How to Keep a Cat From Pooping in a Sandbox, Cuteness

How to Keep a Cat From Pooping in a Sandbox

A backyard sandbox can be a wonderful hub for childhood play, but it loses appeal once neighborhood cats claim it as a litter box. If you want to keep your sandbox a safe place for your kids to play, you will need to cover the sandbox, employ repellents, or take other measures.

The Appeal of the Sandbox

A sandbox is essentially nothing more than giant litter box, in the eyes of a cat. Cats instinctively bury their feces to hide it from predators, so the sandbox provides an ideal location for feline bathroom activity. Cats who have been litter-box trained may simply believe they are doing exactly what they are supposed to do.

Cover the Box

The simplest method for keeping cats from leaving waste in your children’s sandbox is to keep the sandbox covered so cats cannot get into it. Purchase a cover for your sandbox that fits snugly, or secure a tarp over it. You’ll have to ensure that whatever type of cover you use prohibits cats from entering any time the sandbox is not in use.

Cat Repellents

Place cat repellent products in and around your sandbox. Sprays and powders are offensive to the feline sense of smell, so cats stay away. Ensure the specific product you choose is nontoxic and safe for children. Follow all the instructions on the package to apply the product properly.

A natural option is to put fresh orange peels, whose scent is repugnant to cats, in the sandbox. Naturally or chemically, you’ll have to repeatedly apply the deterrent to achieve long-term results.

One potential long-term solution is an ultrasonic cat repellent device. Such devices emit a high-frequency noise that is supposed to be undetectable by the human ear but unpleasant to the feline ear.

Feline Tresspassing

If the cats leaving waste in a sandbox on your property do not belong to you, then you have a valid complaint. If the loose animals belong to neighbors, speak to them or to a civic authority. Outdoor cats are prone to developing diseases and picking up parasites. If they are relieving themselves in your sandbox, your children are being exposed to whatever illnesses they may be carrying. If the cats are strays or feral, ask your local animal control department to assist you in removing the animals. Unvaccinated stray cats and feral cats pose a real health hazard for humans and pets.

Quick Tip: Keeping Ants Out of Your Sandbox

Keep your sandbox clear of ants and other crawlers with this surprising solution straight from the kitchen.

Ants are one of those annoying pests that seem to pop up everywhere they’re unwanted during the summer—picnics, kitchen countertops, your children’s sandbox, you name it. Luckily, for that last sort of invasion, there’s a secret ingredient hiding in your cupboards that can ward off these tiny intruders: cinnamon. This fragrant spice is often cited as an easy and natural way to rid your sandbox of ants and other creepy-crawlies, making time spent building sandcastles more enjoyable for everyone.

If you’ve already noticed ants in your sandbox, you’ll want to start from scratch—the cinnamon will only repel ants, not kill existing insects or their eggs. Dump your box’s old contents, and give it a good cleaning with dish soap and a scrub brush. While the play space takes a day or two to thoroughly dry, head out to your local home improvement store and pick up a new bag of sand (one that’s specifically labeled for children’s use). Then, when the box is ready, layer its bottom with a tarp that has holes cut for drainage and pour in the fresh bag of sand, mixing in a liberal amount of ground cinnamon to keep bugs at bay.

While cinnamon is an easy ant answer for your sandy surfaces, you can also sprinkle it around the house in areas like doorways or windowsills to keep out other bugs like mosquitoes or silverfish—neither one is crazy about cinnamon. Or, add a few drops of cinnamon oil to sunscreen or water to make a sweet-smelling homemade insect repellent. Whenever you’re in a pest pinch, this pantry spice can serve as an effective and kid-safe solution for a bug-free home.

How to Keep Bugs Out of the Sandbox

Now that kids are out of school there’s bound to be a lot more activity out in the backyard. You’ve prepared by taking steps to keep bees, mosquitoes, flies and ants away from the little ones as they play on the grass, but you may have overlooked an insect hot spot. If you have a sandbox there may be some buggy playmates waiting to dig around with your kids.

An unexpected insect will surely scare your kids, but they could also bite and be a cause for sanitation concerns. Luckily there are numerous ways to practice bug prevention in sandboxes. Here’s a closer look at some of the best methods of de-bugging a backyard sandbox.

Keep the Sandbox Covered

One of the best ways to keep bugs out of a sandbox is to keep it covered when the kids aren’t digging. If you opt for a store-bought sandbox make sure to choose one with a cover that fits snuggly in place. When you make your own sandbox you have freedom to include a cover that fits perfectly.

In addition to keeping bugs out, a cover will protect the sandbox from the rain, which can lead to moisture build up that attracts mosquitoes, ants and more. Covering the box will also keep the neighborhood cats out. Enough said.


