USING DIATOMACEOUS EARTH ON FLEAS
Who wants fleas? Certainly not my dog, and I am sure your dog does not want any either. Nobody wants these tiny pests that suck blood as a way for their kind to survive. This is why over the years, every effort has been made to eradicate them from the face of this world. Pesticides left and right have been used, and actually worked to some degree. Chemical pesticides were developed and are quite popular in killing fleas off.
There is a danger in using chemical pesticides. And we are not just talking about its dangers to fleas. Chemical pesticides are known to do harm to people and pets too. Now more and more people are knowing better than to use poisonous substances around their homes.
So what are the alternatives? Fleas are high health risks; they not only cause itchiness with every bite on the skin, but they are also capable of transmitting several deadly diseases. Thus, their elimination cannot wait. People now veer toward using natural methods. One of these methods that have been gaining traction is the use of diatomaceous earth for fleas. It may be hard to read or spell out, but it is quite easy to procure and to use.
What is diatomaceous earth?
More and more people are now starting to realize that chemical pesticides can really do more harm than good. After all, when a word has the suffix “cide” attached to it, it means poison and is meant to kill. It is meant to kill pests but is also very harmful to humans. In addition to that chemical pesticides seem to have affected even the beneficial insects, or insects that are helpful to the ecosystem.
One popular product that is being used by advocates of natural pesticides is diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is made from fossilized remains of diatoms. Diatoms, meanwhile, are a major group of algae and are found in the oceans, waterways, and soils. Its color is off white and appears as a talc-like powder. They have skeletons, and their skeletons are made of natural substance called silica. It accumulates in the sediments of rivers, lakes, streams, and oceans over a long period of time. These deposits are mined from these places. Diatomaceous earth is a natural flea control that is easy and safe to use around the house.
What is the effect of diatomaceous earth on fleas?
Diatomaceous earth is made up of tiny particles that are very sharp. These tiny, sharp particles cause cuts on the insects’ bodies, which then dehydrate them and kills them. Unlike with chemical pesticides, there is no build-up of resistance against diatomaceous earth because it is actually like killing fleas with tiny knives. The tiny particles stick to the exoskeleton joints of fleas, and as they move, they get physically cut up and kills them.
For humans, diatomaceous earth is perfectly safe In fact, it is so safe that it can even be ingested safely.
If your dog or cat has fleas, use diatomaceous earth
Fleas hate diatomaceous earth. If your dog or your cat has them, follow the steps below to get rid of fleas:
- Observe where your dog likes to stay inside the house. It could be on its bed, rugs, dog kennel, etc. This will be the areas you could focus on.
- Before you apply diatomaceous earth in these areas, vacuum them first. This is to remove the flea eggs, which are not affected by diatomaceous earth in the first place.
- Sprinkle some diatomaceous earth in those areas. You may use a tied-off sock filled with diatomaceous earth. Make sure the area you are going to apply this with is not damp. Diatomaceous earth will be ineffective when it gets wet.
- After about 2 weeks, vacuum these areas again. This is not only to remove the diatomaceous earth, but also to get any surviving fleas, their eggs, larvae, and pupae.
There are around 2,500 species of fleas, and their presence can be felt all over the world. Fleas are tiny, blood-sucking bugs. They are so small that they are just about the size of a head of a pin. These bloodsuckers have reddish-brown bodies that grow about 0.12 inch to ⅙ inch long and are flattened sideways. This makes it easy for them to navigate their hairy hosts. Their claws are long, and this they use to latch on to the skin of their hosts. They also have piercing mouthparts to allow them to feed. They have simple eyespots with one biconvex lens; some species of fleas do not even have eyes. They feed on the blood of any warm-blooded body, which is why their favorite hosts are dogs and cats.
There are times when they feed on human blood, but this is just as a last resort. When dogs and cats are not around, then that would be the time they go hunt for humans. Because fleas have a high body temperature, they cannot stay long on humans. They cannot breed on humans too, so they need to find animal hosts because otherwise, they would not be able to increase in numbers. Female cat fleas can stay on humans for only 7.4 minutes, and male cat fleas can only stay for 4.4 minutes.
A flea life cycle has four stages: the egg stage, larva, pupa, and finally the adult stage. An egg takes two days to hatch. An adult female can lay as much as 40 eggs a day. The female adult lays her eggs on her animal host, but usually falls over and can be found in different parts of the house. A female flea, once it had its first blood meal, can lay eggs after 1 to 2 days of that meal. They cannot lay their eggs on humans. After the eggs hatch, it becomes a larvae. They are tiny and look like worms. This stage lasts for 5 days. After the larvae stage, it then gets into a cocoon. A fully developed flea will only emerge from the cocoon once it has a host it can jump on. They stay there until they sense a host, after which they emerge as adult fleas.
The whole cycle would then begin with another batch of females laying their eggs.
What are the dangers of having fleas around?
One danger, of course, is that fleas bite. They bite not only our pets but for humans too. Their bites are extremely itchy. For pets, all this itching and scratching can lead to a skin infection.
Aside from that, fleas are vectors of diseases and could be deadly. Among the diseases they are known to transmit is the bubonic plague. Contrary to popular belief, it was not the rats that caused the spread of this disease which ravaged more than half of Europe’s population during the Middle Ages. Also known as the “Black Death”, this disease killed 25 million people. And contrary to popular belief as well, bubonic plague still exists today, though at a lesser scale due to the advances in the field of medicine. Symptoms include fever, chills, weakness, headache, and swollen lymph nodes.
Another disease is known as tularemia, which is common in North America and is potentially serious. A person can be infected through flea or tick bites. Symptoms include sudden fever, joint pain, chills, gradual weakness, and diarrhea.
Tungiansis is a disease caused by a bacteria that is transmitted by the sand fleas. Cases of this disease are rare in the United States, but due to increased travel to tropical regions such as the Carribbean, Central America, and the West Indies, more and more cases are now being reported. Symptoms would depend on how the bacteria enter the body. In glandular tularemia features the same signs and symptoms. In an ulceroglandular tularemia, there is a high fever, skin ulcer at the site where the bacteria entered the body, and swelling of the regional lymph glands. Another form of tularemia, pneumonic tularemia, is the most dangerous of all. Symptoms are difficulty in breathing, chest pains, and cough.
As you can see, getting rid of fleas in the house should be a priority. If you have a flea infestation problem and you need some help, call the local flea exterminator near me, Go-Forth Pest Control.
Why Go-Forth Pest Control?
Go-Forth Pest Control has years of excellent experience in pest extermination. Pests like fleas, mosquitoes, cockroaches, mice, rats, flies, moths, and bed bugs have proven to be no match to our expertise. We use the most advanced technology in the business, so you can be assured of your family’s safety. Are we family-friendly and pet-friendly? You bet we are!
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To set an appointment, or if you have any questions, just dial 336-841-6111. Our friendly operators are standing by.