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Pet Care: Deworming and Eliminating Fleas Naturally

Written by Print 

When deworming pets, a large portion of people immediately turn to chemicals, under the assumption that something toxic is needed to kill parasites.  Unfortunately, the chemicals are also somewhat toxic to the pets themselves, and should be avoided.

Using a natural substance, cats and dogs can be more effectively dewormed, at any age, and without risks.  Diatomaceous earth is a white powder made from fossilized diatoms, a type of algae.  It is a fine, abrasive powder (like baking soda) that absorbs large amounts of water.  When the powder touches parasites, its microscopic, razor-like edges grate against them and dehydrate them simultaneously. This means that it will likely destroy even blood-borne parasites.

Based on our research, we suggest following the deworming regimen for 10 days.  During this time, animals will usually drink more, due to the dehydrating effect of the diatomaceous earth.  Only purchase food-grade diatomaceous earth.  Otherwise it may contain harmful chemical impurities.

Animal Amount To Use Daily
Kitten 1/2 teaspoon
Cat 1 teaspoon
Dogs up to 50 lb. 2 teaspoons
Dogs over 50 lb. 1 Tablespoon
Horses 1/2 - 1 cup (depending on size of horse)
Poultry 5% of weight

Standard anti-parasitic herbs may be dangerous when given to animals, and these include black walnut hulls, and cloves.  For human parasite cleanses, please read 'Eliminating The Parasites That You Almost Certainly Have, and Curing Lupus'.

Alongside diatomaceous earth, pumpkin seed oil can also be safely added to food for a more powerful effect.  For kittens, open a 500 mg. capsule and squeeze the oil into the food, before mixing it in well.  Pumpkin seed oil is harmful to parasites, but not to pets.  Increase the dosage for larger animals, and use common sense.

Diatomaceous earth quickly kills fleas.  Remember that it is an all-natural, organic, and safe pesticide.  You can even safely eat the stuff!  That is, in moderation, of course.  To kill fleas, simply rub it into the coat of the animal, and the fleas will be dead in 20 minutes.  Be sure to wash the animal within a couple of hours, because the diatomaceous earth could dry out its skin.  We recommend washing your hands, because the substance is extremely drying.  You may need to repeat the process if eggs remain attached to the animal.

Another option is bathing the animal in neem oil shampoo.  Neem is believed to kill fleas by preventing their reproduction.  We have tried Ark Natural's neem pet shampoo, and find it to be effective.  There are other brands which are also likely to have the same effect.  We recommend reading the ingredients carefully to beware of harmful chemicals, such as sodium lauryl sulphate.

Warning: Never use diatomaceous earth on creatures that have an exoskeleton.  Fortunately, most of those are insects.



Comments (34)
  • Andres  - natural flea reppellents

    Tea tree oil behind the ears and on the nape
    of the neck will keep fleas and ticks away.
    You should keep her inside for a while afterwards
    as some dogs don`t like the smell and will go straight
    out to role in the mud. It is really effective and also works on humans.


  • Jenny  - tea tree got really sickoil

    I heard this and tried it on two different dogs. It about killed them. The first dog got so very lathargic, she could not even move. The second one got really sick. I took both to the vet. He did not feel it was the tea tree oil. But I will not use it on any of my animals again.

  • juan  - dosage

    how many times per year should this be done, to keep my pet worm free ?

  • Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)

    It depends if the animal goes outdoors or not, and their contact with other animals. This will effect the rate of re-occurrence.

    If they are outdoors continually, it would be wise to put some into their food regularly. Diatomaceous earth is completely non-toxic, so just make sure that plenty of water is always available.

  • josh

    Am I supposed to mix it with water before I rub it in the coat or just rub it in dry?

  • Josh

    I came back here to say that I have been using diatomaceous earth on my shepherd for a good 5 days now and she still has TONS of fleas on her. She is doing much better however, I think it only because I have been giving her a bath almost everyday.

    This definitely does not kill the fleas in 20 min. I have kept it on her for a goof 5 hours only to look at her back and still see fleas crawling on the diatomaceous earth.

    Any advice?

  • josh

    Okay, I don't think this stuff works. I left this stuff on overnight. There are still fleas crawling all over my dog.

  • Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)

    This is bizarre, as we've had very good success within a very short amount of time. We generally put latex gloves on and rub it in to the fur. How are you applying it? Where did you purchase your DE from?

