How to Kill Fleas & Chiggers in the Lawn

Fleas and chiggers are tiny insects that feed on birds, small animals and humans. Chiggers are microscopic and feed on tissue, whereas fleas can be seen with the naked eye and suck their host’s blood. Although rare, known diseases transmitted by fleas include typhus and bubonic plague. Chiggers do not carry any disease in the United States. Outdoor environments are ideal for these insects to survive because of an abundance of food, vegetation and shade.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn mower
  • Hose
  • Spray attachment
  • Ivory soap
  • Nematodes
  • Diatomaceous earth (100%)

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Keep your lawn mowed and any bushes or brush trimmed. Dispose of undergrowth, weeds and leaf piles. Keep weeds and grass cut from paths and fence lines. Use a black cardboard box to see what areas of the lawn have hot spots of chiggers.

Treat the lawn between woods and along fences and paths with pesticides that contain permethrin, cyfluthrin, diazinon and carbaryl for chiggers and fleas.

Apply Ivory soap to the lawn every four to six weeks to suffocate fleas. Use a hose attachment and set the dilution dial to 2 tbsp. Spray it on the lawn and let it dry.

Buy nematodes to kill fleas. These are tiny worms that eat flea larvae and other harmful insects.

Use diatomaceous earth. It is a fine powder that is made from fossilized remains of diatoms. The grains have sharp edges that will penetrate the fleas and their larvae eventually killing them. Sprinkle around your lawn, patios and anywhere pets or feral animals frequent.

Tips & Warnings

  • Fleas and chiggers like shade and areas with limited sunlight.
  • Do not use diatomacous earth found in pool supply stores.
  • Use food grade diatomacous earth if you have pets.


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