Pets tend to spend a lot of time outdoors, rolling around in the grass and, unfortunately, attracting fleas. Knowing how to get rid of fleas in your backyard will allow you to treat the root of the problem and keep you from experiencing a flea infestation in the future.
We won’t lie, eliminating fleas from your pets, home, and the backyard is a big task. However, many of the steps below will not only get rid of fleas but help prevent them from coming back in the future.
If you’re ready to have a flea-free zone, continue reading.
Step 1: Remove Fleas From Your Pet(s)
If your pet has fleas, address this first before moving onto anything else. If you completely rid your home and backyard of fleas, but they’re still living on your pet, you may find yourself back at step one.
Below are some tips to help you remove fleas from your pets:
- Start with a bath: Give your pet a good wash to kill any fleas, larvae, and eggs living in their fur. You don’t necessarily need a flea shampoo, and even a good lukewarm rinse can help get rid of fleas.
- If you want to use a flea shampoo, be sure to talk to your veterinarian first. Some dogs can be allergic to fleas, making their skin extra sensitive.
- When choosing flea shampoo for your pet, be sure that you read the label thoroughly. There are shampoos specially made for dogs and others made for cats. It can harm your pets if you use the wrong one.
- Use a flea treatment: Once you’ve gotten rid of the fleas on your pets, get a flea collar or flea treatment to prevent any other fleas from jumping into their fur. Talk with your vet to determine the best course of action.
- Check regularly: Regularly run a flea comb through your pet’s fur to ensure that no new fleas have made a home on their skin. Dunk the comb in hot, soapy water to kill any eggs or fleas captured on the comb.
Step 2: Remove Fleas From Your Home
Even if there aren’t any fleas directly on your pet, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a flea problem. Fleas tend to hop onto your dog or cat when they’re ready to feed, and then return to the carpet or bedding once they’re finished.
This is why it is so important to not only rid your pet of fleas but completely get rid of fleas your in your home.
Fleas can reproduce rather quickly, so this isn’t exactly a quick and easy task. Here are all of the areas that need to be thoroughly cleaned and treated in your home:
- Floors: When your dog or cat scratches, shakes, or even walks across the floors, they could be spreading flea eggs and larvae. If you’re not vacuuming, sweeping, or mopping regularly – now is the time to start.
- Bedding: Washing your dog’s bedding with hot, soapy water will kill off any fleas living in it. You’ll want to wash the household bedding as well, especially if your pets lie on it.
- Counters: Keeping counters flea-free really only matters if you have a cat. Using a cleaner or hot soapy water should be enough to drown and kill any fleas on surfaces your cat jumps on.
- Other spots: Other spots, like upholstery, can be treated with a flea treatment spray. Make sure to thoroughly read the label to make sure it’s safe for the pets in your home.
Once your home is clean, you can use a flea fogger to get rid of any leftover fleas hanging out.
Step 3: Find Where the Fleas Are Hiding in Your Yard
Before you can work on getting rid of the fleas in your backyard, you first need to figure out where they are hiding at. Fleas like places that have a lot of shade and humidity.
If there are any spots in your backyard that your dog prefers to hang out in, that’s likely also where the fleas are hiding too. Like many animals, fleas are just trying to find places to relax in the shade.
Start by thoroughly walking through your backyard and see where the shady spots are. Take an extra close look around backyard furniture, the dog house, trees, or shrubs.
Write down any areas that you either see fleas or seem like a place fleas could be hanging out. This way, you know which areas need to have the most focus on when treating your backyard.
Step 4: Reduce Yard Clutter
Now that you know fleas like shady places, you can start by taking those spaces away. Less shade = fewer fleas.
Mow your yard, and then make sure to sweep up any grass left behind. Piles of grass, compost, or leaves are great places for fleas to make a home to relax in. Bagging and removing this will disrupt their habitat and make it difficult for them to reproduce.
Pick up any dog toys, tools, and other objects lying around. These items make an excellent umbrella for fleas to hide under, so make things less cozy by removing all that you can.
Do your best to keep your yard clutter-free in the future as well. Pick up toys, put back equipment, and try not to leave any piles of grass, leaves, or compost behind.
Mow your grass regularly and clean up what’s left behind. Keep bushes and hedges trimmed and cleaned to remove extra shade for fleas. If you’re looking for a good pair of hedge shears, read this article next.
Not only will your yard look nice and organized, but you’ll reduce your risk of having a habitat of fleas outside your home.
Step 5: Flood Your Backyard
By now, your home and pets are free of fleas. You have a good idea where they’re hanging out and have removed some of their comfy dark areas in the backyard.
Now is when you can really start removing any remaining fleas. Fleas drown easily, so by flooding your yard regularly, you can control the flea population.
