.
Hope that helps!!
Thank you so much for the reply. I went this evening to our local Tractor Supply, and they had the Food Grade DE – 20lb bags for $9.99 – $3.00 off the regular price. I am going to go to work on the dogs and cats tomorrow, and my yard/house. I can’t wait! I have read so much about DE, and wonder why I never heard of it before.I am so happy I happened onto your blog. YAY!
DE sold at farm stores is not what you want, that stuff in the big bags is for adding to feed mixes and is mostly red clay. True pure DE is white, and usually comes in smaller bags. To see the difference, search for it on Amazon. Sorry I can’t explain better, just wanted to give you a heads up.
Hi…I’m a faithful user of DE and caught on your comments how the “food grade DE at the farm supply ” wasn’t for your recipe. I’m sorry but the big bag I buy at our farm supply is food grade and no clay mixed. I think if they would ask the store or read on the bag, which you can go to their sites on the net, it will say if can be consumed. We eat it also as treatment and for food saving it’s also used. Thanks
Just wondering about the yard usage. My cats are going outside this summer in a cat enclosure. Can I spread this formula on the ground inside and/or around the enclosure instead of putting it on them?
Thank you for this recipe! I was giving our 3 cats Revolution, but my husband never liked it, then 3 formerly-feral kittens adopted us last summer, so the Revolution became way too expensive. I am so glad I found your recipe!
Great idea! This would be perfect for that, Justin!
DE will kill the earthworms in your yard as well…great product…I use it to polish up silver and bathroom sink
I know you can use DE on your yard .It works great.They have a web site that tells you everything you can do with DE.
I have many cats and only use Diatomaceous Earth. I sprinkle it on and rub into their fur. You have to be careful not to use too much or it will dry out their skin. I sprinkle in floors then vacuum and a small amount in litter boxes for extra absorbency. You can sprinkle it in their food to get rid of worms. I buy it in 50 pound bags at my local feed store. I also take 3T each day myself.
You CAN use certain Essential Oils on cats provided that: it is a therapeutic grade, for example “Young Living” brand, is one I’ve used with good success on my cat for years. (also lavender and lemon grass have been helpful for fleas). Use sparingly and if all else fails; put some of the oils on your own legs and arms. You would be surprised to find out animals instinctively know when something from nature will be healing to them and they will rub themselves on you…and get some benefits that way!
Thank you for those tips, Paris!
Dr. Melissa Shelton is a holistic Vet that has done a tremendous amount of research on essential oils on animals including her own cats. She mixes and sells essential oil blends and single oils for animals. Go to animaleo to read about her oils and research.
I have been using oils for years I disfuse them in evry room and I have 4 cats and never had a problem there still alive one is 17, 14,two are 6
Were do you buy the Neem and Yarrow.
Hi Stephanie! I had a hard time sourcing Neem and Yarrow locally so I ordered it from Amazon. If you have a well stocked herb section at your health food store, you may be able to find it locally, but I think it’s pretty tough to find.
This is what I ordered…
Neem >> http://amzn.to/1HMJgDK
Yarrow >> http://amzn.to/1Cs4dRl
I received a reply girl named Monica she told me to use Vinagar Water and Dawn however I read this but I wssn’t sure of the ingredients and I have a Cat..Do I use Viniger last?..diluted..?? and how may ounces do I need..? Thank you so so much..
Do not use Dawn continuously. It is a tremendous drying agent! Used once for an initial flea treatment is great, but do not use repeatedly. Vinegar can be used as a diluted rinse, as well as added to their drinking water. However, I have discovered that my cats will refuse to drink water, no matter HOW little the amount of vinegar added
I use this remedy. It works to help prevent fleas and ticks, but it does not work to get them off when they’re on. I use apple cider vinegar with generic dawn from walmart. My two cats go outside constantly, never once did they get a tick or a flea. I started babysitting my best friends kitten (for past few months while she gets her situation in order) and he came with fleas… got him treated and cleaned. My two cats were fine until just recently. Best Friend’s kitten got fleas and ticks again his first time out the door (he escaped while my two went out) and is like a magnet. He’s infested with them after 1 week and now my two cats have fleas and I found one tick on my baby boy. Made me so mad because they were all treated again recently to keep ticks and fleas out.
I’m using this plus I’m using a few other products that, yes, are chemicals, but I’ve had so many issues with keeping pests out of that house even with natural remedies that the only thing that has worked was a flea bomb inside the house. So I’ll be taking my cats for a drive while the house is cleaned and then making sure to brush out the fleas as they die from this powder.
Hi there, according to the author, Skye Patterson of “Essential Oils for Dogs and Cats” (dogoiler.com), you can use Repellent Blend (doTERRA’s Terrashield), Lemongrass, Arborvitae and Cedarwood. I have both dogs and cats and will be making this recipe today but will replace the Eucalyptus with 5 drops each of those oils. Then I can use on both sets of animals.
Great idea, Robyn!
Diatomaceous earth is great for deworming as well. And it has so many more uses for animals and also has health benefits for human use as well. I bought it in bulk from this website, good prices as well and their website has a lot of useful and detailed information. http://wolfcreekranch1.tripod.com/diatomaceous_human_use.html
I clean my corrals & put manure in a pile then cover with DE. I have very few flies. Don’t even need to put fly masks on the horses. It is also very healthy for using this compost in gardens. Puts back the silica in the soil. Have had great results with putting it in my kitchen when ants have decided to move in. When they are dead I just wipe it up & don’t need to worry about chemicals in my kitchen. Can let babies lick it & will not harm them. That is a real plus.
I buy it at my feed store.They have a pickle jar for 7.00.
Where do you purchase these ingredients? TSC stores, maybe?
Hi Elaine, You should be able to find DE at a garden or feed store. Powdered Neem and Yarrow are pretty difficult to find unless you have a well stocked health store that carries a lot of various herbs. I have to buy them online because I can’t find them around me. I included links in the recipe for what/where I buy mine. Hope that helps.
The food grade DE (diatomaceous earth) can be purchased at some plant nurseries. BUT, be sure and specify that you want food grade. You will (or at least we did) have some employees who tell you there is no difference. If they say that … walk to the nearest door and find another place.
We had a major flea infestation a couple of years ago – my vet said they were squirrel fleas (I never knew there was a difference, but he looked at one under the microscope). After finding that the sprays, etc we purchased were not getting the darned fleas, we bought a large bag (really is inexpensive) of the DE and a shaker, and our house looked like it had snowed in June for a couple of weeks. What I had read said a few days, and it would get eggs, larvae and adult fleas. We decided to err on the side of caution and left it on for about 10 days, then did a MAJOR vacuuming of the entire house.
I also went outside and sprinkled it around the trees, and around the bottom of the bird feeder (that the squirrels were attempting to open), and also around where we feed some feral cats (I figured if the dogs got them, so would the cats). We haven’t had fleas since. (Yes, I do go out and sprinkle more DE on occasion if I see the squirrels hanging around again – but they leave the bird feeder alone now, since the new feeder has proven impossible for them to open).
DE is well worth its money.
Amazon does not have the Yarrow Root right now. Do you know of anywhere else to get it?
Mountainroseherbs.com has yarrow leaf and flower powder.
Hi. I am interested in making this to use on my 4 dogs and 1 foster dog, due to the outrageous cost and horrible ingredient of the usual flea meds prescribed by vets. I went to the links you provided to order the ingredients, but Amazon is out of the Yarrow Powder – do you know where else I could order that? Thank you for this recipe – I can’t wait to try it and rid my dogs of these pesty and awful bugs.
Hi Carina! Some people said they have found the Yarrow on the website Mountain Rose Herbs. The yarrow flower powder that you mentioned in your other question will work just the same, too!
Please – make sure you get only food grade DE. There is another kind which is easily purchased in some places as a swimming pool supply. Do NOT use that, I’ve been told by my former vet, that it has been chemically treated and super-heated. Buy only Food Grade – especially if you’re going to use it to de-worm any of your animals. Thanks.
I used diatomaceous earth for a scorpion infestation in las vegas, tell me why its not harmful to animals and humans again.
I noticed Laurs didn’t receive a reply. Is there a reason for this? I’m sorta concerned now about using this on my animals. Thanks.
Sorry Laurs and Lisa! I must have overlooked it. I guess I don’t have too much else left to say about the safety of DE that wasn’t covered in my blogpost. I have a paragraph about it at the end of the post, as well as in the ingredient benefit list. But the quick answer is yes, it’s safe – DE is safe for humans and pets, safe for consumption and even safe for those pregnant and nursing. It’s also recommended by many holistic vets (as are all these ingredients – I based the formula from the advice of a holistic vet).
DE is safe for use by humans and animals because it is not a poison – the bugs do not ingest it. DE is chrystaline in structure. It works by scratching the bodies of the insects and causing them to dehydrate. Hope this helps ease your concerns.
You are living proof that it is safe, since you have been eating it fairly regularly. DE is used in all grains to deter pests. If you eat bread, cereal, or even meat, you have eaten DE.
Diatomacious earth is not harmful to animals. It is harmful to critters with an exoskeleton, like fleas and ticks. It is made up of tiny tint bits of silica, so sharp that they slice the hard outer shell of the critters. The DE is actually good to ingest in animals and people, and does no harm to the skin because the sharpness is microscopic and works like a fiber. DE, taken internally kills parasites and cleans the colon.
Laurs….I use DE…The best I can figure is that DE does not hurt people and animals because they are ‘warm blooded’…insects, flies, spiders, scorpions, etc are not warm blooded…Just my take on it…I’m sure there is more to it, but I don’t know what it is…
Because humans and animals do not have a hard exoskeleton. The DE works by absorbing the oils, etc. from the shell of the insect (desiccating them). If you have a garden, you do want to be careful because ladybugs will also be affected. Here is a link to info on DE: http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/degen.html
FOOD GRADE is not harmful to animals and humans.
thanks so much for the recipes for fleas and ticks
my austrailian shepherd, Jesse , cannot use alot of the flea medication on the market and like you, i do not want to put chemicals on her…but we have fleas and ticks her in NC…
i have already used the DE in the yard…we use a seed spreader and spread the DE (we use alittle play sand to make it heavy enough to spread)…i can tell when we spread this in the yard , jesse does not seem to have as many fleas on her…however the ticks have been bad this year …this sounds like just what i have been looking for…so glad i came across your site..by the way…even though you have to put up with the fleas and ticks…your home looks beautiful
Thank you, Jodi!! 😀 And I LOVE your suggestion of mixing sand in the DE to make it spread easier in the yard – brilliant!
What do you use for heart worm prevention? Does it kill whipworms also?
DE has been known to work on intestinal parasites but has no way of getting to heartworms.
I am dubious that it can get to the heartworm once your dog has it, but since they claim it repels mosquitoes, then it would, in essence, prevent heartworm infestation. Heartworm is spread through mosquito bites.
I don’t know if this stuff will kill heartworm if the mosquito lives long enough to bite the dog, though?
Either way, if this stuff works, and I’m VERY excited to try it, mosquito bites should be few and far between, so your risk of heartworm will be highly reduced.
Please use heartworm meds. It only takes one infected mosquito biting your dog to cause heartworm disease.
Heartworm meds are not 100%effective.
Last year my beautiful dog beagle Chester got fleas from other dogs and it was a nightmare. I used similar recipe which also included Diatomaceous Earth and it worked like magic. Since then my Chester is flea free.
So great to hear, Jana! DE is the bomb 🙂
I have been told to feed animals garlic and the fleas then stay away. Your take? Would it amp up your recipe? Would it help the cat lovers that have to downgrade the recipe?
Hi Jay, yes that’s the advise my holistic vet gave, too 🙂 She said just adding raw garlic wouldn’t get rid of an infestation, but it is a great defense to help repel fleas. Brewer’s yeast or nutritional yeast does, too. Just sprinkle a little on their food each feeding. It tastes like cheese so most animals love it.
I have heard repeatedly by vets and other animal authorities that garlic, although initially tolerated by cats & dogs, is toxic. That there is a life-time tolerance and when that is exceeded that death occurs.
I know that I use garlic on myself & in my food but not everything that is tolerated by humans can be used on our animal friends.
Please research this subject more thoroughly, I hope you are right but in the meantime, I am afraid to give my pets garlic.
BTW, here is a trick I learned to get rid of fleas in the house:
get a white bowl or 9×13 cake pan works well & fill with about 1 inch water & add 2 or 3 tablespoons of cooking oil. Put it out at night, turn all the lights out but shine one light on that pan. Each morning you will have a pan full of dead fleas, they are drawn to the light. Do this for two or three days and your fleas are gone – no vacuuming required but it doesn’t hurt either. The upside is that not only do you get rid of fleas but if your cat or dog or child happens to drink it, its safe plus its its super cheap.
After a couple of decades in the pet care industry, I have also always been told that garlic (onion too) is considered toxic due to its cumulative effect. It may not hurt the pet at first in small doses but with each exposure, you’re increasing the toxicity level.
I am excited to read up on DE though as I know a lot of pets who may benefit from it. Thank you for the info!
Though garlic & onion are part of the same family as is LEEKS, they do not all share the same effect. The primary reason AVMA is against feeding garlic is that it contains thiosulphate, which can cause hemolytic anemia, liver damage and death. HOWEVER, garlic only contains very small traces of thiosulphate and a dog would have to consume a huge quantity for any negative effects. Using Tylenol (acetaminophen) or benzocaine topical ointments to stop itching are far more likely to cause anemia in dogs.
I’ve fed my Akita garlic powder in his food for 12 yrs., and he’s as healthy as a horse. He’s having problems with weakness in his back legs and holding himself up while defecating, do I’ve been giving him powdered psyllium seed on his food to shorten the time it takes to do his business. It works like a charm. Just thought I’d pass that along.
Thanks Marina! I love hearing all these natural remedies! Thank you 🙂
thanks for the psclium seed don’t know if its available in south Africa have a Labrador with a similar problem…but will try
the garlic/brewers yeast does take time to build up in their system though, it doesnt start to work immediately, it takes 2-3 weeks.
Will this work on cockroaches?? If not do u have any suggestions that would be safe for my dogs. Thanks
The DE will work on cockroaches quite effectively!
Hi, I was just wondering if this would be safe to use on hens? I already use diatom for red mites etc.
DE is safe to use on chickens. You can dust your chickens with it or sprinkle in their coop and bedding.
First off my guinea fowl did not molt for at least the last 2 years, perhaps longer. These birds are probably 2-5 years old. In January (cold outside) one Coral Blue lost her feathers on her back and where the wing feathers join the body. I could see just the feather shaft for lack of better terminology. The hen house was cleaned in February with new bedding and the cocks were separated from the hens as I thought it just might be fighting.
She survived the cold winter but then in March a Pearl started with the same symptoms. In April a pied came up with the same symptoms. I’ve now noticed one of the cocks in the adjoining run has lost his feathers on his back near his tail. It is August and of all years, they just may be starting to molt now. I do not however remember seeing the bare body of the birds when they molted in the past.
I’m concerned about using the DE down because of the dust and birds do flap their wings. Will it get into their lungs?
Do I have this right, I use it just as it comes out of the bag?
Thank you for sharing this recipe! I am eager to try it on our pets, as we have 3 older ones and sometimes the topical flea preventative makes our cat sick. 🙁 I’m having a difficult time finding the yarrow; could I just leave it out and still have effective flea prevention? I’ve taken great strides in the last couple of years to incorporate a more natural approach for our home, and this flea preventative will be a great switch from the topicals. Thank you again!
Yes, Yarrow can be left out. It’s just a wound healer and isn’t necessary. When we were dealing with all the fleas, Bently (my doggie 🙂 ), had really red, inflamed skin and I believe Yarrow was one of the things that really soothed and helped heal his skin. But it can definitely be left out. Neem is also a great skin soother, so you’ll still have that benefit covered if you use neem.
Oh, so glad to hear I can leave out the yarrow. I found some yarrow powder on Amazon today, but it also warns that if one is allergic to ragweed to not use it. I am extremely allergic to lots of environmental allergens plus stuff outside in Fall and Spring, so a warning makes me sit up & take notice.
Also concerning to me is that my Havanese has extremely dry skin. Wondering if I should use a mixture of Neem and DE powder and add it to his leave-in conditioner, ResiSoothe, and add enough water to make it spray-able? Would that work at all? or how about just trying the Rose Geranium for fleas, has that worked for anyone?
Hi Deb! I think it’s a great idea to put some Neem in the leave in conditioner. I’ve been using a Neem shampoo bar for my dog as an added precaution so I think your idea is awesome! The DE will not be effective for killing insects/fleas/etc if it gets wet, so there’s no point adding DE in if you are going to add water. I’d just stick with the neem for the leave-in conditioner. The Rose Geranium didn’t do anything for our flea infestation, which is so odd to me that it works so well on ticks but didn’t do a thing for fleas! I’d love to hear if anyone else had success with Rose Geranium for fleas.
So can this be used with the rose geranium oil for ticks?
Yes, but I’ve found only one is necessary, especially if you are just looking to repel ticks. I personally prefer the rose geranium for ticks just because it’s easier and a lot more convenient (and less expensive) and we’ve found it to work extremely well for ticks. But this flea powder is a must if you are dealing with a flea infestation – although the rose geranium can be effective at preventing fleas, it didn’t work for our major flea infestation!
I found Yarrow and Neem at Monterey Bay Spice Company on their website. They ship fast and were very inexpensive. The Dia and Eucalyptus I found at Swanson Vitamin company, also very cheap and fast delivery!!
Great to know – thank you!!
I would use an old vac or a shop vac for getting this stuff off floors, etc. Any fine powdery material can mean death to a vacuum cleaner!
That’s a great idea, Linda – thank you!
Great advice Linda! My 3 brittanies had fleas in Jan., I have not used chemicals to treat for about 3 years now and freaked out.. Dusted DE everywhere in my house and my vacuum suction was not as strong in less then a month later.. Pretty sure that’s what it was..
Hi! Thanks for the great info. I’m wondering if using an EO air diffuser would work to rid ticks from the home?
Years ago I was at the home of a friend who was having her home treated for a flea infestation by a professional company. They were spreading a white powder all around the floors and furniture, and my friends husband asked what was in the powder. The tech said it was borax, and as soon as he said that he realized his error and tried to say there were other things as well.
A few years later I had fleas in my house. In the past I set off those awful bombs and vacated to get rid of them, but this time I went to the laundry aisle in the store, and picked up some good old fashioned 20 Mule Team Borax, came home and spread it liberally on the floors and furniture, it’s non toxic as well. Overnight,no more fleas! Borax is a natural substance, and works by dehydrating the fleas when they get it on their bodies. I did continue to spread the borax for a week, to make sure I got any hatchlings. This is the best non toxic flea treatment for the home I have ever found.
Thanks, Sue! That’s great!!
Borax is not generally toxic, but should not be ingested, if possible. It is used in the production of food in some countries. That being said, there is a toxicity level, that we would not generally hit by using it in our homes.
A dog or cat laying in it and then grooming themselves, could have any number of intestinal issues, however. I don’t think those same issues are a problem with DE.
An overnight sprinkling, and morning clean-up would be fine. Just not sure I would use it for several days in a row!
I agree, Sue C.! Borax solved my flea infestation problem, as well. And it’s easier to clean up than DE if you’re going to be spreading it around on your floors, etc. (I put it all along the baseboards and sprinkle it on the carpets, if needed.)
The the borax is safe for the dogs to walk in or not?
Borax is about as toxic as table salt.
Then it’s very toxic. Salt is deadly to cats in most cases. Unless it’s a ridiculously small amount.
I did not see any answer to the comment on hens. At the present I use nothing on our hens although I would be interested in keeping them healthy. We have 12 grown hens with 4 teenagers, then 4 more behind them (about a month younger). The 1st group will most likely start laying around September. Our total will be 20 .
We use DE in a bin for them to do their dust baths. This has been very effective for many years. No mites or other buggy issues.
Put DE in their food, enough to make it whiteish. This will rid them of intestinal tract parasites. The DE in the poop disallows microbe growth = no smell (except when it rains…) AND flies can’t breed in the poop. No fly problem. No smell problem. Great for backyard chickens in town. It also works for goats, pigs, horses… DE is the miracle dust! But, it does make them more thirsty, so keep LOTS of fresh, clean water out for any animals. I know most do this anyway, but, they will drink lots more if you add DE to their diets. Chicken poop is great fertilizer for your garden, use the DE poop around your tomatoes, cut worms won’t be so bad. Only use a layer of it, so that you won’t hurt your earthworm population.
Yes! Thanks DeeAnn!
Codex or food grade DE can be used for worms in pets. It’s very slow acting and take up to 4 months to eliminate worms however it does not work on tapeworm. I wormed a cat for 4 months with dry food coated with DE and I could see tape worm segments by his tail. The outer layer of these type of worms is too hard for DE to effect them. I have also read vets commenting on how it won’t get rid of tapeworms. It seemed to work well for roundworm though. I fed it to my chickens too and hens that stopped laying finally laid eggs again. I think it gave them added minerals they were lacking from their food. It took a couple months before I got more eggs.
I’ve used DE for fleas for a few years now. An easy way to apply to my dog and cat is to “poof” it out of a plastic bottle with a nose on it (like an old mustard or mayo bottle–got mine in the picnic section). The pointed nose allows you to get it right down to the skin. For larger applications I use an old parmesan cheese container. When I get chickens again I’ll add it to their dust bathing area…
Love that idea, Kathy!! Thank you!
I have used Food Grade DE for years on my dogs. I use a Roots Only Comb Applicator Bottle to get the dust in the dogs thick fur. Works great for me. Great site!
I love this tip!! I’m going to order one – that’s the best one I’ve seen! Thanks, C Andro!
If you need the holes a little bigger just stick a wood skewer in to hole to open it up a little. You can also trim the tips but I am patient and I just use it as is and keep shaking the powder so it doesn’t clog. No waste to the DE and it keeps the DE from being dispersed through the air as much.
Does DE dry out skin?
Yes it does and that’s why Neem and Yarrow are added to help combat that 🙂
Easy FYI — I use a large puffy makeup brush to dust the DE on my pooch and cats.. It’s easy and they love it.
Is this effective as a repellent without the DE? I assume it is nondiscriminatory and concerned this will have a negative impact on beneficial insects such as ladybugs and butterfly larva. Thinking of mixing a batch without the DE in hopes it will repel and any undesirable insects will simply go away in search of an easier meal. Any advice?
In the recipe there’s yarrow root powder, but then when you click in the link, there’s yarrow flower powder, so now I wonder do you use root or flower?
Thank you for the recipe, I’ll def try it on my dog <3
My whole family and all animals have been taking DE by mouth for several years. (Dogs, cats and horses.) It’s been around a million years!
Think of preparing your formula and offering it for sale to people who follow your story as many may not have the necessary means to purchase all the products needed. Put in plastic sealed bags and mail it to your new readers as I would purchase this in a minute this way? I am going to try your product on my 2 adult and one puppy as I don’t like the harsh chemicals on my dogs either.
