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mosquito program

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by James Cormier, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,217

    As some of you know I started a mosquito program this season, Had a lot of interest in it and sold alot of treatments.

    I have been getting very good feed back from customers as long as the no rain for 48 hrs after treating held true.

    Currently spraying lawn with pg, and then backpack spraying edges beds,house, decks and everything else.

    I think its time to start thinking of growing this end of my business and I would like to improve my application method.

    The folks at mosquito barrier recommend low volume sprayer so the pg seems to work well, what i was wondering is using a spray tank, lets say lesco skid sprayer with a JD-9 gun. Ive sold all my spray systems since I went to pgs so its been 4 years since Ive worked on them, and I never sprayed with a jd9 gun.

    Would I be able to reduce my rates to spray at 1/2 gallon per k or lower with a typical lawn spray system?
  2. TSM

    TSM LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 707

    James, i dont think so. those jd9's need some pressure. we do a fair amount of tree/shrub spraying using the jd9, at a low gallon rate they tend to just dribble. not that you couldnt do it but it will definately slow down the service and you will be getting that stuff all over your pants for sure.

    we started this service last season, took off very nicely this season. we use one of those saddle tanks pg sells, our are older and are 3 gallons and spray at 10ozs per 1000sf been getting nice feed back. at this concentration the oder linguers longer, then we backpack for the shrubs etc....we dont do the sides of the houses though.
    this is a 2 man operation for us. one runs the lesco hydro spreader with the spayer and one does the shrubs.
    we did use the pg ride-on but to be honest it slows us down. the loading and unloading is much quiker with the lesco hydro and the ground speed is the same.
    we'll be doing some serious radio/newspaper advertising starting this week for this service. this service could prove to be hugly profitable. You know not every one cares if they have a nice looking lawn...but every one hates skitters!
  3. Turf Medic

    Turf Medic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    I just looked at a website with mosquito barrier, they suggest using a vegetable oil when mixing, are you doing this? What kind of pricing are you using for this service? Are you giving any type of guarantee on the spraying? How often are you having to spray?
  4. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,217

    Thanks TSM, I just ordered a powered back pack, maybe that will help speed it up, I dont like the Idea of pulling a hose again, So I glad to here that about the JD9 guns.

    Turf medic, I do mix oil but no soap, seems to flow through the pg just fine, The info on mixing rates is a little confusing to me, so heres what Ive been doing with good results, when spraying with the pg I mix 2oz of garilic per K, or 8 oz per gallon. same with back pack. I may try to reduce that alittle and see if it changes results.

    As far as charging, well I tried the 1.5 x's a lawn treatment, so if the lawn treatment is $90, the bug control is $145, Everyone I gave prices to signed up, So Im raising my prices, The problem is sometimes smaller lawns take more product if there is more landscape to spray.

    Ive found the most important place to spray is decks, around pools and sides of houses. Most people stay pretty close to there house at night, mostly on a deck or in pool areas.

    Ive sold 2 different programs

    1. If you having a party on a certain date we will come in a few days before and spray and there seems to be great knock down right away.
    2. ( most popular ) Come in every 3 weeks and spray, I have a few mini golf courses i do, and I spray them every 2 weeks.

    Guarantee, well that differcult, right now I give no guarantees, ive told each customer this is new for me, and this season is a trial run. Next season might be different cause I going to do a Mosquito and Tick program together.
  5. Turf Medic

    Turf Medic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    Sounds like this is going to be a real profit center for you. Looking at the costs of the garlic, you are going to have a better margin than other types of treatment ie broadleaf or fertilizer. We don't have a pg still using the skid sprayer, so should be an easy transition to the misquito treatments.

    Have you noticed any problems with items that you have sprayed ie plants or house, deck, fence materials? Looks like other than controling costs, you could spray just about anything that isn't moving at the time :D
  6. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,217

    Turf, Profit should be in line with fert programs, alittle more time to do the treatment and my biggest concern was working with the stinky stuff all day, i dont want my nice new truck smelling like "the pasta factory" So I do plan to add on a van and a employee just for this program.

    It sounds like you dont get good results using a typical skid sprayer with a lawn gun,

    Today I was thinking about the zspray, I think you can get a hose kit with that machine, I wonder if that would work, just park and hop off and spray the beds.....gotta give Tom Rich a call about that one.

    No problem spraying bushes flowers and such, I do one really classey mini golf place, they spent over 80k in flowers and plants, I was very concerned but I use only a back back that has never had herbi sprayed out of it.

    Of course it all comes down to how well it works, so far so good, but think about this, in the last 4 weeks its been tough getting 48hrs in with out any rain. Summer time should be better, Although thats when I want it to rain more,,,
  7. Turf Medic

    Turf Medic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    I thought that it might actually take less time to spray the misquito repellent, reason being, I assumed you wouldn't need to be as careful about 100% coverage. Missed spots or even overlaps shouldn't be as critical as with fertilizer, herbicide or pre-emergent. That plus not as much worry about drift. I am definately going to check this out more.
  8. martn

    martn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

  9. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Not sure if you are aware of the many licensing problem here in the bug capital of America. However I believe this is one that might not need a heavy duty license. You are just selling a mechanical device that the homeowner will fill with pesticides. Selling Pesticides requires very little licensing and a sale tax collection license.

    Now I am not going into how good it works because I don't know. However with the amount of Bug-a-phobic people in the world and the fact that the Mosquito is the Florida State Bird. I think this might be a big seller.

    KY GRASSLANDS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    James, just wondering how long does the galic smell stay on the property. What i mean is would customer complain about the smell or do you even notice it?

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