keep the lawn mowed short and remove brush piles. Evict wildlife that can carry fleas, including squirrels and opossums. Also, nematodes can be used to control fleas in the yard and are harmless to pets, plants, and trees.
- Remove the Sources of Water
Fleas need water to survive, so you must remove any available water sources in your yard. This will keep fleas, their eggs and larvae from thriving. Start by mowing your lawn regularly and dethatching it once or twice a year. Also, get rid of any leaves, old pet feces, wood piles and debris that can provide shelter for fleas. This will also prevent shady areas from becoming breeding grounds.
Spraying your yard with insecticidal treatments can kill adult fleas. However, it does not treat fleas in the larval stage, which is where a flea infestation really starts. So, if your flea problem persists after regular treatments, careful lawn management and planting new plants, you may need to hire a professional pest control expert.
Another effective treatment is nematodes, which are microscopic worms that live in your soil and feed on the larvae of many pests including fleas. You can purchase nematodes at most garden centers and spread them around your yard. The best nematodes to use are “Steinernema carpocapsae,” which targets fleas and other pests but is harmless to your plants, pets and people. Nematodes are applied with a hose or sprayer that connects to your water hose, and you need to spray shady areas of the yard often. Do not spray sunny areas, as nematodes cannot survive in direct sunlight.
Insecticides are the best way to eliminate fleas from your yard, but they can be harmful if not used correctly. It is important to use them sparingly and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the safest and most effective results.
Another natural way to get rid of fleas in your garden is to spread some cedar mulch around the areas where you spend the most time in the yard. This will help to deter the fleas from coming near your plants because they cannot stand the smell. It is also a good idea to clear away piles of brush and debris in your yard as fleas love to hide under these piles.
Lastly, you can use beneficial nematodes to control your flea problem. These microscopic worms feed on the flea larvae, but are harmless to your pets, plants and trees. You can find nematodes at your local garden center or online, and you will need to spray them on the areas where you have a flea problem, preferably in shady spots because they don’t tolerate sunlight very well.
If you are struggling with a severe flea infestation in your yard, it is recommended that you contact a pest control company for professional advice and assistance. They will be able to recommend the right treatment for your specific situation, and will ensure that all of the fleas are killed and that they don’t return.
A natural alternative to chemical flea sprays, beneficial nematodes are microscopic worms that are broadcast into the soil. They eat the larvae of fleas and other pests, including termites, and are completely safe for people, pets and plants. Nematodes are also nontoxic to aquatic animals and bees. They’re available online and at some garden centers.
When using nematodes, water the yard heavily before applying. It’s best to apply them in shady areas, as they don’t tolerate direct sunlight well. They can be sprayed in the same way as other lawn sprays, but make sure that they are applied early in the day or late in the evening. It is important to note that nematodes should be used in the spring only, as they go into a dormant state during cold temperatures and won’t begin to work until the ground thaws.
You’ll want to purchase enough nematodes to cover the entire area that you wish to treat. They usually come in the form of sponges that are placed in a bucket filled with water, and then shaken well to mix them up. After mixing them, they can be sprayed into the lawn and garden or specific spots that are infested with pests. Remember to shake your sprayer or watering can continuously while working, as the nematodes are heavier than water and will sink to the bottom of the container if not properly mixed.
- Diatomaceous Earth
This natural powder is made from the fossilized remains of algae and is completely safe for mammals, but deadly to fleas. It works by cutting through their exoskeleton, dehydrating them and ultimately killing them. You can find diatomaceous earth online or at your local garden store. It is also available in food stores, but be sure to get the organic, non-toxic variety. The OMRI (Organic Material Review Institute) certifies it as safe for humans, pets and beneficial insects.
It is most effective when used as a preventative, especially in areas where pets are allowed to roam. Sprinkle a thin layer of the dust around your home and in pet bedding, sleeping spots, baseboards, and cracks where pests hide. This will keep them from chewing your pups and will kill any that wander into your home. Vacuum the area you dusted two days later.
To apply diatomaceous earth outside, wear a mask and protective gloves, and dampen the lawn where you want to control pests. It is best applied on a dry, windless day as it will blow away in wet weather. Wearing white high knee socks can help you pinpoint the areas most heavily infested with fleas. It is a good idea to spread it on the same areas in which you spray your chemical insecticides, as it will complement their effects.