Contractor Tips Blog

Mar
28

Tired of Mosquitoes?

Posted in Insect Control

Well, winter is finally over and before you know it summer will be here.  Most people find summer to be one of the most enjoyable seasons, as it allows one to enjoy many outdoor activities at home such as gardening, working on the house and enjoying family and friends over a barbeque or a party.  This is especially true later in the day as the sun starts to go down and is not quite as hot.  However the downside to this time of the day is the large number of mosquitoes and other insects that are out with you at this time of the day!  While very annoying, some insect bites can also result in diseases such as West Nile Virus and Encephalitis. 

One of the most cost effective methods to remove mosquitoes and other unwanted insects on an ongoing basis is to install a automated mosquito misting system around the property, which sprays a mist containing a natural insecticide called Pyrethrum.  This product, which is odorless, is considered to be environmentally friendly and is considered to have a low-toxicity to humans and pets.  However, it is highly effective in killing hundreds of types of insects including mosquitoes, fleas, ticks and no-see-ums. 

The insecticide is delivered thru a series of strategically placed spray nozzles, which are nearly invisible, located around the yard being covered.  The system is completely automatic with the Pyrethrum being released at regular intervals using an automated time clock, which also has a battery backup system.  Many people find these automated systems to be a very cost effective means to eliminate pesky insects from their summer outdoor activities!

Posted on behalf of Mr. Mister Mosquito Control

May
20

Just Say, “Pyrethrum”

Posted in Insect Control

Nothing spoils a summer cookout faster than mosquitoes swarming around guests, making them slap their necks and start to scratch. For that matter, nothing spoils a good night’s sleep in summer than a mosquito you can’t see, buzzing loudly around your head. All night. 

Early in the season, when the pesky critters start to show up, you say to yourself, “These blasted things have got to go!” And who do you call? Why, your local neighborhood mosquito control company, that’s who. And when you do call, the voice at the other end of the line is likely to mention pyrethrum, or pyrethrins. 

Pyrethrum? 

Strictly defined, pyrethrum is an extract of the flower head of a type of chrysanthemum, chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium. The active ingredients within the pyrethrum, the ingredients with insecticidal qualities, are called pyrethrins. 

Pyrethrins are a natural, organic form of pest control, offering a great alternative to harmful pesticides and man made chemicals. They work by attacking the central nervous system of insects such as mosquitoes, killing them and rendering them unable to bite humans. 

Pyrethrins have been used as a pesticide for more than 150 years, so they have been widely tested for safety and toxicity. Pyrethrins do not last long in the environment; they break down quickly in UV light and warm temperatures. In small amounts, they also won’t harm most plants or most animals, including birds and family pets or farm animals.

But there is some criticism of this natural pesticide. For one, pyrethrins are considered toxic to fish, so ponds and lakes should be avoided. Some organic gardeners also maintain that pyrethrins kill off not just mosquitoes, but may harm some beneficial insects as well.

Feb
28

Types of Mosquito Misting Systems

Posted in Insect Control

A mosquito misting system, sometimes referred to as an automated misting system, is a landscape installation used on residential or commercial properties to mechanically deliver pesticide to flower beds, lawns, or other target areas. These systems work through spray application, whereby nozzles placed around the premises are digitally programmed to release a fine mist of pesticide formula at preset intervals. The pesticide is sent to the nozzles from a pump through tubing.

Automated misting systems come in a variety of brands and models and there are three main differences between the systems currently available on the market.

1)      Tankless vs drum-based

Traditionally, mosquito misting systems have been drum-based. Drum-based systems have a tank (a drum) that must be filled with pesticide formula. A typical drum might hold 55 gallons of pesticide formula and has to be refilled a couple of times per year. Each fresh batch of pesticide formula has to be manually mixed beforehand. Newer, tankless systems use snap-in refill cartridges and the unit automatically mixes the precise dose of misting formula for you. Tankless systems cost a few hundred dollars more than drum-based systems; however, compared to drum-based systems, they use an average of 40% less pesticide per year saving you money in the long-run.

2)      Stationary vs portable

Some automated misting systems are portable, which others require fixed installation.  With portable systems, the misting unit is self-contained, lightweight, and battery-operated so it can be easily transported to different sites. Portable systems save time and money since there is no need to run tubing or install nozzles or risers. With stationary systems on the other hand, the master unit (the pump) is heavier and larger, and tubing and nozzles have to be installed. The unit is also electric-powered so it must remain close to an electric socket.

3)      Battery-powered vs motor-powered vs electric-powered

With electric-powered mosquito misting systems, the pump needs to be plugged into an electric outlet. Battery-operated and motor-powered systems on the other hand do not require an electric outlet.

Feb
28

Four Solutions for a Mosquito-free Yard

Posted in Insect Control

Mosquitoes are among the most annoying of garden pests. They deliver vicious bites without the slightest provocation, and destroy the peace and quiet of your backyard with their annoying buzz. Mosquitoes are also dangerous pests. They transmit numerous infectious diseases like West Nile Virus, Malaria, Yellow Fever, and Elephantiasis. Moreover, mosquito bites can cause allergic reactions ranging from red, itchy, localized swelling, to anaphylactic shock which can be life-threatening.

Clearly mosquitoes are uninvited guests and any self-respecting homeowner will want to rid their yard of these troublesome insects. Here are 5 helpful tips to combat mosquitoes in your yard.

1)      Citronella oil

Burning citronella oil is a proven method for keeping mosquitoes at bay. Popular citronella products include outdoor citronella candles and citronella garden torches which can be mounted around the perimeter of the yard. These can be purchased online or from your local home improvement center.

