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How to Treat Your Lawn for Fleas

Dog Fleas, Dog Houses, Fleas, Kill Fleas, Nematode

Anyone who owns cats and dogs, especially those that go outside, is probably familiar with the ordeal of fleas. And when your lawn and outdoor areas become infested as well, it may begin to seem as if there is no escape from the ankle-biting torture. There are things you can do to rid your lawn and outdoor living spaces of the fearsome fleas.

Places to Check for Fleas

Check any place your pets frequent such as shaded areas, crawl space openings, dog houses and beds, in short any of the places your dog or cat enjoys taking a nap in. It could be that favorite spot in the middle of the yard under the old maple tree. Fleas drop off the pets and sometimes lay eggs in these places. Since they prefer moderate temperatures, shady areas are ideal.

Non-chemical Ways to Reduce Fleas in Your Lawn

Restrict animal access to the area. This means more than just your pets. Wild animals and strays can carry fleas and deposit them in your lawn as well. Squirrels, opossums, raccoons, rats and mice are all capable of delivering the insect vampires to your doorstep. Fences will keep many of the pests away. Remove tall stands of grass, weed patches and overgrown vegetation as these provide the kind of shade and humidity fleas prefer. Remove any type of debris that could hinder your efforts to treat the lawn.

And while fleas like humid conditions, they are not swimmers and will easily drown. Often a good soaking with the garden hose will be sufficient to drown out fleas and their larvae. All of these steps should be taken before applying chemical treatments.

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Biological control is used in some parts of the United States in the form of the beneficial nematode Steinernema carpocapsae. These kill fleas through a parasitic relationship but are safe for pets and people.

Chemical Flea Treatments for Your Lawn

Fleas have several developmental stages: egg, larva, immature and adult. No single product will treat all the stages of fleas. Ridding yourself of immature and adult fleas will only bring temporary relief as the eggs hatch and larvae develop. A few weeks later you’ll be right back where you started.

Several chemicals are safe for outdoor use. Insecticides that contain pyrethroids will treat adults in the lawn and may need to be applied every 2 to 3 weeks. Pyriproxyfen is a growth regulating chemical that treats developing fleas and remains active for 7 months. Look for these components in any flea insecticide you purchase.

Other Considerations for Safeguarding Your Lawn from Fleas

In order to complete the process, you will have to treat your pet and your home if your pet has access to it. Fleas will lay eggs where ever they can – in your carpet, on your furniture, on your pet. These eggs will hatch and revisit your pet and that means your lawn will again be a mine field of fleas before you know it.

Sources: Personal Experience – sad to say

University of California: Fleas

Oklahoma State University: Flea Control