Mother Nature has provided several checks and balances against not only fleas, but all insects in general. Birds consume trillions of insects on the planet’s surface each year. There are also beneficial insects which prey on other insects. Two of the more well known are the lady bug and the praying mantis. Another of nature’s policemen are microscopic round worms known as beneficial nematodes. These tiny little roundworms are invisible to the naked eye, but are naturally occurring throughout nature. Known as entomopathagenic nematodes, their function is easily understood by looking at their name. Entomo is short for entomology, or bugs. Pathagenic stands for the natural bacteria nematodes produce which is deadly to non-beneficial insects such as roaches, japanese beetle grubs, maggots, and, of course, fleas!
These tiny little insect hunters are so small that they are able to secretly enter the body of an insect and then kill it by releasing a natural bacteria. The nematodes will then feed on the insect while reproducing in large numbers through asexual reproduction. Once the host insect has been sufficiently consumed, the other nematodes leave the insect to search for other prey.
The theory behind using beneficial nematodes for flea control is that there is a natural balance in nature. At times, fleas are able to upset nature’s balance when conditions are favorable. The large number of flea eggs produced by the female flea during these periods can result in tremendous flea populations. These flea infestations can be successfully countered in outdoor environments by the massive application of millions of beneficial nematodes. The idea is to overwhelm the flea population with so many nematodes that the flea population can no longer sustain itself. Once the nematodes have exhausted their food supply – the fleas, then the nematode population will also collapse. This allows the ecosystem to return to a more balanced state without intoxicating the environment with the insecticides which are frequently consumed by our pets, birds, and other organisms in the environment. Beneficial nematodes are completely safe for children and pets, and do not harm other beneficial insects.
Another advantage of using beneficial nematodes for flea control in the yard is that the nematode is a single tiny tooth which can be used to penetrate the flea’s pupa stage. These entomopathagenic nematodes are the only thing we know which is capable of destroying the flea pupa. Pretty cool.
Control of most outdoor flea populations requires a couple weeks. More severe flea populations can require a second application after one month.
Please visit our online store to purchase beneficial nematodes for flea control in the yard.