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Letters To The Editor

Diatomaceous Earth for Fleas?

Dear Editor,

I have a big problem with fleas in my apartment. I have a small dog and a cat that live close to the carpets and then I also have many allergies myself. So when I apply God’s Miracle Dust (diatomaceous earth) in my apartment, how do I use it safely to protect them from the fine dust that will become air born as I walk on the carpets? And how long do I leave it on / in the carpets before vacuuming it up?



Dear KG,

Because fleas (or other insects with a hard exoskeleton or shell) are susceptible to the sharp edges of the diatoms that make up diatomaceous earth, they need to be able to crawl through the DE dust as much as possible. That being said, you should allow it to stay on the carpet for a few hours or overnight, at minimum. Several days is preferred.

DE is also safe to use on pet bedding. DE is not toxic but it can have a drying effect on skin, as well as irritate eyes and throat. Use a face mask when applying and once the dust settles, you can take it off. If your pets are in the house when you’re applying the dust, put them in another room until you finish with one area, then move them to that area and treat the portion of the house you just removed them from. You’re not going to use so much that it “poofs” up into the air when you walk across the carpet surface. The dust should filter down into the carpet fibers where the fleas are crawling.

I would recommend that you also dust in nooks, crannies, and crevices around the house as well. Fleas are amazing little escape artists, and they’ll crawl down into the tiniest crack and crevice in a floor, around linoleum edges that have started peeling back, between the slats on wood floors, and behind baseboards. It’s very important to not only dust, but to vacuum your home thoroughly.

And if your apartment is on the bottom floor, don’t forget to dust in the grassy areas around your apartment. No matter what level your apartment is on, you’ll also want to dust the threshold of your door.

I hope this helps!


The Editor



Donkeys for the Homestead?

Dear Editor,

I certainly enjoy all the information you so freely give, and support your thinking about what I have read so far. Good stuff and practical. Just curious if you think donkeys would be good for homesteading? They are certainly easy keepers and can be very sweet.


A new subscriber


Dear New Subscriber,

First of all, welcome to the Off the Grid News family! We’re glad to have you join us and hope you find many things not just of interest, but that help you become more independent of the grid.

Now, on to your question…

Donkeys can be very sweet and they crave the affection and attention of their human owners. They are small work animals and won’t do as well as a mule for plowing if you have a substantial garden area. They can also be incredibly noisy.

They are however, excellent pack animals and good for riding. They are great for guardian farm animals. They will handle any canine predator that comes on your property. They’re also good as companion animals for any other livestock that you have that might get lonely. They can certainly stand in for any vehicle that you might use around the farm for hauling fencing, tools, or whatever if you have considerable acreage.

I would love to hear from some donkey owners and get their input on this subject! We’ll publish responses in future newsletters!

Thanks for writing,

The Editor


Got a question or comment for the editor? Send it to [email protected]


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