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Kill fleas mechanically, not with dangerous neurotoxins

When fleas attack your pets and invade your home you are naturally desperate to be rid of them.  As anxious as you are, click the "Learn More" button before using topical spot ons, flea collars, or bombs.

Lumino Diatomaceous Earth for Pets is a non-toxic alternative that kills fleas by absorbing waxy fats and oils from their exoskeleton.  After this coating is removed, the fleas can't retain water and die due to dehydration.  Most will die when 60% of their fluids are lost.  To discover what DE is and how it works click the "Learn More" button.

In tests performed by the USDA, as well as numerous consumer trials, DE has proven to be an effective non-chemical insect controller.  Click "Learn More" to see a synopsis of the GSRI study on flea riddance with DE.

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image of a plus signHow Safe are "Spot-On" Flea/Tick Killers?

"Spot-Ons" are advertised heavily, recommended by trusted veterinarians and represented as safer, easier to use alternatives to the older pesticides.  But is the new mix of neuro-toxins really safe for pets and your family?

Organophosphates (aka Chlorpyrofos, Diazinon, Dioxathion and Malathion) and carbamates (aka Carbaryl, Methomyl and Propoxur) were among the original chemicals in flea/tick treatments. Both work by interfering with the transmission of nerve signals. Unfortunately these effects are not confined to the pests but eventually caused enough animal damages and death, that the EPA removed some of them from the US marketplace.  Many of these ingredients are still used in flea collars and flea bombs.

These were replaced by the "Spot-On".  These are represented by four general categories of insecticides.  The active ingredients of three of them (imidacloprid, fipronil, permethrin) work by disrupting the nervous system of insects.  The fourth type whose active ingredients are methoprene and pyriproxyfen insect growth regulators (IGR).  They don't kill but interrupt the flea's life cycle.

These insecticides are promoted as being absorbed into the skin layer where they stay as a reservoir.  Results of radio-labeling produce far different results demonstrating that the chemicals are absorbed systemically.  They were found in various organs and fat and also excreted in urine and feces.

Though supposedly safer all of these ingredients have been associated with laboratory animal health effects.  The severity of reactions to these new insecticides range from:

  • minor skin irritation, skin sloughing, hair loss
  • body twitches/tremors
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal and lumbar pain
  • whining, barking, crying
  • lack of coordination from stiffened limbs, unsteady gait
  • organ damage to liver, kidney, heart, lungs, spleen, adrenals, brain, gonads
  • increased miscarriages and smaller offspring
  • elevated aggressive behavior, learning disruption
  • animal carcinogen and possible human carcinogen
  • death

These responses are cause for alarm indicating high levels of acute and chronic poisoning from even short-term use.  There has not been sufficient time to evaluate long-term cumulative use.  Also unknown is the potential for synergistic effects from the combined impact of multiple exposures to different chemicals.

The corporate and federal response to these risks has been to amend the product label to include:

  • Additional dosing information,
  • Distinguishing between cat and dog products,
  • Improving label clarity and
  • Addressing uncertainties about inert ingredients.

While these recommendations are worthwhile and necessary to provide more information to the consumer they miss the underlying problem.  It is not the product label but the products ingredients they cause harm.

Even following these new label directions is not sufficient.  Pyrethrin, permethrin and phenothrin can cause severe adverse reactions in cats and ferrets.  These are recommended for use on dogs only, but in mixed pet households cats receiving secondary exposure via contact with treated dogs are suffering from the effects.

Many organizations (NRDC, HSUS, HSVMA) including the EPA are questioning the short and long-term effects of their use.  Our pets have become often-unwilling test subjects.

Not every pet exhibits symptoms from these "Spot Ons".  Adult healthy animals are less likely to manifest problems compared to animals that are very young, old, or suffering from chronic disease.

As a pet guardian you need to evaluate benefits and risks of pesticides.  This should include acknowledging the consequences of increased insect resistance to ever expanding, more complicated and possibly more toxic pesticide formulas.

If you do decide to use flea and tick products, follow these simple steps to help prevent problems:

  • Never use dog treatments on cats, and vice versa
  • Always be certain of your pet's weight before purchase to ensure proper dosage
  • Don't split one "large dog" dose in half for two small dogs (or combine two "small dog" doses for one large dog)
  • Read and follow all instructions when using these products
  • Do not use these products on elderly or pregnant animals

How to tell if your pet has been poisoned:

Symptoms of poisoning by flea/tick treatments may include salivating, dilated pupils, tremors, vomiting, hiding, shivering, and skin irritation.

image of a plus signWhat is Diatomaceous Earth and how is it processed?

