Fleas can be a real annoyance when they take up residence on one of your pets, but what if they're living in your yard? Sand fleas are a common issue in places near the beach and in areas where the landscape tends to be mostly sand. They live in the sand until they find a host -- possibly a squirrel or a bird -- and in the meantime, they can jump up and bite your ankles! So, how can you get rid of sand fleas in your yard?

Cut Back Foliage

If your yard is overgrown or it has been a while since you've trimmed the grass, the first thing you should do is trim back all of the foliage. Mow the lawn, cut the weeds along the edges of your property, and trim the excess length off of bushes. Although the fleas don't really live in the plants, these overgrown plants make it harder for you to treat the sandy soil where the fleas are living.

Introduce Nematodes

Nematodes are tiny worms. They are harmless to people and pets, but they feed on fleas and other insects. You can usually buy preparations that contain nematodes at a local home and garden store. You may have to dilute a mixture that contains tiny nematodes with water, and then spray that mixture onto the areas that you want to treat. The easiest approach is to start on the outside of your property and work your way in, making concentric circles as you go. Read the instructions on the package label; they may specify that you need to apply nematodes two or three times, waiting a week or two between applications.

Cover Garden Beds with Cedar Chips

The nematodes will slowly eat the fleas, causing the population of fleas to decline over the coming months. In the weeks that follow, you can also help kill fleas by sprinkling cedar wood chips all over your garden beds and wherever else there is exposed dirt. You can find cedar chips in the pet care aisle of most big box stores; they're intended for use in hamster cages. The cedar will help repel and kill fleas, thanks to the potent oils it contains.

If you follow the three steps above, you should be able to bring the population of sand fleas in your yard way down. You might see the occasional flea, but that's no different than seeing the occasional fly or bee; they're just an element of nature. If you need help getting rid of them, however, consider calling a flea control service.