How to Disinfect Your Yard for Leptospirosis

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Disinfecting your yard against leptospirosis is necessary for the health of your pets and your family.
Disinfecting your yard against leptospirosis is necessary for the health of your pets and your family. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Leptospirosis is a contagious bacterial disease often found in unvaccinated dogs and puppies. Characterized by lethargy, high fever, vomiting, and diarrhea, leptospirosis can be transmitted to humans and can remain alive for months in damp soil. Vaccinating your dogs is an important part in preventing the spread of this disease, although disinfecting your yard after exposure to a sick animal is necessary to keep your pets, and your family, disease-free.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Breathing mask
  • Garbage bags
  • Shovel
  • Antibacterial disinfectant
  • Lawn mower

Protect yourself with gloves and a breathing mask, and remove any fecal matter from your yard. Leptospirosis can be transmitted through infected feces, so scoop up any piles with a shovel and dispose of them in plastic garbage bags.

Drain standing water, such as ponds, puddles and bird baths. Leptospira bacteria must remain damp to survive, and removing this host speeds up the disinfecting process.

Spray down solid surfaces, such as sidewalks, driveways, and decks, with antibacterial disinfectant. Coat the surface thoroughly and allow it to air dry completely to kill leptospira bacteria.

Dig down at least 12 inches and turn over bare soil with a shovel to expose it to air and sunlight. Leptospira bacteria thrive in dark, damp soil, so drying the soil out kills the bacteria without harmful chemicals.

Cut your lawn as short as possible to kill hidden bacteria. The shorter your lawn, the less hidden moisture exists to harbor bacteria.

Dispose of all garbage bags and cleaning materials in trash cans with tight-fitting lids. Leptospirosis can be spread by infected rodents that rummage through your garbage, and preventing access to infected materials minimizes disease transmission.

Tips & Warnings

  • Vaccinate your pets against leptospirosis. A series of two injections followed by yearly boosters can help keep your pets and your family healthy. Removing existing grass is one of the quickest ways to disinfect your yard, but if you’re unwilling to pull up grass, keep all pets off the lawn to prevent reinfection. You can purchase antibacterial disinfectant at pet supply stores and veterinary offices.

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