One of the advantages of owning your own home is enjoying activities in your private yard or outdoor area. Gatherings, barbecues, and a play area for children and pets are all part of why many people want to own a home in the first place. Swarms of insects, however, can ruin those simple pleasures, making outdoor life uncomfortable or even unbearable. Along with being a nuisance, insects can carry diseases such as West Nile Virus, carried mostly by mosquitoes, and food contamination by flies. There is a remedy, however, by learning how to control insects with an auto misting system.
Although hand spraying can be effective in controlling insect invasions, it is labor-intensive and needs some type of record-keeping to remember when to spray and how much. Automist systems, on the other hand, can create an insect free area for a small patio, using a compact system, or a larger yard area, using sprayers in strategic positions. Once installed, the operation is automatic and needs no intervention. Some systems offer a remote control in the case of a sudden heavier insect infestation, but this is not a necessity, as the systems are programmed and timed to run automatically.
Most auto misting systems are fairly simple in design, with basic systems containing a tank to hold the insecticide, a pump, and tubing that connects to the nozzles that spray the insecticide over the areas to be covered. Systems come with an installation manual and can be installed by the homeowner, or the retailer can make arrangements to install and program the system. Deluxe systems are available with stainless steel filters and nozzles, and with the plumbing assembly already connected to the pump. Deluxe systems also have wind and rain sensor capability. Both basic and deluxe systems normally have programmable timers.
The regulations on using pesticides vary by state, and not all chemicals can be used by the homeowner, but your retailer will have information on what pesticides are allowed for home use in your area. The EPA–Environmental Protection Agency–does not regulate home misting systems, but does have recommendations for the safe use of these systems.
The EPA recommends having a licensed service technician install the auto misting system to be sure the system is calibrated to apply the proper amount of insecticide for daily applications. If the homeowner installs the system, the following guidelines should be followed:
Be sure the nozzles are set to spray the target area and not cooking and eating areas. Do not have the spray directed toward water such as the swimming pool or a fishpond, as some insecticides are toxic to fish.
Nozzles should be placed less than 10 ft. off the ground to reduce the drift of chemicals to the environment around your yard area, that could affect other people or animals.
Aim nozzles away from air conditioners, open windows or patio doors. Be sure the operating system and holding tank are locked securely to keep children and pets from the insecticide.
A motion sensor and a rain and wind detector is a good investment to avoid unnecessary usage, as well as accidental spraying on people or pets.
Use the system only when insects are most active, depending on the type of insect that is most bothersome. Certain types of mosquitoes, for instance, are more prevalent in the early morning or evening hours, while gnats or black flies are active in the afternoon.
Never run the misting system when people or pets are in the area, or food is present. Be sure the automatic timer is set for when no one is expected in the area.
Do not use the system during rainy or windy days or when temperatures are below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, when most insects are not active.
After you learn how to control insects with an auto misting system, you can expect much more enjoyment of your yard or outdoor area.