• Ask the Vet: Killing Fleas Outdoors

    Posted on June 17, 2013 by Dr. Natasha Kassell in Ask the Vet, cats, dogs, fleas, fleas and ticks.

    My dog and cat both spend time in our backyard, as do many of the other neighborhood cats.  My guess is my pets are picking up fleas in the yard and bringing them indoors.  Is there a nontoxic way to kill fleas before they even jump on my pets?

    Happily, the answer is yes.  There are naturally occurring, microscopic nematodes that kill insect larvae, including fleas.  When applied to soil, they parasitize the larvae and eat them up, yum.  Infected larvae die within two to five days.  The nematodes (a species of roundworm) are harmless to all members of the animal kingdom aside from insects.

    Nematodes can be purchased in concentrated form through many garden, pet and online stores, including Flea Busters.  Keep in mind that after a mild winterthe following summer may be tougher than most in terms of fleas.  To fight a serious flea issue, you’ll have to treat your pets and your home, as well the yard.  For further information regarding flea control, please refer to my article, “Treating and Preventing Fleas.”

    Got a question? Email Dr. Kassell!