CHRIS SWAIN, Technical Services Manager
1. What is the advantage of having an adulticide, knockdown agent, synergist and IGR in one product?

Mosquitoes evolve quickly to changes in their environment so an effective treatment plan should be multi-pronged. Each component features a unique benefit to mosquito control:

  • Adulticides can provide long-lasting relief from an adult population of biting mosquitoes. For best results, choose an adulticide with microcap technology. Microcaps provide control for an extended period of time on difficult surfaces.
  • A knockdown agent provides immediate relief that the adulticide may not.
  • Synergists are not insecticides by themselves but they enhance insecticide efficacy. Synergists combat insecticide resistance present in the mosquito population. Piperonyl butoxide, or PBO, is one of the most common synergists used. It prevents the breakdown of the insecticide in the insect, leading to increased efficacy at lower insecticide concentrations.
  • IGRs provide a very different mode of action in combating mosquito populations than adulticides. One type of IGR is a juvenile hormone (JH) mimic, which prevents the transition of larvae into adults. NyGuard prevents potential breeding sites by inhibiting adult emergence in the future.
2. Why is it important to do a pre-treat inspection?

We define a pre-treat inspection as a quick walk around the perimeter of the structure to assess treatment needs. During this step you should:

  • Check wind direction and potential drift issues including a quick assessment of neighboring properties.
  • Remove all items from the yard that have people or pet contact such as toys, lawn chairs, food bowls, etc.
  • Look for and identify areas of concern such as gardens, fish ponds, flowering plants, etc.

A pre-treatment inspection will help you properly determine the type of equipment and product to use. Equipment examples include a backpack mist blower, truck-mounted power sprayer or a compressed air sprayer for smaller areas. Products can include adulticides, larvicides/IGRs, synergists, spreaders or other surfactants. Always review a product label to ensure proper use.

3. What target area is important when treating trees during a mosquito treatment?

Treat all mosquito resting and breeding sites. Resting areas have little air movement and may include soffits, under decks or porches, the bottom 20 feet of trees and the underside of vegetation, where mosquitoes spend 90% of their time resting.

Breeding sites may include stagnant water (not active waterways) such as bird baths and tree holes. Treat these areas with an approved IGR. Remember to treat all potential breeding sites, even if they don’t currently hold water.

4. What are some tips to minimize product exposure to natural bodies of water, fruits or nut trees, vegetables, food surfaces and flowering vegetation?
  • Avoid treating with an adulticide when there is a natural body of water less than 50 feet from the treatment area.
  • Do not treat edible vegetation or sensitive areas directly. Treat adjacent areas with a compressed air sprayer to avoid drift and for a more targeted application.
  • Cover food surfaces or treat adjacent areas with a compressed air sprayer.
  • To avoid non-target impact, do not treat areas of flowering vegetation. Treat adjacent areas with a compressed air sprayer.
5. What is the best way to manage a customer’s expectations?

Communicate any potential breeding sites or conducive conditions, as well as natural conditions that may affect the treatment control. Include the customer in this process.

Start by inspecting the entire area for harborage and breeding sites. Remove all sources of standing water and any other potential breeding sites. Potential breeding sites include, but are not limited to, bird baths, clogged rain gutters, saucers under potted plants, watering cans, children’s toys, rain barrels and leaf piles. Potential natural conditions that you may not treat include natural bodies of water or an untreated catch basin.

Clear customer communication to manage expectations is key to avoiding unhappy customers.