How to Kill Hookworms in Soil

Kimberly Sharpe

Hookworm nematodes (Ancylostoma braziliense, Uncinaria stenocephala, Ancylostoma caninum) commonly infect dogs and cats. A zoonotic parasite, the worm can also infect humans. Specific hookworms, Ancylostoma duodenale or Necator americanus, occur only in humans.

All hookworm eggs require soil to complete their life cycle. To eradicate hookworms from an animal or human, the soil in the surrounding environment must also undergo treatment while the host receives medical attention. A successful treatment regime involves maintaining sanitary soil conditions by promptly removing fecal matter and spraying to kill the larvae.


Approximately 740 million humans are infected with hookworms around the world, according to eMedicine. The hookworm eggs are defecated from the host onto the soil. Rainfall and earthworms remove the fecal matter from the eggs so they can hatch. Allow pets to defecate only in areas that receive at least two hours of sunlight per day. Hookworm eggs do not become viable in prolonged sunlight. They require moist soil to hatch. Allow the pet to only defecate on concrete if it is available while the soil is being treated. Promptly pick up all fecal matter and dispose of it. Hookworm larvae can survive for four weeks in the soil, on grass or on foliage after hatching from eggs. Hookworm larvae infects their host through the skin or ingestion.


Take any animal suspected of being infected with hookworms to the veterinarian immediately for treatment.

Treat the entire house and living area of the infected animal while treating the infected soil.

Always wear gloves when picking up fecal matter.

Always wear shoes while walking outdoors in soil that may be infected with hookworms.

  1. Pick up all fecal matter from the soil, using a shovel or animal waste scooper. Dispose of the fecal matter in a plastic bag.

  2. Spray the soil every other day over the course of at least four weeks, using salt brine and water. Mix 1 1/2 lbs. of salt with 1 gallon of water. Spray approximately 1 pint of water and salt over every 1 square foot of soil, using a garden sprayer.

  3. Spray 3 cups of bleach mixed in 1 gallon of water across the soil's surface, using a garden sprayer. Use a garden sprayer to lightly spray the soil. Spray it daily after removing any fecal matter. Avoid getting the bleach on foliage or grass because it will quickly kill plant life.

  4. Sprinkle borax over the top of the soil lightly every day. Coat the soil so there is a slightly white appearance after spraying with the salt and water solution.