Even if you don’t have pets roaming your yard, having fleas in your lawn can still pose a serious threat to your health. As any historian will tell you, fleas are notorious for spreading diseases like the Black Plague. It’s in your best interest to be rid of them ASAP.
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about fleas, why they’re in your yard, and how to get rid of them.
Fleas are fairly simple creatures when it comes to what attracts them. They love the things all wildlife enjoy: food, water, and overgrowth. They want to be near animals that they feed on, stagnant pools of water, and tall grass they can leap off.
More specifically, fleas tend to congregate around areas that have rodents like mice, rats, and rabbits. If you have a lot of these critters living in your lawn, they will attract fleas.
1. Mow Your Lawn
To kill the fleas in your yard, start by mowing your lawn and disposing of any roughage that may be on your lawn. This will drastically reduce the size of their habitat and make your lawn remarkably less interesting to any type of pest including fleas as they will have fewer places to hide.
2. Get Rid of Excess Water
Fleas also need access to water to thrive, so you'll want to remove any sources of water from your yard. If you have standing pools of water or mud puddles, get rid of them. Any method you use will be a good one. Some go so far as to resurface their lawn, but this should only be a last resort.
3. Use Diatomaceous Earth
Spread a thin coat of diatomaceous earth all over your lawn. diatomaceous earth, or DE, as it’s more commonly called, is one of the most effective insect killers in the world. It’s non-toxic and kills fleas quickly and effectively. Additionally, fleas also cannot develop an immunity to diatomaceous earth.
4. Kill Fleas With Insecticide
While diatomaceous earth will kill the fleas living on your lawn, you'll also need to target other vegetation. The best way to do that is to spray it down with a flea-killing insecticide. If you have vegetation growing near your house you'll want to target that specifically or even consider clearing it out completely so that you have nothing growing within 6-12 inches of your home.
5. Use Cedar Mulch
To help prevent fleas from coming near your yard again, spread some cedar mulch around. Cedar mulch is an effective flea repellent as fleas (and most other insects) hate the smell of cedar, and will avoid it.
There are a ton of highly effective flea killers on the market right now, and any single one of them can be used with great success. When choosing an insecticide, keep the following in mind:
- When you’re shopping for an insecticide for your flea problem, it’s important to make sure that it kills fleas. Some types of insect killers are geared more towards ants, termites, or other pests. The only way to make sure your poison will be effective is to see that it’s been labeled for fleas.
- If you have pets, keep them indoors for at least four to eight hours after spraying down your yard. This prevents them from getting sick from the poison.
- People who have young children, pets sensitive to pesticides, and sensitive skin need to stick to natural insecticides like DE. These are far less harmful to the environment.
- Gardeners who have delicate flowers or foliage (such as roses) should opt for a more natural approach. Harsh chemicals can burn leaves and kill off bugs that help your plants, such as ladybugs.
- Always follow the instructions that come on the insecticide’s packaging, even when it comes to the use frequency the company suggests. Overusing certain insecticides can kill your lawn!
How Often Do You Need To Use Insecticide To Get Rid Of Fleas?
If you’re using diatomaceous earth, then you should use it at least twice a week. Fleas hate the stuff, but it can be prone to washing away or blowing away with the wind. To ensure that the fleas get gone for good, the best thing you can do is to double up on pesticides.
Cedar trees and Fleabane daisy do a great job repelling fleas, but there are many other plants that will repel fleas. Planting these near your home, in your gardens, and around the border of your yard will help prevent fleas from making your yard their home:
Cedar trees are a godsend for anyone who has a flea, tick, or ant problem. The strong odor of the wood repels most bugs. Since cedar mulch is popular, you might not need to plant cedar to make it work for you.
2. Fleabane Daisy
With a name like Fleabane, you can expect to see fleas stay away from this plant. You might know this plant by its more common name, Pennyroyal.
Citronella is well known for repelling mosquitos, but did you know it also repels fleas, too? It’s true, and that should be reason enough to make sure that these citrusy plants have a place in your home.
Catnip is a treat for your furry friends and a known natural flea repellent. Even sprinkling it around your yard can yield some temporary results. We strongly suggest using it if you want to have a pet-safe plant that can also help keep your cats from being bitten.
If you have almost any type of insect problem, it’s safe to say that you probably need to plant some lavender around your home. Along with being highly aromatherapeutic, this plant’s scent also has the perk of repelling fleas.
Another plant that will repel fleas is eucalyptus. Eucalyptus repels the vast majority of bugs, not just fleas. However, if you want to plant this tree, make sure that you don’t have any dogs or cats that wander around your yard. It is highly toxic to them.
Rosemary is commonly used as an herb, but it is also a fantastic flea-repellent. Truth be told, almost any major herb you find in your kitchen likely has some kind of anti-flea properties. Rosemary, sage, chamomile, and sweet bay all work under this umbrella.
Where Should You Put Flea-Repelling Plants?
The number one thing you want to avoid happening with fleas is getting them in your house. Once they’re in your house, you’ve got a very difficult problem to solve. So, this means that you should focus on trying to place flea-repelling plants around your home.
Some of the better places to put your flea-repelling plants include:
- Along pathways
- Ceramic pots on your porch
- Around your home’s perimeter
- Anywhere you have pets that roam
How Effective Are Plants At Repelling Fleas?
While they are not as good as insecticides, having tons of plants known for repelling fleas can drastically cut down on the number of pests that you have. In some cases, planting the right flowers and herbs can actually get rid of fleas altogether.
Plants are good, but you should make sure that you have other forms of flea protection alongside them. When choosing the plants that you put around your yard, make sure that they are pet-friendly if you have critters.
Truth be told, if you have fleas in your yard, you usually have other pests as well. Thankfully, fleas are fairly easy to get rid of as long as you know what to do. However, some situations strongly suggest that it’s time to ring up the exterminator. These include:
- You have livestock that is regularly getting bitten by fleas. This is a serious issue that can cause your livestock to become a danger to your family.
- The flea infestation you have doesn’t go away after regular treatments with insecticide, careful lawn maintenance, and new flea-repelling plants. A pervasive infestation often means that there’s a reason behind all the fleas coming to your home.
- You genuinely don’t want to deal with all the work that comes with an infestation. Admittedly, taking care of a flea infestation in your yard is something that no one wants to do. If you can afford to have someone else take care of it for you, by all means, do.
If you have fleas in your yard, it’s in your best interest to make sure that they get gone as soon as possible. The fastest and most permanent way to get rid of fleas in your yard is to take a multi-pronged approach to it that includes using an insecticide as well as removing anything that is attracting fleas to your lawn. Your goal should be to make your yard as inhospitable to fleas as humanly possible. That way you'll get not only get rid of the fleas on your lawn but also prevent them from coming back.
Of course, there’s some bad news and good news when it comes to this issue. The bad news is that getting rid of fleas requires careful lawn maintenance and the use of an insecticide.
The good news is that getting rid of fleas isn’t as difficult as, say, termites or lanternflies. So while this problem is bad, it could be far worse. And of course, you can always refer to a specialist if you need extra help.