One problem that most dog and cat owners usually have to deal with sooner or later is fleas. A lot of money is spent every year on flea collars, dips, sprays and shampoos. There are a few problems with these. First, they are expensive. Flea collars often cost $10-15 each, for example. Second, they aren’t very effective. If there is an infestation, collars don’t work well and shampoos need to be used every three days, since it only takes that long for flea eggs to hatch. Third, most of these contain pyrethrin, which are poisonous to the pets.
Pyrethrin is a natural substance that comes from a particular kind of chrysanthemum and though it will kill fleas, it is harmful to cats and dogs, particularly cats. Unfortunately, fleas are also harmful to the pets, too. In fact, one kind of worms that cats often have comes from eating cat fleas that carry the worms. This isn’t the only problem, of course. There are diseases the fleas can carry, including bubonic plague, and in a particularly bad infestation, the fleas can actually drink so much of the pet’s blood that the animal can become anemic. This is particularly bad for kittens, which don’t have a lot of blood to begin with. Pyrethrin is definite a bad thing to use on kittens, too, as it could kill them.
Thankfully, there is a flea killer that isn’t poisonous. It works well, it is just as natural and organic as pyrethrin without the hazards pyrethrin has, and in comparison to flea collars and the like, it is relatively inexpensive. The stuff will even kill ants and other small insects. It is called diatomaceous earth.
Diatomaceous earth is sometimes called diatomite and it is a naturally occurring deposit that is ground into a powder. The substance is actually made of the fossils and shells of diatoms. Diatoms are a kind of microscopic algae. The diatomaceous earth is very high in silica content, silica being what glass and sand are made of. If you looked at diatomaceous earth under a microscope, though, you’d see that it looks rather like a bunch of crystal shards with very sharp points. These are far too small to hurt a pet, even if they swallow some of the diatomaceous earth. As a matter of fact, a food-grade diatomaceous earth is produced for human consumption, because there are health benefits associated with the substance.
Although the powder isn’t harmful to pets (though reasonable caution should be made to keep it out of their eyes), it is deadly to fleas, ants, mites and so forth. Even large fleas are so small that the shards in the diatomaceous earth easily puncture the flea’s exoskeleton. Death for the flea occurs within a couple of hours.
Using the diatomaceous earth is simple. Just apply the powder to the animal’s pelt and work it in. The drawback is that this needs to be treated every three days, to kill the hatching fleas, but this is very easy to do. The powder also goes a very long way. The package shown above is a pound of diatomaceous earth and it is available in my store for only $9.49 plus shipping. I’ve used it to treat our four dogs and eight cats, yet I believe that I might have used less than three ounces so far. This makes it very economical. The package is also food-grade powder.
Additionally, the powder can be sprinkled on the pet’s bedding, in carpets and anywhere that the pets, and their fleas, could be found.
Incidentally, it works the same way on ants and other small creepy-crawlies. It would basically be like crawling on your belly over broken glass, only in a microscopic form that will kill the pests without harming the hosts. I don’t know about anyone else, but I especially like being able to get rid of the fleas without resorting to poisons to do it. If you have flea problems (or ant problems) this is something to keep in mind, for pest control.
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Posted in pets and animals and tagged cat fleas, diatomaceous earth, dog fleas, flea killer, non-poisonous, pets by rextrulove with 4 comments.