I have sucessfully used Food grade DE ( found at Tractor Supply in the chicken aisle, also where the equine fly treatments are) on my dogs, cats, and chickens.
I have also used the 20 mule team borax for fleas. You sprinkle it like carpet fresh, and vaccuume it up in a few hours.
I highly recomend both.
(DE also will keep bedbugs away if you sprinkle it around the legs.)
For those of you who are not familiar with DE,(food grade) it is a wonderful product, I have done many years of research, it has been used on cattle for deworming purposes( Iowa State University) and have not shown to do any damage to the cattle or intestines throughout the years only to the worms, what happens is the diatoms to a worm or any insect with an exoskeleton are like glass to them (IT IS NOT GLASS) but to these insects it cuts them and causes them to dry out and die! I have used this as a flea killer, out in the yard to kill insects, in the garden, washing my face with it, brushing my teeth, drinking it myself in milk, I feel better when I drink it, as if I am lighter, less foggy brain, it has also helped in lowering my blood pressure. But please make sure to use food grade. Take a chance, read up, before I read this article I knew before I saw the ingredients that it must have DE in it and sure enough I was right.
Good day, Is these products available in South Africa?
I have horses (as well as dogs) and live in FL. I wouldn’t think there would be any problem using on horses but wanted to ask if you’re aware of any issue if ingested. Being in FL we have all kinds of insects (fleas, mosquitos, gnats, fire ants you name it!) and I’ve always been weary of putting anything in the yard where the horses graze.
Safe for horses to ingest. Sprinkle on food, bedding, and them. Kills fleas on horses and intestinal parasites. Used it for years!
I have 2 ferrets. Does anyone know if this is safe to use on them?
I would like to know if its alright to use on ferrets also
Yes, for sure. I’d leave out the eucalyptus oil for ferrets, though. This powder is very effective even without adding the essential oil.
I assume if it is ok for ferrets, that it would be safe for house rabbits, too? Thanks!
I have a question on the Yarrow Root Powder. The link you have goes to Yarrow Flower Powder (currently not available). Are the root and flower powders equally as effective?
Hi Barbara, from what I understand, they both are equally as effective.
Thank you SO MUCH for all of the wonderful information. I got my Rose Geranium today and I will be ordering the yarrow and other ingredients to make the flea powder….WONDERFUL BLOG!
I would like to know if you have anything for dog allergies?
Hi there. We currently have our dog on Trifexis, which is for fleas and heart worms. I really want to take her off if it and use this but my husband is concerned about her heartwotm risk then. Do you have any suggestions for a natural solution to heartwotm prevention?
Just use Diatomaceous Earth no need for that other stuff and sprinkle in yard that helps a lot!
Yes, I agree that DE can be used by itself in the house, outside, sofas, windowsills, etc. But I would strongly advise to use the other ingredients if you are applying directly to the skin of a pet. DE can be extremely drying and can dry out a pet’s skin and cause scaling. The other ingredients like neem and yarrow help combat the dryness that DE causes.
Im looking at this for my cats but need to source the ingredients in AUSTRALIA.
Im thinking of trying combing through my daughters hair for head lice too, unless you got a better idea…
I use tea tree oil in a squirt bottle with water and hair conditioner for a leave in treatment. You can also put it in your shampoo and conditioner bottles and shake it up. I’ve been using this for the past 3 yrs and not one case of lice.
My child has had lice twice in 6 months from daycare, I have bombed sprayed got new bedding and NO ONE ELSE in my house has it. So im sure its not here, but I cant stand putting those pesticides on my 7 year old. And obviously they’re not working. Anyway u think this will work? Maybe turn it into a paste or something? Please help. She now has short hair bc pediatrician said to cut (if that matters)
Concerned Mommy, use Lice MD. It is not a pesticide, it kills lice but not the eggs so use it again exactly one week after the first use (after the eggs hatch but before they’re old enough to reproduce). When my daughter was in elementary school, they shared lockers and we struggled with this so much my daughter would burst into tears when her head itched. Lice MD was our miracle cure. It is not toxic, it stresses the lice to death, as strange as that sounds. But we could leave it in longer and use it often. It’s messy and we washed it out by mixing a little Dawn in our hand with shampoo.
Dear Concerned Mommy,
I had a 4 year old in public daycare & then on to elementary. Our public schools seem to have had a outbreak of head lice every 4 or 5 months. I was so distraught. I used the stuff from the pharmacy & the steel comb. My daughter cried, her hair was curly & extremely thick. After the third time, I was ready to pull out my own hair. Then I discovered TEA TREE OIL. I followed the directions. I put 2 tablespoons in whatever full 8 oz. commercial shampoo bottle I had and the same in 8 oz. of conditioner and used it exactly as I would in a normal shampoo & conditioner. As long as she used the Tea Tree Oil in her shampoo & conditioner she NEVER had head lice again. She attended Public School until she graduated & went to college. There were many, many more outbreaks of head lice, she never got them. We were joyous & happy. I tried to share this information with school officials but they were not interested in a “non-traditional” treatment.
When I went to the health food store there were 3 brands of Tea Tree Oil, I picked the one that had the best fragrance and its worked well for me.
I, too, have recently discovered Tea Tree essential oil. I had had a fungus that I had on my skin for close to a year (numerous RX’s didn’t cure it)Full strength Tea tree oil cleared them almost over night. I put it on my German Shepherd, who was constantly getting bites, and very irritated (no fleas). Cured the irritations overnight. Highly recommend it!
Love tea tree oil! Thanks for sharing your experience with it, Linda. Great to know!
my doctor told me to use mayonnaise on my daughters hair and scalp for lice. it works Great !! and leaves the hair soft and shiny. some of those lice products dry the hair out so bad. Just apply thickly allover the head let it sit for about 30 min then wash out with shampoo.
At Walmart they have a olive oil spray by Landers. It’s on the shampoo isle. Spray 2 times in your hand then rub in hair. I d did this everyday for 3 weeks and haven’t had this problem again!
Concerned mommy, you are not alone in this fight. I used a product called Lice Free that I stumbled upon at Wal-Mart, but it can be found at drugstores as well. It is 100% natural and worked in ONE application, and has no nasty smell! (Ok, it smells like licorice, which I hate, but can tolerate over harsh chemical pesticides any day!) Here is a list of natural products I have had much success with recently. Coconut oil, organic unrefined. Cover the hair and scalp with a generous amount. It is very messy but the end results are well worth it. I carry a small amount in a baby food jar on trips, and I’m glad I do! My oldest discovered lice in her hair when we were out on a weekend trip about 8 months ago. I had already had success on my youngest’s hair with the oil so I used what I had until we were home the next day with my lice comb. It will smother the live lice. Leave it in for at least 3 hours, I personally prefer overnight but a few hours is beneficial as well. Not only does it smother the lice but it leaves hair super silky! This is when I found Lice Free. Literally one application. Also, after much research for preventive measures, as it was still during the school year, I stumbled across something else. Tea tree oil, lavender oil and rosemary oil. I bought a bottle of each from our local herb store and mixed 1/2 teaspoon of each into our shampoo (a 10oz shampoo bottle) and the whole family uses it. You can go up to a full teaspoon, but 1/2 seems to have been effective for our size of shampoo. You can modify this amount based on the size of your shampoo bottle but I wouldn’t recommend much less unless you just use a tiny bottle of shampoo. I also put 1/2 teaspoon of each in a bottle of leave in conditioner just for good measure. (Both of my girls HATE using conditioner in the shower but will use the leave in all day long.) 8 months later, no sign of the tell tale itching nor any live lice or eggs. I pay around $30 total for the 3 bottles of oil, but I have enough oil for 8-10 bottles of shampoo and conditioner and it is a small price to pay for peace of mind. If you don’t want to mix your own or have difficulty finding any of the oils, there is a company that makes a similar product that I used for a time, I just prefer buying the oils and mixing my own. It’s made by Fairy Tales and is called Rosemary Repel. My husband found it at a beauty shop that was once an insurance account of his but she had since closed. I did run across it on Amazon. It can run $10-15 per bottle. They make shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner and mousse that I’m aware of. But again, mixing my own was more cost effective in the long run and I can use whatever shampoo I prefer. I have a very strong theory. If I won’t use it myself, I’m certainly not putting it on my kids!
Something else I discovered a few years ago that will kill lice instantly, including the eggs is a chemical, but I use it regularly on myself anyway is permanent hair color. My girls are both older now so I will use this if need be, but I was leery with them so young before. But I still use my homemade lice shampoo with every wash. Better safe than sorry!
Hope this has helped someone to end the head lice suffering!
hello i am learnin about DE as well but it would seem this would kill lice in the same way.. i want to share a product i used on my daughters for the first two years of school until the local store that carried it closed… it was called ‘fairy tales’ rosemary repel shampoo, conditioner, and spray in detangler. i even used them on my dogs….loved them it worked.i think they also make treatments.. i am currently using wen products on my daughters hair now… and i didnt realize that fairy tales was working so well for the dogs until now that i am not using it on them…i have started using the wen on my dogs as well just this week because of flea outbreak…they both have similar ingredients.. i will have to find fairy tales online.. altho this week i can tell the wen is helping alot for the dogs.. once you get rid of the head lice this stuff really helps repel lice..each year we have had at least three outbreaks in both classrooms and NO lice (knock on wood) i have been using borax for a long time for the carpet and house against fleas. but now i want to try the DE even though i just purchased extra borax…ill have plenty of homemade laundry detergent this winter LOL
Google what’s going on with Wen products now……..
Is this product safe for puppies? I know most topical flea treatments say not to be used under 12 weeks of age.
I think so, Nancy, but I am not 100% sure. I will ask my vet and see what she says.
I would like to know the easiest way to feed DE to pets? I tried sprinkling it on the food, but cats nor dogs will eat it.
Hi Shelly, I put about a 1/2 teaspoon in their water bowl.
I mix DE in canned pumpkin for dogs. They love it! It doesn’t take much so depends on size/weight of dog. I give it every couple of weeks, they lick the canned pumpkin off the spoon.
As far as head lice goes… just add a couple drops of tea tree oil into your hair conditioner.. leave on kid’s hear overnight with plastic shower cap. Comb out in the morning. The lice suffocate and the eggs are easy to comb out with the conditioner. We did this for a few days and no more lice.
We live in an area that has a huge bug infestation problem. We also have a HUGE flea problem, and our indoor cat gets them every year-found out that they come in on our shoes and then infest cat/house. I’ve tried every expensive vet product out there and nothing works. Right now I’m vacuuming my house twice a day and I comb my cat with a flea comb every night, and the amount of fleas coming off of him is stomach turning 🙁 I’ll be trying this recipe as soon as I can find the supplies-thanks so much for sharing the recipe!
When you are having a flea issue and vacuum, make sure that you empty the vacuum cleaner each time. The eggs can hatch in there and continue the cycle. Also, make sure you treat every three weeks (your pets, your house and your yard) if there is a flea issue as that is how long it takes them to hatch. I worked for a vet for 5 years and answered many questions regarding flea issues. Also, fleas prefer the shady brushy spots in the yard. Another tip, the eggs can be dormant for a long time but will hatch when people or animals come into the area— perfect example is an empty house and new owners move in, all of a sudden there are fleas.
My cat has dust mite allergy. Can I use this for her?
Yes, it will work for dust mites. Just leave out the eucalyptus oil.
If we can’t use the Eucalyptus oil…can we use Tea tree oil on the cats? I have two INSIDE ONLY fur babies and while we haven’t had any MAJOR flea issues since moving back to Oregon from the San Diego area, I do find a couple every year. I detest the vermin and keep our dogs treated with just the Tea Tree oil. I have used the Tea Tree oil on the cats in small doses for skin owies from their wrestling playing. I was just hopeful maybe that could be used? Thank you for such a great informative article!
