After getting rid of all the fleas inside your home and on your pets, you might think you’re safe. Unfortunately this is usually not the case, because you haven’t treated the root of the problem yet. This article focuses on how to get rid of fleas in the yard and how to prevent future flea infestations in your lawn. After all, this is the place where the fleas got to your pets and caught a free ride into your home.
This will not be an easy task, but it is essential that you take care of the problem. This is especially the case if your pets spend a lot of time outside. The fleas can be hiding anywhere in the yard, even in the garden furniture, so you need to keep your eyes open and look for fleas in the right places as described below.
Find out where the fleas are hiding
First you need to find the little bloodsuckers so you know where to begin the flea treatment. Fleas prefer areas that are warm, shady and moist. They tend to avoid direct sunlight and open grass. So how do you locate them? Think about where your pet usually hangs out. This is usually also the place where you will find the fleas. Check the whole garden and pay extra attention to areas around the doghouse, garden furniture, trees and fences. A nice little trick is to wear white socks when you walk around the yard. Because fleas are black, they will be quite easy to spot on the white socks.
Remember that you might find them in more than one area of the yard, so you need to make sure every flea infestation is found and taken care of. This is how you get rid of fleas in the yard for good.
Before you begin flea treatment in the yard
You need to get rid of fleas on your pets first before you move on to the yard. When you have successfully done that, you can start treating the yard. Keep your pets indoors when you do this, or else you risk them being attacked by fleas once more and you would have to start over again.
Start by cleaning the yard, making it easier to get to those difficult areas and ensuring that no fleas get away from you. Mow the lawn and remove organic debris. The fleas are often attracted to places near debris, like composting areas or piles of grass cuttings or leaves. Bagging and raking these areas disturb the fleas natural habitat, making it difficult for them to breed and easy for your flea treatment products to penetrate and kill the fleas. Move pet toys and all other objects lying around in the yard. They make excellent hiding spots for the fleas, and unless you want your newfound friends to stick around, get rid of the clutter once and for all.
5 effective ways to get rid of fleas in the yard
Now the real challenge begins. You need to figure out how you want to get rid of the fleas. There are several ways to do this, some of them more appropriate than others. The methods described below are all highly effective and working ways of getting the job done, but you need to pick the one that matches your specific needs. If you have a huge and open yard, you might not have to treat all of it. Or if there are areas of the yard where your pets never go, there is no point of wasting energy here. It’s time to choose how to get rid of fleas in the yard. Pick one of the 5 effective ways below and enjoy your flea-free yard afterwards.
1. Flood the yard with water
Flea larvae and flea eggs cannot survive a flooded lawn. Therefore, the easiest way to end the life cycle of the vicious flea is to periodically flood the entire yard. Besides killing the fleas, the water will also wash away all the feces from the adult fleas (this is what flea larvae eat), decreasing their chance of survival to zero. During rainy seasons this shouldn’t be necessary as Mother Nature takes care of the problem, but if the weather is mostly dry and sunny, you have to cut the grass, remove debris and flood the lawn often to get rid of fleas and prevent them from breeding. Be sure to flood the whole area with water, especially around trees, fences, garden furniture and the doghouse. All the grass in the yard should be slightly flooded to ensure that every flea larvae and flea egg is covered in water.
How to flood the yard with water
- Remove all clutter like old bikes, toys, etc. from the yard.
- Mow or trim the lawn to at least ½ inch height to prevent fleas from living in your yard.
- Use a hose or pipe to flood the entire lawn.
- Repeat the process monthly to eliminate newly hatched fleas.
2. Spray the yard with insecticides
If you plan on using insecticides to get rid of your flea problem, you should try to get environmental friendly pesticide. Also remember to follow the instructions carefully and avoid spraying in areas near lakes, ponds or other places that can contaminate the water. You should also protect yourself with a dust mask and protective clothing. Before you start spraying the yard with insecticides, make sure you remove toys and other things that come in contact with your pets or children. Keep your pets and children out of the yard and don’t let anyone in afterwards. Safety always comes first.
When you spray the yard, be extra thorough with the areas mentioned above, as this is where the fleas are usually found. You don’t have to spray the entire yard or lawn, but if you leave your pets outdoors in a fenced area, this entire area needs to be treated. Repeat the whole process if the product requires it, usually it’s every two to four weeks.
How to spray the yard with insecticides
- Keep kids and pets away from the home and yard for the duration of the treatment.
- Remove clutter from the yard such as old bikes, tires, children’s and pet’s toys etc. If possible, cover up slides and swing sets with tarp or sturdy cloth.
- Cover your face with protective gear. Use hand gloves when handling the spray equipment.
- Begin spraying the yard with insecticide.
- Make sure you cover all areas such as under the decks and patios, shrubs etc.
- Repeat treatment if needed to get rid of newly hatched larvae and eliminate flea eggs.
3. Use nematodes to get rid of fleas
If you prefer a more natural approach, then nematodes might be the perfect solution for you. They are microscopic worms that feed on flea larvae and other insects in your yard, this includes termites. The nematodes are completely harmless to humans, pets, plants, trees and your lawn, so you don’t have to worry about any of that. They are sprayed directly to the areas where the fleas live, preferably with shade, as nematodes don’t tolerate the hot sun very well.
How to use nematodes for fleas
- Mix the nematodes with water. They usually come in form of sponges. Fill up the entire bucket with water and place the sponge in the bucket. You might have to squeeze the sponges to get the nematodes out.
- Pour the water into a spraying can. Discard the sponge
- You can add some more water to the can to dilute the suspension.
- Start spraying the bushes, shrubs and lawn. Be thorough in application.
- Keep the soil moist for the first 7 days after spraying beneficial nematodes. This will allow them to reproduce and their offspring will look for more fleas and bugs in your garden to use as hosts.
4. Use cedar chips to keep the fleas out of your yard
Another natural way to get rid of fleas is to spread cedar wood chips all over your yard. Fleas hate the smell of cedar chips and you can use this to your advantage by covering the areas where you have found fleas with wood chips and putting them along the outer fences to prevent new fleas from entering your yard.
How to use cedar chips to keep fleas away
- Buy large flat cedar chips. You can get them from any gardening or home improvement store.
- Start by putting the chips along the fence. This will deter fleas from your neighbor’s yards.
- Keep in mind that cedar chips deter cats as well. So this is not a solution for cat lovers.
- Generously sprinkle the large, flat chips under bushes and shrubs, as well as along the perimeter of your home. Do not forget to add chips under your deck or patio.
5. Get professional help from pest control experts
When all else fails or if you don’t have the time to organize a full blown attack against the fleas, then luckily you can pay professional pest control experts to get rid of the fleas for you. They are quick, effective, highly experienced and have dealt with problems just like yours many times before, so they know exactly how to get rid of fleas in the yard fast. Don’t worry about the neighbors finding out about your flea problem, because most of these companies drive discreet vehicles without indicating what they are there for.
Got fleas? Find out which products work in 2019, with my updated flea control product comparison chart.