The day before Thanksgiving I used a flour sifter to apply a heavy dusting of DE to all the carpets in our home, as well as the upholstered furniture and the pet beds. It made my (and DH's and the pets') skin very dry. After about three days, my DH said he couldn't stand it any more; that it made him feel very dirty. I told him to think of it as baby powder, but he still didn't like it, and requested that I vacuum. I did so- lightly. If the 50 pound dog went into one of her spastic moods and ran around, she would stir up a huge cloud of DE and I would have to open the doors and windows for a few minutes. It's been 20 days since I applied the DE and I've only vacuumed one more time, for a total of twice, and we still have fleas. I do think the infestation is less, but there are still definitely fleas. I bought my DE at the feed store, and it says it's food grade on the bag. Does anyone have any input? Would I have to reapply and leave it alone for two weeks in order to get the desired effect? I don't think DH would go for it again, but I could ask.
I would vaccuum several times before you give up. I'd vacuum daily (maybe twice a day) and make sure to empty the cannister from the vacuum into a sealed bag or outside. Don't dump it in the regular trash. Also the dog (or other animals) must also be treated or they will continue to reinfest the house. It will take several days for all of the fleas to die. (So yes, I would leave it alone for at least a week-maybe two). If the dust on the floor bothers your husband, you could cover it. Last time we treated, hubby was concerned about the electronics. So I threw down old bed sheets and we walked around on those for a week or two. Looks kind of shabby, but it keeps the dust down. I'm thinking you may have used too much if the air is still dusty after a good vacuuming, but don't worry, this just makes it so you don't have to reapply. Just continue to walk on it, beat it into the carpet and vacuum. Make sure the pets don't bring in more and make sure you get every room with carpet.
One year the fleas did overwhelm even with constant treatment and so we ripped out more than half our carpet and threw it away. But with only the two rooms of carpet left, we have gotten fleas again on bad summers and the way I mentioned above is how we deal with them.
Bathing animals before you dust them is a good idea as well. The soapy water kills most of them. A good combing (fine toothed) will also help to pull out eggs and adults. When combing, keep a bowl of soapy water nearby to dip the removed fleas into so they drown instead of hopping back onto the dog or into your clothing.
NOTE: As far as I know, it doesn't take two weeks to kill a flea with DE, but fleas are mobile and lay eggs which hatch after treatment. The eggs you will find most often under furniture. If you treat under the couch, the bed etc and leave it indefinitely, this will help alot for fresh hatchings. The point, is that it takes several days for every single flea to come into contact with the DE and then if I remember correctly, it takes about 24-72 hours to kill it. They can also get into your mattresses and bed clothes. It helps to dust between the mattress and bed springs and to wash your sheets, especially if the animals spend any time in the beds. I also went as far as dusting the mattress under the mattress pad (lightly). The pad and the sheets kept the dust away from the body but seemed to put a stop to me getting bit while I slept.