Hi Anni, it’s not advised to use tea tree on cats either. This powder is very effective even without using any essential oils 🙂
My holistic vet has recently removed 2/3 of a cat’s liver due to exposure to essential oils. This is not the first time, and he warns his clients against the use if they have a cat. They should never be used anywhere near a cat, even on yourself. I love to use essential oils but I love my cat more. Cats metabolize and excrete things very differently than the rest of the animal family. The reason behind this is the cats liver. It does not have the liver enzymes to break down certain chemical as effectively as the rest of us, and sometimes it can’t do it at all!
When the liver (and the body) does not recognize a substance it immediately stores it somewhere until it can figure out what to do with it! This leads to toxicity, tumors, disease and extreme imbalances of the body. Forr cats it can be a slow build up over time and lead to illness, or it can be so quick that it leads to death, so please be cautious.
In the “Essential Oils for Dogs and Cats” book by Skye Patterson, she recommends a Repellent Blend (doTERRA’s Terrashield), Lemongrass, Arborvitae and Cedarwood. They are safe for both dogs and cats. Just use 5 drops of each to replace the 20 drops of Eucalyptus.
Mite want to try ’20 Mule Team Borax’, found in most grocery stores.
Just sprinkle around, especially on rugs.
It’s just natural, non toxic borax.
Will wipe out fleas in a few days!
I’ve been using it since the 70’s.
Homeopathic Pulex irritans (30C potency) will heal and relieve the itching from fleas and chiggers. I use it for the family and our animals. One dose (one pellet) is usually all that’s needed.
Thank you! I am a huge homeopathy fan and that is great to know!
I am still wondering about the yarrow. Do we use the ground root, or do the flowers or leaves have the same benefits? My cat is allergic to flea saliva and gets scabs where he scratches their bites, so I think it would be an important ingredient for him.
From what I understand and have read, all the parts are wonderful wound healers and skin soothers. So you should be fine with flowers/leaves or the root.
Hi Mairin, from what I understand, all parts of the yarrow flower have wound healer properties. So you could use the yarrow flower, leaves or the root.
Hi, thanks so much for posting all of this! I’m about to order all of the ingredients but I have an important question to ask before I purchase everything. My question may seem silly, but I have a Boxer and she has a sensitive tummy and gets skin irritations frequently (I see how the powder could alleviate the skin condition), so when you apply this powder is it ok for the dog to ingest it as she licks and bites her skin… She may also be intrigued with the new coating of powder and be sniffing and licking because of that alone. Has anyone had problems with their dogs ingesting too much of the powder and having a bad reaction?
Hi Julie – that’s a great question! And I adore boxers 🙂 My dog has licked and eaten a fair share of this and I’ve not noticed any bad reactions. I asked my vet this same question as well and she said it was safe if ingested, but to make sure to always keep plenty of water available because DE will make your pet very thirsty, if it is ingested.
Will this work for bed bugs?
Yes, for sure! You could also use just plain food grade DE for bed bugs. I advise the other ingredients if you apply directly to a pet’s skin because DE can be very drying and can cause very dry, scaly skin. The other ingredients like Neem and Yarrow help combat all that dryness. But if you were just using this powder for your house, sprinkling it on your bed, etc. you could just use DE.
Can the neem powder be left out or substituted with neem oil? And if yes, how much oil should be used? Can tea tree oil be used instead of Euc. oil and it will be safe for cats as well? Thank you for this very useful info. Gathering the ingredients as we speak and plan to use this weekend. Thank you again!
Hi Jennie! Yes, you could definitely substitute neem oil. I would go with 20 drops of neem oil. I would not use any essential oils for the cats – this powder is super effective even without the essential oil!
Also, are you using 100% Euc. oil or a lower concentration? Thanks
I am using this Eucalyptus oil, which is 100% >> http://amzn.to/TGlgeU
oh dear, just reading that tea tree oil is toxic to pets and humans.
Tea tree oil is toxic *if ingested*. Applied topically it isn’t. However, there are some things to look for in buying good quality oil.
First is that there are a number of trees that are called tea trees. You want to be certain that the oil you are buying is from the Melaleuca Alternafolia (M.Alternafolia).
Second is the quality of the oil itself. There are two active ingredients in the oil, one beneficial, the other is not. The oil in terpene alcohols, such as terpinen-4-ol, which is thought to be the active germicidal component, and 1,8-cineol (eucalyptol), which gives eucalypts their characteristic strong fragrance and medicinal properties. High-terpinen-4-ol oils are therapeutically more important than high-cineol oils because the latter irritate mucous membranes and the skin. Numerous instances of contact dermatitis associated with the use of tea tree oil have been reported and resulted in the discovery that 1,8-cineol was the allergen. Most commercial tea tree oils contain less than 10% 1,8-cineol and between 30% and 45% terpinen-4-ol. Nevertheless, the oil should be patch tested on the skin before use.
Tea tree oil has a wide range of topical applications and is commonly used to treat skin and respiratory infections. Surprisingly, the oil is active against all three categories of infectious organisms: bacteria, viruses and fungi. Tea tree oil is an effective treatment for many skin conditions, such as cold sores, the blisters of shingles and chicken pox, verrucae, warts, acne, large inflamed spots and nappy rash. It is also effective against fungal infections, such as ringworm, athlete’s foot and thrush, as well as dandruff–a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis.
Does it work on flies? I need something for flies.
Yes, I was amazed at how well this works for flies. We have so many biting flies around my house and this worked wonderfully at keeping them away.
Makes me wonder if making this into a “tea” with the oils and yarrow wouldn’t be a good fly spray for horses… (minus the DE of course)
So… would neem oil work the same as powder cuz none of the natural grocery stores carry the powder but do have the oil
Yes, neem oil would work great! I have the powder so I haven’t tried it using the oil, but if I were to use the oil, I would add about 20 drops of neem oil in place of the powder in this recipe.
We have a heavy tick infestation, will this work on ticks
Yes, it will.
Hi, thanks for sharing this recipe! I am able to source dried Neem leaves, if it grind them up will that work the same as the powder or does the powder have a different part of the plant in it.
Yes, that’s perfect!
When you vacuum the house, be sure to dump the contents of the vacuum OUTSIDE IN THE TRASH, not into your kitchen trash can. Even better, dump into a plastic bag, seal it, and then dispose outside. Those fleas you vacuumed up are able to jump out of the trash can and right back into your environment.
Yes, yes! Very important! Thank you for that reminder, Kathi 🙂
I use a vacuum cleaner that takes bags. When I take the bag out, I seal the opening with wide packing/shipping tape to prevent the fleas from getting out.
Is this stuff safe for rabbits? Will i t help with Encephalitozoon Cuniculi?
Yes, it’s safe for rabbits – I would just leave out the Eucalyptus essential oil. I am not familiar with Encephalitozoon Cuniculi, so I can’t say, but I’d love to hear any comments from anyone else who is familiar with it or has a natural remedy for it.
You are so gracious…do you ever get tired of answering the EXACT SAME question, A MILLION TIMES??? If they would just READ the above, the questions would be answered. But at least you know that people are reading your blog! Thank you so much for giving your time and energy to us. I am currently studying to become a holistic practioner and appreciate both your investigation and links. Very helpful to those of us who question EVERYTHING!
I was just thinking that!! READ the article! 🙂
You can also use aromatic red cedar chips in net bags around/under furniture and in dog/cat beds/pillows.It prevents flea eggs from hatching. Fleas have a short life span but reproduce quickly. For a bad infestation, it may take a couple weeks to get them all but it really works well.
Great to know! Thank you!
I have had unbelievable success this year with DE and Brewer’s yeast for fleas/internal parasites! I foster dogs and have 5 of my own, so there is never less than 8 in my home. Started using BY in March and my dogs have been flea and tick free! And aren’t full of harmful chemicals!
I used Brewers yeast and garlic bits for years and my dogs NEVER had fleas. I can’t find any place that sells it anymore. Where do you get yours?
Hi Linda! I’ve been getting mine either online from Amazon (this is what I get — http://amzn.to/1JUxjw6 ) or from a little country market a few towns over that carry a lot of holistic type remedies. It is tough to find!! I can find Nutritional Yeast fairly easily, though – it’s in my grocery store, the maker is Braggs. Holistic vets recommend either Brewers or Nutritional. So Nutritional Yeast may be something that’s a little easier for you to find locally. If anyone reading can offer any tips where to find Brewer’s Yeast, we would love to know!
I get mine in the bulk section of the Natural Food store.
Its important to cautious when using DE outside because it can kill our much needed honey bees!
Yes! Always make sure to never apply directly on flowers – we need our honey bees!
I have been a Food Grade DE user for fleas and ticks for several years–none of the other ingredients mentioned. Since there are so many postings I am not sure if this was mentioned: DE also kills butterflies, ladybugs, bees and other good insects. Do not apply DE to flowers or anywhere these insects would come in contact with.
where can you get the powder all the powders and where can you get the Oil
I live in the boonies so I buy most of my things online from Amazon. You can most likely find DE inexpensively at a local garden or feed store. The rest of the ingredients will probably have to be bought online because they are difficult to find.
Here’s the links from the same products I used (all purchased through Amazon):
This will give you enough to make A LOT! I was using it every day for 4 weeks in a row and I still have a lot left over!
I grow some yarrow in my flower garden. Can I make my own powder from it. I didn’t see this covered in your article/comments.
Hi Mary Ann! That’s awesome and yes you sure can. Just pick and dry the leaves/flowers/(or any part of the plant) and then grind it to a powder. I will have to remember to plant yarrow next year – that would sure be cheaper than buying it 🙂
My cousin has horses who are always being bitten by flies…would this natural powder work on them? Sue and I are both big believers in using as much natural products as possible on our pets AND us!
Yes for sure! This is awesome for horses and those pesky flies! Flies hate, hate, hate Neem and DE!
If you use something like this on CATS it is really important to brush it well into their coat or after it sets a little while dust off the extra. Since cats clean themselves the DE can mess with their intestinal tract if they aren’t taking in enough fluid.
You can also make sure to have plenty of fresh water available, make it more attractive by buying a small fountain pump on amazon to make your own pet water fountain (my cats LOVE running water).
It also helps to have water in a separate location from where their food it. Cats are naturally averse to drinking water near their food supply. In the wild, water right next to their kill might become contaminated from the body. So cats are more likely to drink more if it isn’t by their food (I find the bowl also stays clean longer without all those crumbs getting in there). Hope this is helpful to someone!
Sorry if this was asked already, just too many comments to read through lol
I have both cats and a dog. I realize the eucalyptus oil needs to be left out for the cats but since I have both animals will the effectiveness be diminished on my dog if I left out the eucalyptus entirely even for her? Or should I really make 2 separate batches for each?
Hi Dawn! I would just leave it out. It’s not necessary (just a really good added defense!), but the powder is still super effective without using the essential oil.
THIS WORKS INSTANTLY
BABY OIL KILLS FLEAS ON THE SPOT INSTANTLY. AS YOU ARE WIPING IT ON YOU CAN SEE THEM ON YOUR GLOVES. I USE GLOVES BECAUSE IT IS GREASY. BUT IT WORKS. BABY POWDER WORKS TOO. I HOPE THIS HELPS YALL.
Thanks so much for the tip. I love cheap & easy fixes. I love the smell of baby powder, but I would probably use baby oil on my outside cats first.
Thanks again, Ann F
Please, ignore this recommendation, people! That would be extremely dangerous!!!!!!!!
Is it toxic to the dogs if they lick the area that is covered in the powder?
