Dog feces may contain hookworm eggs. Hookworm eggs get into the soil, where they hatch.
There is even a risk of you and your family getting hookworms, especially if you are prone to walking barefoot on your lawn.
In this article, you’ll know my best tips on how to get rid of Hookworms in soil.
How to Get Rid of Hookworms in Soil
Getting rid of hookworms in your soil starts with picking up pet droppings daily. Also, allow sunlight to get into the soil for at least two hours daily. Treating any infected pets, using boric acid in any sandy or clay areas, and exposing the soil to the cold temperatures of winter also kill hookworm larvae.
What Kills Hookworms
The three chemicals that can kill hookworm larvae are common salt, boric acid, and borax.
These would need to be raked into your lawn or soil. However, all of these chemicals will kill your plants or your lawn.
Other things that kill hookworms include extreme cold and extreme heat. If you live in a place that gets cold winters, a good snap will be all the soil treatment you will need.
In the meantime, extreme heat of over 113 degrees Fahrenheit will kill hookworm larvae.
Hookworms are transmitted in the poop of an infected animal. The main thing you need to do is keep animals off of your property.
Put up warning signs and fencing to keep animals out. Talk to neighbors about picking up after their dogs if they keep going on your property.
If you do have a dog, pick up poop every day so that any eggs inside will not have a chance to hatch into larvae, which can wriggle into the soil.
Use gloves so you are not contaminated. Place the poop in a plastic bag. This generates heat high enough to kill any hatched larvae inside.
Treating Sandy or Clay Patches
Your yard may have sandy or clay spots where plants don’t grow. Usually, hookworm larvae need plants in the ground to help keep the soil moist enough to thrive in.
However, sandy or clay spots can be moist enough for hookworms, even if no plants are present.
Treat these areas with boric acid. Use ten pounds every 100 square feet. Spread a fine layer on the top so you can see it.
Take a rake and work it into the soil. Make sure not to water these areas.
It’s best to treat when the forecast calls for dry weather or the wet soil may dilute the boric acid too much.
Treating Kennels, Dog Runs, or Bare Patches of Ground
Even if a dog spends a lot of time on concrete, or goes to the bathroom on a concrete part of the yard and not the grass, traces of infected feces can remain and spread hookworm, usually through the dog’s feet or your shoes when you walk around the place.
The University of Florida recommends using borax or salt water to clean and kill hookworm larvae. Although they are similar, boric acid and borax are different.
If using saltwater, mix 1.5 pounds of regular salt into a gallon of water. Use one pint to treat one square foot.
This works for concrete or bare patches in your yard. If you don’t mind your lawn being bare, treat away.
First, hose the kennel or dog run floor with plain water. Spray salt water for an even application. Let sit for a half hour to let it soak in.
Scrub the areas with a brush or sweep with a broom that has stiff bristles. Rinse with plain water and let dry.
If All Else Fails
If your pets have been successfully treated for hookworms but you still have symptoms of hookworm infestation, and you live in a place where it does not get very cold in winter, it’s time to give up your lawn for now.
Hookworms thrive in the soil underneath the grass. Rip up the lawn and rake boric acid or bleach through the soil.
If you have a very small lawn, consider scraping off the top few inches of soil where any larvae may live. Give the area access to sunlight to help heat and dry the soil, killing the larvae.
After a few months, you can try planting a new lawn or just cover it all in concrete.
The Good and the Bad News about Hookworms
First, let’s get started with the bad news. You might have seen a great new product said to kill hookworm larvae, but not lawns or plants.
The University of Florida says that there’s no known insecticide or chemical that exists that does this.
The good news is that hookworm infestations in people and pets are easily treatable. Most monthly heartworm treatments for dogs on the market will also kill hookworms.
Picking up animal feces every day greatly reduces any chances of the soil becoming contaminated.
Only hookworm larvae live in the soil. They turn into dangerous adults when they get inside of a body.
Most hookworm larvae species die when the temperatures drop to 5 degrees Fahrenheit (-15 degrees Celsius).
In many parts of the world, cold winters produce days or even weeks of temperatures that are this low, effectively killing hookworm larvae. But, there are rare species that can survive the cold.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Get Rid of Hookworms in Soil
How Do You Prevent Hookworm in Soil?
The good news about hookworms is that they are preventable. Picking up animal poop every day makes it less likely for any eggs in the feces to hatch and get into the soil. Putting up fences helps keep out animals other than your pets.
Can I Have Hookworms and Not Know It?
According to the CDC, most people with hookworm infestation do not show any symptoms. Fortunately, there are medications to kill hookworms should you start showing symptoms.
What chemicals should I place in the Soil to Kill Hookworms?
Bleach, borax, and boric acid can kill hookworm larvae. Unfortunately, they will also kill all plant life. Winter cold snaps kill most hookworm species. Extreme heat also kills them.
The Least You Need to Know
There is no chemical, even saltwater, that you can put in your soil to kill hookworms that won’t also kill your plants or your lawn.
However, cold snaps during winter and really high heat of over 113 degrees Fahrenheit will kill them.
Pick up animal droppings daily so that any hookworm eggs in them will not have a chance of hatching.
Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.