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I have a fenced in yard that is about 24 feet by 72 feet. I have lots of perennials…

Donna Asked

I have a fenced in yard that is about 24 feet by 72 feet. I have lots of perennials planted around the fence. I also have a small dog that uses the bathroom in this area. It seems that I have fleas and cannot get rid of them because my dog keeps on getting them from the yard. What can I do to rid my yard of fleas and other insects such as mosquitoes?

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The Gardener’s Answer

Mosquitoes and other insects can make the outdoors less appealing during the warmer months in Kentucky. There are several things we can do to help deter them and make our outside time more enjoyable. Mosquitoes can breed in a very small amount of water, so eliminating any potential breeding habitats is essential in reducing populations.

Walk your property daily and dump any standing water. Our planting containers with saucers are a great place for these pests to breed. We, of course, have to water our plants, but make sure any excess water is not left in the container or the saucer/tray. If any container does not drain properly, it will create a perfect habitat for breeding. Anything that will collect rainfall, including gutters, should be checked frequently to avoid any standing water.

There are many products available to homeowners that help reduce and repel mosquitoes. I like to add an organic granular mosquito repellant to my garden and planting containers.

As far as fleas on your dog, this is a question for your veterinarian, but in the garden, the same cultural practices apply in terms of eliminating them. Fleas, like mosquitoes, thrive in moist environments, so make sure all plant debris is cleaned-up and all water collectors are checked after each rainfall.

There are also products that can be applied to the lawn to help repel fleas. Check your local garden center to see what they carry. As with any product, make sure to follow recommended application instructions. There are also companies that offer mosquito and flea repellent programs; both organic and non-organic are available.

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