So, you have treated your home for fleas using a variety of powders and sprays? Have you made sure to treat your backyard though? If you have a dog or cat, it is important to kill any fleas that may be lingering around in your yard. They could be just sitting there, waiting to jump on your pet and work their way into your home again.
This article highlights where fleas will likely hang out in yards, and ways to successfully eliminate them.
Importance of Removing Fleas in Yard
Having a flea-free yard means your dog can run around and play, and you do not have to worry about him bringing in fleas to the house.
Failure to kill the fleas that are in your yard, could have unpleasant consequences to say the least. After you have successfully killed all the fleas in your home, your pet could go outside to play, come back in the house, and re-trigger the infestation.
Removing a home flea problem can be costly, irritating, and exhausting, so having to start over from scratch is something that should be avoided at all costs. Do things right the first time. When treating a flea problem, make sure to kill fleas in your house, on your pets, AND outside.
Where Fleas are Found in Yards
In the outdoors, fleas will mostly be found where pets sleep, rest, and play. Fleas also like dark, damp places. Using flea control in yard areas that are exposed to direct sun is unnecessary, because fleas will not survive here. Some of the most common places you will find fleas in your yard are:
- Dog kennels
- Dog beds
- Shaded areas under trees
- Along fence lines
- Around lawn furniture
- Under decks
- Under swings or playsets
- Around sheds
Only Use These Methods if You Have Fleas
Outlined below will be some treatment methods you can use to kill fleas that may be inhabiting your backyard. These insecticides will effectively kill the fleas found in your yard, but they will also kill other beneficial insects. Even if insects gross you out, a lot of them are actually helping the environment. Make sure you actually have fleas before you start spraying insecticides in your yard. Use these methods for treatment, not prevention.
If you are trying to kill fleas in your yard, consider using an insecticide that is safe for your pets. Permethrin is a common active ingredient found in a variety of flea home treatments. Adams Yard Plus spray is effective on fleas, contains permethrin, and a handy hose sprayer attachment. Permethrin works to kill fleas by adversely affecting their nervous system. It mainly only works on adult fleas, so to kill the eggs, larvae, and pupae you will need to use insect growth regulators, which be cover in a section below. Permethrin is safe for people, dogs, and most other animals but it should not be used with cats.
If you are looking for an all natural alternative to permethrin, check out diatomaceous earth (DE). This product is safe for all animals, but is deadly to insects. Food grade diatomaceous earth is even given orally to pets to kill internal parasites. DE is simply powdered sedimentary rock that is very fine, porous, and abrasive. It also has absorbing properties. The diatomaceous earth will cut into fleas’ exoskeletons, and absorb fluids from their bodies, causing dehydration. Spread it all over your yard, but ensure that you wear a mask to avoid inhalation since it is abrasive to lungs. This works mainly on adult fleas.
Even if you are able to eliminate the adult fleas from your yard, there will likely be thousands of flea eggs and larvae still around. You need to kill these before they hatch into adults, and neither permethrin nor DE will do the job. Using an insect growth (IG) regulator or juvenile hormone (JH) will work the best. These substances will prevent the flea larvae from ever being able the pupate in adults. Instead, they will simply turn into larger larvae and then die. These active ingredients have no effect on mammals, so you and your pets are safe. They can be used indoors and outdoors.
For the hot spots in your yard, you can use some flea spays that are originally intended for indoor use. Keep in mind, it is not efficient to use these sprays in large areas. The best places to use these sprays will be dog houses, bedding, kennels, cages, and other areas where your dog hangs out. If your dog frequents the area, so will fleas. Ultracide is a popular flea spray and contains active ingredients to kill both adult fleas and the eggs/larvae, pyrethrin and Nylar. Pyrethrin is similar to permethrin, and Nylar is a juvenile growth hormone.
Routine Lawn Maintenance
Since fleas like dark and damp locations, keeping your yard in shape can help make it less inhabitable for fleas and their larvae. Ensure that grass is kept short and all weeds are pulled out, because this will reduce shade from tall grass. Use a rake to remove all leaves and debris from your yard that could be potential breeding grounds. If a sprinkler is broken, fix it right away so the ground is not constantly damp.
Treat Pets at the Same Time
Treat your pets and your for fleas concurrently for the best results. This leaves on safe haven for fleas to go to. Otherwise, you might end up dealing with a vicious cycle of flea infestation. Your flea-infested pets will roam into your flea-free yard and drop off eggs and adult fleas. Or vice-versa, your flea-free dog will go into a flea-infested yard.