Natural Flea Control: How to Get Rid of Fleas Naturally

Nematodes are natural flea killers. Add them to your yard, and fleas are a thing of the past.

| August/September 1995

  • flea
    Beneficial nematodes get tough on fleas without the need for dangerous chemicals or toxic pesticides.
    PHOTO: FOTOLIA./COSMIN MANCI

  • flea

The beneficial nematode, alias "killer roundworm," may be nature's simplest answer yet for getting rid of troublesome, blood sucking fleas that infest backyards, homes and pets each year like clockwork.

The nematode, Steinernema carpocapsae, hunts down fleas in the pre-adult, pupae, and larval stages of their growth, which account for 95 percent of the flea population, even searching out the fleas that lie dormant in cocoons before reaching maturity. The killer roundworm enters the pest's body through any convenient opening, such as the spiracles, where air is taken in, and releases a bacteria that kills the flea within 48 hours.

When the host is dead, the nematode sheds its skin and begins to reproduce inside the corpse. The offspring hunt for new prey, destroying the remaining fleas in the wake of the nematode life cycle. If there are no host bugs to be found, the nematodes starve and biodegrade, leaving no harmful backyard bug alive to tell the story.

The killer nematodes have been perfected and raised by Biosys, a company that specializes in biological pest control. At Biosys headquarters in Palo Alto, California, studies have been conducted over the past decade on the uses of the nematode.



The killer roundworm has been implemented commercially over the past five years to combat cranberry and citrus pests, but was never available to the garden growing public due to certain impracticalities in growing and shipping the "flea-killing commandos," say the nematode researchers.

Preparation of the nematode for widespread use had its difficulties, according to Doug Ross, an entomologist who has studied the worm developed by Biosys. In the past, nematodes were raised inside insects and then removed from the host's body to be used in pest control, which proved to be a costly and time consuming process. Then there was the problem of keeping the worms alive for storage and later use.

patchworkangel
7/30/2009 10:07:38 AM

where can we get this product farnum pet products does not list it???????


MC_2
7/29/2009 7:58:58 PM

It sounds wonderful. I'm already wondering where I can get it. It would solve sooooo many of my bug problems. I wonder if it works on ticks???? On the other hand, I'm leery as h-e-double-toothpicks of anything that seems to be a panacea. Especially a man-made panacea. With all those pesticide resistances, I hope to heck they're right about it being self-limiting in nature.


Melanie_16
10/3/2007 2:11:02 PM

I am trying desprately to locate Bio Flea Halt flea spray made by Farnam pet Products. I have used this product in the past and it works wonderfully! You have written about is in the above article. Can you please tell me where I can get it? Thank you, Melanie Jenkins







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