No, any that they lick off will help prevent intestinal parasites, so it’s a win-win 🙂 Just make sure there is plenty of water for your pet to drink because DE can make them thirsty.
DE can be used for feral cats Very easily by making a medium sized puddle for them to roll in, simply add some catnip to the roll spot (a little goes a LONG way) and they will be happy to roll and coat themselves with the powder! Any they lick off will help control any intestinal parasites.
Cathie, that’s such a great idea. Thank you so much for sharing!
I wonder if it works on bed bugs? I have heard that a lot of apartment complexes are experiencing problems with them in parts of Texas when the refuges were moved in?
Forgive me if this was asked already but how did you keep your house from getting so dusty?!? I used plain DE on my 2 cats and it looked like my kids went thru the house throwing flour all over!! It was a hot mess. To make matters worse, they still have fleas. I see your dog has short hair but mine have medium length hair…did you “re-dust” him every day?? TIA!
OH my, it was a dusty mess for a few weeks! But to help, I dusted him outside and then really rubbed it into his skin. And then I just brushed the rest off. I also made him shake before going into the house. That helped a lot! We were also really diligent about vacuuming. And my washing machine never saw so much action! haha 🙂 But I dusted him every other day, sometimes everyday!
Hello, Can you tell me if it would be safe to use this in our backyard with chickens free ranging out there?
I add DE (food grade) to my guinea fowl’s food – to prevent/treat internal parasites.. have heard you can add to dust bath area to treat for mites too.
Hello. I am grateful for all the information that was giving. I am planning to try them. Was wondering if you can use DE in your hair if You find a tick in your hair?
Yes, you could!
Just add a drop of tea tree oil to the tick, it will back out and can be easily removed.
I just rescued a mama pit and 2 pups from a very bad situation, mama had both ears full of ticks and was emanciated so badly you could see her hip bones, there was not even a dish for food or water on the property for her. One pup was half as big as the other and very weak. I was afraid to use any ‘chemicals’ on them so I smothered the ticks with olive oil and when they dropped off put them in a cup with olive oil to make sure they died. I use DE on them and in their kennel area and bed,also I have been wiping them down with a wet rag of vinegar water(1/4 c vinegar to 1 gallon water) to help repel fleas and flies, it helps. They have been with me a week and are already completely different dogs, very active,playful and tails wagging, even filling out some and not so boney. Would this recipe be OK to put on the pups(they are approximately 5-6 weeks old maybe a little older)? They will be going to the vet first thing next week, just want to do everything I can for them naturally instead of so many chemicals.
You are awesome, Fesitymemaw. Thank you for taking such good care of those pups. It breaks my heart to hear about dogs in bad situations and I’m glad there are people like you in the world to look after them. To answer your question, yes, this would be great to put on the pups.
I live in Canada. I have purchased the DE and Neem but cannot find the yarrow powder anywhere! Can I use these two items without the yarrow on my cats?
Hi Jaimie! Yes! Yarrow is a wonderful wound healer, but Neem is a great skin soother, so you will be fine without adding the Yarrow and still get some of the skin soothing benefits with the Neem. I would definitely recommend Yarrow, though if your pet has a flea infestation and has very red, inflamed skin.
I found Yarrow capsules on Amazon! Do you think those could help? Although it won’t be a lot of yarrow but will be some! I can empty the capsules into the mixture! 🙂
Just a comment,
For the outdoors it’s great to get a few guinea hen, they will wipe out flea and tick populations in a matter of days. This is so important since ticks carry lyme disease. They are the best in that they will not destroy veggie gardens etc. So if you are in a position to have Guinea fowl I would consider it but first look at what’s involved since they have their up side and down side as well. Chickens are great too, then you get fresh eggs.
Thanks, Reggie! I’ve heard such great things about guinea hens, too. I’d like to get a couple next year to help control ticks around here.
Is there something out there to deter horse flies and deer flies? They drive my daughter’s horse crazy.
This stuff is awesome for horses, Cynthia. Flies, knats, mosquitoes, etc. hate DE, Neem and Eucalyptus!
BE CAREFUL: I used DE to treat fleas, and it did a fabulous job. Just don’t go overboard and use too much. I went nuts with the stuff, and ended up clogging up my furnace. We had to call a repairman out to fix it.
Thank you, Mary!
Thank You for the info on De as we have a millipede infestation. I wonder if it work on mud dabber,wasp, and hornet nest.Thanks for your reply.
It works by contact with the insects so unless you can somehow sprinkle it on the wasps, probably not…
Works great for anthills though… I use straight DE on ant hills or areas where ants are coming up through my cement cracks…
I love the idea of using holistic products on all my animals and have been using D Earth for years but the fleas and ticks are really bad this year. I already have the D Earth. Where do I get the other ingredients? Thank you!
Hi Donna! Those other ingredients are so hard to find in an actual store unless you have a well stocked health food store that carries a lot of herbs. You can probably find Eucalyptus oil at a health food store. I had to order mine online! I bought all my ingredients through Amazon:
Ooops! One more question please. Is this flea remedy safe to use on pregnant, nursing mothers, and very young pups? Thank you again!
Yes, but I would leave out the Eucalyptus oil for them.
I use diatomaceous earth and neem on my Great Pyrenees who is allergic to fleas and cannot have any chemical because of her epilepsy. I will be adding the yarrow and eucalyptus, thanks! Because her fur is so thick and long I had a hard time applying the powder. I’ve found that putting the powder in an old knee high hose and rubbing it all over her works very well. It keeps the dust from flying too!
Love that tip, Sarah! And I love those Great Pyrenees – so beautiful!
I saw that somebody had the same question I have, which is “is this safe on puppies ?”, and you said you needed to ask your vet… has this been answered yet? I have 2 four week old puppies and we are concerned about what to put on them and their mother. Also, I have heard some people use baby powder on their animals and carpet because it will suffocate the fleas, but I worry it can possibly suffocate the puppies… Do you have any information on this?
Doesn’t baby powder contain talc which is dangerous to lungs? I think I remember hearing baby powder should be used sparingly due to inhalation problems…
Can I buy these ingredient’s in the uk
I have been using Diatomaceous Earth for years for fleas, on athe animals and inside on the carpet, outside bugs, garden bugs and as a wormer. I threw it around under the house too since the feral cats go under there and spread fleas. You can also add it to add to stored grains/beans to keep weevils out whether you are going to eat it later or use it for garden seed.It last a long time as long as it doesn’t get wet.
Can I use this on my dog without eucalyptus oil? I recently tried eucalyptus oil mixed with baby shampoo and my poor girl broke out in hives all over! So I’m thinking she has an allergy to it. She’s albino and very sensitive.
Yes for sure! The eucalyptus oil is not necessary – it’s just an added degree of defense.
I’m a little confused about adding 20 drops of the eucalyptus oil. The picture of your product looks like a powder, but if you add the oil does it not make a big goopy mess? And do you stir, shake or does it matter how you combine all of the ingredients?
It’s such a little amount of oil compared to the powder, so it just blends right in. I put all the ingredients in a mason jar, close the lid and then shake.
I saw it mentioned that you can use the Borax for flea control in your home, is it safe to apply it directly to your pets?
I have a 25 lbs. Bag of this and used it sorry I still have fleas bad.
I don’t know if this has been asked. Can this be used on a cat with asthma and possibly borderline kidney failure?
Hi Linda, the ingredients should be safe for your cat, but just make sure to leave out the Eucalyptus essential oil (it’s still very effective without the oil).
Hello, and thank you for the tremendous information. I’ve been fighting a losing battle against fleas on my 2 girls, Belle (French mastiff) and Sissy (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel/ min. Schnauzer). I’ve read that Cavaliers were bred to attract their owner’s fleas, and based on how many Sissy gets, I believe it. They both have been miserable with those little pests.
Anyway, I had given up hope, and reluctantly bought some Revolution. The same day I put it on them, I chanced upon your recipe. That was 2 days ago. Yesterday, 24 hrs after applying the Rrevolution, they still had fleas. So I headed to a local organic farmer’s market, and they had the food grade DE and some Neem bark powder. I took them home, mixed them with a few drops of tea tree oil, in a small mason jar. I cut a small square of window screen, rubber-banded to the mouth of the jar, to apply it to their backs. Today, I see no fleas! And my girls are not itching and biting, hardly at all. That hasn’t been the norm for a little while.
I don’t know which worked, but I’m sure glad something did. I’m more inclined to think that your help made the difference. I know I’ll have to be vigilant to rid us of fleas. But I think I’m on the right track with your advice.
Oh wow, that’s great to here that Belle and Sissy finally got relief! I hate those darn fleas!!! And that’s great that your farmers market carried the neem and DE – sounds like a good market. I love your idea of using a window screen for the mason jar!!
I was looking through the comments and seen people asking about different animals and pets but I didn’t see anything about CHILDREN!!! Is all this stuff okay around kids??? I have a 1 yr old and a 2 yr old… We just got a cat and wanna make sure it is safe with the babies, and I did see to keep the oil out for use with cats.
Oh yes, it’s safe for children and kids!
DE in my area is also known as Fossil Flour… that is the name on the 50# bag that I buy it in… I feed it in a mash to my horses every day to keep them worm free!!
Oh my goodness, I could almost cry because I’m so happy to have found this recipe! We have two dogs and live way out in the country too. Ticks are a concern, but the fleas are the worst we’ve ever seen! I just finished bathing my sweet boy Angus (a pit mix) because he’s seriously been unable to even sleep well because of scratching and digging for fleas. There was literally blood washing off of the area right above his tail because he’s been scratching so much and they’ve been biting him so much!! I can’t wait to gather ingredients for this powder. I already have diatomaceous earth from a past flea infestation, so hopefully I’ll be trying this out soon. And I love that it’s all natural and that there’s no danger to my 16 month old who loves to snuggle with her best bud. Thank you thank you thank you!!!
I know just how you feel!!! I hope this works for Angus and he can find some relief soon.
So im curious if you dont have a flea prob at all but want to keep it that way without the use of frountline. Would just the DE be sufficient? Why do you need the other ingredients?
If I didn’t have a flea infestation and just wanted to use it for a general flea repellent, I would just do the DE and Neem. DE by itself is extremely drying when applied directly to the skin and can cause scaling and just super dry skin. The Neem combats that dryness.
How long does it take for the fleas to die? I treated both of my dogs today but the fleas actually seem worse now than before.
Oh no! If you have an infestation, it will honestly take about 4 weeks to clear. The fleas (and ticks) die with contact from DE within 4 hours. BUT, if you have an infestation, it doesn’t matter how many adult fleas you kill because eggs are hatching with whole new generations of fleas simultaneously. That’s why it takes a few weeks to get rid of them. The neem will prevent new generations of fleas from developing, but it takes about 3 weeks for neem to work it’s magic.
I was able to find all ingredients at a local store except neem powder. I did however find neem oil! is there a way for me to use the neem oil in place of the powder or should I keep shopping and make the powder as directed? My dogs and I thank you in advance!
I would use the oil if that’s what you found and can get easily. I would use 20 drops. (or a dropper or two full)
Hi , I also hate frontline, I have seen what that can do on animals. And I want to ask you : Can you use it against flea and Redmite on chicken your homemade Flea Powder ?? Or do you know anything that maybe i can use !!!!!
Yes, Kim this would be great for chickens. A lot of people use just DE for chickens, too. If you use this recipe, just leave out the eucalyptus essential oil for the chickens.
I will try this, I have a flea infestation =( I would also like to leave a note on this site for your followers that will also help. Use a product called 20 Mule Team Borax (also found on Amazon). Sprinkle this where your carpet meets the wall, sofas and chairs. This will dehydrate the eggs and once your flea problem is gone you vacuum it up. I saw your flea remedy on Pinterest! I am ordering supplies right now and me and my cats cant wait to try it! Thank you again! I will let you know when it works!
