I usually look forward to winter in the Midwest because the hard freezes will kill the flea larvae that are lying around my lawn. Since we have had a fairly mild winter this year, I am expecting to really have to battle the fleas this spring and summer. These little biting critters can lay dormant for months, but as soon as the weather warms up, my small dogs are going to be a prime target. It’s time to start thinking about flea season now.
Fleas Love Bushes and Underbrush
The first thing need to do is clean out under bushes and inside flower beds. Wet, warm places are a happy breeding ground for fleas. There are probably wet nasty leaves and debris sitting there incubating the flea larva. Rake it as close to the ground as possible and place it in garbage bags. Some city ordinances allow people to burn yard waste. I am not a big advocate of this because of the pollution, but if you do it, it is a great way to destroy the flea larva. If you do not or cannot burn the yard waste, tie it up in plastic garbage bags and dispose of it.
This is all part of spring clean up anyway, but you should do this before the weather warms and before you let your dog spend much time out in the yard. As soon as the sun starts warming the earth the fleas will start to hatch and they will be looking for a good meal, and this means your dog will become a buffet. The dog will then go back in the house, bringing the fleas in too. It is best to battle them outside first, hopefully preventing them from coming inside.
Spray the Yard and Bushes
I don’t use any kinds of chemicals or pesticides on my dogs. I don’t use them in my yard either. If you don’t mind using them, early spring is a good time to treat your yard. I use lavender essential oil mixed with water. I spray the bushes and yard area close to my house, especially around the back door where my dogs go in and out. I have also planted lavender around my patio and doors. I am not sure why, but fleas do not like the scent of lavender. Some people may tell you to plant Pennyroyal as a natural flea deterrent, but according to Medline Plus, Pennyroyal is not safe for you or your pets.
Get a Jump on Flea Season
Getting an early start on preparing your yard for flea season will save you and your pet a lot of aggravation. Battling fleas and watching your dog scratch and yelp is no fun. We know flea season is going to be upon us soon, and I am expecting it to be bad in my area. Let’s all start the battle now, and hopefully we and our pet’s will come out the winner.
When your dog starts spending a lot of time outside, be sure to check him over before he comes back in. You can quickly comb out the fur with a flea comb and trap any unwanted guests from hitching a ride inside. Yes, it is going to be a lot of work, but it is better then the alternative of having a flea infestation.
More By This Contributor:
How to Use a Flea Comb
Holistic Flea Remedies
Herbs for Pets: An Alternative Health Care Book
Doctors Foster and Smith