In the battle against fleas and ticks, pet owners must treat their homes, pet bedding and the animals themselves. However, it will be a fruitless effort if one very important area is left untreated--the yard. Your yard harbors fleas and ticks, allowing the parasites to live, grow and await your pets to prey upon. Effective yard treatment, combined with treating your home and animals, is key to eliminating your parasite problem for good.
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Spray your yard with chemical sprays to eliminate fleas and ticks. These sprays often contain ingredients that kill adult fleas and ticks, kill their eggs and larvae and inhibit growth of the parasites so that they are unable to reach maturity. When choosing a yard control spray, always read the label carefully to ensure that the product is safe for use around pets and any garden plants. Apply the sprays to the entire yard, including under bushes and trees, in and on piles of leaves or debris and on lawn furniture. Rain washes the sprays away, so always reapply the spray as soon as possible after rain to keep parasites under control. When there is no rain, apply sprays every two weeks.
Certain powders are abrasive to parasites, causing cuts in the parasites' bodies as they brush against the powder. These cuts eventually cause the fleas and ticks to die of dehydration. Powders such as borax and food-grade diatomaceous earth are effective against parasites. These substances are safe for use around humans and pets. They are also a chemical-free, nontoxic means of parasite control in your yard.
Simply spraying your lawn with water creates healthy, green grass but is not enough to treat and eliminate fleas and ticks. The only way to effectively eliminate parasites in your yard with water is to flood the lawn. Flooding your entire lawn with water every two to three weeks not only washes away mature fleas and ticks but also kills parasite eggs and larvae. This method is best used in combination with other methods and may prove impractical for those with outdoor pets that would romp in the flooded area.
Essential oils are best used in combination with other methods. Used alone, essential oils may be applied to or sprinkled around any flea and tick infested area as a means of control. However, this method may prove to be very expensive and impractical when used on an entire lawn. The best way to use oils is to add a few drops of an essential oil, such as lavender, eucalyptus, mint, citrus or tea tree, to your flea and tick sprays or powders. Or you could purchase a spray containing these oils to use on your lawn. Essential oils are a chemical-free means of control but are toxic to humans and animals if consumed undiluted.
Nematodes are insects that look like little worms. These insects feed on the larvae of fleas and ticks, as well as on the larvae of other unwanted yard insects. Simply add nematodes to your lawn monthly and let them do their work. Nematodes may be purchased from garden store suppliers, feed stores and some veterinarians. This is another nontoxic means of control, as these insects do not harm humans or pets.