Diatomaceous Earth began life between 5 and 20 million years ago, as single-cell aquatic plants know as Diatoms.  During the 15 millions years that they lived and died, truly unfathomable numbers of their microscopic skeletons accumulated at the bottom of what where once enormous fresh water lakes.  Eventually the lakes disappeared leaving dried deposits of these fossilized skeletons.  Subsequent geological events buried many of these deposits but more recent (just a few hundred thousand years ago) geological eruptions made some of the deeper deposits that are several hundred feet in depth extractable.

The diatoms that produce Diatomaceous Earth grow in a unique way.  Most plants use the sun’s energy to synthesize cellulose for the cell structure.  Instead diatoms extract dissolved amorphous silica from the water.  Silica is responsible for building their strong and stable skeletons.  These naturally porous hard skeletons are what give DE its remarkably abrasive and absorbent abilities.  There are also why DE is a good source of silica.

Of the 600 DE deposits in the USA only four are considered Food Grade by the FDA.  Not even these few Food Grade deposits are identical; some Food Grade deposits may contain higher amounts of sediment and clay.  Depending on how the deposits are formed, sufficient clay particles can clog the pores of these fossilized shells reducing the effectiveness of the DE.

There are thousands of products that contain Diatomaceous Earth.  These included skin care products, toothpastes, foods, beverages, medicines, paints and water filters.  The FDA lists DE as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe).

How is Diatomaceous Earth Processed?

Producing a small canister or bag of Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a lengthy and expensive project.  Our DE is from the Four Corners region of the Southwestern US and is prized for the purity and consistency of its ore deposits.

The best DE is not just waiting to be picked up.  It is buried and is covered by what is known as "overburden".  This must be removed before the diatomite can be extracted with giant excavators.  For the purest DE, darker layers are rejected, only the lightest layers are chosen for processing.

The large pieces of excavated DE are then arranged so that solar energy can dry them out enough for crushing.  After crushing they are moved to storage bins.

The stored ore must then be carefully milled and further dried to preserve the structure of the diatoms that are responsible for it amazing abilities.  After milling the DE is further sorted to removed impurities and foreign matter with a progression of sifters and traps.  It is now ready to be jarred or bagged.

image of a plus signSynopsis of GSRI study on Diatomaceous Earth for flea riddance

Discussion of the Results:


This test was for the efficacy in flea riddance and repellency in dogs given three applications three or four days apart.

Materials and Methods

Eight dogs weighing approximately 18 to 35 pounds of which all but one were longhaired were quarantined at the research facility for 8 to 14 weeks before beginning the study.  The research institute’s veterinarian monitored the health and condition of the dogs.

The fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) obtained from reliable suppliers were maintained under cool and humid conditions.  All dogs were thoroughly bathed before the study to remove any pre-existing pesticides.  During the eastern flea study, each of the eight dogs (five treated and three control) were infested with 50 eastern fleas.  During the western flea study each of the eight dogs were infested with 100 western fleas.

Conduct of the Eastern and Western Flea Riddance Studies

On Day 1 of both studies all five treated dogs had DE rubbed vigorously into their coats to ensure contact with the skin.  On Day 2 of each study, each dog was exposed to 50 eastern or 100 western fleas.  The weather was warm which insured full mobility of the fleas.  After 24 hours of exposure to the fleas, the fleas were counted on each dog.

Results of the Study

The initial eastern flea count ranged from 14 to 31 one day after infestation with 50 eastern fleas.  By day 2 following DE treatment the treated group has decreased from a mean of 18.2 to a mean of 4.0 in treated dogs as compared to mean decrease of 26.3 to 20.7 in the controls.  By Day 9 post-treatment, there was only 1 flea on the treated dogs as compared to average of 11.3 fleas on the controls.

Western Flea Riddance was conducted two weeks after the Eastern Flea study was concluded.

On Day 2, following the DE treatment, the mean flea count in the treated dogs had decreased from 21.4 to 5.2.  The mean count of the controls had decreased from 22.0.  By Day 9, 2 days after the Day 7 treatment, one treated dog had 3 fleas, the other dogs had none.  In contrast, the three controls averaged 17.3 western fleas each.

Overall conclusions

Results of eastern and western flea riddance and repellency studies indicate the DE  afforded moderately good protection when applied prior to exposure to fleas  and it appears that three applications of DE as well as dusting the surroundings is highly effective in ridding dogs of western and eastern fleas.

The full study was presented to the State of California EPA as a requirement for securing our California EPA registration.