Several folks asked where to get the neem powder and yarrow powders. I found both here: http://www.bulkapothecary.com/. The DE can be found on Amazon and from a lot of other sources; just Google for the DE.
I bought some Diatomaceous earth, marked as Diatom Dust Insect powder. It says: including silicon dioxide, other oxides and moisture. It does NOT say Food Grade. It was bought from a pet expo. Is this still safe to use on my pets. I have dogs, cats, a ferret & a bearded dragon lizard. I worry about using it, since it is not food grade. I have already used it, as the salesperson said it was safe.Now I’m reading differently. Please help me to be sure I’m not harming my pets. I sprinkled it on all my floors, but not directly on animals. I covered lizard cage also while dust was in air. Just hoping I have done ok.
Hi Theresa, I would think it would be safe if they were selling it at a Pet Expo. You could always look the company up online and try to find an email or contact information and ask them to be sure. But I would think it would be safe.
Everything I have read vehemently stresses that it must be LABELED “Food Grade” to be used on animals. My own DE, which is food grade, says 89% silicon dioxide, so the other 11% must be other fillers to prevent caking, perhaps? I have sent an email to the supplier to ask what the other 11% is comprised of. I, too, would think it is food grade and safe for animals if you got it at a pet store, but I would take the time to verify that before using it. Pool grade DE has been chemically treated and can be extremely harmful.
I was thinking the same, but wanted to be sure. When I started reading more about it, I got a little worried because I did not realize there was a food grade type. But thankyou so much for your help. 🙂
Thank you for this recipe! I’ve used Results powders for years and just found out they’ve went out of business. So now I need to mix up my own powder and I’ll definitely try out the mix you’ve posted here.
An FYI for you for easy application of powders: I use a plastic condiment bottle – like this one http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/update-international/sbc-12/p1458019.aspx – I apply starting at the butt and work my way up to their head with the nose of the bottle against the skin, under the hair, pointed forward. You can do small “puffs” of powder this way that blows the powder out UNDER their hair, then just a light “poofing” with the palm of your hands spreads it out even farther and knocks out the excess powder.
Thanks again for this mix! Have a groovy good day!
I LOVE the condiment bottle application, Rhonda! That will work so much better! Thank you!!
I have a cat and a dog… Is it safe to use the amazon brand (with eucalyptus oil) on the dog? Even around the cat? Can I buy a brand without eucalyptus oil for the cat?
Hi Amy! The brand linked to on Amazon only has DE, Neem and Yarrow so you’re safe 🙂 I just added the Eucalyptus from the advice from my holistic vet!
The Amazon site has several different sized puffs like shown with your post showing what to order. They have 4″ body size and 3+” face powder size and then these little teeny 1″ or so sized nail puffs, which, unfortunately were the ones picked to put in your post. The picture looks correct but the size obviously was not. All these people just ordered without noticing the size (in was in mm’s) and then they were all griping. Maybe you could change that? I’m sorry. Had to say something. Hope you see this!
Thank you so much, Sally for bringing that to my attention! I am so sorry about that and will update it. I really appreciate you letting me know. Thank you!
We have been using the Borax soap on our carpets and it helps but used alone it has not ended our flea problems. I am beginning to think also that it is causing our African Grey parrot to have liquid poop. Will the DE be more effective and safer to use with a parrot in the house?
Hi Linda! DE is safer than Borax, although Borax is still a good option. Borax powder and DE are both are very effective. I’m not very familiar and don’t have experience with the borax shampoo, so I can’t comment on the borax shampoo. Hope that helps!
Birds are much more sensitive than most other pets. DE is perfectly safe as long as it is not inhaled. Borax is as safe as ordinary table salt but birds are known to be highly sensitive to many things that you would not normally think of as toxic so be careful. May want to treat with borax then shampoo the carpet a day later to get rid of most of the borax. Then followup with a light sprinkle DE in the carpet and furniture upholstery.
Hey everyone!! I was recently introduced to DE by my boarder. She said that her previous farm used it around high manure areas to keep flies down. Her older horse has a major fly issue, even with being on garlic. My 3, on the other hand, have very little flies. I used it mainly with him, and feed him some 3x a daily with his grain, and also sprinkle it around the high manure areas. We do not pick our fields clean, but instead spread, or “drag” to help fertilize. I do notice a HUGE difference in the flies when feeding to him and spreading it. I to use a hand seeder to help spread, but i’m glad I read about adding the sand! That’ll make life a lot easier. Thank you so much!
Years ago I read in vet magazine a recipe for fleas. It was simply to fill a hose-end sprayer with ordinary household bleach, and set know to distribute at a ration of 1/2 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. I spray my yard till the dirt is damp. This is where fleas lay their eggs. I do this about 2 weeks apart, and that is it for the summer. I also put a drop of lavender oil on the head of my dogs, as fleas don’t like the lavender oil. I put the oil on their heads, so they can’t lick it off. I have been doing this for years. If fleas are very intense, or you have many dogs,then you can spray the yard twice a week for two weeks, then once a week till the first killing frost. This was the recipe that a kennel used to control fleas.
Sorry if this has been stated, but did want to stress where NOT to buy DE. Do not ever use the DE from a swimming pool supply store or the kind that goes into a swimming pool filter. That is the type that is a known carcinogen and should have a warning sign on it. ONLY use did grade as mentioned…. And it truly is great stuff!
Will most definitely try this recipe!! Love love love the idea of putting it around the doors and windows!! Thank you!
I use regular salt. Sprinkle it on the carpet and vacuum up the next day.
I have about 30 cats and 2 dogs, you can walk in my house and not
get flea bit.
The salt dehydrated them.
Salt is very bad for cats. That is not good advice.
So upset, I tried to buy these ingredients and was told that Amazon cannot ship the DE or Neem powder to Australia. Do you know of any alternative place I can get it. My little westie is tearing herself to pieces. She is allergic to fleas and one on her can do damage, It is costing me a fortune in Frontline but it doesn’t work for long. We live in the bush and I just can’t keep her flea free.
Desperate for any suggestions.
I am hoping a reader can chime in for you, Glenda. I don’t know the answer, but am really hoping someone helps you figure it out. I feel so bad for these animals with fleas! And I love, love, love westies, too – the most adorable little pups!
Here’s a couple of links I found from “google”, you’ll need to do the research to confirm
Is this safe to use on chickens?
I’d probably just use the DE for the chickens, Thalia. That’s what most people seem to do and swear by it!
My 2 dogs are like cats in the way that they groom each other. They lick each other fur 😉 Will this harm them if they lick it? Also does the amount applied depend on their size/weight? I also want to add, your website is AWESOME!!! You add so much detail/info that I don’t have to do much (if any) research on my end. Many sites like this just posts the basic facts. Thanks, Beth 🙂
Thank you, Beth!! That is an awesome compliment to me and means a lot to me (made my day!). I think if I were you, I’d just leave the eucalyptus oil out so it wouldn’t be harmful to your cat at all if he/she licks it. On the contrary, it’s actually beneficial and will keep their intestinal parasites in check if they ingest some 🙂 (just be sure to have extra water on hand because it will probably make them a little more thirsty than usual). And the amount does depend on their size, but only because you’ll need more to cover the skin/fur the bigger they are. Hope that helps and thanks again for the awesome compliment!! ~Kelly
No no no, lol They are both DOGS but ACT like CATS – in they have a habit of licking each other – like cats do (cats groom each other) but they are DOGS 😉
LOL!!! Ohhhh okay!! I misread it! And how cute is that?! Adorable!
Can I use this on a rabbit ? And if so do I leave the oil out of it ?
Yes, it works great for rabbits. I’d leave the oil out of it.
Is it safe to use on cats. We have three.
Hi Mandy! Yes, but just leave out the Eucalyptus oil.
DE has been used for years on yards against Japanese Beetle infestation. It’s pretty effective, and now not so horrendously expensive. It won’t harm worms, etc., but it scratches the beetle larvae and kills them.
Our four cats had a horrible flea infestation 3 years ago. I didn’t know any better then and went the commercial route to treat the cats but did discover salt is a great way to get rid of the infestation in the carpets. I used kosher salt because it was a bigger granule and sprinkled it all over the carpet, sofa and pet bedding. I left it sit for about 18 hours and then vacuumed it all away. It was very inexpensive and I didn’t have to worry about chemical residue harming my kids. Thanks for giving me a chemical free option for my four legged friends, too!
That’s awesome, Annie! Thanks for your tips 🙂
How well did the salt work, did it take most of the fleas out?
Last year, being just introduced to Diatrom, I got a couple bags from Amazon, and when I realized Misty was suffering, I put her on my lap, used the comb dipped in white vinegar, and combed her then dusted her with D, and all the places she inhabited. THEN, I put it in all the cushions of the furniture, and under the mattress pad in my bed, in the vents and any where I felt there was any kind of bug. Neat and not invasive. I use it when I see bugs around the garden also, just go out and out my hand in the bag and clap my hands over the plants or what ever and they are dead. I use a spray bottle of the white vinegar all over the house to spray bugs and rub it on the two dogs with the dust.
All natural and works for me. 🙂
Nice!! Thanks for all the tips, Nancy!
You can also use a parmesan cheese container lid on a mason jar, it fits perfectly
I have a Blue and Gold Macaw 3Dog and 3 Cats. First would it be safe to use around my Macaw and could I use it on her?
Yes, it’s great for all types of animals!
Can I use this with Frontline Plus? For added protection? Bad flea season up here in Ohio, and I have a flea allergic dog. And with frontline plus the flea can still bite the dog…
Yes for sure!
Is there another oil that you can use besides Eucalyptus? I hate the smell of Eucalyptus. Thanks!
Citronella, Rose Geranium, Tea Tree and even Lavender are good options, too 🙂
Is this recipe safe to use on young puppies (4 weeks & younger)? All commercial products say do not use on puppies under 12 weeks. I am desperate to find something that will work. Thanks!
Yes, it’s safe (non-toxic) to use on puppies 🙂
I don’t have pets so not worried if food grade or not. Can this kill rats/mice/possums? I want something seriously toxic to them!
Hi Michelle, the food grade DE will not kill or harm rats, mice or possums and I’m not sure about the non food grade DE. Hopefully someone else can chime in or have some good suggestions for getting rid of them.
Opossums kill (eat) up to 5000 ticks a day. They are beneficial for the eco system. Kill the Opossum and you have will more ticks and more lyme disease.
I have a dog, 2 cats and a kitten. Can I use this on all of them? Also since they all live inside, should I leave the oil out of all of it since the cats are in close contact with the dog?
Yes you can use it on them all. I’d just leave out the eucalyptus.
Is this good for bed bugs?
Hi Deshawn, you can just use the DE for the bed bugs. And yes, it is effective at killing bed bugs.
Hi! I just found a momma kitty and her 3 roughly 2 week old babies. I brought them home to take care of them and have noticed a couple fleas! Would this be safe for the nursing momma and her babies?
Yes, Brandy – just leave out the eucalyptus oil 🙂
If the neem and yarrow are both used to counteract the drying quality of the DE, then if you leave the yarrow out, should you increase the proportion of neem to make up for it when using on animals?
I believe I would, Carol. DE can be so drying and this really helps.
I have had good results with “flea prevention” by simply adding brewer’s yeast to my cat’s diet in flake form. She loves it. I just put a small bowl of it near her food and she eats it when she wants it. However, I also had a cat that did not like it and wouldn’t eat it.
Supposedly the brewer’s yeast makes the cat’s blood taste funny and fleas don’t like it.
