April brings warm weather and rain. It is also the time that the fleas start to show up. Fleas like temperatures below 95°F with humidity above 50%. It’s better to prevent them than to remove them. Fleas (chiggers and ticks also) do not just appear. In most cases they are brought in by the urban wildlife (rabbits, rats, squirrels, raccoons, etc) that visit us. Yes, I know how cute they are, but they are bringing friends. So, if you have a flea problem and feed the birds, stop feeding for a month or so to get the problem under control. As a general rule birds do not have fleas but you are also feeding the critters that do have fleas.
If you have fleas you will have to treat the yard. If you have pets, treat them and the house at the same time. When fighting fleas it is all about breaking the life cycle. There are a bunch of all-natural and synthetic products to choose from. Most products will take more than one application, 5 to 10 days apart to break the life cycle.
Our number one product for outdoor flea control is sulfur, but remember it is a repellant not a killer. There are two types of sulfur, powder and granulated. Application rates vary but the following have worked well for me. Use 10# to 20# of granulated sulfur to cover a thousand square feet (depending on the critter) and should be reapplied every 10 to 14 days depending on weather. Five pounds of powder will cover about 1,500 square feet and should be repeated weekly.
For more information, please visit the Texas A&M AgriLife website.