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Dogs & Puppies : Safety Last Updated: Oct 25th, 2006 - 08:57:26

Tips to Treating your Yard for Fleas
By Dewey Duke
Jan 14, 2006, 15:48

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Is your family cat an indoor pet, outdoor pet or a combination of the two?  For the most part, many family felines can claim being both an indoor and outdoor cat. If your cat spends any time outdoors, there is a good chance that they are bringing fleas into your home.  It will not matter if you are diligent about treating your cat and the inside of your home for a flea infestation.  If you are not as diligent about your own yard and surrounding areas in the treatment of fleas, your efforts for your cat and the inside of your home are futile.  The only way to truly control your cat’s flea problem is to take care of the outside areas of your home.


First of all, look at your budget.  If money is not an issue, your best bet would be to hire a pest control company to come and administer chemical remedies to both the inside and outside of your home.  One of the best reasons to do this would be because the pest control company has access to chemicals that the normal person off the streets may not be privy to.  However, if you are watching your pocketbook, it is definitely possible to control your flea population on your own.  You just have to work at it.


There are a variety of methods to treat your yard.  However, before you head to your nearest home improvement center or pet store for flea treatments, make sure your lay the ground work for your flea treatment “game plan.” Mowing your grass is the first step.  You also need to weed eat your lawn, getting rid of weeds growing through fence lines, cracks in the sidewalk and around lawn items like playground equipment and furniture.


Step two of your flea treatment “game plan” is ensuring that your yard is free of any unwanted visitors like stray cats and dogs or any wild animal like skunks, raccoons, rats and mice.  All of these animals carry fleas and other critters in their fur.  Check your fencing to ensure there are no gaps where a wild animal or stray can squeeze into.  Cover all your trash cans and make sure that industrious raccoons cannot open them.  By taking steps to keep these strays and wild animals out, you are greatly reducing your chances of a flea infestation once you chemically treat your yard.


Another action to take in your “game plan” is to remove or at least contain any debris on your property.  For instance, perhaps you have a trash pile somewhere.  By getting rid of it or at least containing it, you can ensure that fleas will not continue to call that pile home.   Perhaps you have some overgrown flower beds or gardens.  If you are serious about flea treatments for your yard, you will also clean these areas as well or get rid of them all together.


Once you have prepared your yard, the next step in the flea treatment “game plan” is to purchase the chemicals. Both your pet stores and home improvement stores have experienced personnel to help you with your selections. The most popular treatment comes in a granule form.  You would cover your yard and other outside areas with these granules, ensuring good coverage.  Afterwards, you would water your outside areas to activate the granules and allow for greater seepage into the ground.


Another widely used method is to purchase a concentrated liquid flea treatment chemical.  You would follow the directions of diluting it with water and administer the chemical through a large sprayer.  This method is especially helpful for those areas where your cat might hang out the most like a tree, bush or cat bed.  Related to this is another flea treatment concentrated liquid that hooks up to your garden hose for easy application and broadcasting. 


How you treat for fleas outside your home depends on several things:  the size of your yard, where you live, how long you can keep children and animals out of the yard and the foot traffic you might have (i.e. kids playing, visiting animals).  Unfortunately, you might have to apply treatments multiple times before you notice any discernable differences in the flea population.  Also, you might have to combine treatments.  For instance, you might spread the granules throughout your yard, but instead of just watering it with your water sprinkler; you would water it down with the chemicals that attach to your garden hose.  All of these methods or a combination of them should help keep the fleas down to a minimum so you and your cat can enjoy a scratch-free existence.

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