If you find fleas and ticks in your home or spot them on your pet, it might be time to give your yard a makeover.
These blood-sucking creatures can hide in tall grass and unkempt areas in your yard. They can hitchhike on your pet’s coat and while on the pet, they may cause severe skin irritation and damage to the coat. Your pet could also develop debilitating conditions like Lyme disease and tick paralysis. Once they set foot in your home, they can spread diseases and cause embarrassment.
Of course, no one wants a flea- and tick-infested pet, home, or yard. Use the following tips to keep your pets safe and yard flea- and tick-free.
Checking your yard for flea and tick infestations
Before you wage war on the blood-sucking critters, you must find out where they are hiding. Here are a few simple ways to help you find out where the fleas and ticks hide in your yard:
1. Tick dragging:
Take a bright-colored sheet or cloth and drag it through the yard. If you find any ticks, secure them and destroy them later.
2. Inspect your pet:
Vets recommend regular running of a flea comb through the fur of your pets to check for fleas. Also, inspect where the coat is thin like the following areas:
- The belly,
- The inner sides of the hind limbs,
- The paws; between the toes,
- Around the eyes, lips, tail, and anus,
- The inner side of the ears.
- Run your fingers on the skin in areas where ticks often lodge around the neck and ears.
If you don’t see traces of insects or eggs, don’t rest easy. Continue with preventive measures like regularly bathing your pets with the best flea shampoos and using a vet-recommended tick spray to keep them free.
3. Carefully inspect notorious spots in the yard
Fleas are hard to spot with the naked eye, but ticks are not. And there could be spots in your yard where they would like to hide. Use a flashlight to inspect the following locations:
- Along brick walls,
- Where there is dense growth or tall brush or grass,
- Where there are piles of leaves, firewood, old furniture, or even yard debris,
- In places where your pets hang out, for example, the kennel or yard bed
Top 4 ways to reduce ticks and fleas in your yard
Once you have identified colonies of fleas and ticks in your yard, prepare to break up the party. Here’s how to fix your yard and keep it flea- and tick-free.
1. Clean and tidy up the yard
Fleas and ticks thrive where it is dark, moist, and shaded. They love it if your yard looks like the Amazon. So, the first step in creating a flea- and tick-free yard is to take good care of your yard.
Maintaining a pristine yard keeps the pests away by:
- Allowing sunlight to penetrate, light up the dark spots and dry the excess moisture,
- Exposing the insects to birds of prey and other predators,
- Making the environment harsh for breeding and uncomfortable to live in.
- If ticks and fleas are a problem in your garden, don’t let a weekend go by without mowing the grass, trimming the bushes, removing piles of leaves and other debris, and generally cleaning up the area.
2. Make your yard uncongenial to vermin
Deer, squirrels, and other rodents may seem cute when nibbling in your yard. But they are the most likely carriers of the blood-sucking pests. Although they may not mean any harm, when wildlife finds your yard friendly, there’s a risk of spreading ticks and fleas.
Here are tips on how to make your yard less attractive to wildlife:
- Fence the yard/property,
- Keep it neat,
- Create a 3-feet-wide barrier between your property and any surrounding bush,
- Cultivate plants that deer and other vermin find repulsive like barberry, mint, and Russian sage,
- Avoid plants that deer enjoy like geraniums, hostas, and tulips,
- Ensure garbage is in a secured enclosure,
- Use natural agents to repel the critter. Natural agents are not toxic to pets and humans but are effective against ticks and fleas. Pick a combination of the following agents for a more effective job.
- Cedar oil spray,
- Eucalyptus oil,
- Neem oil,
- Diatomaceous earth
3. Landscape using tick-repellent greenery
Include tick-repellent landscaping plants in your list of gardening plants. Plants like garlic, sage, lavender, rosemary, and marigold repel fleas and ticks. Use your bokashi living compost to enrich the dirt so your crop will mature quickly and thrive.
You can cultivate tick-repellent plants within the yard, along the landscaping borders, and around patios. You can also spread a few plants along the pet runs and other areas the pets love to hang out. The plants will also keep the place smelling fresh.
4. Unleash natural flea enemies – nematodes
Another natural method to keep fleas away from your yard is by using nematodes.
Nematodes are microscopic flea predators that live in the subsoil. They are too tiny to see but look like short worms under a microscope. Different types of nematodes prey on fleas, flea eggs, and larvae. Research shows that nematodes are not very effective in endemic flea zones. However, they can help maintain a flea-free yard.
Talk to a vet and a gardening expert to help you identify varieties of nematodes that do not harm plants, animals, birds, or other beneficial organisms in the environment.
A final word, expect great results
The tips above will give you great results. But fleas and ticks are resilient and persistent. So, pick a few tips and use them to develop a routine. Stick to it, and your yard will stay flea- and tick-free.
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