How to Kill Parasites in Soil

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Parasite eggs can live in soil for years.
Parasite eggs can live in soil for years. (Image: Dirt Road image by Antonio Oquias from Fotolia.com)

The idea of parasites living in soil is the stuff of horror movies. Unfortunately, adult parasites and their eggs actually do inhabit soil, grass, sand and a variety of other ground material. Walking and spending time on infected soil puts you at risk for contracting parasites, as does eating food that is grown from it. You must eliminate them from the soil to keep your family and your pets safe.

Sprinkle 10 lbs. of sodium borate per every 100 square feet of soil to kill parasites such as hookworms. Sodium borate will kill vegetation, therefore, only use it if you do not mind killing your grass. Sodium borate is typically available at pharmacies and hardware stores. Keep any pets and children away from the lawn if you apply this substance, as it is potentially harmful.

Allow the infected soil to be exposed to frequent sunlight, if possible. Many parasites and their eggs will die quickly if they feel the heat of the sun for long periods of time. Clip tree branches or hedges to let the sun to beat down on the infected soil to help kill the parasites, their larvae and their eggs.

Remove infected soil, if possible. Some parasite eggs are resistant to most forms of treatment and can remain in the soil for years. You must often remove the soil and replace it with clean soil. If that’s not possible, attempt to overturn the soil to a depth of 8 to 12 inches.

Tips & Warnings

  • To avoid becoming infected with parasites, never walk barefoot or lie down on infected soil. If you handle the soil, wash your hands immediately. In addition, avoid allowing pets and children to spend time on the soil and wash their hands or feet if they come in contact with the soil.
  • Remove any infected pet stool from the soil promptly to avoid further infestation.
  • Routinely administer worming medication to your pets to prevent parasite infection.

References

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