In addition to the obvious instructions to remove brush debris from around your home, bathe your dog, wash all dog bedding often, and vacuum often, a flea problem needs to be tackled both inside as well as outside the home.  The ways in which to do that are:




Outdoor Eradication


For outdoor eradication, use beneficial nematodes (Steinernema carpocapsae for flea larvae and pupae, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora for adult fleas, and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora and Steinernema feltiae for ticks).  Beneficial nematodes are microscopic, non-segmented roundworms that occur naturally in soil.  Inside the nematode’s gut is the real weapon – symbiotic bacteria that, when released inside flea larvae, kill them within 24 to 48 hours.  Tests have also found that nematodes penetrate flea cocoons, killing a large proportion of fleas before they hatch into adults.  Nematodes enter pests via the mouth, anus, respiratory openings, or directly through the body wall of pest.  Upon entering, the bacteria multiply and cause blood poisoning of the pest, leading to death.  Beneficial nematodes work on a host of pest.  For further information see this chart.


Beneficial nematodes can be purchased through a garden center, through VAMMI Beneficials LLC online or at 1-866-495-9236, or through Arbico online or at 1-800-827-2847.  Order from Arbico online.  Order from VAMMI Beneficials online.




Indoor Eradication


For indoor eradication, use diatomaceous earth. 


Diatomaceous earth (not the kind you use for swimming pools) is a powder that kills fleas by dehydrating the insect as the powder absorbs waxes from the flea's body.  Diatomaceous earth can be purchased at garden centers and I have seen it at pet-grooming facilities.  Order Diatom Dust Insect Powder online. 


First vacuum your carpet and remaining areas of the house.  Then sprinkle the diatomaceous earth throughout your house, into cracks and crevices, and onto carpets.  Work it down into the fibers of carpeting with a broom. 




Additional Education


If you would like to read an articled published in The Whole Dog Journal entitled "Are 'Spot-On' Flea Killers Safe?" it can be found at http://www.apnm.org/publications/resources/fleachemfin.pdf.


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