2)      Pesticides

Permethrin , Scourge, Malathion, and Anvil are common synthetic pesticides used for mosquito control. Natural pesticides such as Pyrethrin and Bacillus thuringensis (BTI) also do a good job of destroying mosquitoes. Bacillus thuringensis (BTI), commonly known as “mosquito dunks”, is a natural soil bacterium that can be placed around your yard. Mosquitoes feed on the BTI which kills them within days. You can also consider installing an automated misting system which sprays your yard with pesticide at intervals throughout the day.

3)      Water control

Treat or drain all sources of standing water in your yard. Flower pots, plant saucers, dog bowls, and blow-up pools should be overturned if possible or regularly emptied of any stagnant water. Even objects like kids’ toys or old tires can collect water. Refill birth baths and water fountains frequently to keep the water fresh, and keep gutters clean so that water does not accumulate in them. Other moisture-retaining culprits are loose tarpaulin, uneven lawns, and organic debris such as leaves and sticks.

4)      Mosquito predators

Certain animals, like toads, guppies, and gold fish prey on mosquitoes. If you have a garden pond, having these animals in or near your pond can help control the mosquito population in your yard.

Jun
8

Mosquito Control

Posted in Insect Control

Consider this scenario – It’s a wonderful spring evening and you are entertaining friends and family on your outdoor patio, but just as the evening is getting started, the mosquitoes start swarming and drive everyone indoors.

If you want avoid ruined weekend get-together, you will need to know how to control mosquitoes in your yard and lawn.

First and foremost, eliminate breeding areas for mosquitoes. Water is the only breeding requirement for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes need stagnant water for laying their eggs so you need to find any pools of water and remove them. These can be anywhere that a small puddle of water can form including children’s play areas, birdbaths, and so on.

Remember following points to control mosquitoes in your lawn:

#1: Check your drainage system. See if there is any breakage or leakage and subsequently small puddles are formed close to leaking points. Repair the damaged points.

#2: Water can accumulate in garbage cans. Drill holes in the bottom of garbage containers so water does not accumulate.  Make sure the water has somewhere drain and doesn’t simply puddle under the garbage can.

#3: When you are going to be away from home for vacations or for work, make sure your pool is properly treated with chlorine.  Arrange for a pool service to keep the pool chlorinated or use an automatic chlorinator.

#4:  Check your yard for low areas that accumulate standing water.  Have your landscaper grade these areas or install french drains to keep your yard dry.

#5: Do not over water potted plants.  Remove old tires, cans, and other debris from the yard that can hold water.

Finally, consider installing an automated misting system to control mosquitoes.  These systems use safe, natural pesticides that are automatically released at timed intervals to kill mosquitoes and break the mosquito life cycle.

Mar
16

Mosquito Misting Systems

Posted in Insect Control

With spring approaching quickly, now is the ideal time to finally do something about those annoying mosquitoes that have been plaguing your yard.  Spring and summer are great times for backyard entertaining and recreation, but persistent, biting mosquitoes can ruin all the fun.  You can use all the citronella candles you want, listen to your bug zapper all night, or waste money on useless ultrasonic mosquito killers, but if you really want a mosquito free backyard, you need to consider installing an automated mosquito misting system.

Mosquitoes can be very had to control.  You can spray an insecticide around your backyard and kill the mosquitoes, but they will soon migrate back into your yard from surrounding areas.  Also, they are constantly reproducing so unless you break the life cycle, new mosquitoes are continuously being hatched.

These systems control mosquitoes by spraying a small amount of insecticide around your yard at intervals throughout the day and evening.  Unobtrusive pray nozzles are installed around your yard and home.  The spray nozzles are connected to a tank of insecticide through pipes hidden underground.  Timers control the misting schedule so you don’t have to worry about it. 

These systems typically use pyrethrum which is one of the most effective insecticides known for use against mosquitoes.  Pyrethrum is a natural insecticide made from chrysanthemums.  When used according to the label instructions, pyrethrum has low toxicity to humans, pets and other mammals.

Pyrethrum also breaks down quickly in sunlight so concerns about residual exposure are minimized.  When you are ready for effective mosquito control, call an Alpharetta GA mosquito control specialist and ask about installation of a mosquito misting system for your home.

Mar
12

Pyrethrum for Effective Mosquito Control

Posted in Insect Control

As winter winds down, we all look forward to the warm spring and summer days ahead.  With the return of warm weather is the return of outdoor entertaining.  Relaxing on the deck, outdoor barbeques, and having fun in your swimming pool are all great activities to look forward to, but unless we take action to control them, we can also look forward to biting, annoying mosquitoes.

Controlling mosquitoes should be an important part of your outdoor spring maintenance.  One of the best insecticides for controlling mosquitoes is pyrethrum.  This natural insecticide is an excellent choice for controlling mosquitoes in the residential setting.

Pyrethrum is derived from oils found in a type of chrysanthemum.  It is one of the most effective insecticides known and has very low toxicity for humans, pets, and other mammals when used according to label instructions.

Pyrethrum affects the central nervous system of mosquitoes and, in high enough concentrations, kills mosquitoes on contact.  In lower concentrations, pyrethrum causes beneficial changes in mosquito behavior.  It has a “flushing effect’ that brings the mosquito out into the open where it will be exposed to a lethal level of insecticide and also inhibits normal biting behavior.   In addition, it has a repellent effect that causes mosquitoes to attempt to leave the area of the chemicals.

One reason that pyrethrum is well suited to the residential setting is that it breaks down quickly in sunlight.  Because it degrades so quickly, it poses less of a hazard than other insecticides.  However, pyrethrum is still a powerful insecticide.  To maximize the effectiveness of pyrethrum and minimize the hazards of exposure for people, pets, other wildlife and beneficial insects, the best option is to let a mosquito extermination professional apply the pyrethrum or install a mosquito misting system.

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