How to Kill Fleas in the Yard With Soap
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How to Kill Fleas in the Yard With Soap

Getting rid of fleas in the yard can help with getting the fleas off your pet. This is a non-toxic way to get rid of fleas and other insects in the yard, helping your pet stay healthier and happier.

For pet owners, there are few problems as annoying and worrying as a pet that has fleas. Usually, the pet or pets are not the only one with fleas. They may have gotten into your bed, into your carpets, and in your yard. We have all heard the admonition to "treat the environment" when it comes to fleas, and there is a reason for this. Fleas spend relatively little time on the pet. They jump on an animal to feed, but spend most of their time in the environment. That means that the cycle will not be broken until the fleas and flea eggs and larvae in the yard are dead. Home carpeting is also another favorite place for fleas to hide. We will look at flea problems in the yard for now, and discuss fleas in the carpet in another article.

One of the fastest and safest products to use in the yard is dish soap. Yes, dish soap is extremely effective in killing fleas. When fleas hatch from the eggs, they are in a larvae stage. In this stage they eat the debris from the adult fleas. This "food" is what keeps them alive. If their food source is covered in dish soap, it makes them sick, and they will die, never reaching the adult flea stage.

Dish soap works not only on fleas, but on most other insects. Because of this, it is wise to understand that even beneficial insects will be affected. The dish soap can act by clogging the intakes for oxygen, and they suffocate. They also cannot "groom" without eating soap. The penetrating action of soap and its surfactant qualities cause bugs to lose their waxy coating, and they become vulnerable to disease and the soap itself.

While soap is not 100% non-toxic, it is safe enough to spray around the yard in a diluted form without having to be concerned about pets getting sick from it. Use only the dish detergents that do not have antibacterial chemicals in them. If you wish, you can purchase dish soap from the health food store, but this is not necessary. Dove, Ivory, Dawn, Palmolive or any others are fine. Do not use powdered soaps or liquid soaps designed for the dishwasher. This may kill your grass, your plants and make your pets sick.


Use a hose-end sprayer of any size. Fill it approximately half full of dish detergent, and half with hydrogen peroxide. The hydrogen peroxide is not necessary, but it does make the method more effective! If you do not use hydrogen peroxide, use water to fill the container.

Spray all parts of your yard with a fairly strong setting on the dial. Test an area so that suds are produced when holding it in one place for five seconds or less. If you use hydrogen peroxide, stay away from dark fences, or patio furniture. Keep it on the grass. It will not hurt your plants, and dish detergent is used as a fertilizer already by gardeners. It helps water uptake for the plants. Hydrogen peroxide is also used on plants as an insect treatment, but delicate plants may have a problem with it. It is better to stay on the grass, graveled areas, walkways, and dirt or sand areas. 

Retreat two or three times, about two weeks apart, or after a heavy rain. Your pet can use the yard normally, as a little soapy water on the paws will not hurt them. 

Treating the grass when it has recently been cut helps get the soapy water around all the grass blades, and there is less soapy grass to get on your pet's fur. 

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Comments (4)

You have just helped so many people with your sound dish soap attack on fleas in the yard.Well detailed with good explanation. thank you.

Returning with a well deserved vote up.

Thank a lot for an informative and very helpful article !

I give my dogs a bath with Dawn dish soap and they don't have fleas or ticks on them and they are outside all day long. I let them in only at nighttime. It really does work.