There are several types of intestinal parasites and worms that dogs pass through their poop, potentially causing parasite eggs or larvae to spread throughout your yard.
Dog worms left behind in poop can last for weeks, months, and even years, allowing the parasites to multiply and spread.
It’s not just dogs though, worms can be present in many infected animal’s feces which can then cause parasitic infection in your dog, so it’s important to act fast when you suspect worms around your yard!
Our in-depth guide below covers all the essential information you need to know to effectively treat your yard for dog worms.
- There are four types of intestinal dog worms – roundworms, whipworm, tapeworm, and hookworm.
- These intestinal parasites lay eggs inside your dog’s intestines that eventually pass through their poop.
- Intestinal parasites can last for weeks or months inside poop, lasting even longer in contaminated soil in your yard.
- The best way to treat your yard for dog worms is to quickly remove the poop and use hot water, dog-safe pesticide and apply diatomaceous earth to kill off any lingering parasites and eggs.
Which Dog Worms Can Live in Your Yard?
The four types of dog worms can live in your yard when passed through their feces and other animals feces is:
Roundworm: Roundworm eggs and larvae infect a dog’s intestinal tract, growing into adult worms that lay eggs which are then passed through the feces.
Whipworm: Whipworms lay eggs inside of a dog’s intestine, which pass through feces a few months after infection.
Tapeworm: There are four species of tapeworm, each one infecting the dog by laying eggs in the small intestine that incubate for up to 10 weeks before being passed through their feces.
Hookworm: Hookworms lay their eggs in a dog’s small intestine, which pass through their feces up to three weeks after hookworm infection.
NOTE: It’s not just your pet’s stool (poop) that can carry these parasites and parasite eggs. Wild animals like feral cats or foxes (who can carry roundworms) may also poop in your garden and pose a risk.
How to Get Rid of Dog Worms Outside in Your Yard – 4 Ways
Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell if your dog has worms until they’re already infected. It’s also hard to see parasite eggs with the naked eye.
As a result, your yard could already be contaminated with worms before you release there is a problem.
Once you know that your dog has worms, it’s important to act fast to eliminate their presence in the yard and prevent parasites from spreading. Here are four ways to get rid of them:
Remove Your Pets Feces
The first step to getting rid of dog worms outside in your yard is to quickly remove the fecal matter.
If your dog defecates (poops) in the yard, immediately remove it with a waste bag or poop scoop, making sure to always wear gloves or cover your hands.
Leaving pet waste for longer than a week may cause the worms to contaminate the soil, where they can live for several years!
Use Dog-Safe Pesticide
Use a pesticide that is dog-safe on your outdoor areas, concrete surfaces, soil and solid surfaces.
A brand like Wondercide kill hookworms (and other parasites like fleas and ticks) in every stage of their life cycle.
In fact, the Wondercide range of products was created by a loving dog owner herself, so you can be sure it’s a safe way to create a sanitary environment free of parasites for your dogs and cats.
Either way, it’s always safest to check with your veterinarian before using any products that may affect your pets.
Use Hot Water or Sunlight Exposure
Most parasitic worms and eggs can’t withstand certain temperatures for long periods of time.
For example, many parasites like roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms don’t survive for more than a day after being exposed to water above 50 degrees C (122F). Their eggs are slightly more hardy and will last up to a week.
Of course, it’s difficult to keep the temperature of your yard at 50 degrees for a whole day. Use boiling water (100 degrees celcius or 212F) instead and their survival time goes down to just a few minutes, with their eggs dying soon after.
Here’s a table below that uses hookworms and hookworm eggs as an example:
|Temperature Exposure to Hookworms||Exposure Time to Kill Eggs||Exposure Time to Kill Larvae|
|45°C (113°F)||A few hours||Less than an hour|
|0 °C (32°F)||7 days||Less than 2 weeks|
|-11 °C (12°F)||Unsure||Less than 24 hours|
Apply Diatomaceous Earth
Apply diatomaceous earth throughout the contaminated area, especially if you left your pet’s feces for longer than a week because you didn’t know about the worms.
Diatomaceous earth is found in most garden centers and is easy to buy online – it’s 100% natural and safe to use in your yard!
The substance may kill off parasites and isn’t a health hazard to most dogs (just apply liberally so that your dog can’t inhale it), so should eliminate their presence in your yard.
NOTE: Some studies show that it isn’t effective against parasites and their eggs, while others show it is. I’d recommend using this as an assistant treatment, rather than your main method.
Apply Clear Plastic
Another useful, if difficult, technique is to apply a layer of clear plastic over the affected area, which helps kill the parasite using natural heat from the sun.
You can also expose affected areas to more direct sunlight, such as pruning away trees or shrubs where your dog may have pooped.
