If you’re on the hunt for the best flea powder on the market, you already know that having pets isn’t always a walk in the park.
Don’t get me wrong; companion animals bring all sorts of pleasures into the lives of their owners. But it’s not all sunshine and roses. Dealing with poop, for instance, is rarely a pleasure. Vet bills aren’t exactly fun, either. And then there are fleas.
Almost anyone can get fleas, but it’s far more likely to happen to you if you’re a pet owner.
Dogs and cats pick up these bloodsuckers from outside and bring them into our homes, spreading them around as they scratch their itchy bites. And fleas are a problem that will only get worse unless you do something about it.
That’s why flea powder exists. But does it work? And if so, what’s the best kind to use? If you want answers, you’ve come to the right place.
Does Flea Powder Work?
This would be a very short article if it didn’t. The honest answer is that flea powder does work – kind of.
There are lots of different powders available on the market, using different active ingredients. But they are all designed to do the same thing – kill fleas and prevent any new ones from hatching out and breeding.
Some powders cause fleas to dehydrate and die. Others use insecticides to kill them off. Each has its pros and cons. But it’s essential to be realistic about the limitations of flea powder. While it helps to reduce the population of fleas in your home and on your pet, it’s unlikely to solve the problem by itself.
Many flea powders are designed to be used directly on your pet. Others should only be used inside the home but not directly on the animal. At their best, though, flea powders are a safe and effective way to get rid of fleas, and a useful tool to have as part of a more comprehensive flea treatment.
What is the Best Flea Powder?
If you’ve done even the most cursory digging into flea powders, you already know that there are a lot of them.
So let us break them down for you – here are our top picks for the best flea powder. Be sure to read through our reviews so you can choose the perfect powder for your needs.
Harris Diatomaceous Earth
Concerned about your pet’s health when using flea powder? Or worried about the environment more generally? Flea powders don’t come safer and more eco-friendly than this.
Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring substance made of the ground-up shells of ancient sea creatures. Although this powder feels soft and fine to the touch, on a microscopic level, it’s all sharp shards and jagged edges.
It kills insects by scratching up the outer layer of their bodies, which insects rely on to keep water inside their bodies. As an insect that loves high humidity, fleas are especially prone to this method of treatment.
This particular brand is listed as food-grade, which means it’s safe to use in kitchens and other sensitive areas. A nice feature is that it also comes with a duster included in the bag, which makes the application far easier.
Although it is not recommended that you ingest this product, you would be perfectly safe if you did. This is what makes it such a useful treatment for pets.
Any flea powder is only effective so long as it stays on the animal. Cats especially are prone to grooming themselves and removing and ingesting any powder on their coat.
That means a lot of flea powders that contain pesticides are not suitable for use on cats. Diatomaceous earth is harmless if ingested, so can be used on both cats and dogs. But don’t expect your cat to thank you for it.
Diatomaceous earth is effective against many insects, so as well as lightly dusting your pet’s coat, you can use the stuff on your carpets and around the house to kill fleas and other bugs.
Also, the manufacturer donates some of the proceeds from every sale to the Humane Society. So this isn’t just an excellent product to get rid of fleas. It’s also made by an ethical company.
Adams Carpet Powder
Fleas can be very tricky pests to get rid of, and when dealing with these critters, it’s a good idea to use multiple approaches to make sure you’re dealing with every stage of the lifecycle.
This product is capable of killing adult fleas, the eggs they lay and the larvae that the eggs hatch into. This is vital for breaking the flea’s lifecycle.
A flea’s reproductive rate is astonishing, and it’s this that you’re up against when trying to rid your home of these creatures. Anything that helps slow down the reproduction of these little monsters is worth trying.
This product contains a mixture of active ingredients, including linalool, pyrethrins, nylar and the synergist piperonyl butoxide. It’s this mixture that makes it such an effective product.
Linalool and pyrethrins both kill fleas on contact, and the synergist dramatically enhances the potency of these chemicals. Nylar, on the other hand, is an insect growth regulator, a compound that disrupts an insects growth and makes them unable to reproduce.
Effectively, it’s birth control for fleas. So as well as killing adults, this product makes them unable to breed and produce more fleas.
There’s no doubt this flea powder works. But as you may have guessed from the cocktail of chemicals it’s made of, this is not a product you want to use on your pets.
Instead, this is best used on your carpets and upholstery to kill fleas that have fallen from your pet and ended up there. But try to keep this stuff away from your animals and the rest of your family. And as with any pesticide, always follow the directions on the label.
Zodiac Flea and Tick Powder
Unlike Bio Spot, Zodiac is a powder designed to be used directly on the animal. Sprinkling this dust over your cat and dog and rubbing it into their fur, paying particular attention to between their toes and behind their ears, will help to kill any fleas living on the animal.
But a quick look at the label will reveal that this is, in fact, a pesticide. The active ingredient is pyrethrum, which is one of the ingredients in the more potent Bio Spot.
The truth about pesticides is that the dose makes the poison. Plenty of substances are harmless at low volumes and deadly at higher ones. If you’ve ever drunk alcohol, you’ve technically ingested a poison. The same goes for pyrethrins.
The concentration of pesticide in this product is low enough that, if used correctly, it won’t harm your pet.
That being said, you should still take special care to avoid getting the dust in their eyes. You also should avoid using this product on puppies or kittens under 12 weeks of age, since their nervous systems are still developing and more susceptible to being damaged by pesticides. Don’t use this product more than once per week to avoid overexposure.
If you are having a persistent problem with fleas, this is an effective product with which to treat your pets. Just be very careful with the way that you use it, and your animals should be fine.
How to Use Flea Powder (for Best Results)
You’ve probably realized by now that not all flea powders are created equal. What works for one flea powder may be useless with another, and even worse, you could end up harming your pets if you don’t use these products correctly.
The safest option is diatomaceous earth. The only way to harm a mammal using this stuff would be to hit them with a large bucket of it. So if you’re concerned about your pet’s health, maybe start with a harmless product like this.
If you own cats, you need to be especially wary. Any powder you use on your cats is going to end up inside their stomach thanks to their compulsive grooming habit.
For this reason, never use a product like Bio Spot on a cat. Only use a flea powder on cats if the instructions explicitly say it is safe for that use like Zodiac does.
Of course, you can do more with flea powder than simply dust your pets. It can also be used around the home, and it is especially helpful if you have carpet. Fleas love to live between the fibers of carpets and spend much of their lives as larvae on the floor.
Only when they emerge as adults do they climb to the top of the carpet and look for a host. Flea powders are a great way to kill these emerging fleas before they find you or your pets. And pretty much any flea powder will work for this purpose. However, if it’s sheer effectiveness you’re after, Bio Spot is hard to beat.
Like any pesticide, flea powder is only as good as the way that you use it. Follow all directions carefully, and this can be a useful product in helping to get rid of fleas. Just don’t expect it to work as a magic bullet. Flea powder is only part of a complete flea treatment.