Churn the Sand

Regularly turning the sand will keep it fresh and disturb any bugs that have decided to burrow down beneath the surface. Churning the sand often will dissuade bugs from staying in the sand and help you find any that are in the box before they find your kids.

Mix in Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a natural bug repellent that’s safe to use around kids. Sprinkle a whole lot of cinnamon into the sand and mix it very well. Repeat this process on a regular basis to keep most bugs from getting in the sandbox.

Tend to the Weeds

If you have a homemade sandbox with sand that sits directly on top of the ground, take the time to weed the area. The more vegetation there is in and around the sandbox the more likely it is that bugs will find a way inside.

Refresh the Sand

You’ll want to regularly toss the old sand and replace it with some that’s fresh. If you’ve already got a sandbox bug infestation removing the old sand is definitely something you want to do.

Use Non-toxic bug Repellent Around the Perimeter

A good way to protect the inside of the sandbox is to repel bugs before they even get to it. Use a non-toxic repellent all around the edge of the sandbox. You can also try sprinkling cornstarch around the sandbox to keep ants out.

No Food Rule

Make it a strict rule that there is never to be any food in the sandbox. Dropping delicious crumbs into the sand is the quickest way to attract bugs.

Vulcan Termite and Pest Control, Inc. can help you keep bugs out of the rest of your yard so they’re less likely to find a way into your kid’s sandbox. Give us a call to discuss treatment options, including monthly, bi-monthly and quarterly maintenance.

How to Keep the Cats Out of Your Sandbox

We have a cat problem at our house.

There are several cats that roam the neighborhood.

They’re fun for the kids to watch out the window or “meow” at on walks.

But they’re not so fun when they’re lounging on my front porch or in my sandbox.

After spending an entire summer not being able to use the sandbox – thanks to the neighborhood cats that had taken it over – I finally decided it was time to take action.

I did some research, and I wasn’t thrilled with my options:

I could put up a fence (not an option)

I could purchase a cat repellant from the pet store (it wasn’t cheap, it wasn’t guaranteed to work, it had to be used daily, and I wasn’t thrilled with potentially spraying chemicals where my kids would be playing).

I could sprinkle cayenne pepper around the sandbox (but this isn’t necessarily safe for the cats and could actually harm them.)

I could ask the zoo to donate lion dung and sprinkle it around the perimeter of the yard (as fun as that sounded, my house smells like poop all on its own – I really couldn’t picture adding a stockpile of lion dung to the mix).

So – Even Steven and I concocted our own cat repellent, and it has been working well for nearly two years now.

Once a week or so:

Even Steven pees in a cup.

And then he pours it around the perimeter of the sandbox.

Works like a charm.

The cats stay away – and we don’t have to pay money, spray chemicals or drag home lion dung to keep them away.

And – no – Even Steven doesn’t just pee straight into the yard. We try to maintain some level of class…

Sandbox Bug Bites? Keep Worms And Bugs Out Of Your Sandbox

In Uncategorized by LowCostPlayground May 1, 2018

When it comes to sandboxes, there are a few nasty consequences of not maintaining your sandbox clean and hygienic. One of those consequences is worms and bugs. Now, the term “worm” can be used very loosely, but we have to understand that not all parasites are worms, and not all worms are parasites.

When it comes to sandboxes, your big concern is roundworm eggs and hookworm larvae because they can make their way into your children’s play sand from the feces of infected animals.

These worms are microscopic and they should be your main concern, not any large worms that are easily spotted because they’re often not parasitic. However, all kinds of worm should be kept away, so today we’re going to learn everything we can to have a worm-free sandbox.

Diseases caused by parasitic worms

One of the conditions that can be caused by different species of hookworms is cutaneous larval migrans.

Like I mentioned before, hookworms infect cats and dogs and their feces can infect your sandbox with hookworm eggs. Once these larvae are released, they can penetrate a person’s skin and cause irritation and inflammation.

I know! It’s awful and cringy, but it’s important to have this knowledge so we can understand just how vital it is to keep our children’s play sand clean and sanitized at all times.

Visceral and ocular larval migrans is another condition and it’s caused by roundworms, which also infects animals. Fecal matter can carry the eggs to your play sand and if ingested, these eggs can hatch inside the body and the larvae can travel through the internal organs, the eyes, and even the brain, causing irritation and inflammation. If they travel to the eyes, they can cause blindness. It’s essential to teach children never to eat sand, ever!

