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How to Treat Fleas in the Yard

How to Rid Your Yard of Pesky Fleas
Fleas can quickly become a health hazard for you and your pets. Besides irritating bites, fleas can transmit tapeworm to pets and have been known to be carriers of typhus in humans. Every year in the United States, consumers spend billions of dollars in an effort to exterminate fleas from their pets, homes and lawns. The following are steps home owners can take to eliminate fleas from their lawns to keep themselves and their pets happy and safe.

1. Treat Pets and Home first

Your first line of defense is treating your beloved pets with a safe and effective flea control. Next, treat the inside of your home by vacuuming carpets and upholstery, and thoroughly washing pet bedding. You can also spray the inside of your home with an insect growth regulator (IGR), such as methoprene or pyriproxyfen.

2. Search the Yard and Remove Debris

Once you have tended to your pets and home, it is time to tackle the yard. First search your yard for any debris laying about. Fleas love dark, moist areas and will congregate under organic debris, potted plants and spots of standing water. Clean up any areas, removing dead leafs and tree limbs, and treat places where water pools.

3. Cut grass and Prune Foliage

Keep your trees and bushes trimmed. Cut your grass to a nice, short level.

4. Focus Your Efforts

If you have a large yard, focus on areas that your pets frequent the most, such as areas of play, where they take care of business and spots where they like to lie down.

5. Flood the fleas, Aerate and Let the Sun Shine Through

Flood those fleas out. Flea larvae and eggs will be washed away, along with their main food source, adult flea feces. Do not over-water to the point of creating standing pools. Remember, fleas like it moist. Aerate the lawn to help combat any standing water issues. Fleas do not like sunlight, so allow the sun time to dry out your yard.

6. Create Barriers

Next, patch any holes in your fence to create a barrier from any wildlife or other neighborhood pets getting in. Aside from fleas being brought home after walks with your pets, this is yet another way fleas and ticks can enter your yard.

7. Treating Your Lawn

If you are a person who prefers using natural remedies, here are a few of treatments you can try.

Purchase nematodes from your local gardening store. You can spray these tiny, beneficial worms around the yard and they will eat any fleas and other microscopic pests.

Sprinkle small amounts of borax soap close to home entry ways. Experiment sparingly taking caution not to inhale. Also some pets’ paws can become irritated by borax soap.

Spread cedar chips or eucalyptus leafs, especially in dark, moist areas. Fleas do not like either of these natural solutions.

Chemical insecticides should be used with caution, especially around pets and humans.

8. Call the Professionals

If all else fails, hire professional pest control experts.

 

Sources:
http://homeguides.sfgate.com/fastest-way-kill-fleas-yard-permanently-53588.html; http://www.fleabites.net/how-to-get-rid-of-fleas-in-the-yard-5-effective-ways/;http://home.howstuffworks.com/green-living/rid-yard-fleas-organically.html; and http://m.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Fleas.

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Simple Guide to "Green" Lawn Care

Simple Guide to “Green” Lawn Care
Creating the perfect landscape and lush lawn is a goal for homeowners everywhere, and doing so in an environmentally friendly way is curtail to maintaining local eco-systems and water ways. The Environmental Protection Associates (EPA) has found that 5 percent of pollution in the US comes from toxic compounds released from mowers and other lawn care materials. Fortunately there are ways to help balance and reduce this environmental impact. Continue reading below for several simple tips on going green with lawn care.

 

Water Wisely
Cutting down on water use is one the best ways to go green with your lawn care. Pay attention to the weekly forecast and water accordingly. If you notice a rain storm later in the week, hold off from watering and let Mother Nature do it for you. Most grasses are resilient and will make it through a quick dry spell. Conserve water by collecting it in a rain barrels to use later, and make sure your gutters are clean so water can freely flow onto the lawn. If you live in a dryer area, opt for growing grass that like direct sun and can survive a drought.

 

Be Conscious When Fertilizing
Creating a compost pile is a great way to naturally fertilize your lawn. It provides grass with all the nutrients it needs to grow stay healthy, and it can easily be made from materials in your own kitchen or yard waste. When using store bought fertilizer, choose one that is phosphorus-free as phosphorus can be dangerous to many eco-systems. Do not over apply fertilizer, and never apply when rain is expected for at least 24 hours. This will ensure it doesn’t get washed away and carried into local water way systems.

 

Use a Green Mower
While gas-powered mowers make life easier, they hurt the environment on several levels. The EPA has found that a gas-powered push mower emit as much hourly pollution as 11 cars. Riding mowers emit as much as 34 cars. Electric and push reel mowers make great environmentally friendly alternatives. These options tend to be less expensive and generally last longer as complex parts aren’t needed to make them.

 

Clean up Dos and Don’t
It’s not uncommon to see people raking leaves off their lawn and removing grass clippings. However, leaves naturally decompose overtime and prevent erosion and run off. Grass clippings, being 90% water, transfer nutrients back into the lawn. When cleaning up, always be sure to pick up any spilled fertilizer and dispose of it properly. Dumping these waste products on the street or in gutters raises the risk of them ending up in local water ways and causing pollution.

Going green doesn’t mean that you’ll have to give up your lawn or time tending to it. It means that you’ll become more aware of your surroundings and find ways to use the environment near you to your advantage. Organic and environmentally conscious lawn care not only reduces your environmental footprint, but it also helps maintain a healthy landscape long-term.