Where not to treat mosquitoes


May 5, 2023

Tommy Powell

Tommy Powell

We talk about where to treat and even how to treat for mosquitoes, and our industry has come a long way. I think it’s also important, though, to talk about where not to treat and what to avoid.

There are obvious things like people, pets, toys and food-handling surfaces, but when it comes to mosquito treatments, there are different concerns. If you’re using a pyrethroid product, here are three things to keep in mind:

1. When a label says you can’t treat food items such as fruit trees, nut trees and vegetable gardens, I sometimes get questions like “What if the customer doesn’t eat the fruit or nuts from a tree? Can I treat it?” The answer is no. A good rule of thumb is, if you think it’s edible, don’t treat it.

2. Fishponds or other aquatic environments also are a major concern. Pyrethroid labels say things like “this product is toxic to fish.” What about flowering plants? Although most pyrethroid labels don’t have a “bee box” like other products, you should still avoid treating plants when they are flowering and attracting pollinators.

3. We must also avoid chemical trespass. This is when drift from a treatment goes into a property that does not belong to your customer. This becomes a problem when there is vegetation close to the property line. How do you treat trees or shrubs on your customer’s property line without causing drift into the neighboring property? I teach technicians to face their customer’s property with their backs toward the neighbor’s property when treating these areas. If that’s not possible, try treating from each side of the vegetation and avoid treating toward the neighboring property.


About the Author

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Technical Services, MGK

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