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Sirhornsalot

August Landscapes – Do mosquito misters really work?

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Do Mosquito Mister systems really work?

My company recently began training for installing and maintaining mosquito mister systems. They debuted on the market earlier this decade and their popularity is growing rapidly across the US, especially the southern US.

In an initial consultation with a customer, I get all kinds of questions about these systems. Are they safe? How do they work? Will it harm me or my children? Or my pet? What if I touch something that the mist settled on?

These are all good questions so I thought it would be beneficial to cover them all in this monthly column.

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What are mosquito misting systems?

Also known as “Mosquito Misters,” mosquito misting systems are a planned system of tubing and sprayers designed to spray pesticide into the air in a fine mist to kill mosquitos and other insects outdoors. The tubing is routed around the perimeter of a back yard and spray nozzles are positioned along the route, usually attached to fences or landscaping or even parts of the home.

The tubing and misters are connected to a reservoir of pesticide and electric pump. They can be programmed to come on at specific times using a timer or even a remote controller.

What kinds of Pesticides are used?

Most mosquito misters use Pyrethrins and Permethrin. The insecticide would be indicated on the list of active ingredients on the container.

These are legal pesticides to use in misting systems. It is against the law to use chemicals that are not listed for use in this application.

There are many organic options available that are safe to use even when you and your kids and pets are present.

Are these systems effective at controlling mosquitos?

Yes, they are, when operated as intended. When programmed for certain times during the day to come on, they can be highly effective at creating a more enjoyable experience in your outdoor living space.

How safe are they?

For systems using organic mosquito mister, they are inherently safe for use even during times when people and pets are present in the back yard.

You would want to use common sense when considering a mosquito mister for your own back yard. It can be safe for dogs and cats if they are kept in during the times that the system is set to operate. Once it’s off, wait another 20 minutes before letting them outdoors. The same goes for adults and children.

The chemicals involved do not have a very long lifespan once exposed to the elements. So you would not be at risk by touching leaves of plants, furniture, etc., in the back yard. Long-term exposure is not considered an issue for humans.

If you have a koi pond in your back yard, you would not want to have a mosquito mister system. The chemical Permethrin is highly toxic to fish and the mist would inevitably get into the pond water.

One other consideration – if you have flowers and plants in your landscape to specifically draw in honey bees and butterflies, you would not want to have a mosquito mister in your back yard. The chemicals are toxic to bees, ladybugs, butterflies and other non-target insects.

So as you see, a mosquito misting system may not be right for every outdoor living space. However, for many, it can be the thing that helps them overcome the evening skeeters and enjoy their time outside.

Other measures should always be taken, such as making sure you have no containers that are holding water on your property.

Please note that you cannot have a dual-use system whereby mosquito misting and water misting are employed with the same tubing/sprayers. This would be hazardous to your health as the chemical would be sprayed out along with the water.

 

What to look forward to in August

We’re going to be busy this month, so get your note pad out.

The second application of pre emergent of the year should begin this month around the 15th. It should be completed any day between the 15th and the end of the month. This is to prevent those grassy fall weeds from appearing in your lawn and landscape, as we move into the months where we begin seeing regular rainfall again. As I’ve said before, after every rainfall is an attempt to populate your lawn with weeds. Thank the wind for that.

Do not apply pre emergent in areas where you are relying on seeds to replenish your flowers each season. Pre emergent’s sole function is to prevent germination.

The second application of lawn fertilizer should take place this month, again as early as Aug. 15 and until the last day of the month. You do not want to delay this application as we want it down and in the soil before things start to cool off. Otherwise, being late with this application could help start a fall lawn fungus issue. You will also want to dial back the recommended ratio slightly in order to help prevent lawn fungus.

You can apply your fertilizer and pre emergent on the same day. Do not, however, attempt to load both in the hopper at the same time.

You can also feed your beds this month. Wait until at least the middle of the month to do this and water thoroughly right after applying. Use a mild fertilizer product designed for use on plants and shrubs. Do not fertilize your annual flowers.

Watering – continue to use your 11 p.m. evening starting times for those of you with sprinkler systems. We will be switching back to morning (5-6 am) starts on Labor Day.

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They're baaackk

Chinch Bugs are already active in the DFW Metroplex, so I would expect they are also active in other areas of the state, too. Remember, Chinch Bug damage looks very much like someone with a blow torch attacked your lawn. The color will be a bronze-hued brown and it will be located in the hottest spot in the lawn. Chinch Bugs love heat and direct sun.

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If you spot such a feature in your lawn, alert your landscaper immediately so it can be treated and remedied.

If you are having problems with moles in your lawn, you may want to apply another round of grub worm control. The moles show up wherever they find a food supply and grub worms, or in this case, grub larvae, are one of their favorite meals. Get rid of the grub worms, get rid of the moles. You may have to perform a double application since the grub worms will have to come into contact with your chemical as the grubs are not actively feeding.

If you have trees that need to be trimmed before we get into the winter months, now is the time to get that going. Ask for estimates now so you can have the job done in September and October, when leaves are still on the trees. This is when you can distinguish the living limbs from the dead limbs much better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Similar systems for flies are used in barns for all kinds of livestock. They are safe. One thing I would consider is using pyrethrins instead of permethrin. Someone once told me that permethrin would kill a cat.

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2 hours ago, Baron said:

Similar systems for flies are used in barns for all kinds of livestock. They are safe. One thing I would consider is using pyrethrins instead of permethrin. Someone once told me that permethrin would kill a cat.

So will gasoline. If you use it correctly, it's safe. Most formulas contain both of those though.

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2 hours ago, Bear19 said:

We have a system using the pyrethrins that’s actually called Spider Be Gone. But we put it in for mosquitoes and it is fabulous. One spray will eliminate the little bastards for 30 to 45 minutes.

How long have you had it?

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7 hours ago, Sirhornsalot said:

So will gasoline. If you use it correctly, it's safe. Most formulas contain both of those though.

Not to be a dick, permethrin will kill a cat. Gasoline, only if you light it.

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19 hours ago, Baron said:

Not to be a dick, permethrin will kill a cat. Gasoline, only if you light it.

 

If you keep your pet indoors, as directed, it will not be harmed.

Permethrin has a very short life span once it's applied.

If you're still concerned, there's always the organic products for the same purpose.

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