Yards and lawns are a safe house for many types of bugs, insects, pests, flies, etc. while most of these bugs and insects are simply a mere inconvenience, fleas are so much more than that. Fleas carry many diseases and can cause major health problems such as infections, itching, severe blood loss, allergic reactions, and other illnesses. Therefore, it is important to keep your yard and lawn free of fleas. Additionally, if you are a pet owner, it becomes extra important to keep your lawn or backyard flea-free for your pet’s health.
Yards and lawns offer a comfortable living and thriving location for fleas to live, feed, lay their eggs, and hitch a ride on your pet’s back whenever the mood strikes. So, while you are worried about the tall grass in your yard, keep in mind that somewhere in those grasses, there live hundreds if not thousands of flea families waiting to suck your pets’ blood and, in some cases, even yours.
How To Check Your Yard For Fleas
Here are a few fun facts about fleas:
- Fleas do not have wings, but they have incredible jumping ability to compensate for that, which allows them to jump as high as 11 inches.
- Fleas have a lifespan of mere 100 days, but throughout their 100 days lifespan, they can lay up to a minimum of 2000 eggs. This means while you may have successfully killed mama flea, there are still 1000 to 2000 of her offspring to look out for.
- Fleas are small, about 3 millimeters in length, and are red or brown.
- Fleas live off of blood, specifically cat, dog, or human blood.
- Fleas are a leading source of quite a few diseases such as murine typhus, the plague and can also spread tapeworms.
How Long Can A Flea Infestation Last?
Although small, fleas are hard to get rid of, mostly due to their fun and crazy life cycle. The life cycle begins by feeding on its host (that’s right, quite like a vampire). Once a female flea feeds on its host, it instinctively lays 20-25 eggs in the host’s fur. These eggs then get into your carpets or in your lawn through your pet. These eggs then hatch into tiny legless embryos, which survive on the predigested blood taken from their mother and do not need a host for a long time.
Next, these embryos or larvae turn into cocooned pupae and can stay in the same state for weeks, if not months. Lastly, when the cocooned pupae sense a potential host through thermal energy vibration, they come out of their safe home and start feeding on fresh blood. Flea infestations can last up to months due to this crazy cycle, and because female fleas lay eggs immediately after feeding, this cycle is most likely to continue for a long time.
Step By Step To Get Rid Of Fleas In The Yard
Step 1: Mow Your Lawn
The easiest way to eliminate flea infestations is by ensuring that your yard conditions are unwelcome to fleas while allowing their natural predators to thrive. For example, long grass is a safe haven for fleas to hide from predators, whereas short grass (less than two inches) deters spiders and ants, both of which are the natural predators for fleas. Therefore, a well-mowed lawn helps avoid a lot of pest infestations. Additionally, it also reduces the risk of snakes and other reptiles.
Step 2: Clean Your Yard
Create a natural barrier between your yard edges. Remove any leaves, plantings, trash, or small bushes from your yard edges, as these offer a safe hiding space for fleas to live and lay their eggs.
Step 3: Watch The Moisture
One thing that fleas love with all their tiny hearts is moisture. Moisture is a flea magnet. So, avoid overwatering the yard; it will lead to a flea infestation and attract other insects and mosquitoes.
STEP 4: Let The Sunshine
Another thing that fleas love is darkness. So, let there be light. Trim your yard grass and bushes and allow your yard to be filled with sunlight to keep the fleas out.
Step 5: Treat Your Lawn
Once you have used all the natural ways, it is time to get some chemical help. First, treat your yard with flea-specific spray treatment to kill any existing fleas and to chase away the newcomers.
Step 6: Cedar Shavings
You can also spread cedar shavings in your flower beds. Cedar is a natural flea repellant and will successfully keep your yard flea-free.
Step 7: Evict Wildlife
Cats, squirrels, rabbits, and skunks are potential flea hosts and can easily lead to a flea infestation. So, to avoid such inconvenience, make sure you keep them out of your yard by making your yard less available to them.
Step 8: Keep Your House And Pets Clean
Once you have successfully guaranteed flea elimination from your yard, it is time to work on your house and pet. First, vacuum your house and use flea treatment. Next, groom, bathe and brush your pets with flea shampoo to kill any existing fleas. This will ensure clean, flea-free fur, keeping your pet as well as your house safe from fleas.
We have brought a complete step-by-step guide to get you started on your flea-killing mission. As mentioned above, fleas are much more than a simple inconvenience and can lead to severe health conditions for you as well as your pet. Therefore, yard owners need to keep their surroundings clean to avoid insects and other threatening pest accumulation.