Fleas can lay up to 50 eggs a day, so if you have a lot of fleas, that is a whole lot of potential eggs. Flooding your yard can get rid of any eggs as well, helping to stop their cycle of life.
The idea of flooding your entire yard may sound daunting. But not to worry, you’ve already taken note of all the places fleas like to hide in your yard. You can start by spot flooding those areas, and can always cover more ground later.
Here is how to flood your backyard:
- Remove any clutter that you haven’t removed yet.
- Give your lawn a good trim, and clean up any grass left behind.
- Take out the hose, and spray your entire yard with water. Pay extra attention to those spots where fleas could be hiding and flood those areas.
- Repeat this process monthly to continually kill fleas, wash away flea feces, eggs, and larvae.
Step 6: Spray Insecticides
If flooding the yard doesn’t completely do the job, or you just want to ensure the fleas completely will be gone, then using a spray insecticide should kill off any fleas remaining.
When choosing a good insecticide, try to find one that is environmentally friendly. Be careful not to spray near large bodies of water, such as lakes or ponds that may be near your property.
Here are the steps for spraying your yard with insecticides:
- Remove any kid or pet toys in the yard prior to spraying. You should also keep kids and pets inside to keep them safe.
- Cover your face with a mask and eyeglasses, and wear a pair of gloves. Safety first.
- Spritz over your entire yard, paying extra special attention to the shady areas you noted before.
- Repeat every 2 to 4 weeks as necessary.
Once you’re finished, it’s a good idea to keep the family, including pets, inside for a few hours as the solution dries to keep them safe from the chemicals.
Step 7: Use Nematodes
If you’re looking for a more natural way to remove fleas, have nematodes come in and take care of it. What’s great about nematodes is that they are completely harmless to pets, humans of all ages, and all of the plants in your yard.
These microscopic worms will not only eat fleas, but they feed on other pesky insects, even termites!
Here is how to get rid of fleas in your backyard using nematodes:
- Nematodes typically come in the form of sponges, so start by mixing with water. Fill up a bucket, submerge the sponges, and give a little squeeze to get the nematodes out.
- Pour water from the bucket into a spray can. After you’ve done this, you can toss out the sponges.
- Add more water if needed.
- Thoroughly spray the lawn and bushes where fleas could be hiding out. Spritz the rest of your yard, as well.
- Keep the lawn well-watered for at least a week so that the nematodes can thrive. They will reproduce, and their offspring will also help to keep the fleas away.
Step 8: Use Cedar Chips
Using cedar chips is another great natural method to get rid of fleas. Fleas hate the smell of cedar chips, so you can strategically place them around your yard to keep them away.
The only issue with using cedar chips is that cats also dislike the smell. So, if you have any outdoor cats, you may want to skip this step.
Add large, flat cedar chips by your fence to keep any more fleas from coming into your yard. Then, continue adding the chips underneath your porch, around shrubs or bushes, and along the perimeter of your house.
Step 9: Call Pest Control
If you don’t have the time or patience to deal with a large flea invasion, sometimes it’s best just to call the experts. They know exactly how to get rid of fleas in your backyard, and they can get the job done quickly.
Even if you use pest control, follow the tips above as a preventative measure. The last thing you’d want is to pay for pest control, only to have the problem repeat itself.
Other Tips to Get Rid of and Prevent Fleas
- Keep your yard dry. Unless you’re using our tip on flooding your yard, you generally want to keep your backyard as dry as possible. Refrain from overwatering your lawn to avoid giving fleas a perfect breeding ground.
- Plant pennyroyal: Once fully established, pennyroyal will repel fleas in your backyard. This plant from the mint family gives off a scent that fleas cannot stand. Be careful, however, as it can be toxic to cats.
- Trim bushes regularly: Keeping the lawn mowed and bushes trimmed not only makes your yard look nice but keeps fleas away as well. Fleas cannot be in direct sunlight for long, so the less shade you can give them, the better.
- Make your yard unfriendly to other animals: Wild animals, such as rabbits or deer, may bring fleas into your backyard. Read our articles to learn how to keep rabbits and deer out of your backyard.
- Wear white socks: When searching for areas that have the most fleas, wear white socks. Fleas may jump on your feet, and if you are wearing white socks, then you’ll be able to see where they’re coming from easier.
Getting rid of fleas isn’t an easy task, and can take a lot of time and patience. But now that you know how to get rid of fleas in your backyard, you should also have a good idea of how to prevent them in the future as well.
The most important thing is to remove any areas that would be comfy and cozy to them, making them want to find a new backyard to relax in. Any spots that have moisture and shade are a flea’s ideal habitat, so do what you can to eliminate those, and you’ll be well on your way.