Man it’s so hot the June bugs took the month off!!! The May flies said they will wait until October!!! The Fire ants said ”you got to be crazy if you think we are going to work in this heat!!!” All I can say is we need some rain…relief…and lots of drinking water!! Heck, in about two more days I think we might be able to boil eggs in our pool!! You know it’s hot when the guy in front of you is buying 15 bags of ice…and it’s for his pool…not the cooler. Hang in there friends, it’ll all be over in 6 more months…should get down in the 80’s by January.
Ok, enough about the weather. With temperatures this high, outdoor activities are an added benefit after 6pm. (Now enter problem #2) And this is when the mosquitoes come out to mess this time up. You can’t make it cooler, you can’t make it lighter, but you can solve the mosquito problem. Automated misting systems are truly effective at controlling the mosquito population in your targeted zone. Just ask the many clients that we have installed a system. Not one client has called us back to tell us to come remove the system. In fact, most have said they wished they had invested in a system many years ago. As you can see on the adjoining page, we are advertising the Mistaway System and I want to take this article to fully explain our system and expectations.
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 and Mistaway has responded promptly the few times we have had a mechanical issue.
The next biggest decision is the home or business owner 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 manufacturer 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 30-45 seconds every day at midnight, 3am and 6am…turn the system to automatic and then teach you the use of the remote control, answer any other 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. (My competitors are going to love this!) Let me first say that the MIstaway product is “Top of the Line”, in my book, and may cost a little more than other systems. But, let me also say that the working parts of the system generally do not fail. During the last 5 years I can think of only 3 of our systems (out of +/- 150) that have incurred a mechanical failure, but these failures were resolved immediately. Secondly, 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-$2400, plus tax. Maintenance/refills to the system are priced by the number of ounces of active ingredients added to the system, just like filling up at the gas station. And yes, we can maintain, service and repair systems installed by another company.
If you are considering a system, go with a company you trust. 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 do not hesitate to call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.