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INGREDIENTS:  We've added three other ingredients to Perma Guard Fossil Shell Flour (DE) to increase it's effectiveness: flour for better adhesion to the pests, salt to speed up the dessication, and baking soda to soothe the flea bites.  All of our DE is completely mined, processed, and bagged in the USA.

DIRECTIONS FOR USE:  Apply full strength by rubbing into animals' coat as close to their skin as possible.  Reapply every 3 days or as needed.  A little sprinkled into the pet's bedding is a further deterrent.  Click on 'learn more' for additional instructions.

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image of a plus signHow DE works externally

DE kills insects and parasites by desiccation.     Due to its highly porous nature, DE is one of the most effective of all natural inert dusts.   It absorbs waxy fats and oils (lipids) from the epicuticle (skin) of insects and other invertebrate pests.   Once the waxy, oily coating is removed, the insect cannot retain water and dies due to dehydration.   Partial water loss makes them thirsty, but most insects die when about 60 percent of their water is lost.

The same principles of flea control, frequent vacuuming, the use of flea-unfriendly surfacing materials and the application of DE for the house and yard also apply to flea control and prevention in other places.   If you keep on seeing fleas, you need to consider all of the 'other' out-of-the-way places your pet might be hanging out, which you haven't yet treated for these pests.

Your car(s) can be a significant source of flea re-infestation problems.   Flea infested animals drop eggs into the car during car trips - these flea eggs can hatch into larvae and go through the entire flea life cycle inside of the soft seats and carpet floors of the car.   DE and frequent vacuuming are among the safest ways of ridding the car of flea eggs, larvae and cocoons.

If your pet spends a lot of time outside in a kennel or aviary you can expect a thriving flea population to be present in the soil or in the bedding you have placed within it.

If the walls and floor of the kennel are made of smooth, hard, easy to wash materials (metal, hard plastic) then only the pet's bedding needs to be cleaned or discarded.   and not the kennel itself.   Open-floor kennels standing on grass or soil can be washed likewise and then the kennel should be relocated to a different region of the yard, well away from the original location, to let the sun and dry air kill the flea life cycle stages present in the grass and soil of the first area.

Should you choose not to discard your pet's bedding, sunlight and drying, also kill larval fleas and flea pupae in kennel beds.   Leaving pet beds and pet bedding out in the open sunlight for a few days (make sure that they are hot days with a very low air humidity) can also reduce flea larvae and flea pupae populations in these items.

Dogs and cats often go under houses and sheds seeking solitude and shade.   Used often, these spaces will soon be home to a robust flea life cycle.   Other possible hiding places for fleas; Tops of cupboards and dressers - cats often like to hide out in high places as well as barns, attics and woodpiles.

Wherever dogs and cats and wild animals hang out in numbers, there is the potential for fleas to exist.   Should your dog or cat visit such areas or hang out with other flea-carrying animals, there is always the potential for him or her to come back home carrying new fleas.   Make sure that your pets are treated with DE before they go anywhere where they could pick up fleas.

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What pet owners are saying about Lumino DE For Pets

I am always leary about medicating my animals but this is a nice healthy alternative to flea medicines and if they lick it, oh well!   Jessica Hugget

Very safe and effective flea control without side effects for anyone!  We have used DE for years and Lumino is one of the best.  Effective in two days after application.  We apply to our dogs before going to the vet or dog park, ensuring that fleas are exposed to DE and will die.  Will buy this time and time again.  A great product!   D Madison

I gave it to my indoor cats as well as giving it to a feral colony and it is fabulous and safe for all.   Mamakitten

We believe Lumino Diatomaceous Earth for Pets is the only DE based flea killer registered with the Federal EPA for applying directly to pets.  We are also registered or pending in all 50 states.  This is a time consuming and costly endeavor but mandatory when selling DE that is advertised or labeled to kill insects.

EPA Registration No. 87949-1   EPA Establishment No. 87949-WA-01.

Other DE products claiming that you can apply them to pets to kill fleas may be advertising illegally.

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We hope you found something that sparked your interest.  Please feel free to CONTACT US with any questions or concerns-we'd love to hear from you.

Although we had the privilege of selling over 100,000 items in 2015 through stores and etailers, a new web customer is always precious to us.  With your order we include helpful information and free samples of our other products.

If for any reason a Lumino product isn't right for you just call us for a full and quick refund.

We appreciate you taking the time to visit us.

DISCLAIMER: Any food grade diatomaceous earth uses other than those approved by the EPA, FDA,or USDA are strictly based on other peoples personal experiences.


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