• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Fleas and DE

 
Liz Allan
Posts: 1
Location: Palm Coast, FL
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Read with a Lot of interest the articles on DE and its effect on fleas. I live in a hot, Humid part of the country, which is ideal for fleas, although this summer has been hotter than many in recent years and wetter. The humidity is ideal for fleas, but maybe the heat is a deterrent. Who knows with fleas? Anyway, I have 2 cats, on which I put a flea product called Cheristin (made exclusively for cats, which doesn't make it any less toxic) on June 20th, because they both had some fleas. Haven't used any since and a flea combing yesterday revealed no evidence of the critters - "dirt" (aka flea poop), adults - nothing. But the heavy, double coated one has dandruff and the smooth, single coated one is scratching around his head, neck and ears; seems like allergies, for which I was giving him the equivalent of children's Benadryl (the only antihistamine that doesn't have aspirin - lethal to cats) and that seemed to work for a while, although because it is flavored - bubble gum or cherry, take your pick - it is difficult to dose After I read about the DE, I bought some at my local feed store (they only carry Codex - food grade) and I rubbed some (no clue how much) into both their coats yesterday, with the idea that if it works for chincillas' coats, it might just work for cats. And, I don't have to worry about them licking it off. I also went around to all the huge ant hills in my yard (mostly fire ants, which nothing kills - just pisses them off and they move to another location in my yard), chanting: "die, die you little bastards!" Sorry about the language, I just HATE ants! They bite - for no reason and destroy my garden at the roots, including things I plant in containers - nothing seems to deter ants!. Well, I was chuckling to myself while sprinkling DE all over them and late yesterday it rained for the first time in 2 weeks. Now, I'll have to go back out and disturb the hills again and re-sprinkle. Tomorrow - it's going to rain again. And, I bought 40 lbs. of DE for $28.95. Have paid 3x that amount for poison. Anyway, loved the article about DE. Another word on fleas: I used to live in Torrance, California, where I raised Scottish Terriers (very double coated breed) and the fleas were terrible! That could be an argument against the humidity angle because the humidity was very low. I then moved to Big Bear City, CA, in the San Bernardino Mts. to an elevation of about 6500 ft. No fleas! Apparently, they can't breed in the altitude. Didn't have any effect on ticks, though, which were a real nuisance but easier to control. Just thought that might be of interest.
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 3669
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
134
bee books forest garden fungi greening the desert hugelkultur
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Howdy Liz, welcome to permies!

You might also enjoy reading this thread?

http://www.permies.com/t/307/bugs/organic-war-fleas
 
Ian Taylor
Posts: 56
Location: Grafton NY, 25 Miles east of Albany
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yeah DE works pretty well against fleas, I have used it successfully to keep away and kill fleas on rabbits and it also works to control earmites with rabbits as well. It does cause dry skin like you said but its better than fleas.
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
58
books fungi hugelkultur solar wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
- There is also a specific nematode that lives in most soils and HUNTS fleas ! Its been several computers ago since I have seen the information but a google search
for nematodes and fleas or nematodes vs fleas should help ! For ticks nothing beats Chickens and Guinea Hens ! Best of luck Big AL
 
Meran Moore
Posts: 8
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've been completely infested with fleas and nothing is working. We've bombed. We've sprayed. We've bathed the cat. We tried drops (which almost killed him). And recently we tried DE. It's not doing anything. How much do you have to put down to kill the little buggers? I did a fine layer just like everyone says and we're still being eaten alive. It's supposed to kill them but I've only noticed an increase in them and how many bites my preschooler gets when he plays on the floor. I've vacuumed and that doesn't help either. (I possibly have the world's dumbest vacuum-it doesn't even suck in the same compartment as the brush head.) Help me out here. What am I doing wrong?
 
John Polk
master steward
Pie
Posts: 8018
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
269
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've vacuumed and that doesn't help either.

Vacuuming can help, but...
After you are done vacuuming, what do you do with the vacuum?

It helps if you vacuum up a small quantity (a few tablespoons should work) of DE after you have finished, as this helps put a cloud of DE into the vacuum bag, which should then coat the eggs and other stages of the flea's life cycle.

Also, store the vacuum outdoors if possible - not in your closet ! You don't want a vacuum full of living fleas sitting inside your home.
 
Meran Moore
Posts: 8
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't think it's even picking them up. It's the worst vacuum I've ever seen. When I went over a pile of cat litter that got spilled it flung it back into my feet instead of sucking it up.
 
Rebecca Riddle
Posts: 1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just wanted to add what has worked for the last 2 years for me. 3 outside dogs. Apple cider vinegar, one cap full (maybe a teaspoon) every night with their food. Flea free. Years before feeding vinegar dogs had problems with fleas. For inside a house I have heard putting a night ight on and putting a bowl with water and dishsoap. Fleas are attracted to the heat given off from the light and end up in the bowl of soapy water. Never tried it but makes sense.
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic