The Best Flea Killer for Lawns, Home Guides, SF Gate

The Best Flea Killer for Lawns

The Best Flea Killer for Lawns

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Successful flea treatments for lawns require a combination of cultural controls, lawn treatments and pet treatments. While wild animals may still drop the blood-sucking pests in the landscape, a regular treatment program can help reduce the impact on the lawn, your pets and yourself. While there are several species of fleas, it is the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) that usually infests pets, homes and lawns.

Cultural Controls

Before reaching for the pesticides, change the lawn environment to discourage flea infestations. Flea larvae thrive in temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit and 75 percent humidity. Tall grass provides a shady, moist environment where fleas can hide and wait for an unwary pet or human to pass by. You can disrupt the flea life cycle by mowing the grass to the correct length for the species. Prune overhanging trees and bushes to allow more sunlight to reach the lawn. Reduce the moisture in the soil by deep weekly watering instead of sprinkling every day or two.

In addition, take time to clean up plant and yard debris where fleas hide. Wildlife are attracted to lumber piles, trash and seeds scattered under bird feeders. Limit wildlife habitat to the outer perimeter of the landscape and add a cedar mulch border around the edges of the lawn to discourage flea migration toward the grass.

Natural Flea Controls

You can apply predatory nematodes that feed on flea larvae to your lawn. Your results may vary, depending on your soil and environmental conditions. Generally, nematode treatments work best in shady locations and sandy soils. For best results, flood the lawn with 1/4 to 1/2 inch of water before spraying a mixture of nematodes and water over the lawn. Agitate the sprayer regularly to keep the nematodes distributed throughout the solution. Repeat the lawn flooding after applying the nematodes, so the microscopic worms can seek out the flea larvae.

Alternately, applying garden grade diatomaceous earth (DE) over the lawn kills fleas and other pests. The dust abrades and dries out the outer cells of the flea eggs and larvae. Apply DE onto dry grass with a spreader designed for garden dusts. It is not effective when the grass is wet. Also treat your pets’ resting areas, dog runs and kennels, where flea larvae and pupating fleas may lie hidden.

Commercial Lawn Treatments

There are commercial lawn treatments for fleas that contain a variety of pesticides, including pyrethroids. Pyrethroids are synthetic pyrethins; the natural pyrethins are derived from chrysanthemums. These products interfere with the functioning of flea and tick nervous systems. They are, however, highly toxic to cats. Read the label carefully and apply to the lawn and landscape according to the directions. Keep pets and children away from the lawn until the spray is completely dry and the specified waiting period on the label has passed.

Treat the Pets

Pets also need flea treatments to prevent reinfestation of the lawn. Spot treatments are designed for use on cats and dogs. The treatments are not interchangeable, so do not use products for dogs on cats. Consult with your veterinarian or have the vet treat your pet. Popular home remedies, such as adding brewers yeast or garlic to your pets’ diets, are not effective treatments for fleas.

Also, clean pet beds by washing in hot water and detergent and vacuuming regularly to remove flea larvae and pupae. Vacuum carpets and furniture thoroughly.

See also:  Bed Bug Remedies - How to treat and kill bed bugs?

Safety Precautions

Read all directions and warnings before using any flea treatment, pesticides or DE dust. When applying sprays or dusts to lawns, wear a dust mask, safety goggles, gloves, long sleeves, long pants and shoes to protect your lungs, eyes and skin. Add a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun. Keep all products out of reach of children and pets. Wait the specified period on the product label before allowing humans or pets to access the lawn and other treated areas.

Top 5 Best Itch Relief for Dogs Remedies

There are different causes and irritants responsible for itching in dogs. Most common causes are skin conditions, infections, hot spots, parasites, allergies and environmental factors. After you consult with a veterinarian and any serious medical issues have been ruled out, the easiest way to solve this is with an itch relief for dogs remedies.

In a recent 2017 study (PDF), researchers found topical treatments to be effective for treating itchiness in dogs. Successful tests included both OTC treatments and prescribed antibiotic itch medications. Other studies showed that even holistic approach with the use of essential oils and coconut oil may sometimes be effective for an itchy dog, too.

Topical treatments with Triamcinolone acetonide were very effective at treating these conditions in dogs (1). They decreased swelling, redness, rashes and itchiness. For oral medications in more severe cases of itchy dog, Dextromethorphan was the most effective treatment, while also reducing licking, chewing and biting in dogs (2).

It’s important to talk with your veterinarian about any specific best itch relief for dogs treatment. However, before you request a stronger antibiotic solution, some less intrusive over the counter dog itch relief remedies may solve this problem. We’ll review these top five rated brands below:

Preview Product Rating Price
NEW Anti Itch Oatmeal Spray for Dogs and Cats |. 3,046 Reviews $19.99 Buy on Amazon
Curaseb Antifungal & Antibacterial Chlorhexidine. 1,070 Reviews $15.95 Buy on Amazon
Vet’s Best Dog Hot Spot Itch Relief Spray |. 655 Reviews $7.99 Buy on Amazon
Bodhi Dog New Extra Strength No Chew Spray or Hot. 665 Reviews $5.99 Buy on Amazon
Vet’s Best Healthy Coat Shed & Itch Relief Dog. 871 Reviews Buy on Amazon

Why Is My Dog So Itchy?

