Eileen Hart/istockphoto

DCL

It's been the battle of a lifetime this summer: me against the fleas that have chosen to attack my two favorite puppies Madison and Bella. If you're versed in the flea battle, you realize that if you don't remove fleas from your pet's outdoor environment they will simply latch back on to your newly de-fleaed pet.

Green Ways to Rid Your Lawn of Fleas

Don't over water your lawn. If your dog spends a lot of time outside, you can bet there are fleas hanging around. Don't over water your lawn because fleas thrive in dark and moist places. You want to avoid any standing water in your lawn which is good for the planet as well because over watering your lawn is a HUGE waste of water.

Use nematodes. But one tool in my green flea fighting arsenal that I've grown ever so fond of are nemotodes. They work to rid your yard of fleas. Using poisons in the yard isn't good for you or your pets. Instead try nematodes, little worms that totally naturally eat the fleas. Beneficial Nematodes (tiny worms), will kill your fleas as well as other undesirable pests in your yard. Steinernema carpocapsae nemotodes are microscopic non-segmented worms. Not only do these nematodes attack fleas, but also cutworms, sod webworms, and termites. Steinernema carpocapsae are suited for cooler climates while Steinernema feltiae are better for warmer climates. Simply mix the package containing the Grub-Away Nematodes (get them at any garden supply store) with water and spot spray on grub-damaged areas at a rate of 10 million nematodes per 600 square feet. The directions will tell you how much this is.

Try cedar chips. Try using cedar chips for protection outside. Fleas are repulsed by cedar chips because they hate the smell and will do their very best to avoid it. Go to the garden store and get two large 0.5 cubic ft bags of cedar chips and sprinkle it throughout the areas where the dogs will be. If you mow, do it before the first mowing, this way the chips are cut into a finer powder that works well.

Focus on the areas where your pet hangs out. Don't worry if you have a big yard because for flea control purposes you really only need to worry about the area where your pet hangs out. So while it won't hurt to clean up the front yard, it won't affect your fleas if the dog spends his days in the back. Keep the war focused on where your pet regulars in the yard and apply treatments in those places.

Sprinkle Borax soap outside the door If you have fleas coming inside, or notice them just outside your door, sprinkle a little ' Twenty Mule Team Borax Soap on the grass and lawn in this area by the door. Be careful with this one though, make sure that your pet's paws are not irritated by the soap. People rave about this treatment but others say it irritates their pets. The key is continual experimentation

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