Mosquito Fogging & Control Information
MOSQUITOES (Mozzies) A COMMON PEST IN SOCIETY
Mosquitoes are a well known pest that commonly interfere with activities in everyday life. For those who love being outdoors, mosquitoes may be a problem that you try to get used to. Their itchy, irritating bites and nearly constant presence can ruin a backyard barbecue, family time in the park or even in our bedrooms at night, with their persistent light buzzing waking the soundest of sleepers. People will do anything to avoid being bit, but mosquitoes are very good at finding their prey. They have an uncanny ability to sense our intentions, taking flight and disappearing milliseconds before a fatal swat. Beyond the nuisance factor, mosquitoes are carriers for some of humanity’s most deadly illnesses and infectious diseases. There are more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes all over the world with approximately 300 known in Australia and unfortunately, they are here to stay. Fortunately there are methods of controlling mosquitoes and we are here to help the every day person diminish their numbers around the home.
Mosquitoes belong to the family of flies called Culicidae and are small fragile insects. Mosquito larvae develop into adults during warmer months of the year, usually in stagnant water that has been standing for at least 7 days. Some species will also thrive in brackish or salty habitats, so high tides together with flooding in coastal regions may also contribute to mosquito numbers in these areas. Some species are able to completely develop from eggs in less than a week. Most take 10-14 days to reach maturity, pointing out the fact that mosquitoes grow rapidly.
The females of many species of mosquitoes suck blood from humans and animals as part of their eating and breeding habits. While feeding on blood, some of them transmit harmful human diseases such as Malaria, Dengue Fever, Ross River Virus and Filariasis. Mosquitoes are also known to transmit disease in animals and livestock. Mosquitoes are primarily attracted to carbon dioxide and the smell of skin or body odors and this impacts their propensity to bite.
On average, a female mosquito will live 2-3 weeks, but the male's lifespan is shorter.
Most female mosquitoes lay several hundred eggs and are able to generate large populations within a short period of time. Mosquitoes need water to reproduce. Although standing water is the prime location for mosquitoes to reproduce, there are many locations around the home that can promote egg laying areas.
Such places include water in the bottom of plant pots, drainage systems, buckets of water, swimming pools, shrubs, trees, firewood, slow moving water, fish ponds and bird baths.
Mosquito species vary in their breeding habits and flight range, with most dispersing less than two kilometres. Some move only a few metres away from their original breeding place.
MOSQUITO CONTROL FOR AROUND THE HOME
It is almost impossible to permanently eliminate every mosquito breeding area around the home. The most effective way to control mosquitoes is to eliminate them at their source by use of repellants or insecticides that can be applied to the area with a fogging or misting machine. These machines offer the most immediate and complete control of all options and generally the "accepted" professional process through which mosquito populations can be controlled or regulated.
A fogger is a device used to disperse liquid chemicals over large areas with a very small droplet size. The small droplet size allows the chemicals to disperse and penetrate deep foliage killing mosquitos where they hide.
There are two main types of foggers available for cost effective mosquito control, Thermal and Electric foggers.
Thermal foggers use heating coils to turn a carrier solution which contains a insecticide from liquid form to a mist, smoke or fog. Thermal foggers are ideal for outdoor use covering large yards, patios, or similar areas of mosquito infestation. Thermal foggers can operate on small butane gas cylinders making the units very portable. Thermal foggers must not be used in enclosed areas, due the danger of asphyxiation.
Thermal foggers typically use a hydrocarbon based carrier solution such as diesel or paraffin oil and operate at high temperatures involving an open flame.
Cold foggers - Ultra Low Volume (ULV)
Cold foggers or ULV foggers as they’re commonly referred to, are powered by electricity, and convert the fogging liquid to a fine mist which is dispersed into the air at high velocity. Cold foggers have a slightly higher efficiency over thermal foggers as in thermal foggers a small amount of the control chemical is burnt in the fogging process. The biggest advantages to cold foggers are their ability to fog both indoors and outdoors safely as there is reduced risk of asphyxiation.
Cold ULV foggers typically use water as a carrier liquid making the units very safe to handle.
When and Where to Fog
Mosquitos are most active during early mornings and late afternoon and for this reason fogging at these times is most effective. Mosquitos typically don’t travel far from their reproduction site and for this reason targeted fogging can be highly effective in mosquito control around your house, patio or property.
Types of Chemicals
Foggers can be used to apply most mosquito control chemicals on the market. These chemicals are usually broken into two types; residual and non-residual chemicals.
Residual chemicals are typically not recommended for outdoor application due to their residual effect and the possible impact to other insects in the environment. These chemicals may be more suited to indoor applications where residual pest control is sort. Spraying residual chemicals around the eaves of your house can produce a barrier effect causing mosquitos and other target pests that touch the surface to die similar to a household surface spray.
Fogging with non-residual pesticide chemicals is suited to outdoor applications and is similar to having a large can of insect spray on hand. Large volumes of fast knockdown, low residual chemical can be applied to mosquito infested areas such a tree foliage and gardens. Non-residual chemicals typically have a very short half life meaning their effect quickly reduces post application resulting in much lower non-target species impacts.
Advantages of Mosquito Fogging:
Immediate and complete control prior to special events such as BBQ’s or parties can have a big impact to your visitors comfort
Ongoing regular fogging can significantly control mosquitos in your residential area
Great for covering large areas and penetrating dense foliage
Large choice of chemicals including organic choices
Spray residual chemicals for longer lasting relief and barrier treatments
Machines are light weight and easy to use
ULV Foggers require an electrical power source
Thermal foggers are not suitable for indoor use
Fogging involves some handling of chemicals and care and caution must be taken