How to Get Rid of Tapeworms in a Yard

Written by larry parr
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How to Get Rid of Tapeworms in a Yard
Tapeworms in yards are often about the size of grains of rice and are white, pink or yellowish. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Tapeworms can be a serious health problem for animals, including dogs and cats, as well as humans. These worms can live in your yard and continually reinfect your animals no matter how often they are treated. Therefore, it is important to kill both the worms in your yard and any fleas, as fleas are a prime carrier for passing the worms on to dogs and cats.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Pooper scooper
  • Trash bags
  • Vermicide
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Small spade
  • Potting soil
  • Organic manure
  • Grass seed

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  1. 1

    Wear gloves and use a pooper scooper to pick up all animal waste in the yard. Place the waste in a sturdy garbage bag, tie it up and dispose in the trash.

  2. 2

    Search all areas of your lawn where animals regularly defecate and poke around with a gloved finger looking for signs of live tapeworms. These will be small, flatish worms that may be white, pink or slightly yellow in colour. A tapeworm is often no larger than a grain of rice and may move around slowly.

  3. 3

    Spray all areas where you find tapeworms with a vermicide, a spray designed to kill tapeworms. Purchase vermicide at hardware stores and home improvement centres.

  4. 4

    Dust the lawn with diatomaceous earth. A home- or yard-grade of diatomaceous earth can be purchased at hardware stores and home improvement centres. While diatomaceous earth is not hazardous to humans, it can still be a good idea to wear a dust mask when spreading the earth. Do not water for 24 hours after dusting.

  5. 5

    Recheck areas of lawn that were infested with tapeworms 24 hours after spraying with the vermicide. If any live worms are still present, spray again with the vermicide.

  6. 6

    Wear gloves and dig up areas that were infested with tapeworms and dispose of the dead worms in a strong garbage bag.

  7. 7

    Fill in any holes that have been dug in your yard with a mix of half potting soil and half organic manure. Water well. Overseed with grass seed if the areas are extensive, or simply wait for the surrounding grass to fill in the affected areas.

Tips and warnings

  • Always wear gloves when handling live or dead tapeworms.
  • See your veterinarian and have your dog or cat dewormed at the same time you are deworming your yard.
  • It is far more important to rid your yard and home of fleas than it is to rid your yard of tapeworms. Tapeworms, without a host, die naturally within four to five days. The flea transmits almost all tapeworms to dogs and cats.

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