Non-toxic flea treatment that really works! - Chiropractor Philadelphia | Best Service | Health & Wellness Philly PA

Fleas are a pain to deal with, for pets and people. Fighting fleas effectively necessitates knowing about the flea life cycle and addressing fleas both on the pet(s) and in the environment.   Flea prevention is something that every pet owner must face at some point.  Flea bites irritate the skin and your pet will scratch, bite, and lick to provide relief.  The ensuing allergic dermatitis is one of the reasons why veterinarians see patients.


Conventional flea and tick treatment

Conventional methods use toxic chemicals to kills these parasites, but also pose a risk not only to our pets, but also to our families, homes, and yards.  If you read the instruction labels on these products, they all contain a warning to avoid contact with these chemicals.  Then why do we put them on our pets?  To answer that question, you must understand how conventional methods work.

Shampoos, collars, powder, spray, and spot-on treatments are designed to kill the adult parasite, but rarely affect the egg/larvae.  Because of this, repeated treatments are necessary.  Medicated shampoos are a temporary solution; after shampooing your pet, the chemical residue produces a gas that deters fleas, ticks, and mosquitos for about one day.  Flea collars emit a toxic gas that is effective only around the collar, and the toxic chemical residue is absorbed into the fat just under the skin.  Powder and sprays also offer short term protection for about two to three days.  Veterinarians report that the recommend spot treatment more commonly.  Spot-on treatments are applied between the shoulder blades of the pet and are effective for about one month.  As with flea collars, the toxic chemical residue is absorbed into the fat just under the skin.

Oral medications work by preventing the eggs from hatching but do not kill adult parasites.  They ingest the blood of medicated animals, disrupting eggs from hatching.

It is estimated that 10% of the parasite population are on your pet. If you find fleas, ticks, or mosquitos on your pet, your house and yard are also infested.



Traditionally, a combination of short-term and long term medications are essential to break the life cycle and stop the infestation.  Conventional methods use toxic chemicals to kills these parasites, but also pose a risk not only to our pets, but also to our families, homes, and yards. 


Is there an alternative to toxic chemicals?

Yes! It is called diatomaceous earth.  Diatomaceous Earth is a fine flour-like powder, the microscopic remains of fossilized diatoms, a type of algae. Diatoms are found in freshwater and saltwater. Capable of photosynthesis, they are an important food source for many organisms in these water ecosystems.   Diatom cell walls are made of silica, a component of glass.  Diatomaceous earth has been used for years as an insecticide to control mites, fleas and other insects.


How Diatomaceous Earth Works to Kill Fleas and Other Insects

Fleas and other insects with an exoskeleton (hard shell) are susceptible to the glass-sharp edges of the microscopic diatoms. The silica shards cut through the waxy exoskeleton surface, effectively drying out the flea, resulting in death to these types of insects and their larvae.


Diatomaceous Earth Pros and Cons


• Diatomaceous Earth is non-toxic to humans and animals; it is even used in some foods food (food-grade quality, not the DE used for pool filtration systems) and some health supplements.  Diatomaceous earth is also used for a variety of beauty and health care products.  Because diatomaceous earth does not have any residual problems, and because it is a mechanical killer versus a chemical killer, resistance to diatomaceous earth is not a problem.

•Daily vacuuming is an important component of household flea control. Diatomaceous Earth can be used safely on many surfaces and floor coverings, vacuuming up the diatomaceous earth after allowed to sit for at least a few hours or overnight.   It is also safe to use on pet bedding, in addition to weekly washing of pet bedding in warm water.

•Diatomaceous Earth is safe to use around the yard, but large amounts may be necessary to have a positive effect on flea control. Regular mowing and trimming of vegetation also helps. For serious flea infestations of yard and garden, a consultation with a pest exterminator is in order.



•Diatomaceous Earth is a very fine, silky powder; similar to flour or talc. It is messy and may irritate eyes and throat. Use caution and wear a face mask when applying. Food grade diatomaceous earth is ok to ingest, so it is not toxic to pets or people, but may be temporarily irritating.

•Diatomaceous Earth that is used for pool filtration systems will be labeled clearly; it is very finely ground and is dangerous to breathe in because of the added chemicals.  It is not recommended for flea and insect control.

•Diatomaceous Earth must be dry to work. Wetting it down or trying to mix it with water to spray it and not breathe in dusk negates the useful action of diatomaceous earth.  Always wear a mask when applying diatomaceous earth.

•Some advocate using Diatomaceous Earth directly on pets. Caution is advised if you elect to use it on your pet. Use food grade diatomaceous earth only.  Diatomaceous earth is very drying – it may dry out your pet’s skin. Protect your pet’s eyes, nose, mouth when applying.


If you are unsure about how to use diatomaceous earth, whether as safe and effective add-on to an existing plan or as a standalone flea fighter, contact your veterinarian. There are many flea treatments available, depending on the severity of the problem, the climate, and your pet’s overall health. Your veterinarian can help tailor a flea-fighting plan specific to your needs.


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