Thank you, Marilyn!
Would this treatment work for lice on humans?
Yes, it will, Denys. I would sub out the eucalyptus oil with tea tree oil for lice.
That’s great! Thanks 🙂
I was reading about chickens, taking chicken baths in dust/dirt, not water because it smothers the ticks and fleas. After reading your post for the dogs/cats, I am curious if its the smothering of these ticks/fleas is the key which makes me wonder if baking soda has been tried, and if so, did it work. Not expensive and can be used of course for multiple applications. Thanks for any feedback.
Hi, do you know if I can safely use this on kittens at 3 – 4 weeks of age? They were born outside, unfortunately, and found covered in fleas. They will be getting their first bath soon and I would also like to use this on them (as it worked on my other animals pretty effectively) but I wanted to make sure it is safe to use first.
Yes, it’s non-toxic and can be used on very young kittens 🙂
I’m so glad this repellant is non toxic. I have a young puppy who just got fleas. It has been really hard to deal with, but this powder should make it a lot easier. Once I start using this flea powder on my puppy I can call in some professionals to get rid of all the fleas in my home.
Julia, I have changed the recipe a bit with just as good results!
I can’t get many items in Abilene and I did not want to wait for items to arrive from online ordering so I changed it a bit with what items I could find. And I have used it on my 4-week old puppies and their young adult mom in the last two weeks. No fleas!!
1 cup DE, food grade
20 Neem capsules, opened
20 drops Tea Tree oil
20 drops Citronella oil
5 drops Clove oil
I washed them all with natural baby shampoo that I mixed 30 drops of Tea Tree oil and 30 drops of Lavender oil in first, then applied the powder when they were mostly dry.
Tea tree and Citronella are like Eucalyptus. Many creatures do not like Lavender and everything hates Clove! But Clove is strong and could burn skin so I did not use much of it.
Thanks for all the original information posted on this site or I would not have known where to start and my house and dogs would still be full of bugs. Yuck!
That is so wonderful, Avalon. Thank you so much for sharing!
I used the DE alone because I only had that one ingredient. It did not get rid of the fleas. I rea
pplied everyday for 4 days. Just as many on the 4th day as there were on the first. Going to get the other ingredients and try again.
Thank you for the recipe! Is this safe to use on a dog who is still nursing her pups?
You mentioned Flies at the beginning. But I can not find anything for flies. I have an older 2 story farmhouse and the flies are unreal. HELP !
Hi Barb! Ugh, flies are so pesky. Flies used to bother my dog so much, but they hate this powder. We haven’t had a problem with flies bothering him since using it. But I’m not sure it would work as well in a house. The flies would avoid the areas with the powder, but it would be impossible (and totally not practical) to cover your house with this powder. If it were me, I’d try diffusing an insect repelling essential oil blend in the house (maybe even a few rooms where they seem to bother you the most).
I have 2 of these essential oil diffusers and I LOVE them >> http://amzn.to/1uyNbNC
Not only are they absolutely gorgeous, but they do a great job of diffusing the essential oils all throughout my house. Here’s a bug essential oil blend that I’ve personally used and it works really well >> http://amzn.to/1sYYQ3U
Lavender essential oil is a wonderful smelling, relaxing essential oil that helps keep bugs away, too >> http://amzn.to/11vHxRg
I’d love to hear if anyone else has other suggestions for keeping flies away, too!
Thanks for the recipe. I am definitely trying this. I have a Rhodesian Ridgeback with serious skin issues! Can I replace lemon grass in place of the eucalyptus oil? Is there a shelf life of this recipe?
Hi Amber! Yes, lemongrass would be a great substitution for eucalyptus. This has an indefinite shelf life. And I love rhodesian ridgebacks! They are so beautiful.
Can I use this on a feral pig? She was orphaned and we are raising her. She is 4 months old.
Hi Terry, Yes this would be great for a feral pig.
Just a couple of FYI’s. 1st: Diatomaceous Earth Food grade can be added to pets food to destroy tape worms in their stomachs. Farmers do it all the time. I have done this. My pets were fine. 2nd:You can use a Parmesan food container lid on a Mason jar which already has holes and reseals to keep powder dry. Works on a small-mouth mason jar.
I was wondering if this is safe for pregnant women to be around? As we have fleas and i am the only one in the house that is getting ate up and it is so annoying!!
Yes, this is completely non-toxic and safe for pregnant women. Hope this provides some relief for you, Lacey!
Thank you for this post. I have been for the past months trying to rid my little Chihuahua of fleas. In the past we were able to stop them fast but we have an outbreak now and it sucks!! I feel so bad for my dog, every week I give him a bath with flea shampoo. He is so used to it now he knows not to move when I try to remove them from his fur. It makes me sad too because he has become jumpy when people touch him because of the fleas. I am willing to try anything at this point. I think our next step is the vet. I definitely want to make this to put in our carpet. Fleas SUCK!!
Amen!! Fleas SUCK so bad! I know just how you feel – those darn fleas were causing me SO much stress. I wish you and your Chihuahua the best and hope he gets some relief soon!
I ordered yarrow powder and yarrow flowers, If I grind up the flowers can I use them the same way as the powder? Thank you
Yes for sure! Great idea!
I’m very grateful I’ve found this blog. My mother, who the family refers to as “Mother Earth” has been singing the praises of DE for years, grows organic, uses her own organic home made pest repellents for her gardens and turns 79 in May. What I find interesting is the remarks on heart worms. I’ve taken food grade DE as a dietary supplement and can attest to its benefits. I’ve also used DE to treat my 9 year Rat Terrier for years. I’ve got friends who raise grey hounds and they have never treated for heart worms. I’ve never treated my dogs for heart worms as I’ve been diligent to treat for mosquitoes. It seemed to me to be just one more chemical. “Checkers” is a healthy, happy dog. Thanks again.
Hi Rebecca! DE is awesome, right?! Love your dog’s name – Checkers – so cute!
I have not tried using the diatamceous earth yet, but my cat is allergic to fleas. When he gets fleas, he scratches himself raw under his chin and the back of his legs. I tried many natural things that seemed to work at first, but then it wouldn’t completely heal. I finally found a site that said honey and turmeric can help with skin issues in pets. I made a paste with just those two ingredients and within 2 to 3 days his skin was healing, his hair started to grow back, and shortly after that it was completely healed. It was like a miracle. I don’t however know if honey is safe for dogs, so look into that before trying it. I will now try the DE, so it doesn’t get to that point to begin with. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Thanks for your comment, Carol! I love your honey, turmeric tip – thank you so much for sharing!
I love reading everyone’s comment thankyou for this wonderful site.
I do have a question and hopefully will get some ideas My fox terrier who is now 14 years old is always scratching he almost tears off his skin I had been using comfortis to no avail. I dont know how many times to the vet and always the same gives you a little cream to put on and yes it works but as soon as it runs out I need to go back for more. They wont just issue more you have to see the vet again. So not only the ridiculous cost of the vet bills but nothing they say seems to be working and in the meantime my poor dog is not improving. I have recently tried the vinegar recipe but he still scratches. Seems like he needs something to stop the itch and redness. Can anyone help Im in Queensland Australia and the weather in always hot and very humid which doesnt help.
Are you sure he is not experiencing a food allergy? My dog goes crazy with itching if there is the tiniest bit of turkey or turkey by-products in her food. It took a long time to figure it out so I thought I’d mention it. Also grains often cause itching and older dogs can develop new allergies that they never had before. Good luck!
Our rescue dog arrived with dermatitis on one back leg. As long as he kept kicking it it would get crusted over with scabs. The cure for us was a tea tree oil hot spot spray, and a fish oil pill in his food. Hope yours is better by now.
i too experienced a bad flea infestation in my home this past fall. It was recommended to sprinkle carpets with table salt, leave for 2-3 days, vacuum. Then to repeat until infestation cleared. It was stated the salt would act similar to the DE in that scratch the flea larva. It did seem to work.
What is your thought on using salt ?
I think that’s a great natural option if it worked, M.k.! Thank you for sharing!
Do you know if this works on gnats. They are driving my horses crazy. Please let me know, thanks.
Yes, this will work on gnats, Tony!
Great info. thx
Is this safe to use around cats? When I apply the store bought flea and tick, it always says to stay away from cats for a few hours when it’s first applied. Is it the same with this?
Hi April! This is safe to use around cats.
I just found you on Pinterest, and OMG I’m so glad I did, just in time for “the season” I am in great need of your flee treatment. I will be telling all my family about this, because they need it too.
Thank You, Thank you,
Lisa in Alabama
You are welcome, Lisa!
this is to repel fleas, doesnt it mean they will leave and go to some other host?
Hi Steve. The DE kills them 🙂
Hey, would love to try this on my 4 dogs…
but they are full coated shih tzus and I show them very regularly… I wash them very often.
Can I mix this in their food?
like to hear from you!
Hi Sya! I would not mix this in their food. Many vets have had a lot of success with a product called Flea Free, which is something that you can add to their food. I have no personal experience with it, but I’ve heard nothing but great things about it. You can take a look at it HERE.
I also wrote about some other natural flea repellent options HERE, including a lemon skin tonic (that won’t affect the texture of their fur) and a rosemary conditioner. Hope that helps!
Thankyou!! Would love to try the “Lemon Skin Tonic” or the “Rosemary Conditioner” <3
Can I use these as a spray? or do I have to soak their coats?
After the "Rosemary Conditioner" can I blow dry them?
They have long hair, to the ground, they would stay wet for a very long time…
HI, awesome article! All the comments are very informative too! Can I add the rose geranium oil to this mixture to help cover ticks too?
Hi Sue! Thank you! Yes, you could add rose geranium to this – great idea!
Three dogs and a cat and 24 years later, I have my first flea problem. Not only are the dogs covered with fleas, eggs and ugly bites, I am also covered in bites. Gross!! So glad I ran across this information and will try it. We do not have any carpet in our entire house. Should we just spread it over the floor? I can just picture myself skating across our laminate and falling on my butt like I used to as a kid at an ice rink. Just what an old lady needs…. flea bites and a broken hip! What would you recommend?
Oh Gail, I feel for you!! Fleas are such a nightmare. I would just spread DE over the floors in your house, concentrating the most in the areas where the pets hang out and sleep. Perhaps do it at night and then vacuum in the morning. And keep vacuuming – daily is best – it’s one of your best defenses against fleas. The flea powder is great to put on the animals because it has extra herbs to combat the bites, but just the DE is very effective to treat the inside of your house. Good luck!!!!
Hello! I’m so glad I found this. blog. I am weary to give any of the chemical treatments. I gave my poor inside kitties fleas from me petting my neighbor’s outside cat. 🙁 We’ve made the powder and treated our cats. they seem to be scratching less. I have found less fleas when combing them, but thought I’d be combing out the dead ones?
Also, we lightly powdered our carpets with DE yesterday and are going to vacuum it up today. how often should we do this? Daily? Weekly?
Hi Adrianne! Your poor little kitties 🙁 I hope this helps them!! I would do the DE on your carpets twice a week, but vacuum as often as you can – once a day if you can swing it!
Where would you find these ingredients? I REALLY would like to try this powder but have no clue as to where to go?
Hi Jenn! You can find DE in your local garden or animal feed supply store (just make sure it says Food Grade). The other ingredients you’ll probably have a harder time finding locally, which is why I included the Amazon links in the post. I don’t have anywhere around my house that carries those other ingredients so I had to buy them online. If you click on each ingredient it will take you to the exact product on Amazon, where you can order them if you are interested. Hope that helps!