  • josh

    I got it from amazon. It is food grade. I didn't rub it in for a long time. I did rub to make sure that it covered her skin though. So it was against the skin. I'm just disappointed. I have done this for over a week. Unless, eggs hatch and they grow into adults in 24 hours, then this is not working.

  • glenda

    This will work. Don't give up! If you still see fleas crawling on your pet, it's because new ones jump on. They're living in the environment and only jump on the host when ready to feed. Also, the eggs hatch over time and will produce many more until the population dies down. We had LOTS more fleas than we thought and it took 30 more days to get rid of them after the first week of what we thought was unsuccessful treatment. If we had vacuumed more often, it probably would have taken less time. BUT, we didn't put out any other treatment and DE used inside the house remains effective a LONG time. After putting DE in the corners and cracks of our wooden floors (once for us only because we were so busy working) and washing our dog and bedding several times that month, we finally started seeing fewer fleas until no more were found. We used white bowls of soapy warm water placed on the floor overnight to check. Fleas are attracted to them. We lost a dog to K-9 Advantix (seizures and then death) so we were too afraid to try anything else. It works but takes time. I'm glad I didn't give up. non-toxic, worth it.

  • musicgirlfan  - DE

    where can i purchase diatomaceous earth that is food grade besides amazon? is there such a thing as organic diatomaceous earth?

  • Laura  - essential oils are TOXIC to cats - only use hydros

    Please do not use essential oils on your cats, and very sparingly on dogs, also check to make sure which are safe, cats are highly sensitive and you could be slowly killing your animal by using oils on them- please see one of the many aromatherapy websides that address this issue of toxicity. diatomaceous earth is a bit slower but it is the safest way to go!

  • Amy  - Tea tree oil, DE and tapeworms

    I just bought Diatomaceous Earth at the feed store to use on the cat and around the house, and to de-worm her. I found a tapeworm in my stool(prob from ingesting a flea) and took the meds to deal with that. Now I'm wondering how much tea tree oil to use on us humans and how to apply? My son has several bites, almost certainly fleas. Thanks for your help!!

  • T. Woodard

    you can buy food grade DE at most farm supply stores.

  • Tonya Dunham

    I have 3 inside cats. I am at my wits end! We've purchased the DE but are not seeing results. How long does it take to kill the worms? Fleas? This is so disgusting. My daughter hasn't slept in her bed in over a month bc the cats get up there & I'm not letting her sleep in fleas & worms not to mention the other places they get on & leave worms. AGH! And I'm the bad guy bc I am ready to put them out &/or get rid of them! Please help me!

  • Rebecca Tyers  - Remember Patience always..

    I just started using DE and I think what must be noted is this, and can be a hard pill to swallow. However, it takes a long time to get infestations that are finally noticed by us in our busy lives. They didn't get the flea's, worms overnight just like controlling them or getting rid of them won't. Chemicals and poisons are just that and if you wouldn't give them to your kids then it's not wise to give to any person or animal. With that said I must say i'm extremely impressed with DE, spread it on my cats, all over my house and about 7 hours later vaccumed the main living areas leaving it under couch cushions and around baseboards etc. I must stress I vaccumed prior to agitate the fleas and suck up eggs. When I was done I emptied the container and before I dumped it looked inside and there were hundreds inside, the couldn't jump they just wriggled slowly dying, including the larvae. I do think it kills them quick in when directly submerged in it. I combed my pets today and yes they still have some but dusted them again, we have to remember the cycle has to be stopped, leave the DE where you can, be diligent at giving the cats the recommended dosage and most importantly vaccum, vaccum and vaccum. The DE that is left in the vaccum kills anything that may hatch and keep litter box very clean and use DE in there too. Honestly, these quick remedies are not always better and for most of us ya we want them off our pets and out of the house but it does take time. I used Pyrethrum spray in my room 3 days ago as a control and kept the door closed and lying in bed last night a flea jump on and off my hand as if it hadn't been touched...the poison didn't work. I used flea collars, drops and countless other things and learned the hard way when fur and skin was coming off my cats neck from the flea collars. Please stay away from that stuff.
    As for human use of the DE i suffer from some type of stomach problem i've had for 20 years, take medicine to control everyday and every so often I have attacks that are so painful I end up in the hospital. I had one 2 days ago, they usually last a few days bought the DE and took it myself and within half an hour pain was gone, and now have notice I too have worms. So far DE has showed me enough proof that it works if you are patient and persistant and don't mind a little hard work. Also educate yourselves on the life cycles of the fleas and worms, knowledge is power. The worm segments contains the eggs that the flea eats, the flea becomes the host until the animal or human eats the flea and then you have the worm. It's a cycle, just break it. There is no quick fix you have to do the work. Remember 90% of flea's live off animal and in your house, furniture, carpets etc. treating both these areas at the same time is your only chance at defeating them.

