yard fogging

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We live in Tallahassee, Florida and to sum up our environment here: hot, wet, humid, and lots of oak trees- mosquitos love us!! I realize that I will not be able to completely eradicate them from our lives unless I want to move the family to the dessert (which sometimes seems like a good idea,) but I’m looking for ways to lower the population. I have read the mosquito control article and am going to initiate many of your suggestions.

My one, or two, specific questions are:

1) we have a large area under a Live Oak tree that is constantly covered with wet oak leaves. If I remove all of the leaves and try to establish St. Augustine grass there, will that at least take care of that particular breeding area? They can’t breed in grass correct?

2) I have a few flower beds around the hose that I mulch with pine straw (and of course the falling oak leaves which I can’t seem to keep out of my yard.) If I remove the pine straw and replace it with rocks, like the white landscape type or river rocks, will that eliminate that particular breeding area? Can they breed under wet rocks just as well as they breed under wet pine straw?

Please help! I am a mother who loves to let her little boys play outside but they are getting eaten alive in our yard, AKA The Mosquito Resort. Thanks- Sarah P.S. If we ever move I am definitely looking for a house with a big lawn free of shade areas and trees, nothing but grass and sunshine! Did I mention I hate mosquitos?

First, as explained in our MOSQUITO CONTROL article, mosquitoes are quite capable of nesting and breeding anywhere that provides some moisture and shade. Grass happens to be one of their favorite locations as is pine straw, rocks, mulch, ground cover, vines, etc. Basically anywhere and on anything that can hold moisture. For some reason people seem to think mosquitoes need water – as in large puddles or pools – to breed but in fact there are many species that require just a tad bit of moisture to reproduce. These are the species that wreak havoc on most homeowners. Especially if you lot is well shaded and moist.

Second, though you’re effort to remove the leaves and lay sod or small rock may enable the yard to look nicer, don’t do this with the hopes that your local mosquito population will decrease. It won’t. In fact there is a good chance it will get worse. Here’s why.

Dead plants and organic matter like leaves tend to loose moisture way faster compared to anything alive. So once grass or something else living is in place of all the debris, the area will actually hold more moisture (which is needed for the plants now living there) in the plants roots, stems and limbs. It’s in these areas where the mosquitoes will thrive very well. And because these areas can maintain and “hold onto” moisture longer than something dead, these areas will actually get worse mosquito wise. As for rocks; because of their odd shape (irregular), we know that rock piles are mosquito heavens because water will invariably collect on the surface of many rocks throughout the hundreds or thousands you disperse. These little puddles will be prime locations for mosquitoes to target and many times they’ll be down a few layers, out of direct light and well hidden, making the moisture last much longer than normal which in turn “enables” the mosquitoes to thrive.

In the end, as long as you have shade and moisture, you’ll have gnats, no seeums and mosquitoes as the primary biting pests in most any yard here in the  southeast. And that certainly pertains to anyone residing in Florida. The good news is if you fog the property every 1-2 weeks with some NYLAR and BIFEN using a FM6309 or one of our other listed foggers, they’ll be gone for good. These treatments are easy to do, fast, effective and safe for the family, pets and environments. As our article explains, mosquitoes are easy to kill and control when using the right products and right equipment.

Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:

Nylar: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/igr/igr-nylar

Bifen IT:  http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/liquid/bifen

FM6309:  http://www.bugspraycart.com/equipment/foggers/fogmaster-6309-120-v

Mosquito Control: http://www.mosquitoes.net/mosquito-control

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I have bats in my yard. I also hae lots and lots of mosquitos. If I use a fogger to kill some of the mosquitos will it hurt the bats? Are they going to injest mosquitos with insecticide in/on them?

There would be no danger to the local bats nor is there any chance of them getting sick if you started to fog in your yard to control the local mosquito population. There are several reasons; the following are but just three.

First, insecticides target insects. Though earlier products were “strong” enough to affect non target organisms like mammals, the latest products (and the ones we endorse) aren’t anything like their earlier ancestors. In fact, most every product that poses any hazard to the environment, people or pets has been taken off the market. Today’s actives are as safe as can be and are allowed to be produced only if they prove they’re safe. To prove their safety, they must undergo rigorous testing with one of the main objectives being exposure to non target animals won’t be a threat. With this being the case, we are certain the items we have listed in our MOSQUITO CONTROL ARTICLE for fogging won’t be a danger to the plants, people or animals when used as directed. The real hazard is in the storage of these products since they are concentrated. One must be sure to keep them out of reach to children and pets. But once mixed and diluted down, the finished spray is mild and in fact so safe that many of the products we have listed include labeling for use directly on animals! Remember, dogs, horses and other animals will readily lick themselves so if these products can be sprayed on them and then the animal licks themselves, aren’t they ingesting some? Absolutely. And the only way these products would have a label that allows them to be sprayed on animals would be if in doing so, the animals were not putting themselves in danger. And though a bat might be smaller than a dog or horse, there is just no way they’d ever be able to get a significant amount of pesticide from any mosquito they were to eat.

Second, it’s important to understand how the products work when fogged around the home. Remember, mosquitoes are able to fly. They’re also able to hide amongst the brush and thick vegetation where they prefer moisture and shade. Only when actively feeding will they emerge. The use of a fog is an effective way to target an otherwise elusive pest that can avoid most standard liquid treatments. Fogs and mists will fly around and stay airborne for several minutes. During this time they’ll envelope the area being treated, which should be low to the ground in the 1-8 foot range. Most mosquitoes will stay in the 1-4 foot range as the bulk of “food” for them will be found in this air space. So too should your fogging. When done right, the mist will be present for a few minutes and during this time it will coat local vegetation killing any mosquitoes that might be present. Within moments it will all be gone so even if bats were to fly in the area 5-10 minutes later, it’s not likely they’ll encounter any of the treatment as it all will have settled. But even if they did encounter air with active product in it, the chemical will be so dispersed there is just no chance it could impact them since bats are so much more complex compared to a mosquito.

Third, any mosquitoes that are in the treatment area will die within minutes of the treatment. Unlike spraying for roaches and ants which can take days to kill the targeted insect, mosquito sprays work quickly because mosquitoes are easy to kill. This means there won’t be any “treated” mosquitoes flying around for the bats to ingest but even if there was, the amount any bat could ingest to have an impact would have to be thousands of times more concentrated to bother them. True, bats can eat hundreds of mosquitoes an hour. But if you fog properly, there won’t be any mosquitoes flying for them eat and bats are quick to learn this so they’ll quickly move on searching elsewhere to find food.

So to summarize, the use of our FOGGERS around the home in the yard won’t pose a hazard to people , pets or bats when used properly. the PERMETHRIN is very safe (labeled for use on dogs, cattle and other animals) as is the ECO IC. Use one of these actives and in theory, even if you sprayed a bat directly they’d be fine.

Here are direct links to the products and information mentioned above:

Mosquito Control Article:  http://www.mosquitoes.net/mosquito-control

Foggers:  http://www.gotosprayer.com/fogging/electric-misters

Permethrin 10:  http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page339.html

ECO IC Concentrate:  http://www.non-toxic-pest-control.com/concentrates/eco-exempt-ic-concentrate