Spring sprung early and so did the rain. Heavy rains early in March and rising temperatures have certainly kick started the insect world. The Zika Virus threat and the established mosquito population will no doubt be a major complaint this year. Everyone needs to do their part in reducing standing, stagnant water areas and being aggressive in control options.
Control options are not limited to mechanical alterations. We now have hose end spray solutions, smoke foggers, candles and traps that have some degree of success. Or, we can assist you with controlling them, as well as many other insects, with the installation of an Automated Misting System or routine fogging. Over the past 5-10 years the Automated Systems have become very popular and have demonstrated phenomenal control of mosquitoes, other flying insects and spiders. Though these systems are not the “silver bullet” preventing “any and all” from entering, they are extremely beneficial in greatly minimizing the mosquitoes desiring to enter a protected area. If you and the family like to stay outdoors in the evening, but can’t because the mosquitoes are too bad…these systems are worth exploring.
The system is comprised of a reservoir, motor, pump, agitator, clock, tubing, fittings and nozzles. (Sounds simple, doesn’t it?) Realistically, that’s all it is, but our manufacturer has perfected the construction and operation processes by utilizing quality parts and equipment. Yes, there are less expensive operating systems on the market, but I haven’t found one that has the lasting ability of the Mistaway System. Additionally, there is a one year warranty on parts and labor should there be a mechanical issue.
The first decision is determining the “zone” or area to be protected. The area can be as small as the patio or as big as the entire backyard. The system limitations are 1000 linear feet of tubing and 100 nozzles/per zone. (Let me tell you that most systems do not even come close to hitting these limits and my rule is to only utilize 80% of “maximum” …to extend the life of the components and we still do not see many systems with 80 Nozzles.) Generally, we see installations around the patio/deck, pool and play areas that consist of 20-40 nozzles. The key to protecting these zones is the design and nozzle placement. If you place the nozzles to far apart you will not obtain the desired results and if you put them too close to each other you are wasting your money and utilizing more product.
The product our company utilizes is Riptide or Sector. Both are water based products minimizing the staining ability on structures and burning possibilities to the foliage. Both products have a “broad” label, which basically means they can be used in more areas/locations than other products because of the low residual values. The active ingredients in these products are also found in pet shampoos, so it’s “ok” for the dogs and cats. In our industry, we cannot use the “feel good” words like safe or harmless or other words that would mislead and cause you think it’s something that it is not. Any and all products, whether pest control or personal products, can be harmful. Additionally, for any pest control product to work properly it must have some degree of toxicity/controlling feature. Even the “botanical and environmental” products have a “controlling feature” and we have all heard the same spill about “You can even drink this stuff”…but, I wouldn’t! Don’t take me wrong, we have some Eco products that clients request and the products do work for a limited time. They cost more, have to be applied more frequently and have limitations on what insects they will keep away. The real key to any product usage is knowledge of the product, proper mixing and proper application…that’s why the companies put a label on the product and why we have to be licensed by the Texas Department of Agriculture.
Ok, we always spend more time discussing the products utilized, and we should, but let’s move on. Let’s assume you made the decision to install a system, now what? After the installation and system check, we then “charge” the system, which means we add the product to the reservoir. We then program the system to operate 20-45 seconds, 2-3 times per day (generally at times when you are not outside) and then turn the system to automatic. Educate you on the use of the remote control, answer any questions, collect the money and leave you to enjoy your backyard. Then, based on the number of nozzles, we determine how long it will be before you need a refill. We notify our office to generate a refill ticket at that time, come perform the refill and system check, leave an invoice on your door and go on to the next client. No maintenance contracts. No hassles. If you want to do the refill service yourself, we can sell you the product and “teach” you how to perform this task. Most clients prefer the “hands free” service…i.e., we take care of the system and make certain it works continually.
Now, the only item we haven’t discussed is the price of a system. First of all, each install location and situation is different and unique, requiring us to diagram and design the system to the specific area. So, to answer the price question, I can only give you a range. The average new system will cost between $1800-$2500, plus tax. Maintenance/refills to the system are priced by the number of ounces of active ingredient added to the system, just like filling up at the gas station, but should not exceed $225, even if the system is completely empty. And yes, we can maintain, service and repair systems installed by another company.
If you are considering a system go to our web site, www.chasepestcontrol.com and click on Mosquito Mist. Go with a company that you feel will be around for years, has a good reputation, has very satisfied clients, and is in your community. If we can assist you in your exploration of a misting system or with any other pest related concerns, please call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.