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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi rat forum. I have cats and so does my housemate and we've been struggling with fleas for awhile now. It never gets severe, they just seem to persist in small numbers. So my spouse and I have been using what's called diatomaceous earth, it's just sand with an increased surface area, it's a dust that dries insects out to kill them because they are so small. I have asthma so we don't put it on the floor, just on the cats.
This is my question, do you think it's safe to give the rats a rubdown with it? It's safe for cats and humans to ingest (we bought "food grade"). The rats only got fleas once so far, and we bathed them in diluted dish soap and they haven't had a single one since. I'm just thinking preventatively here. My main worry is how dusty it is, but the dust bath usually doesn't need a lot and doesn't result in much excess, so maybe it wouldn't be bad? I appreciate any replies
 

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I'd love to know this as well, we just took in a stray kitty (that also happens to be pregnant) but she's had fleas and even though we gave her Frontline per recommendation I'd like to keep the other animals from getting any as well. We've used DE in the same manner before, but I'm scared that now I have ratties that it'll be an issue for them.
 

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Okay, sounds like its safe as houses for basically any pet, and eating it may even be good for bone strength because it contains silicon dioxide, which has been proven to assist in healing broken bones in small animals. This from Pets Stack Exchange: 'The effects of 5% diatomaceous earth in the diet fed to white rats over a 90-day period indicated no mechanical or chemical damage to the tissues. There was no significant increase in the percentage of residual silica in liver, kidneys, and spleens of the test animals.'

So yes, looks perfectly fine. I did see one warning that said not to continue its use if the animal had a bad reaction to it, and not to use it on animals that had existing lung problems, but other than that it looks 100% safe.
 

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Having been around as long as I have, I recall some folks claiming they used diatamaceous
earth on mite infestations on rats... I think it is also in some flea powders which were used on rats for mites when mixed with baby powder...

It's not a matter of rats ingesting it, but possibly breathing it in that might concern me.

Hopefully there's someone around that can weigh in with personal experience. There are lots of things we all recall, some worked and some not so much and others only when used properly by someone that knew what they were doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, the breathing was definitely my issue. I was just asking out of idle curiosity, hopefully trying to avoid the stress of bathing the rats. So thanks for the replies but I shan't by doing any experimenting.
 
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