How to Control Fleas in Your Yard

By: Julie Day

What is the best way to get rid of fleas in your backyard? -Ray

Considering their four-stage life cycle and the fact that one flea can produce a trillion offspring in less than a year, getting rid of a flea infestation can be quite a challenge! In the lawn and garden (and even indoors), one suggestion is pennyroyal– grow the mint-like plants for a natural flea repellent, or mist areas with a few drops of essential oil in water.

FleaAnother natural solution is diatomaceous earth. Available at your local garden center, this fine powder contains the microskeletons of fresh and saltwater diatoms (a form of algae).

The tiny, sharp silicon particles destroy the exoskeletons of insects, including fleas. Be sure to buy garden-grade, rather than crystallized pool-grade, to reduce the potential health risks from inhalation. Wear an appropriate dusk mask when sprinkling it around your yard, and keep pets indoors until the powder has settled.

There is also a large selection of commercial insecticides on the market for lawn use. If you decide to go that route, be sure the product contains an Insect Growth Regulator, which will make any surviving fleas sterile.

With any repellent or insecticide product, whether natural or chemical, keep in mind that it will affect beneficial insects as well as pests – there is no way to target just fleas.

Julie

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