  • MARY SHUMAY  - Fleas

    I also recommend diatomaceous earth. You can find it cheaply online on ebay also. You must use food grade as anything else is used for pools and such and is poisonous to humans and animals. I suggest that the you not only use it on your animal, as flea eggs drop off of the cat or dog and one flea reproduces at an alarming rate, but in and around your home. I had a horrible infestation once and got rid of it in my house and on one of my cats. My other long haired cat I used Harts flea killer on and it killed my cat and not the fleas as someone mentioned with another product above, convulsions and then death! You have to put the diatomaceous earth down on your floors carpeting and furniture under cushions. I use a big shaker like you use for powdered sugar or garlic at a pizza place. Be careful to keep it out of yours and your pets lungs when shaking. Leave this down a few days and vacuum. Continue to try to vacuum every day and empty the bag or receptacle outside. Bath the cat in Dawn dish soap and use a flea comb. I do this with a light near holding the comb up to check and a bowl of hot water with dish soap ready to submerge the comb in to kill any flea you may find right away. You may also put a bit on dry food as fleas can also give the pet worms when they bite them. Make sure to change the litter box a lot and sprinkle some in there also. Wash bedding and anything you can in hot water or at least run through the dryer. I can tell you after loosing my pet of twelve years I would never use any commercial product again. The cat was dead and the fleas were not! I also use this in my garden for pests but you must avoid any flowering plant as it will also kill bees and we need the bees.

  • Dominique Lehman

    So- So Sorry for your loss and your baby. The company should be sued- A petition for change can be initiated on I will sign and it helps bring awareness and puts these irresponsible, uncaring companies on the spot

  • S. D. Wuensche  - Fleas in the House

    One to two tablespoons of food grade orange oil in a gallon sprayer is an effective method for killing fleas around the house. It is even safe to spray on the family beds and laundry areas as it evaporates quickly unless someone is allergic. We normally repeat the treatment after two weeks to ensure newly hatched fleas can't get established. Treating the house as well as the pets may speed up your relief.


    Hi everyone, i had this issue all summer long when my dad let my inside cat out to get "fresh air" ... .it has caused not only stress from him ignoring my wishes for her to only be an inside cat, but we had a huge flea issue in a matter of days.

    im going to get right to the point about how to eliminate them as we did by the end of the summer:

    first of all DO NOT use chemicals on your pet. please, whatever you do. it does such damage on their livers and nervous system.

    your best weapon is a FLEA COMB AND A LITTLE PATIENCE.

    to further explain this: a flea comb is so inexpensive, AND it physically removes the fleas from your pet.

    it will be such a relief for the poor thing thats itching and suffering. this is an immediate result you will see in your pet. all you do is get a bowl (i used a deep vase so they cannot jump out) and fill it halfway with water and a few drops of chemical free soap (like pomolive pure, or dawn naturals) comb your pet, and VERY quickly dunk the comb in the water soap soultion to drown them, wipe off the comp with a towel, and repeat all over your pet. they like to cling on underneath collars of your pet, and places they cant scratch (like the underarm) do this as often as possible!!



    buy food grade as suggested, sprinkle it in thick amounts all over the house. its a pain in the ass but i think having to live with fleas are a worse chore. leave it on for as long as possible. AT LEAST 24 HOURS. we waited like, almost a week.

    wear a mask and dont inhale it too much. let it settle then vacuum like crazy. it will work, you may have to do it once or twice but it WORKS NATURALLY.

    vacuum AND comb every day!! and make sure you get a de-worming pill from the vet, and give it to the pet every month if they seem to be loosing weight, ribs showing or having weird bathroom accidents, its a sign of tapeworm which lives on the flea.

  • Marie Barck  - It Works!

    We have used this successfully in the past (in & on the pets, floors, carpets, couch cushions, mattresses, litter box) I vacuumed and promptly threw out the bags, even replaced brooms, washed bedding and stuffed animals in hot water and dried on high. Used the D.E. in combination with a few baths and a flea comb. We had little ones in the house and didn't want to use anything toxic. We keep our cats indoors now cause that was such a pain! Lots of great advice in the comments!

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