Is diatomaceous earth safe for pets?

Is diatomaceous earth safe for pets?

Greetings, animal lovers and enlightened homeowners. Dr. Killigan here, and today we're delving into a concern that many of you have expressed: Is it possible to eradicate pests in a way that’s safe for our furry companions? In particular, many have asked about diatomaceous earth, a natural insect killer. Does it pose a risk, or is it safe for pets? Stick around as we explore this subject in detail.

What is diatomaceous earth?


Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance derived from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic microorganisms known as diatoms. These skeletal remains are mostly made of silica, a component found in sand. But don't let its humble origins fool you; this stuff is a powerhouse for controlling crawling insects. It works by puncturing the exoskeleton of insects and dehydrating them, effectively neutralizing those pesky invaders without the use of harsh chemicals.

What makes diatomaceous earth particularly appealing is its versatility. It's not just for your garden or your kitchen; you can use it in your pet's bedding, your garage, and even in some food applications to control internal parasites.

Is diatomaceous earth safe for pets?

The burning question: is diatomaceous earth safe for pets? The answer is largely yes, but with caveats. You'll want to make sure you're using food-grade diatomaceous earth, which is considered generally safe for both humans and animals. Avoid the pool-grade version, which is chemically treated and poses inhalation risks.

When using diatomaceous earth, the primary safety concern for pets is respiratory irritation. Although food-grade diatomaceous earth is non-toxic, its fine particles can be irritating if inhaled in large amounts. So while it's pet-safe, you'll want to make sure you're applying it in a manner that minimizes dust.

How to use diatomaceous earth safely around pets

So, how should you go about using this insect killer while keeping Fido and Fluffy safe? First off, make sure to apply the diatomaceous earth in a thin layer where insects frequent but pets do not, such as under major appliances, behind your sofa and other large pieces of furniture, in the back of kitchen cabinets and under your sink. Avoid areas where your pet might kick up dust and inhale it. Secondly, although it's tempting to coat your entire garden or indoor space, less is more. You only need a fine, but thorough dusting to do the job effectively.

Another suggestion is to carefully choose the time and place of application. For example, you might decide to apply diatomaceous earth to your garden or indoor areas when your pets are not around, allowing the dust to settle before letting them back into the treated area. It's generally advisable to wait at least 30 minutes to an hour to ensure the dust has adequately settled. 

In addition, the Insect Buster can be a game-changer when it comes to applying diatomaceous earth in a pet-safe manner. This handy applicator allows for precise, controlled distribution of the powder, ensuring that it goes exactly where you want it—no more, no less. Because of its design, the Insect Buster minimizes the amount of dust that becomes airborne, which is particularly beneficial for reducing the risk of respiratory irritation for both humans and pets. Not only does this tool make the application process more efficient, but it also adds an extra layer of safety, making it an ideal choice for pet owners who are keen to tackle their crawling insect problems without compromising the well-being of their furry friends.

Make sure to read and follow the application instructions that come with the product. And although diatomaceous earth is safe for pets to ingest in small amounts (some even use it as a dewormer), avoid leaving piles of it around, as large amounts may lead to digestive issues.

Benefits of using pet-safe insect killers

Why opt for diatomaceous earth or other pet-safe insect killers? Well, beyond the obvious benefit of it being safe for pets, it's also a non-toxic and eco-friendly option. This means you don't have to worry about harmful chemicals seeping into your soil or contaminating your home environment.

There are other non-toxic pet-safe options on the market, such as my very own Six Feet Under spray, which is a non-toxic, pet-safe option effective against 50+ insect species, including ants, cockroaches, moths, houseflies, silverfish, weevils, fleas, ticks, mites, earwigs and more. 


Six Feet Under spray is not only effective, but is also made from a proprietary blend of clove essential oil and cinnamon essential oil. These two active ingredients, in addition to soybean oil, work synergistically to not just kill insects on contact but also provide residual protection, making it a versatile, pet-safe choice for both immediate and long-term crawling insect control in your home.

For those who prefer a powder form, Dust to Dust is also a fantastic DIY option for pest control. Dust to Dust features a state-of-the-art, proprietary formula with nano-tech essential oils and fine silica particles guaranteed to penetrate the exoskeletons of insects, dehydrate them and send them to their graves. Proven to be more effective than diatomaceous earth, according to hundreds of side-by-side tests, Dust to Dust provides a safe, toxin-free, people-friendly and pet-friendly solution against both winded and crawling insects. Use it in the same manner that you would use diatomaceous earth. 

Whether you use diatomaceous earth or Dust to Dust, my personal preference - for distribution - is the Insect Buster, as mentioned above. The Insect Buster provides a bulb duster that is compact in size, but packs a wallop. 


There you have it, friends. Diatomaceous earth, when used correctly, is a pet-safe, natural and effective insect killer. As with any form of pest control, the key is to use it wisely and carefully, following all manufacturer guidelines. And always remember, food-grade is the way to go when using diatomaceous earth in a household with pets.

Stay enlightened. Stay protected. And give your pets an extra cuddle from me. 

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