Whipworms are a tenacious parasite that can cause discomfort and serious diseases for your dog. If your yard has been infected with whipworm, explore the following methods to get whipworms out of your yard.
- Ensure your dog receives an effective whipworm treatment.
- Diligently clean up all dog, fox, or coyote feces in your yard.
- Treat your soil with lime.
- Disinfect paved surfaces in your yard.
- Remove 6 inches of topsoil and reseed your yard.
- Pave surfaces to prevent whipworm invasion.
By following one or more of these methods, you can protect your pet, remove whipworms from your yard, and rest at ease knowing these parasites are vanquished.
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What Are Whipworms?
Whipworms are a parasitic worm that inhabits the intestinal tract of dogs, foxes, and coyotes. Whipworm infection is caused when your dog ingests whipworm eggs passed from the feces of an infected canine. This is usually caused by a dog licking its paws after walking on the whipworm-infected ground.
Once ingested, whipworm eggs hatch within your dog’s intestinal tract, where the mature worms burrow into the intestinal lining, causing pain, bloody diarrhea, and—in severe cases—anemia and death. During this stage, whipworms also produce eggs that are passed out with your dog’s stool, reinfecting the ground with more whipworms.
Although whipworm species that infect humans and felines do exist, they are rare in the United States. Your chief concern is the well-being of your dog.
6 Methods for Whipworm Yard Treatment
Whipworms are extremely hard to kill once they infect a yard. Unhatched whipworm eggs can remain dormant for up to 5 years, surviving the heat, cold, and most lawn treatments. In order to attack whipworm and make your yard safe again, use the following methods.
Treat Your Dog For Whipworm
If your dog has been diagnosed with whipworm, consult your veterinarian for the best treatment. Whipworm treatment for infected dogs may be a multi-step process, but it is essential to ridding your dog of a harmful parasitic infection.
Once your dog has been treated for an active whipworm infection, begin a worm-prevention medication schedule. Keep in mind that many dewormers and worm-preventers do not prevent whipworm. Choose a wormer that prevents whipworm infection. Administer the treatment as directed. Because whipworms are so hard to remove from a yard, this is the best way to ensure your dog does not get reinfected after treatment.
Maintain a Clean Yard
New whipworm eggs enter the soil from an infected canine’s feces. Additionally, after they’ve been passed through the intestinal tract, whipworm eggs must mature for 2–4 weeks before they can cause infection when ingested. By cleaning your dog’s feces from the yard early and often, you prevent whipworm eggs from reaching the soil and maturing into dangerous parasites.
Although this method will not kill the whipworm eggs currently in your yard, it will prevent new eggs from entering the soil from infected animals, reducing whipworm egg populations. Cleaning up quickly after your dog is a must when dealing with whipworm infestation.
If you want to know how to get whipworms out of your yard, the solution lies in one word—lime. Lime is a natural substance you can add to your soil to dry out whipworm eggs and kill them. Additionally, it is safe for grass and for pets.
Apply lime to the soil by using a spreader. Spread 40-50 pounds of lime per 1,000 square feet of yard. This will be sufficient to kill whipworm eggs present in the soil.
The concern when using lime to kill whipworm eggs is that the lime must be kept dry for 2 weeks to be effective. Do not water your lawn for 2 weeks after lime application to successfully kill whipworms. If you experience rainfall, if the lime is watered in, or if the ground is muddy, the lime will not be effective in killing whipworms in your yard. Be sure to use this tactic during dry periods only.
Disinfect Paved Surfaces
Although whipworm eggs typically inhabit the topsoil in your yard, there is the possibility that they have made their way to your patio, deck, or similar area. To kill infectious whipworm eggs in these areas, spray the hard surfaces in your yard thoroughly with bleach. This topical treatment will kill whipworm eggs.
Whipworm eggs are contained in the topsoil, where they can easily be ingested by animals. For this reason, one sure way to get rid of whipworms in your yard is to remove the top 6 inches of topsoil.
This is an extreme measure and not well suited for large yards. However, by removing old topsoil, trucking in new soil, and reseeding your lawn, you can be sure you’ve eradicated the whipworm infestation.
Pave Areas to Prevent Whipworms
Whipworm eggs are extremely difficult to kill once they have invaded the soil of your yard. However, paved areas are much easier to disinfect with bleach, and far less likely to harbor whipworm eggs. If you have tried and failed to get rid of a whipworm infestation, the best bet is to pave high-traffic areas, to eliminate or reduce your dog’s contact with the whipworm-infected ground.
How Long Can Whipworms Live in Soil?
Whipworm eggs can remain alive in the soil for up to 5 years. If a whipworm infestation is untreated it can remain a threat to your dog’s health for the entire duration of those 5 years. Your best defense is to regularly treat your dog with a dewormer that prevents whipworm, then attempt to remove whipworms from your yard through the use of lime or topsoil removal.
Can Whipworms Survive Freezing Temperatures?
Whipworms are capable of surviving months of freezing temperatures. Whipworm eggs can last through snowy winters and the hottest summers. If your dog has recently been infected with whipworm, or you believe your yard is contaminated with whipworm, do not count on winter temperatures to kill whipworm eggs.
How to Treat Your Yard for Whipworms
The best way to deal with a whipworm invasion is by protecting your dog with a dewormer that is effective against whipworms. In many cases, this is the only option. By placing your pets on a dewormer regimen that prevents infection, you have the best chance of keeping your dog safe.
If you are determined to kill the whipworm eggs that are present in the soil, an application of agricultural lime (40–50 lbs per 1,000 square feet) is effective at killing whipworm, provided the lime is kept dry for 2 weeks. Other options for killing whipworms in soil include removing 6 inches of topsoil or paving over infected soil.