Sunday, July 18, 2010

Natural Flea Control: How to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Yard

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. Read the entire article

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