Does diatomaceous earth kill mites on dogs?

Understanding Diatomaceous Earth

Before discussing whether diatomaceous earth kills mites on dogs or not, it is imperative to understand what diatomaceous earth is. Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring sedimentary rock that is composed of the fossilized remains of diatoms, which are microscopic single-celled algae.

Diatomaceous earth is mined from freshwater and dried out. The resulting powder is made up of small, sharp, microscopic particles that are lethal to insects and other pests.

What Are Mites?

Mites are tiny eight-legged parasites that are closely related to ticks and spiders. They are found in a variety of environments, including on animals, plants, and in soil and water. In dogs, mites typically live on the skin and in the ears, though some species can infest the interior of the body.

There are several different species of mites that can affect dogs, including:

  • Sarcoptes scabiei, which causes sarcoptic mange
  • Demodex canis, which causes demodectic mange
  • Ear mites, which cause otodectic mange

Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Mites on Dogs?

The answer to this question is not straightforward. While diatomaceous earth is an effective insecticide and kills many types of pests, including fleas and ticks, its effectiveness against mites is somewhat questionable.

Most species of mites that infest dogs are deeply embedded in the skin or ear canals, so applying diatomaceous earth topically may not reach the mites in question. Additionally, the sharp particles in diatomaceous earth may cause irritation and damage to the skin, making the situation worse.

That being said, some dog owners swear by the use of diatomaceous earth as a natural remedy for mite infestations. However, it is important to note that there is little scientific evidence to support this claim.

Alternative Treatments for Mites on Dogs

If you suspect that your dog has a mite infestation, it is important to seek veterinary care. Your veterinarian can diagnose the type of mite causing the issue and recommend an appropriate course of treatment.

Common treatments for mites on dogs include:

  • Prescription medications, such as ivermectin or selamectin
  • Antibiotics or antifungal medications, if secondary infections are present
  • Ear cleaners and ear drops, if ear mites are present

Preventing Mites on Dogs

The best way to prevent mites on dogs is to maintain good hygiene and keep your dog’s living space clean. Regular bathing and grooming can help prevent infestations, as can vacuuming and cleaning your home regularly. If your dog does get mites, prompt veterinary care can help prevent the infestation from spreading to other pets in your household.

In Conclusion

Diatomaceous earth is a useful natural remedy for many insect infestations, but its effectiveness against mites on dogs is questionable. If you suspect that your dog has a mite infestation, seek veterinary care and follow their recommended course of treatment for the best results.

Common Questions and Answers

  • Q: Can diatomaceous earth be used to prevent mites on dogs?
  • A: There is no scientific evidence to support the use of diatomaceous earth as a preventative measure against mites on dogs.
  • Q: Is diatomaceous earth safe for dogs?
  • A: Ingesting diatomaceous earth can be harmful to dogs and cause gastrointestinal issues, so it should be avoided. However, when used correctly and in moderation, it can be a safe topical treatment for some types of insect infestations.
  • Q: Can diatomaceous earth be used to treat other parasites, like fleas and ticks?
  • A: Yes, diatomaceous earth is an effective treatment for fleas and ticks and can be used on dogs and other household pets.
  • Q: How do I know if my dog has a mite infestation?
  • A: Symptoms of a mite infestation in dogs can vary depending on the type of mite, but may include hair loss, redness or inflammation of the skin, excessive scratching or biting, and odor or discharge from the ears. If you suspect that your dog has a mite infestation, seek veterinary care.


“Diatomaceous Earth Benefits, Food Grade Uses and Side Effects.” Dr. Axe, 18 Oct. 2018,

“Dog Mites: How to Identify Them and Treat Them Naturally.” Dogs Naturally Magazine, 22 Feb. 2021,

“Mites in Dogs: What You Need to Know.” AKC Canine Health Foundation, 4 Feb. 2019,