Gosh, I am so thrilled to find this natural flea treatment. I am from London, where we have had one of the mildest winters in years and out have come fleas in their thousands. Poor old Betty, our adored Havapoo, is covered with the things, as are we and the entire house! I am so loathe to plaster her with chemicals, as it is reported that fleas are now resistant to all the major brands, and she’s such a wee thing, it can’t be good for her, so armed with all the info, I have order a lorry load of it from Amazon and will start in earnest tomorrow when it arrives, because hoovering like a Trojan does not do the trick effectively enough! Have passed on the details to all my friends who are similarly afflicted, so you have an expanding fan base in Blighty, Kelly! One tip from over here, wood ash sprinkled in your garden works wonders at keeping parasites at bay and is good for the soil too. A fine dusting is enough to deter ants etc and doesn’t harm all the good bugs we love like bees and lady birds. Cheerio from us over the pond!
Oh that is such a fantastic tip! Thank you, Sarah! And I’m so happy to have gained you and your friends as readers 🙂 I know how horrible and frustrating a flea infestation is and I wish your little Betty and you some relief very soon!!!
Golly – what a speedy reply! What a trooper you are with your commitment to your blog. One final tip, I read a time saving tip on another website. Rather than hauling all your furniture around to effectively spread the stuff in all the hard to reach areas, if you get a pest control duster with a long, flexible nozzle and puff it under your sofa, down the edges of the skirting boards behind heavy bookcases and so on, you get a really good covering and better still, no need to hoover it up afterwards. The downside is that your house will look like a flour mill when you eventually move, but what the heck, if it controls the problem, it’s fine with me. Just off to boil wash every blanket and sheet in sight. Still, at least my mother in law will be impressed with the cleanliness of the house – best not to tell her about the fleas though!!!
Hey Kiddo, Thanx for the flea power recipe. My Ricky “God rest his soul” was never bothered with fleas. He was a Apricot, Toy poodle and my best friend for 16 years.. I bathed him every week with Johnson & Johnson “no tears” formula. Apparently fleas don’t like the smell or taste of J&J shampoo but I digress I wanted to tell you when treating your home with flea products make sure if you have “wall to wall” carpeting to put a little extra where the carpet meets the wall. I have personally used “bombs” to treat houses just to see gatherings of flea larva at that junction afterwards. Well again Thanx for the recipe.. it’s going to put me out of a side job but the results will be worth it.
Thank you, Terry for that great tip! Your Ricky sounded like a wonderful companion.
I use a knee high stocking or cut the foot from a pair of panty hose/nylon stockings, and put powder mix in it. then i apply it to my short hair dogs by patting like a powder puff. it works great and there is not much waste.
Such a great tip, Erth! Thank you!
As you say, Kelly, diatomaceous earth (DE) is safe if you look for “food grade” or that sold as bug repellant (usually in hardware stores). These apparently do not carry health risks.
DO NOT use DE that is used in swimming pool filters. This is very refined DE and is so fine a powder that it can be inhaled into the lungs and cause damage and disease.
Know your DE’s!
Thanks for a great recipe, Kelly. I’ll be mixing up a batch tomorrow!
Yes! Thank you, Dave!
I never would have thought of making homemade flea powder repellent. I have always never wanted to put any chemicals on my do but I have been because I didn’t think there was a choice. Now I know. Thanks for sharing.
I’m so excited to make and use this flea powder. Thank you for mentioning not to use the oil on the cats. We have been using Advantage on our cats for years. My husband and I are both retired and purchasing this product gets very expensive. But I hate to see animals in misery, always scratching and biting. I also read your recipe for the Homemade Mosquito Repellent Candles and want to try that, too. We are having rain right now in the Great Northwest, but I know it will come in handy soon. Thanks for all your great recipes and for sharing them with your followers. You are amazing!
Thank you so much for your words of support and encouragement, Barbara Ann! It means a lot to me!
Thank you Kelly and Primally Inspired. I am so grateful for hearing about this as my 13 year old healthy 4 lb poodle doesn’t need fleas or other problems. I think God led me to you as I didn’t trust anything wet on my dog except for a non toxic flea killer spray, which God led me to also, (recipe below) which is so gentle that my dog has no side effects from it. It kills them dead and they stay dead but I NEEDED A REPELLANT, such as DE to keep other fleas from jumping on her. Your’s and everyone’s experience with DE, tells me it will not hurt my dog or me. I will not use the Eucalyptus oil as I had a horrible experience with Essential Oils. I see your dog is a big one, and the body mass surely allows the small amount you add, but as you say yourself, the oil is really not necessary. Please allow me to briefly tell what happened to my two 5 lb angel poodles years ago, when I put Essential Oil on them. I followed the directions from the Essential Oil company which said, in heavy infestations, one should put a few drops on key points on the dogs backs. I did so and the dogs were disturbed. I misunderstood their disturbance that the fleas were going crazy. But no. After an hour, I washed both dogs with a dish soap as I thought maybe the oils were burning the dogs or something. But the next day, my older poodle just fell over after she used the rest room outdoors. I noticed her poop was pure red like jello. I rushed her to the vets but it was too late. My younger little angel lived an extra day, and when she started to suffer, I quickly had her put to sleep. By the way, my own face was beet red the next day after applying the oil to my dogs. Sites like yours help people as we can share things. Thank you for your experience with DE, and here’s the recipe that is allowing my dog to sleep blissfully as I write this. I have to put her in a flea free doggie kennel up off the floor as I still have some unfelt fleas in the house. But I’ve been using the following non toxic flea killer at least 5 times for about 8 days now with no side effects. I ALWAYS WASH IT OFF AFTER AFTER ABOUT 5 OR SO MINUTES ON MY PETS SKIN. However, when I first experimented with this blend of ingredients I put too much oil and too much vinegar, and my dog had real bad diarrhea. But I had the thought that only one teaspoon of oil is enough to make the vinegar stick to the fleas. The recipe is: into a spray bottle [with measurements in ounces shown], add 8 or 10 oz. of water. (I’ve used both amounts). Then add 2 oz of apple cider vinegar. Then add only 1 teaspoon of Grape seed oil and shake the spray bottle well. On the dry dog, I spray her all over and put the nozzle of the spray bottle close to her skin when I’m spraying near her eyes. When the nozzle in buried in her fur it can’t get into her eyes and sometimes I put my other hand over her eyes as an extra shield. But on short haired dogs, I would play it safe and use a dry wash rag and spray it with the formula and then gently apply this mixture around the muzzle and face and shield the dogs eyes with your hand or something. I don’t go too near the eyes and I hold her head up so the liquid won’t roll down into her eyes. AFTER ABOUT 5 minutes of this kind of spraying, (my dog is little so it only takes me about 5 or so minutes) I wash the stuff off real good with a average amount of Dawn Dish washing soap. Rinse well so no soap remains and dry.If you want to see that the fleas are staying dead as I did, you can put two or three of the little suckers in a dry plate and looked at them the next day to see they are still dead.IF YOU DON’T HAVE A REPELLANT AND YOU HAVE FLEAS IN YOUR HOUSE OR YARD, THE FLEAS HAVE NO PROBLEM ATTACHING YOUR CLEAN FLEA FREE DOG. That’s why I’m excited abut the DE. Those people who are concerned about killing “good bugs” with DE may want to investigate whether this non toxic flea spray that I just mentioned would kill those good bugs. But I am planning to spray my yard, house and carpets after I do a spot test on my carpet to be sure it doesn’t hurt the carpet. I am so grateful for the DE option and the comments of those who say the DE is effective and not harmful to use. Thank you for letting me share my Essential oil experience and the recipe which works fast and sure, on any older dog, without side effects for the average dog. Your experiences with DE have enriched my life and my dogs also. Thanks again. Rae
Thank you so much for sharing your tips and personal experience, Rae! Many blessings to you and your fur baby!
I note that you say leave out the Eucalyptus oil if using for cats.
We have a cat and a dog.
Can i use it on the dog AND the carpeting and house?
Or not at all with the cat in the house?
I am sooooooo happy to have a friend forward this to me.
I and our Pitbull mix, Shelby are digging holes in our skin and both she and our cat, Venus are using a very good and expensive chemical brand that is not working….
I will await your reply.
Thank you and God Bless,
Hi Kathy! I would leave it out. I hope this is able to give Shelby and you some relief!!!
Our poor dog was in so much pain from so much scratching, he barely ate anything and he wasn’t in the mood for playing or going outside. As soon as we applied this powder, the scratching stopped and he was a totally different dog, happy and playful again. By the way, thanks for the tips!
Thank you for the yarrow recipe, I featured it on my blog today: http://www.colorfulcanary.com/2016/07/10-incredible-uses-for-yarrow-achillea.html
I was wondering if the mixture is safe if my dog happens to lick it? And, if I am wanting to repel mosquitoes do I need to apply the mixture more than once a month?
Hi Autumn! When I first created this recipe I asked my vet the same question and the answer was yes, it’s fine, but just be sure that the dog always has access to clean water – the DE could possibly make them a bit more thirsty than usual 🙂
Myself and some other readers have had a lot of success using this spray for mosquitoes (it’s really great for ticks, too!) —> http://www.primallyinspired.com/homemade-tick-spray-natural-repellent/
Hi there. We have a dog and two cats, I know you mentioned that we should leave out the oil for the cats, but will it still work on the dog without the oil? I’d rather not make two separate mixes.
Yes it will – no need to make 2 separate mixes!
Can I use this powder on my couches? Should I follow the same treatment as the floors? Sprinkle on couches and cusions then vacuum the next day? Thank you for your advice. This weekend is a flea killing weekend for us!
Yes, for sure! And I would recommend doing the couches especially if your dog or cat spends a lot of time there! Good luck!!!!
This looks great! Way cheaper and healthier to put on a dog!
Thanks for sharing! Are there other essential oils good for dogs?
This stuff works! Thanks for the post.
Glad it could help!
I’m wondering how to apply this around the house to take care of fleas. I sprinkled all over the house and plan on leaving it there for a few hours then vacuum, but was wondering if it’s safe enough to be walking around the house with it on the floor? Both my cats have flees and I used a treatment from the vet cause I was desperate at the moment and found out about the DE to use around the house because whatever the vet recommended was very toxic. Any thoughts? Or should I do one room at a time and not enter it?
Thanks for a great recipe!
It’s completely safe (for both you and your cats) to walk around with it in and and on the floors!
Can humans use this flea powder safely? I cannot go outside in warm weather because I get attacked and bitten terribly. I love the outdoors and would love to sit on the patio without being eaten alive.
Oh my Jean, that sounds awful, especially for an outdoor lover! I would recommend a bug repellent oil using bug repelling essential oils rather than this. I would think this flea powder wouldn’t “hold” onto our skin like it does in an animals hair. Here’s a bug repellent using essential oils that works extremely well if you need a recipe —> https://www.primallyinspired.com/favorites-how-to-make-a-homemade-bug-repellent-oil-easy-essential-oils/
We love it and it works for our 2 dogs and 3 cats, Thanks! ?
Thank you for this incredibly helpful post. I’m on day 10 of this treatment and have seen a decrease in the number of fleas on our dog. Every night I flea comb her and put this all over getting it down onto her skin. If you can recall your own experience, will this formula also kill off eggs and the young larvae? I read that the eggs look like dandruff flakes but can’t find anything on whether or not this kills them also. We won’t stop until they’re gone, was just curious. We do it every, single night! Sometimes I catch her licking it off her feet. :/ She’s a willing patient for the most part. Thanks again.
Hi Shannon, yes this will not let the fleas survive in the egg/larva stage. Vacuuming everyday (and if you can – 2 times a day around where she sleeps and hang outs the most) will also be SO helpful at killing them, too! Good luck!!