Studies on causes of itchiness in dogs (Pruritus) show that the two most common culprits are dry skin and allergies. Dry skin in dogs could be caused by improper nutrition, food or environmental allergies (3). Mites, house dust, pollen, mold spores and antigens were all observed to cause itchy skin in dogs.

More severe case of dry skin on a dog, causing itchiness.

Dry Skin on Dogs

Cold, dry air in winter is known to dry out skin. If you live in an area with very low humidity, you may notice that your dog’s skin is dry year round. This can be solved with a dietary change and use of dog clothes to protect your pet’s skin outdoors.

In most cases, a dog’s itchy skin is only a small nuisance. However, sometimes dry skin on dogs may be caused by parasites, hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease or even more serious health problems. It’s crucial to diagnose the exact cause for an itchy dog and their dry skin before deciding on treatment.

Allergic reaction showing itself on a dog’s skin.

Allergies in Dogs

Another common cause of itchiness in dogs is allergies, both environmental and food related. The only way to find out the exact allergen is to have your dog undergo allergy testing at a vet clinic. For food allergies (nutritional dermatitis) causing a dog’s itchiness, there are three ways to fight them:

(a) switch to a different dog food brand
(b) use nutritional supplements proven to block allergic reactions
(c) topical use of best itch relief for dogs treatments

For supplements, pet owners need to use something to block dog’s histamine release. Histamine release is what’s causing inflammation, redness, swelling and itching in a dog. One way to accomplish this is by including conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in your dog’s diet.

Additionally, introducing probiotics into a dog’s diet, particularly Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain, were shown to reduce allergic reaction and itchiness in dogs, too (4).

Fleas and mites found to be causing a dog to be itchy.

Flea, Tick, Bug Bites

Not only flea and tick bites, but other bug stings can cause itchiness, too. Your pooch is exposed to all kinds of pests and parasites when they’re outdoors: mosquitoes, fleas, spiders, ticks, flies and bees can cause serious itchiness. When bitten, dogs tend to experience minor swelling and itching.

In the case of flea allergy dermatitis, itching may be more intense (5). Cat fleas were shown to be the most common fleas to bite dogs, and also one of the major causes in an itchy dog (6). To treat this, topical creams with selamectin were proven to be the most effective and fastest solution for serious flea itchiness (7). The next favorite in studies were imidacloprid/flumethrin solution (8).

Topical dog itch relief solution applied.

All of these scientifically studied itch relief for dogs treatments designed for different causes are something you would need your veterinarian’s prescription for. They are typically used in more severe cases of an itchy dog. For more benign and mild issues with itchiness, here are the five best itch relief for dogs solutions to buy over-the-counter.

Top 5 Best Itch Relief for Dogs Remedies

1 Bodhi Dog Anti Itch Oatmeal Spray for Dogs

Bodhi Dog Anti-itch Spray is made with oatmeal and baking soda, as well as wheat germ, botanical extracts, and natural ingredients that deliver vitamins A, D, and E to the dog’s skin. It is formulated to provide relief to dogs itching due to hot spots, insect bites, allergies, and other skin irritations. The spray is also a natural deodorizer. We found that Bodhi’s anti-itch spray instantly soothed itching and stopped chewing and licking in our two dogs. It does not contain alcohol or any toxic ingredient.

Best Flea Control Options to Keep Pests Away

If your pet is itching constantly or you have itchy red welts, you’re likely dealing with a flea infestation. An effective flea killer should target adult fleas and flea larvae. For the best results, you need to employ flea control for your pet and their environment, such as your home and backyard. Check out the best flea control products to help you rid your pets and home of fleas.

Best Overall: Bayer Serestro Flea and Tick Collar

Pet owners love the eight months of continuous, convenient flea and tick protection offered by the Bayer Serestro Flea and Tick Collar. Once the collar is on your pet, it kills fleas and ticks on contact. Because it’s waterproof, you don’t have to take the collar off for baths. If your pet grows or gains weight, you can adjust the size of the collar.

Best Value: Bayer Suspend SC Insecticide

Bayer Suspend SC Insecticide is a product suitable for exterior and interior use that will eradicate fleas and ticks from your property. Users of this insecticide rave that it’s effective at killing pests brought onto your property by wildlife and neighboring pets. The insecticide lasts for months, even in rainy weather. One bottle of this product mixes with water to produce 64 gallons of insecticide.

Best for Interior Flea Control: Vet-Kem Siphotrol Plus II Premise Pest Control Spray

If fleas have invaded your home, fight back with Vet-Kem Siphotrol Plus II Pest Control Spray. A single can knocks out fleas in 10 minutes and treats up to 2,000 square feet. Customers claim that the spray maintains its promise of knocking out 100 percent of the fleas and ticks in your home. The spray won’t leave your home sticky, and the smell isn’t overbearing.

