Fleas in Your Backyard

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I was giving my dog a bath one day, and I noticed fleas floating in the bathtub. I was perplexed, since my dog is primarily an indoor pet, and the only time when he goes outside is when I take him outside, or when I let him outside in the backyard. It was only then that I realized he may be getting the fleas from the backyard. Fleas are most rampant during the summer, but they can also survive during winter. I have since gotten rid of my dog's flees, but I was hesitant to place him in the backyard.

Since fleas are attracted to white, you can place an old sock in the yard to see if they are in the vicinity. Place the sock near shaded areas, or places where there are tall grass. If your yard tests positive, begin by removing any pets from the yard and cleaning up any piles or messes. Leave fleas nowhere to hide by trimming or cutting your yard.

Once this is finished, you can go about getting rid of them in several ways. One way is to douse the yard in standard chemicals. You can do this yourself or with the help of an exterminator. Just be aware that these chemicals are not always good for your grass, and may also be harmful to pets. They also kill the good insects that help your plants and grass such as ladybugs.

If you want to go for a more natural route, you can do the following.

Natural Flea Removal

You can start by buying an organic flea spray from your local hardware store. The brand I usually use is EcoSmart, and I found this brand at Wal-Mart. It also kills other pests including ticks and ants. I used this spray when I had a tick problem last summer. It carries a sweet fragrance, and it is not harmful to people or animals. It can also be sprayed both indoors and outdoors. You can spray this around if you have a small yard, but it will also kill other insects you may want to save.

Eucalyptus is also a safe way of getting rid of fleas in your yard, since fleas cannot stand the smell of these leaves. It is one of the more targeted ways of killing fleas, and these leaves are not harmful to pets.

And like eucalyptus leaves, you can also use Borax. This is known as a cleansing chemical that it is also useful in spreading around your lawn. Allow this one to sit in your yard for a few days, then remove from the area.

Another way of targeting fleas is using diatomaceous earth, and it takes on the form of sharp crystals that cut into fleas once spread around the yard. It also dehydrates the parasitic insects. It is a chemical that naturally washes with rain, or you can simply use a hose. But there are problems with this substance, since it can harm pets, and it causes irritation when coming in contact with human skin. It can also cause breathing problems if inhaled. If going this route, always wear a mask and gloves when handling.

Treating Indoors

If your pet has been infected from the backyard, you can use a flea shampoo, a groomer or go to the veterinarian. Usually, the vet give you some flea droplets or pills to prevent parasites from sequestering in your dog or cat's fur. For me, I shaved my pet down, washed him, applied monthly flea pills, and that was enough to do the trick. To prevent your dog from getting infected in the future, long-term flea solutions are best, including collars, sprays or monthly pills. For the carpet, you can apply seven-dust, but be aware of the harmful side effects. Using ecofriendly sprays was enough for me, but everyone's situation is different. If your flea problem is out of control to the point where you feel overwhelmed, a local exterminator or yard specialist is the best option.

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