Your yard is more than your sanctuary or your pet's favorite territory: it may also be a favorite location for fleas and ticks.
Infestations can start when stray pets and wildlife - raccoons, opossums, foxes - brings fleas and ticks into your yard. Flea eggs and ticks fall off a visiting animal, leaving them in your yard for your passing pet or you to pick up.
As much as we'd like to think fleas and ticks will remain outside, arriving in your yard makes them that much closer to invading your home and your pet.
So, how can you manage your environment and help get rid of fleas and ticks in your yard?
Fleas and ticks feed on your pet and may use them to hitch a ride from the outside to inside your home. To minimize the risk of further yard and home infestation, include your pet as part of the solution.
Available chewables, tablets, shampoos and sprays allow you to combat existing fleas on your pet. Once you have tamed an infestation, maintain protection with a regular application of a topical, collar or oral flea and tick preventive.
Long grass and overgrown foliage protects fleas from sunlight, and provides ticks with a place to climb, so be sure to keep them trimmed. Shorter grass and foliage helps decrease moisture and can allow chemical applications to reach the fleas and ticks.
- Mow your lawn
- Prune foliage
- Clear up clippings and yard waste
The more items you have in your yard, the more flea and tick hiding spots you provide.
- Discard empty bird or rodent nests
- Remove stacks of bricks, logs or unused garden pots
- Pick up pet's and children's toys
Choose a premise spray that is labeled to kill adult fleas and ticks. Spray along fence lines, under trees and bushes, and around door frames. Be sure to treat areas with lots of shade:
- Dog house or kennel
- Sheds, patios, crawl spaces
- Shrubbery up to a height of 2-3 feet
Continue to treat your yard and home exterior according to label directions.
Stray or neighboring wildlife such as squirrels, deer, rabbits, raccoons and mice can easily transport fleas and/or ticks to your yard. Make your property less desirable and limit their access.
- Patch up holes in fences
- Keep a lid on garbage
- Clean up birdseed
- Remove uneaten pet food
- Install deer fencing
- Plant deer-resistant plants
Reclaim your territory
Just because fleas and ticks are part of nature doesn't mean they should be part of your yard. Take care to protect your yard to enjoy more moments outside, all year-round.
Related article: Why do fleas keep coming back?