Best Product for Homes With Carpeting: Raid Flea Killer Carpet and Room Spray

As a pet owner, you know it’s tricky removing fleas and their eggs from thick, plush carpet. Fans of Raid Flea Killer Carpet and Room Spray claim that this product is easy-to-use and kills fleas on contact. Users find that the wide-angle spray feature makes it convenient to cover a large carpeted area in a short period of time. It’s also effective on other upholstered surfaces.

Best Topical Flea Control Product: K9 Advantix Flea Control for Dogs

If your dog doesn’t like collars or if you feel more comfortable with topical flea control, K9 Advantix Flea Control for Dogs is an excellent alternative. Although the product is waterproof, users recommend applying and then waiting a few days before letting your pup get wet. This gives the solution a chance to interact with your dog’s natural oils so that your pooch is protected.

Best Chemical-free Option for Flea Control: Safari Dog Flea Comb

If your pet is too young for chemical flea control or you want to supplement your chemical flea control with physical flea removal, try the Safari Dog Flea Comb. This flea comb has a double row of teeth that removes fleas from all fur types. Although the comb is labeled for dogs, users report that it’s also effective at physically removing fleas from kittens and cats.

Best Product to Use Around Kids and Pets: Victor Ultimate Flea Trap

The Victor Ultimate Flea Trap is a popular product with pet owners who prefer chemical-free flea control methods. Users report that these flea traps last a long time and are effective at attracting and removing fleas from any space. With a price in the $10 to $20 range, these traps are also a hit with pet owners who need a budget-friendly alternative for flea control.

Best Shampoo for Flea Control: Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic and Antiseborrheic Shampoo

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic and Antiseborrheic Shampoo is a great first line of defense to protect your pet against fleas. For the best results, users recommend lathering your pet with the shampoo and waiting a few minutes before rinsing it out. The colloidal oatmeal and allantoin in the shampoo help soothe dry, itchy skin often associated with flea bites.

Best Natural Flea Control Insecticide: Cedarside Original Insect Control for People and Pets

Cedarside Original Insect Control for People and Pets is a nontoxic insecticide made from all-natural cedar that deters fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, mice, and ants. While you can use it to kill fleas in your yard and home, users also spray it directly on themselves and their pets to keep fleas away. The product has a musky cedar smell that most users find inoffensive.

Best Natural Flea Control Collar: SOBAKEN Flea and Tick Collar

The SOBAKEN Flea and Tick Collar is a natural, long-lasting flea collar that uses spearmint, clove, and citronella oils to ward against fleas. Pet owners whose pets have allergies and sensitive skin report that the collar is effective at killing and repelling fleas without causing skin irritation. This collar is waterproof and lasts eight months before it needs to be replaced.

You Don’t Have to Use Unnatural Methods to Rid Your Home of Roaches

This mixture of borax and sugar is cheap and effective.

Roaches are never welcome guests, and calling a pest control service is one way to get rid of them. But that’s a costly approach, and it lathers your house with chemicals. If you want to save money and avoid chemicals, here’s a homemade roach killer that will get the job done. All you need to make this roach killer is borax and granulated or powdered sugar.

Borax is a naturally occurring mineral known as sodium tetraborate. It is an ingredient in many commercially made cleaners, cosmetics, and even some brands of toothpaste. It is sold to consumers as a white powder for use around the house.

How to Make Natural Roach Killer

Mix up a batch of borax and sugar together in equal parts. Apply the mixture along the baseboards, in cracks, under cabinets, under sinks, and anywhere else that you’ve seen roaches invade your house. Reapply the mixture as needed until all the bugs are gone. If you prefer, you can put your roach killer out in little containers instead of dusting the surfaces of your home with it. That’ll mean less mess and less chance of coming into contact with it.

Why This Works

Roaches consume the mixture because they are attracted to the sugar. Once consumed, the borax damages both their digestive system and their outer skeleton, resulting in death. This works very much like the boric acid found in commercial pest control products, but it costs a lot less.

Benefits of Using Borax to Kill Roaches

There are several upsides to using this borax mixture to kill roaches. It’s inexpensive, free of fumes, environmentally friendly, and fast-acting. And of course, you won’t end up with a big bill from the pest control folks.

Here’s where to find borax, how to store it, and more tips on using this mixture to kill roaches.

  • You can also mix the borax with syrup or jelly. Obviously, you’ll want to put your roach killer in some sort of container if you do.
  • Borax (sold under the name 20 Mule Team Borax) can be found in the laundry aisle at many grocery and big-box stores since it is most commonly used as a laundry booster. You might also find it at the hardware store.
  • Store any unused portions in an air-tight container to maintain freshness. Be sure to label it so you don’t forget what’s inside or confuse it with something else.
  • Depending on the size of the infestation, it might take a couple of weeks before you notice a significant decline in the population.
  • Borax loses some of its effectiveness when it gets wet, so replace it as needed.
  • This same mixture can also be used to kill ants.


You should keep this mixture away from children, pets, and food prep areas. Only bait areas that your family and pets won’t come into contact with. Wear a mask when you apply the mixture and avoid inhaling it at all times.

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