We’ve talked about Toxoplasmosis in the past when we discussed cat poop in the sandbox, and it’s important to review it in this article. Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite present in cat stool and it can cause a silent infection because infected people don’t usually present any symptoms and if they do they can be easily confused with the flu. However, toxoplasmosis can be serious for immunocompromised people and the parasite can also affect unborn babies.

Animal fecal matter can also spread different bacterial infections such as

  • salmonella,
  • E. coli
  • campylobacter

These are all transmitted through ingestion, so once again it’s essential to keep an eye on your children when they’re playing in their sandbox and you have to make sure they wash their hands regularly.

See also:  Why Ticks Are Dangerous - What You Can Do To Prevent Them, DC Scientific Pest Control

How to get rid of worms in the sandbox

Here’s what you need to do to get rid of worms in your sandbox:

Remove the sand

The first thing you need to do is check if your sand is infested. If it is, you have to remove the sand completely and then throw it away. Starting with fresh sand is a lot easier than sanitizing the sand you already have. And honestly, new sand will give you a lot more peace of mind.

Buy new sand

Play sand is not expensive and you can find it very easily, just make sure that your play sand is meant for children’s play and always get sanitized sand. Sanitized sand is a bit more expensive than the untreated kind, but you’ll want to spend that extra money for the safety of your children.

Clean the box

Before you put the new sand in, you have to make sure that both the box and the area around the box are clean and sanitized. Clean the box with water and bleach and spray nontoxic insecticide around the sandbox for at least two days before you put in the sand. This will make sure that bugs and eggs are gone. When the two days pass, clean the box once more with soap and water to make sure there’s no trace of bleach and insecticide, rinse it and let it sun dry completely.

Line the bottom

Before you pour the sand in, make sure the bottom of the sandbox is lined with plastic or landscaping fabric. This will keep bugs from getting inside the box from the ground.

Pour in the sand

Once you’re sure the box is ready, it’s time to pour in the sand. You’ll have to take measures from now on to protect the perimeter of the sandbox and keep it free of bugs. You can use nontoxic repellents or you can plant a special garden with bug-repelling plants to help you keep everything away from your children’s play zone.

Add cinnamon

Cinnamon is a natural bug repellent so you have to mix cinnamon with your sand to have that bit of extra protection. Plus, your children will smell lovely after their play time in the sandbox.
Keep the sandbox covered

I honestly can’t stress the importance of sandbox covers enough! It’s essential that you find a lid or a cover for your sandbox and that you cover it whenever it’s not in use. Cover the sandbox immediately after your children are done playing and make sure you get a suitable cover for rainy and cold weather.

Make sure the play sand is always clean

Make it a rule to never bring food or drinks into the sandbox and keep pets well away. Crumbs and liquids are an invitation for insects, bugs, and dirty sand, so make sure you avoid this at all times.

The play sand must be cleaned regularly, so you’ll have to rake the sand at least once a week to make sure there aren’t any broken toys, leafs, bugs, animal feces, etc. If you do find any kind of animal poop, you will have to clean and sanitize your play sand to make sure it’s safe for your children to play with.

Also, make sure you replace your play sand at least twice a year or more if necessary; specially during seasons such as summer and spring, when the sandbox gets a lot of extra attention.

Are sandboxes safe for children?

The National Sanitation Foundation, also known as NSF, has studied the subject of sandbox safety and they have taken samples from 26 different public sandboxes and they have found that playground sandboxes contain the highest level of bacteria.

Now, that doesn’t mean that all sandboxes are equally dangerous for your children’s health. Public sandboxes don’t have the same care that you put into your own sandbox to make sure that your children can play without putting their health at risk and they’re a lot more exposed to contaminants such as bugs, animals, etc.

Your sandbox can be safe for your children provided that you pay attention to its care and maintenance and that you take the necessary measures to ensure that your sandbox is protected.

One of these measures is sandbox frames! If sandboxes are made correctly and filled with the appropriate sand play and properly maintained, there’s no reason your sandbox can’t be safe for your kids. Make sure your sandbox frame is made with nontoxic landscaping timbers or containers that are not made of wood, assuming that you’re making the sandbox yourself. If you choose to buy one, you can choose a perfectly safe sandbox online. Preferably one with a lid so you can keep it covered when you’re not using it!

Choosing the right play sand for your sandbox is also essential to ensure the safety of your children’s play environment.

It has been proven by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that play sand can contain silica which can cause scoliosis, lung cancer, airway diseases and even pulmonary tuberculosis if they’re breathed in. The good news is that there are safe play sand options out there, you just have to make sure the play sand you choose doesn’t contain toxic components like microcrystalline silica. Look for safe play sand options and make sure the sand you buy is always sanitized!

How to know if your play sand is safe?

