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My property of about 2.5 acres has a drainage ditch on two sides and woods on the others. I would like ideas on what to use to eathor spray or dust the perimeter of the property. I would like to do this swiftly & effectively. I was thinking of a backpack sprayer, a gas powered backpack sprayer or duster, a leaf blower with a mister (want to blow the stuff back into the woods) or whatever you think would work. What equipment do you suggest? What is better, a spray or a dust?
Thanks - Dix
09-22-2002, 12:40 AM
If those drainage ditches hold still water for more than a week at a time, then Summit's BTI Mosquito Dunks are step One. They're cheap, safe, simple, & effective. I sell a LOT of these.
These will control the larvae before they change into adults. Very easy to use. You literally just throw them into the water & walk away.
If those ditches hold water all year, check with a county extension agent. You may be able to use tetraploid carp or some other predator fish to your advantage. I know that carp keep down weeds, but feeder type Goldfish & Frogs do a nice job with skeeters in my pond.
If WNV positive adults are present, then things are different.
Use of an adulticide is a little more tricky. Synthetic pyrethroids are the way to go here. Tempo, Battle/Scimitar, Talstar, etc. all do a great job while offering good residual activity.
Most public spraying is done at dusk with ULV (ultra low volume) application foggers using such short (almost zero) residual materials as Resmethrin (Scourge). This kills adults fast, in the air after they've taken flight, but won't persist on leaves even if it is sprayed there. The concept here is to treat the fliers as they take flight just at or after dusk. I liken this approach to firing a shotgun into the forest at night & expecting deer to be extinct the next morning. You only get the ones in the headlights. All the rest survive. How the average municipality can predict the exact moment when all the adults are in our streets escapes me. But they continue to drive up the most infested roads using a fogger on the back of a speeding pickup truck. Here in CT, we wll soon have a new variety of Mosquito that only inhabits back yards since all the spraying takes place in the roads.
I just used Battle on the foliage around the perimeter of my own back yard, during the daylight hours, where the mosquitoes sleep, on the undersides of leaves. A mist blower adapter for a leaf blower can work well if available (contact your dealer to find out based on brand & model). Or use conventional hydraulic spray equipment. I used Battle @ 5 oz/100 in a 4 gallon (5.6 mls./4gls) Solo backpack sprayer. But I wouldn't knock myself out doing 2.5 acres this way. I also have a 50 gallon gas powered unit that I'd use for bigger areas such as you're dealing with. You'll work quicker, do a btter job, & like yourself better (or hate yourself less) when it's done.
Don't waste yor time with dusts. Dusts have a nasty habit of blowing all over everything but the targetted area. The idea is to place insecticide where the adults are resting. Which is the undersides of leaves. Unless the leaves are damp underneath, dusts won't collect well there. Plus those idiotic consumer type dusters will take forever & you'll end up wearing more insecticide than the leaves will. Your active ingredient options would be limited to Sevin Dust I think. Sevin wouldn't be in my top 10 insecticides for skeeters. Sevin is too slow, & knocks down a lot of beneficials while having too little impact on the taret pest for the colateral damage it will cause.
I've wondered for a while now what would happen if consumers placed "insect foggers" (pbi enhanced pyrethrins) around their yards at dusk. I feel it would work at least as well as the "resmethrin fogging" that the towns are doing. But the commercial foggers are only labeled for use indoors for a raft of other bugs. Never mind the active ingredient is nearly the same.
Either way, check with your Town or States health dept to confirm that WNV positive Mosquitoes have actually been found in the area first. If there is no valid threat, then don't waste the money or materials on nothing.
If there is a valid threat, they may have a good plan for you already.
What do you think of Malathion (sp?) I have a fair amount of it on hand already. A man concern is that I have young children. Although I don't intend to spray where they would be, I would like something fairly safe where they are concerened. By the way, no WNV in this area that I am aware of, I just am tired of getting bit!!!!!!!!!
On a related subject, what would you suggest to apply on the lawn to kill small seed ticks? Would like it to work quickly and then become harmless so the children can play.
09-23-2002, 07:40 AM
Nothing will break down quicker than resmethrin. Malathion leables of today don't focus on Ticks at all. But since you already have Malathion, I'd say use it. Tick adults & nymphs are not hard to control if the material used is placed where they are.
1 1/2 - 2 pints per 100 gals per acre is the norm if we're talking about the 5EC.
Or, in a 4 gallon sprayer, 1 oz per 4 gals will be OK.
When targeting adults, take care to treat all daylight harborage. Low shrubs, tree branches (especially the bottoms of leaves), lawns, building foundations, walls, etc.
On the lawn, the 4 gallon backpack will treat 2,000 sq. ft. at the normal fill rate.
For ag purposes, Malathion 5EC has a 12 hour worker reentry. 24 hours for children should be OK. But I always irrigate & let the turf dry before letting my son engage in direct "on the grass play". I refer now to direct skin contact like a sit down picnic or Tonka Truck activity. Not a casual walk across or "driveway play".
Granular products like Talstar, DeltaGard, & Sevin would all do a good job in the turf, but Ticks rarely inhabit mown turf in the sun. When found there, it's usually because they've been dislodged from a blood meal. They prefer the damp, low, shaded areas of a property. They'll primarily be found at heights not exceeding the shoulder of a Deer. So concentrate on spraying from this height & down.
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