How to Treat a Flea Infested House With Diatomaceous Earth

Heather Vecchioni

A variety of flea treatments are available on the market, but those looking for an all-natural approach should consider using diatomaceous earth to eliminate their flea problem. Diatomaceous earth is made from finely ground fossilized shells.

When the fleas eat the substance, they act as razor-sharp crystals, causing the fleas to dehydrate and ultimately die. Safe to use around children and pets, diatomaceous earth is an effective, earth-friendly way to control your flea infestation in and around the home.

  1. Purchase food-grade diatomaceous earth from the hardware or home improvement store. Be sure to pick up the powdered form.

  2. Sprinkle the diatomaceous earth powder around windows, doorways and baseboards. You only need to sprinkle enough of the powder to leave a dusting. Sprinkle the powder on your carpets and rugs, as well, rubbing them in with your hands.

  3. Vacuum all areas in which you applied the product after three or four hours to remove the powder and any fleas that may have died.

  4. Repeat the process two or three more times, two or three days apart, to fully eliminate the fleas in the home. While the fleas are in your home, they will likely lay eggs, which the diatomaceous earth will not affect. In order to kill the fleas that hatch from the eggs, you will need to treat your house again about 10 days after the initial treatment in order kill all of the stages of the flea life cycle.

  5. Sprinkle the diatomaceous earth all over your outdoor environment as well. If your home has fleas, chances are your yard has them, as well. Apply another treatment to the ground about 10 days after the first treatment in order to kill the fleas that have hatched from their eggs.

  6. Tip

    Although diatomaceous earth is safe once it is applied to the ground or floor, it can create a dust during application that you should not inhale, according to the Flea Control Book website. Therefore, wear a mask, goggles and gloves when applying the product. Also, remove all pets and people from your home for three or four hours after application to ensure that no one breathes in the dust. Diatomaceous earth is also available in a pool-grade form. Only use the food-grade variety as the pool-grade could be hazardous to those who come in contact with it.