If you want to make sure your play sand is completely safe for your children, make sure that you buy either sanitized play sand or natural river or beach sand. Make sure your play sand doesn’t contain any crushed limestone, marble or crystalline silica, also known as quartz.

Another important measure is to make sure that your sand is fresh and replace it at least twice a year. During active times, such as summer and spring, be extra vigilant and make sure to change the sand as much as necessary.

See also:  The Most Dreadful and Dangerous Insects that Can Kill Humans

Take all of the necessary measures to make sure your play sand is always free of contamination. Always cover your sandbox when it’s not being used, use repellents to keep animals away, mix cinnamon into the sand to keep bugs away or plant a bug-repelling garden, keep an eye on your children and make sure they never bring food or drink into the sandbox, and never let them play in the sandbox if they’re still wearing diapers or at least make sure they’re always clean. Avoid leaky diapers because human fecal matter can be as dangerous for your children’s health as animal feces.

How to keep bugs from sand box

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sand Box Tips

I had some questions on the sandbox, so I thought I would extend it a bit with some tips.

First of all, we all know how OCD clean I am. The sandbox can be quite annoyingly dirty—and sand gets everywhere!

For babies, put baby powder on baby’s bottom before going out. The sand that gets in her diaper (and it will) will come off more easily. If you don’t have/like baby powder, try cornstarch. I am not positive it will work, but they are similar so it is worth a shot.

After your kids are done playing in the sand, use baby powder to clean the sand off. When you apply baby powder to sand-covered skin and rub gently, the sand literally comes right off. This is great for the beach, too.

Bugs are annoying. Don’t they just bug you? HA! Okay, how do you keep bugs out, and once they are in, how to do you remove them?

To keep bugs out, it is going to depend on the type of bug. Ants seem to like sand a lot. Black pepper can deter ants. Try sprinkling a perimeter of black pepper around the sandbox. You can also try red pepper or dried mint.

Bugs tend to like moisture, so to keep bugs out, be sure to keep your sand dry. In our dry climate, this is not a problem. But if you live somewhere that is humid and/or moist, you will likely need to dig up and turn your sand regularly. If you have a small rototiller, you can use that. We use that every so often on our sand just to keep it workable.

If you have ants in your sandbox, try dumping three gallons of boiling water down the ant hill. I suggest you do this during nap time when the kids aren’t around. If you pour this on plants, they will likely die. Do this when the ants are active and close to the surface.

Another way to kill bugs is to cover the sandbox in black plastic for a couple of days. The heat should kill the bugs.

For fleas, one idea is saturating the sand with salt water.

If this doesn’t work, I would recommend you go in to a local garden store (one with employees who know what they are talking about. in other words, avoid the big box stores) and see what they recommend. Be sure they know this is for a children’s sandbox. It needs to be safe for children.

Exactly how you care for your sandbox will depend on the type of sandbox you have. There are the purchased, pre-made sand boxes (like a turtle or crab) or homemade/constructed sandboxes.

A common tip is to keep it covered. The biggest problem with sandboxes is cats pooping in your sandbox. We don’t have problems with this because we have two dogs who love to chase cats, but you definitely don’t want pooping cats in the sandbox.

Covering the sandbox also keeps rain off the sand. This is good for preventing bug colonies and also for preventing rock hard sand. There are definitely better types of sand than others for sandboxes. I suggest you do your research and test the sand both wet and dry to see what you like. We buy our sand from the companies that use dump trucks to deliver such things (but you can use a truck or trailer to get it yourself). Stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s also sell sandbox sand.

Turn the sand every so often. If it is small enough, you can use a shovel and a rake. If it is large, go for the small rototiller.

You don’t want the sand to stay moist, so if it is moist, dry it out in the sun before covering again.

You can also strain sand with a colander or toy sand strainer. This is something your child will love to do.

If a premade sandbox gets wet, turn it and leave it in the sun. One built at your home will have natural drainage and the water should move down, but again, if you are in a humid climate, keep your eye on it to see if it needs to be dug up to help it dry out.

We make our sandboxes. We made one in our last house. We have a nice large one at our new house, but it is old. The sand is old, the box itself is old and is breaking down, so we will be building a new one this summer. It is our next major project. It is great fun because the box is large enough for all three children and several neighbor children at the same time.

While children love the sandbox, they are human and get bored looking at the same thing over and over. We dug a huge hole in ours and it was a whole new sand box. The kids loved playing it this new hole. Add some water and it will create a new experience. A new toy or toy will bring new fun. Try a hill. Change things up to bring variety and spark new fun in your child’s imagination.

Hopefully this answered some sand questions. Let me know if you have more. Happy playing!

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