Mosquitoes are more than just an annoyance – they also carry harmful disease. If you’ve tried other options unsuccessfully, you may want to try using a misting system to get rid of mosquitoes.
A misting system consists of a number of nozzles located around your yard or property. Tubes connect the nozzles to a supply of insecticide, which commonly includes pyrethrins, permetrins, and sometimes piperonyl butoxide. When the system is activated, either manually or through the use of a timer, a fine mist of insecticide sprays from the nozzles, treating the area where they’re installed.
The Environmental Protection Agency has several reminders for people who are considering installing and using misting systems to control mosquitoes. First, only certified technicians should install and provide maintenance for these misting systems. In addition, the pesticides chosen for the misting system must be both appropriate for the system and allowed by state and/or federal law – never use an unapproved pesticide or an approved pesticide in an unapproved manner, such as using a higher concentration. The misting system must also be set to deliver the proper amount of insecticide, never exceeding the stated maximums. Finally, the insecticide spray must not be used when people are present; in areas used for cooking, eating or swimming; or near air conditioning units or other vents.
If you install one of these systems, know that the insecticide used by the misting system must be locked up securely at all times and kept out of reach of children and pets. Always keep the pesticide label and poison control telephone number handy, just in case. The misting system must be kept in proper working order to prevent insecticide from leaking out into the ground and water table. It’s a good idea to inform your local fire and emergency departments about the type of insecticide you’re using and the amount you’re storing on your property. In case of a fire, this information could help save lives.
As an additional caution, the misting system shouldn’t be used during high wind or rain, and should be used in a way that prevents the introduction of the insecticide into your neighbors’ properties or any nearby water systems. For best results, the misting system should be timed to go off in the early morning and evening hours when mosquitoes are generally more active.
Before installing a misting system, you should determine if there are other steps you can take to reduce or eliminate mosquitoes. For example, have you eliminated all standing water and damp areas on your property? Is your landscape well-maintained, with regularly mowed grass and no unkempt plant areas? Finally, consider whether or not you’re comfortable with the amount of insecticide that will be introduced into the environment through the use of a misting system. Insecticides can’t discriminate between beneficial insects and harmful insects – when possible consider using a weaker insecticide or a less frequent misting schedule to help preserve beneficial insects.
While a misting system can be an effective tool in the war on mosquitoes, it’s only one tool and it works best as a part of a comprehensive system, rather than being relied upon to control and eliminate mosquitoes all by itself.