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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by conepile, Oct 4, 2002.

  1. conepile

    conepile LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    Is it just me, or did the flea season just start. While mowing many of my properties, I am just getting covered with fleas. While it may be a good opportunity to offer some additional service, I'm really not interested in getting the 3b certification required to apply pesticide. I guess the flea collar will have to do (just kidding: a flea collar on a human will make them quite ill).

    Anyone else having this problem, or am I just a flea magnet?
  2. TurfGuyTX

    TurfGuyTX LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW
    Posts: 648

    I wouldn't work in infested areas. If you don't want to personally treat the areas, sub it out to someone else and still make some money while protecting your health. Good luck.
  3. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    start taking stress b vitamins.blood sucker cant handle it . well chiggers can but fleas mosquitoes etc ,seem to be repeled.
  4. Dennis E.

    Dennis E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 349

    If you can possibly find tobacco shavings,that will do the trick.
    I used to go into Tampa now and then for a 50lb. box for my own yard. It worked great.
    It was suggested to me by an elderly customer some years back. In her late 90's,born and raised in Fl.
    Her family farmed and raised beef and tobacco was the only thing there was for pest control in crops.
    No fleas,fireants,or any other nasty pest could be found after applying the shavings and watering it in.
  5. cglservice

    cglservice LawnSite Member
    from Ky
    Posts: 101

    We really had it bad here April and May
    Clean now as if they just disapeard i guess they have come to visit your part of the world now:D
  6. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    I've been mowing for 24 years and never had a problem with fleas. Dogs and cats...yes, I've seen people with many dogs and cats have problems, but never really thought of fleas while mowing. Gnats, hopper (spittle) bugs, flys, bees, sparrows, and now and then ticks, but never FLEAS???

    Any northeners ever have a problem?
  7. Schlepie

    Schlepie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 165

    There is an organic method we use in south Texas , it is called diatomacious earth (sp)? . It is a powder you spread and its like razor blades for fleas and the like. Works great if you can get it. good luck

  8. MJStrain

    MJStrain LawnSite Member
    Posts: 156

    Thought you folks might find this will answer most questions concerning this subject.

    Natural diatomaceous earth (DE for short) is the remains of microscopic one-celled plants (phytoplankton) called diatoms that lived in the oceans that once covered the western part of the United States and other parts of the world. Huge deposits were left behind when the water receded. They are now mined and have several important uses in toothpaste, beer filtering, and swimming pool filters. DE is approximately 3% magnesium, 86% silicon, 5% sodium, 2% iron and many other trace minerals such as titanium, boron, manganese, copper and zirconium.

    Natural DE also makes a very effective natural insecticide. The insecticidal quality of DE is due to the razor sharp edges of the diatom remains. When DE comes contact with the insects, the sharp edges lacerate the bugs' waxy exoskeleton and then the powdery DE absorbs the body fluids causing death from dehydration. Said more simply, DE kills insects by drying then up. You'll see how drying DE is if you handle it with bare hands.

    There is no residual danger of contamination. In fact, DE is actually beneficial to the soil. It's loaded with trace minerals. However, there are a few precautions. Diatomaceous earth is very dusty and can cause lung problems if breathed heavily, so when applying it dry always wear a good dust mask or stand up wind. The second precaution is that DE sold for swimming pool filters is ineffective for insect control because it has been heated and chemically treated. It won't kill insects and it is very dangerous to breathe. Finally natural DE will kill beneficial insects too, so use it sparingly to kill problem infestations of harmful insects and don't use it too often.

    Diatomaceous earth can be applied in a variety of ways. to use for flea and tick control, apply a light dusting over the lawn, in dog runs, around pet bedding or favorite resting spots and sprinkle a little on your pet between baths of a mild herbal soap. Avoid Dips and soaps containing chemical insecticides. It's also a good idea to avoid soaps that contain ammonium laurel sulfate. It's used to make good studs but it is a skin irritant. Check out your own soap and tooth paste while you're at it.

    The best way to apply the dust over a large area is with a light weight apparatus such as Dustin' Mizer, Spritzer or other similar blowers. Applying by hands can be done but wastes a lot of material and will dry your skin. To apply with water, mix 1/4 cup of DE in a gallon of water and apply to the lawn and/or shrubs where pest problems exist. It doesn't hurt insects until it dries out.

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