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Flea & Tick Treatment for Your Dog's Backyard
By Mel Lee-Smith
Published: 07/15/2019, edited: 09/24/2021
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If you’ve had an infestation of fleas on your dog, then you already know how difficult it is to eradicate them from your furry companion and your home. If you have found a tick or two on your furry buddy after a walk (or discovered them a few days later all puffed up and adhered to your pup’s skin), you realize these pesky creatures can appear without warning.
To stay ahead of these parasitic nuisances, it is recommended that you do a flea and tick lawn treatment as one step in the fight against invasion. Both fleas and ticks can survive quite well off the host when conditions are right. Educate yourself about the most effective yard pest control for fleas and ticks. The aim for every pet parent is to keep the ticks and fleas outside, not on your pet, but it is essential to keep them out of your yard, too.
Flea Control For Your Lawn
If you are in the market for a treatment for fleas in the yard, there are a few to choose from. It’s always best to go natural if you can because your pets spend time in the yard and if you use a chemical product, your dog (and your kids) will have to stay off the lawn until the treatment has dried, and even then there are risks to consider.
As an option, you can go with an organic, natural spray that effectively kills fleas (as well as ticks and mosquitoes). Made with peppermint and clove oil extracts, this spray won't kill your garden plants. However, peppermint oil is toxic to dogs when ingested. If you choose to use this solution, always supervise your dog while outdoors. Ask at the garden center for information on the spray.
Nematodes are tiny worms that ingest not only the flea, but the larvae as well. This is a safe solution that is not toxic and is best sprayed in the shady areas that fleas like to rest in. The worms do not like the sun, so do not place them in open sections of your property.
Cedar wood chips can be placed as a perimeter barrier around your yard and is efficient as keeping pests from entering the property. Don’t let your dog eat them though, because the chips may cause your dog to become ill. Put fencing between your pet and the cedar chips to be on the safe side. Don’t use mulch, however, because mulch is damp and fleas (and ticks) love dampness.
Some pet parents have tried using salt as a way of controlling fleas in the yard. This method of flea control does not always work, especially in wet or humid climates. The salt should be ground into a powder but there is still the issue of the salt clumping together. Salt can also kill your grass and plants.
Tick Treatment For Your Yard
The same as you may want to use a liquid product for fleas, you will want to spray your yard against ticks. Keep in mind though, that sprays often kill beneficial bugs like spiders that keep the mosquito population down. Honey bees and ladybugs are affected, too. Consider this option seriously.
Diatomaceous earth is a silica substance that comes from algae. This is an effective flea and tick powder for the yard. It is simple to use and rids your yard of ticks and other bugs like ants, termites, and lawn grubs. The diatomaceous earth cuts the bodies of the insects that walk over or ingest the powder. It is not harmful to people or pets, but breathing in the powder can be an irritant. Keep your pup inside as you apply it around the perimeter of your house and yard.
A product on the market that is proving to be a winner is the “tick tube”. These tubes contain cotton that has been treated with permethrin. Mice enter the tubes to take the cotton to their nest and the pesticide attaches to their fur, killing the ticks but not the mice. Place the tubes well out of the reach of kids and pets.
Practical Ways To Repel Fleas and Ticks
Your dog’s backyard will continue to attract pests like fleas and ticks even with sprays, powders, salt, and worms if you do not change the environment to make it less attractive to bugs.
- Clean up damp leaves, a haven for fleas and ticks
- Remove brush and tall grass
- Keep wood dry and stacked (this removes the hiding spot of parasite-carrying rodents)
- Mow often and pick up grass clipping where ticks like to hide
- Trim trees so that your yard is drier and sunny
- Position your deck or patio away from trees
- Don’t leave mattresses and old furniture lying around the property
One of the most important things to do is to put up fencing to discourage wild animals like deer, raccoons, and rabbits, and domestic animals like stray dogs and feral cats out of your yard. This way, you are hindering the host that carries fleas and ticks from entering your pet’s favorite place to play.