How to Treat Your Yard for Hookworms

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Things You'll Need

  • Borax (sodium borate)

  • Salt (sodium chloride)

  • Diatomaceous earth

  • Plastic bags

  • Feces scoop

  • Disposable plastic gloves

  • NIOSH-approved respiratory dust mask

  • Goggles

Tip

Hookworm eggs and larvae require moisture for development. Sunlight exposure for two hours a day can help eradicate these pests, especially on hard, dry surfaces. Dog runs and latrine areas should be located where there are at least two hours of sunlight each day during all seasons of the year.

Warning

NIOSH, which stands for National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, rates respiratory dust marks for safety of use with different size particulates. Use only dust masks approved by NIOSH.

A group of friends and a dog having a picnic in the yard.
Image Credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Domestic pets, such as cats and dogs, and other mammals can carry hookworms, which are spread through feces. A health hazard, hookworm infestations can cause anemia and protein loss, which can lead to death of your pet when left untreated. While your veterinarian can prescribe treatment for active infestations, prevention is the best policy. Your veterinarian can recommend an oral preventative to help keep your pet hookworm free. However, if your yard is infested with hookworms, prevention includes lawn treatment.

Step 1

Remove pet waste from your yard daily. Put on gloves and pick up feces with a scoop; place it in a plastic bag before placing it in the garbage can. Hookworms can live and reproduce in feces for four weeks, according the University of Florida IFAS Extension.

Step 2

Wash concrete and other hard surfaces with salt brine, mixed at the rate of 1 1/2 pounds of salt per 1 gallon of water. Apply at the rate of 1 pint of solution per square foot.

Step 3

Apply diatomaceous earth, or DE, to grassy areas. With a bulb-type applicator, dust diatomaceous earth in locations where feces were not removed within 24 hours. This natural product, produced from ocean sediments of diatoms made of silicon dioxide, dries out the exoskeleton of larvae and eggs, eradicating hookworms. When applying, wear a NIOSH-approved respiratory dust mask, goggles and gloves.

references & resources

Judy Kilpatrick

For Judy Kilpatrick, gardening is the best mental health therapy of all. Combining her interests in both of these fields, Kilpatrick is a professional flower grower and a practicing, licensed mental health therapist. A graduate of East Carolina University, Kilpatrick writes for national and regional publications.