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Mosquito misting system

Misting technologies for insects especially flies and mosquitos have been around for decades. Outdoor misting systems (or “mosquito misters”) are application systems designed to spray pesticides in a fine mist to kill mosquitoes in and around homes or parks as well as other recreational areas (such as pools) or commercial businesses. They were originally developed for use in barns, but are widely employed to control parasitic organisms in hospitals, restaurants, laboratories etc.

Mosquito misting systems consist of a web of interconnected spray nozzles that are linked to insecticide container. Those nozzles are mounted around the area and usually the misting systems are fully digital and automated, working by applying a light mist of insecticides several times a day. Some systems spray two to five times or more per day for up to 60 seconds per application and these applications can dispense in excess of 30 gallons of insecticide mixture per month.

Pyrethrum is the most common insecticide product used in mosquito misting systems. Pyrethrum is an insecticide extracted from African chrysanthemum flowers, painted daisies – Tanacetum coccineum. Daisies use this compound to protect themselves from plant eating insects. The natural pyrethrum within seconds of contact kills not only all flying insects such as mosquitoes, wasps, bees, flies, gnats, but even spiders, roaches and ants. It also creates a block that repels insects.

Synthetic chemical permethrin is also used as a pesticide in misting systems, whereas piperonyl butoxide (PBO), which is a pesticide synergist, is often added to insecticide mixtures to increase their strength.

If used according to EPA requirements, the above mentioned pesticides are safe. But the problem arises because of the automatic repetitive spraying, when insecticides my affect unaware workers, passers-by or children as well as pets, while it could happen to be no mosquitoes around at that time.

EPA, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and many mosquito control professionals, believe that a combination of approaches generally known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is most effective at combating mosquito populations. According to EPA, “Outdoor residential misting systems have not yet been studied sufficiently to document their effectiveness in controlling mosquitoes or other yard and garden pests, nor have they been scientifically proven to control or prevent the spread of West Nile Virus or other diseases.”


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