How to Kill Fleas With Sevin

By Mary Lougee

Sevin dust is the brand name for carbaryl, an insecticide that kills fleas along with more than 65 other outdoor pests. Follow all precautions when using this product and use personal protection gear to keep it off your skin.

When applying Sevin to a garden and outdoor areas, remember that it not only kills fleas but also a host of other insects including beneficial honeybees, which are needed for pollination of fruits and vegetables.

Personal Protection Gear

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Don personal protection gear including long pants, a long sleeve shirt, socks and shoes, chemical resistant gloves and a dust mask before Sevin dust application. Sevin products are a skin irritant and in the dust form, it is light and should not be inhaled when you are using the product.

Outdoor Application Areas

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Fleas generally congregate outdoors in areas with light soil, such as gardens and sheds without a concrete floor. Fleas prefer sandy soil and gravel to reside and multiply because the conditions are conducive to flea larvae. Treat the areas that have fleas as well as an area of 20 feet surrounding the area to control fleas that jump out of one place and onto another.

Sevin Dust Precautions

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  • Shake the container before application and apply a thin film.

  • Apply outdoors when the air is calm to reduce drifting.

  • Start application at one corner and work backward so you do not walk in the product.

  • Do not use indoors because it will not vacuum completely.

  • Reapply only once per week.

  • Do not allow pets or people to enter a treated area until the dust settles.

  • Do not dispose of product in storm drains, sewers or sinks.

  • Do not apply Sevin directly on a dog or cat, but rather use topical spot-on's for flea control.

Sevin Alternative

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Food grade diatomaceous earth is a flea killer without the risks of Sevin dust. It dries out the exoskeleton of adult insects and causes them to die.

Sprinkle food grade diatomaceous earth on carpeting indoors and pet bedding to control fleas. Vacuum the carpet about four hours later to remove dead fleas and any remaining dust.

Dispose of the vacuum bag or the contents of a disposable cup into a plastic bag and zip it closed before depositing it in an outdoor garbage container. Repeat the application three more times, each three days apart and then once more 10 days later to remove all adult fleas and the larvae.