You’ve taken the steps to de-flea your house, but the battle
might not be over yet. Fleas are pests that can endure and breed in the outdoors
until they find a new furry home. It is reasons like this that
make monthly flea preventatives like Comfortis or Revolution for dogs so crucial.
If your pets spend a lot of time in your yard, it might be
necessary to treat everything from the lawn to your lawn
furniture for these parasites. Learn where fleas can be found
in your yard, how to eradicate
them, and how to prevent future invasions of fleas on dogs.
How to Check Your Yard for Flea Infestation
It’s important to make sure the yard is not the source of your
flea infestation. Walk around
your yard wearing white socks pulled up to your calves, and
linger in the areas your pet hangs out most. You’ll easily spot
fleas against the white cotton of your socks if they are
Fleas prefer cool, shady, moist places. They especially like
shrubs, leaves, and trees, and don’t fare well in sunny areas
or in open grass.
The first place to look for fleas is the spots your pets
frequent most. Anywhere your pet likes to sleep, rest, dig, or
run is where fleas will likely be. Poke around the doghouse,
kennel, outdoor furniture, and shady trees or gardens. Also
check out the patio, underneath the porch, along fences, and
around your house’s perimeter.
Preparing Your Yard for Flea Treatment
After you treat your pets with something like Advantage for cats and declare
them flea-free, begin treating the yard. It's best to keep pets
out of the area until you eradicate the pests completely. If a
few lingering parasites jump on your
dog or cat, the whole process could have to start over
Begin by thoroughly cleaning your yard. It’s probably on your
to-do list anyway! Mow the grass and pick any weeds you see.
Remove debris from the garden as well as your lawn. Stacked
wood, piles of leaves, and mounds of rocks are the ideal
breeding ground for fleas. The more clutter, the more places
fleas can take refuge. You should also keep the yard free of
pet and child toys during this process.
Treating Your Yard for Fleas
Once you choose your method of flea removal, be it insecticides
or a more natural solution (see
below), focus on the places your pet frequents first. If you
have a giant yard, you may not need to treat the entire area.
If your pet doesn’t frequent the front yard or is fenced off
from certain areas, it won’t be necessary to treat those
places. Doghouses and kennels should be sprayed with the same
non-toxic product you use to treat your pet.
Using Insecticides to Treat Your Yard
If you choose to use a pesticide to eliminate outdoor fleas,
follow the directions on the product label, and make sure to
abide by all safety warnings. Most flea pesticides come in the
form of hose sprayers or tank pumps. You can hire a
professional to administer the treatments, but if you prefer to
do it yourself, make sure to cover up. Wear a dust mask,
protective clothing, and gloves.
Make sure you remove toys from the yard before spraying and
keep children and pets off the treated areas until those areas
are dry, or until the product instructions indicate it is safe.
Most applications of insecticide will need to be repeated in
two to three weeks after your first round.
Flood Your Yard to Remove Flea Eggs
Once you’ve eradicated fleas from your yard, you still have to
contend with their offspring. Fleas breed in those moist, shady
areas we discussed earlier. Hose down garden beds, around
trees, rock mounds, and anywhere else you suspect fleas are
hanging out. Next, water your grass until it slightly floods.
Eggs and larvae will not survive when flooded with water.
Diatomaceous Earth for Fleas
Diatomaceous earth or DE provides a natural way of dealing with
fleas dwelling in your yard. Free from harmful toxins,
diatomaceous earth is a fine dust that's made from fossilized
remains of a type of algae called diatoms. This natural
pesticide kills fleas while being completely safe for mammals.
You can spread DE using a garden dust-spreading tool on areas
that are heavily infested. These areas are usually near the
doghouse or any places where your pets spend the most time.
However, DE only works when it’s in dust form. Therefore, you
should avoid using it during the wet months.
Beneficial Nematodes and Flea Removal
Nematodes are a natural,
non-toxic defense against fleas. These microscopic worms are
harmless to humans and pets, and will not cause damage to
trees, grass, bushes, or plants. They feed on flea larvae and
attack other pests in your yard as well, like termites.
Nematodes typically come in spray form and should be applied to
the shady areas that fleas frequent, as they cannot tolerate
the hot sun either.
Cedar Wood Chips and Fleas
Cedar chips are another natural way to keep fleas at bay. These
parasites are repulsed by the scent of cedar chips and do their
best to avoid them. Sprinkle the chips in those shady areas
that fleas frequent in your yard, as well as under the porch,
dog bedding, and outdoor furniture. You can mow right over
cedar chips, turning them into a finer powder that will still
repel the fleas. Sprinkle them along your fence to keep fleas
from neighboring yards out.