As mentioned, make sure you cover your hands when you’re trying to remove dog worms from outside the yard and thoroughly wash them afterward.
This method is difficult to monitor and should be used as a last resort.
Even after you’ve taken the above steps, it’s important to know that parasitic worms can contaminate soil, which your dog eats or touches, causing them to get reinfected after you’ve treated them.
Also, some worms that infect dogs, like hookworms, can potentially pass to humans too, such as kids playing in the yard or adults doing some yard work.
If your dog has hookworms and licks you, this could cause cause an infestation.
How to Prevent Parasitic Worms From Infecting Your Yard
Prevention is always better than cure and here are some tips for ensuring your garden is a safe haven for your pets, including your dogs:
- Clean up your pet’s feces immediately. This is the best way to ensure a sanitary environment for your pet’s well being.
- Look out for feces from other animals who have pooped in your garden and remove it as soon as you find it.
- Wear shoes outdoors and clean them with hot water before coming inside or leave them outside.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with hot water and antibacterial soap.
Frequently Asked Questions About Treating Your Yard for Dog Worms
These are the most frequently asked questions we’ve seen online and been asked on the topic of treating your yard for dog worms:
How Long Do Worms Live in Dog Poop Outside?
It varies depending on the type of worm infecting the dog and where the dog poos in your yard.
For example, if a dog’s poop is infected with roundworms or hookworms, the roundworm and hookworm eggs can survive for several weeks. If you’re curious about exactly how long roundworms live outside the body, we’ve got you covered.
Hookworms can even survive in soil without an intermediate host (like dogs or cats)!
However, if the dog poop is also near soil, then the eggs can spread and multiply, lasting for several years if left untreated.
Similarly, tapeworm eggs can survive for several months outside of a dog – as long as eight months in the right conditions.
Whipworm eggs are also incredibly durable, potentially lasting for up to five years outside of the dog’s body.
Can Dog Worms Live in the Yard?
Yes, as mentioned above, dog worms can live for weeks, months, or even years around your yard.
In most cases, the worm’s that deposit eggs inside your pet feces can quickly spread to soil and other plants around the yard, providing the ideal living conditions.
Dog worms will last for a long time in your yard if you don’t act fast to create a parasite free environment and use prevention methods we’ve mentioned, even if your pet has already been dewormed.
What Other Worms Live in a Yard That May Harm Dogs?
While many worms are good for gardens, there are some worms that live in your yard that could cause harm to your dog including:
Armyworms: This lawn, plant and crop destroying moth larvae isn’t a parasite, nor is it harmful when eaten by your dog but they may contain intestinal parasites which can then infect your dog. You can learn more in our in-depth guide; are army worms harmful to dogs and also find out how to get rid of army worms.
Grub Worms: Similarly to armyworms, these beetle larvae who live underneath lawns and grass, aren’t generally harmful to dogs, but are indirectly due to being potential parasite carriers. You find out what grub worms are and how to get rid of grub worms from your garden.
Hammerhead Worms: An invasive species of flathead worm, found in many US states. They are the only land invertebrate known to produce tetrodotoxin (the same toxin secreted by puffer fish!).
Luckily, they produce less than the puffer fish which means they don’t pose a risk to humans, but it’s not known what amount of this toxin would be harmful to dogs, so remove them as soon as you see them. This worm can regenerate, so it must be removed in a particular way. Find out the best way in our guide; are hammerhead worms harmful to dogs.
Commonly found yard worms and other intestinal parasites aren’t just a health risk for your beloved pet but can also quickly contaminate your yard.
Several types of worms that can infect your pet leave behind their parasite eggs in their poop that quickly spread and contaminate your yard.
In many cases, the dog worm eggs last for weeks or months, increasing the risk of reinfecting your dog or other people!
To get rid of dog worms in your yard, you’ll want to quickly remove dog poop and treat contaminated soil with diatomaceous earth or other methods we mentioned to kill any lingering parasites or eggs.
Remember, parasitic worms can last for a long time around the yard, so make sure you act fast to reduce the risk of reinfection.
If your dog is showing signs of weight loss, abdominal pain, lethargy or any other behavioural change, get them checked out by the veterinarian if you suspect worms (and you may want to quarantine a dog with worms until you know the type it is infected with)
You may also be curious whether some home remedies like apple cider vinegar kill worms in dogs or whether beer kills worms in dogs. Some people even attempt to deworm a dog with tabacco. We have in-depth guides that answer each of these questions.
 Wichuk, Kristine & Mccartney, Daryl. (2007). A review of the effectiveness of current time-temperature regulations on pathogen inactivation during composting. Journal of Environmental Engineering and Science. 6. 573-586. 10.1139/S07-011.