Hello, I am trying to get rid of my dog's flea problem, which is sort of complex. He's 14. I've only had one other time that I had a flea problem and had no trouble winning that war after finding out that the bombs were useless and resorted to the powder insecticide I at got at Walmart. This time I'm having trouble. My problem is that I rent a room now (instead of having a house all to myself and kids) and they have two cats and two dogs. My guy came into their house flea free. He is a large dog, but only goes outside to pee or poo or when he's well enough to go with me on outings. He's a service dog, but 14 is way too old for him to do that full time and I am not well enough myself to go out more than once or twice a month. This further complicates me ridding the bugs. The other dogs in the house are taking either Advanix or the pill that keeps them from being bothered by the fleas. They also get allergy shots. My dog is taking dyphenhydramine (Benadryl), but still not as good as the allergy shot. I can't afford that stuff. He is really having a horrible time of it and despite using an e-collar to keep him from biting his behind he has managed to chew off all the hair on his his hindquarters an ulcerated one of his paws. Of course, him eating so much of bis hair makes him sick. so much fun! I'm using flea shampoo on him about once a week and the Hartz oily stuff on his back (advantix-like) once a month. All the other stuff I've used on him is natural—anti itch and some flea killing spray from natural oils. This time around I have tried the carpet dust I used before. But I am only one room of many so I'm having a hard time getting the landlord's support with all the other rooms of the house and the backyard. And it's a really big house! I'm looking for some D.E. that doesn't cost more than the actual product in shipping! Pet stores prices aren't exactly cheap and because I live in a huge city the animal feed store (who caters to those wealthy enough to have horses) isn't cheap either. I also have a bedbug problem to whip thanks to an untruthful former roommate and despite my having washed everything I owned fit for a washer/dryer and not seeing a bug or a bite in about ten to eleven months (about the same time I moved from the previously infected area).
I'm glad to hear the D.E. will kill two bugs with one product, plus what doesn't go into the carpet can go into the chicken feed for my landlord's egg layers. Yay! Do you know of anyplace online where I can find the D.E. where it won't cost me $50 to $100 bucks including shipping?
One thing I wanted to address after reading your page on D.E. and how it works and the difference between the food grade and the pool grade is that I have seen in the food grade some have added bentonite. The ONLY reason I know what I'm going to tell you is because I used to teach high school ceramics. Bentonite when added to silica keeps liquid suspensions suspended. Meaning the bentonite keeps the silica equally mixed up and viscous. I'm not sure exactly why it is added to the dry stuff, but there it is on the label of stuff I'm looking at. And not every D.E. product has it. Also, crystalline silica used for ceramics is completely nontoxic in its wet state, but absolutely can cause cancer if exposed for prolonged periods via the lungs in its dry state. Not sure exactly what OSHAs required percentage is for K-12 classrooms, but I do know this is routinely NOT even considered in the classrooms I was in (before I got there, of course) because it is thought that even four years is not a very significant amount of time. Proper certified masks (not the hospital kind) should be worn during ALL dry mixing and preparation of silica based materials like clay, glazes, and I imagine feed as well, but I'm sure no expert on that. You might want to consider more research on if the food grade D.E. is at all toxic in its dry state via the lungs and at prolonged exposures if you are exposing yourself for long periods (like every day for years, not just in terms of a few hours at a time). The small difference in the percentages of crystalline silica seems worth a look. Although, being an asthmatic myself I sure know anything airborne, even at small amounts, can be a lung irritant. Completely different than causing cancer, of course, and no, I can't feel the teeny particles cutting up my lungs. That was really funny!! And when I finally get my D.E. I'm not planning on using a mask either. Just hope those out there working everyday with anything particulate will be careful.