Prevent Future Flea Infestations in Your Yard
If your pet is prone to fleas, take these measures to make your
yard less flea-friendly.
Keep Your Lawn Dry: Fleas thrive in moist
places, so do not over-water your lawn. You’ll create a
flea-friendly breeding ground for these parasites.
Use Cedar Chips Decoratively: Given fleas’
aversion to their smell, try incorporating cedar chips
decoratively so they have a permanent place in your yard.
Consider Planting Pennyroyal: Pennyroyal,
also known as fleabane, naturally repels fleas once it’s
fully established in your yard. This plant is a member of the
mint family, and fleas do not like its scent. Use pennyroyal
with caution, as it is toxic to cats if ingested, and is not
recommended around pregnant animals.
Prune, Trim, and Mow: A sunny yard is not an
ideal habitat for fleas as they cannot tolerate hot sun for
long periods. Frequently mowing your lawn exposes the soil to
sunshine, keeping it dry and flea-free. You can also prune
bushes and trim trees to increase the sunniness of your yard,
and keep fleas out.
How to Kill Fleas in the Yard
The impressive jumping
abilities of fleas allow them easy entry into your
home, hitching a ride on your pants leg or on your pet’s fur.
Once inside your home, fleas will torment your cat or dog, and
multiply at a swift and overwhelming rate. Ticks, which can be more frightening from
a disease perspective, hide in grass and can also easily attach
to you or your pet. Prevent your backyard from becoming a
comfortable breeding ground for these harmful parasites, and
find out how to eliminate these pests if they’re already cozily
Preventing Fleas & Ticks From Inhabiting Your Yard
Your lawn can be tempting for fleas and ticks, particularly if
it is somewhat overgrown. Try following these easy tips to
ensure that your backyard stays free of pests:
well-trimmed: While fleas and ticks like to lurk
within the grass, direct sunlight will make the soil and
grass too hot for them to survive. Mow the lawn frequently to
maximize sun exposure.
Abundantly: Flooding areas with a flea population
can be another strategy since it drowns and destroys flea
Deer-Free: Deer are prime tick-carriers, so
prevent deer from coming on your land with fences. Avoid
planting fruits and vegetables that are particularly
appealing to deer, such as tulips and lettuce.
Matter: Compost, piles of leaves, and other
organic matter are a prime breeding ground and home for
fleas and ticks. Avoid having organic matter where your
family or pets walk and play, not that we'd want to deter you
from composting altogether!
areas: Your deck, playground equipment like
slides, and the grassy areas you and your pets walk on,
should be kept separate from complete nature with a barrier
of wood chips or gravel. The CDC recommends keeping this
barrier 3-feet wide.
Eliminate Fleas in Your Yard
But what if it’s too late to prevent fleas, or if
you live in a warm climate,
where fleas and ticks are nearly unavoidable? Try one of these
Remedies: To remove fleas and ticks from the
yard, you can spray an Insect Growth
Regulator (IGR). These treatments are generally safe
for people and pets and will inhibit the flea’s life cycle
and prevent further offspring. Be cautious about applying
these near a water source, and note that IGRs are harmful to
fish. Acaricides, or a tick pesticide, can be applied on a
yearly basis to ward off and destroy ticks in your backyard.
Earth: While hazardous to ingest or breath in,
this natural product can be used as an insecticide without
harm to humans or pets. Apply food-grade Diatomaceous Earth
on dry days to areas of the garden where you have spotted
fleas and ticks. Wear gloves while sprinkling it around to
avoid irritating your skin. When fleas, ticks, or insects
encounter or ingest Diatomaceous Earth, it dehydrates and
shreds their bodies, eventually destroying them
How PetPlus Can Help
If you are dealing with fleas and ticks, or want to keep your
pet protected from these parasites, the PetPlus plan is a great way to provide your pet
with the care they need at a price you will love. Everything
from Advantage II to Frontline Plus, as well as heartworm
medication like Heartgard, is
at your disposal. And with an average savings of $75 a year,
PetPlus is the obvious choice in
comprehensive pet protection.
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This information is for informational
purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the
professional advice of, or diagnosis, or treatment by your
veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or
other qualified professionals with any questions you may have
regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking
professional advice due to what you may have read on our