A quick breakdown of mosquito backpack sprayers
What is a mosquito backpack blower?
A mosquito backpack blower is a motorized device that can be used to dispense large amounts of mosquito-killing pesticide. These large sprayers are worn over the shoulders (like a backpack) and come with a nozzle to produce a fine but powerful mist of insecticide. This can be used to quickly and effectively treat large areas of outdoor space, ensuring complete elimination of mosquitoes.
Who uses motorized backpack sprayers?
The main appeal of backpack pesticide sprayers is their speed and efficiency in treating large areas of land. For business owners with large lots of land such as vineyards, orchards, ranches, and public gardens, this provides the perfect solution to their mosquito problems. A mosquito backpack sprayer can allow for speedy treatment of commercial properties without any need to call in a costly pest control expert.
Many homeowners find themselves unable to enjoy their backyards during summertime, due to large numbers of mosquitoes plaguing their properties. Swarms of these bloodsucking bugs may drive you indoors at sunset, which is a downer if you’d rather be sat in your garden sipping wine! Backpack yard sprayers are, therefore, very popular among homeowners with recurrent mosquito problems.
These durable machines are a fantastic one-off purchase, as they can eliminate the need for expensive annual pest control treatments.
How does a mosquito backpack sprayer work?
A mosquito backpack sprayer works by dispensing insecticide from a reservoir tank via a spray wand and nozzle. The contents of the tank must be pressurized in order for the mist spray to work. Pressure is usually applied using a hand-operated lever pump, which must be used continually during spraying.
Once set up for use, the backpack fogger will spray pesticide as a fine mist. Simply aim your nozzle at the area you wish to treat and fire away! The best backpack sprayers will have a powerful spray that extends 30 feet or more, allowing you to quickly and efficiently treat large areas. Be aware that you will probably have to walk some distance to effectively cover all areas of your property.
Backpack sprayers can be very heavy when full, so this may be a strenuous task for some users.
Piece by piece:
- The pump on your backpack blower sprayer is usually operated by hand using a lever. This will apply pressure to the tank, causing the liquid chemical inside to be forcefully expelled as a fine mist. You will need to pump the handle continuously while spraying to maintain pressure and keep the insecticide flowing.
- The tank is the part of the backpack sprayer that holds liquid chemicals such as insecticide or herbicide. Fill the tank with the chemical of your choice before using your pest control backpack sprayer. The tank volume will vary from model to model and typically ranges from 2 – 5.5 gallons. The capacity you choose will depend on your specific needs, i.e. how much land you have to treat.
- The spray wand is a hollow tube that extends from the tank of the backpack sprayer and is used to dispense the pesticide within. Nozzles can be attached to the spray wand to create a mist and will vary depending on the type of chemical and how much you wish to dispense.
- The nozzle is attached to the end of the spray wand and turns the jet of pesticide into a mist when spraying. There are different types of nozzles available depending on the type of chemical you are using. Hollow cone nozzles are usually used for insecticides, while fan-type nozzles are more commonly used for herbicides.
- The straps or harness of your backpack sprayer are there to keep it securely in place during use. It is important that these are both sturdy and comfortable, especially if you have a large area of land to treat and will be using the sprayer for extended periods of time.
Use backpack bug sprayers instead of…
Backpack bug sprayers are a great alternative to:
- Mosquito repellent plants: Certain plants have been found to naturally repel mosquitoes. Citronella, basil, lavender, rosemary, thyme, peppermint, pine, cinnamon, fennel, cedar, garlic and geranium all have scents that mosquitoes can’t stand! Planting these around your property may help to reduce mosquito numbers, which means there a fewer around to bug you. However, they will do nothing to kill these insects so, if you have a large number of mosquitoes hanging around, they are unlikely to have an adequate effect.
- Repellant candles and coils: Candles and coils are an effective way to keep mosquitoes away for short periods of time. Most candles intended for this purpose contain citronella, a plant extract that has been found to be highly effective in repelling mosquitoes. Mosquito coils are also a reliable way to keep mosquitoes at bay in the evening. However, the smoke produced by coils is highly toxic, so you may want to think twice before lighting one up! Although citronella candles are a good way to temporarily repel mosquitoes, they won’t do anything to eradicate these insects from your property. If you’re hoping to rid yourself of mosquitoes altogether, a backpack sprayer is a much more effective solution.
- Outdoor bug foggers: Handheld mosquito foggers work in a similar way to mosquito backpack sprayers. These are used to spray clouds of insecticide to effectively kill mosquitoes but on a much smaller scale. Though they may be useful for tackling specific areas, such as around shrubs, ponds, and ditches, they won’t be of much use if you have a large plot of land to treat. If you need to treat several acres of your property, a backpack fogger is the way to go!
Backpack sprayer buying guide
What tank capacity do you need?
The tank capacity of backpack mosquito sprayers generally ranges from 2 – 5.5 gallons. Which size you need to buy will depend on a few different factors:
- How much land do you have to treat? If you have several acres of land to spray, it’s best to choose a backpack sprayer with a large tank capacity. This can make treatment far more efficient as you can spray everything in one go, without having to stop and top up on insecticide! People with orchards, vineyards, ranches, or any other large plots of land may, therefore, want to consider a fogger with a capacity of at least 4 gallons.
If you only want to spray your backyard, however, a smaller tank size may suffice. Larger backpack sprayers can be very heavy when full; a discomfort that simply isn’t necessary if you have a relatively small plot of land to treat.
- How much weight can you carry? Backpack sprayers can become very heavy when full, especially if you pick a model with a large tank capacity. A sprayer with a 4-gallon tank can weigh as much as 70 lb when full, which can be difficult to carry for extended periods of time. If this is something you may struggle with, choose a model with a smaller tank OR look for one with good weight distribution to make carrying the fogger easier.
What type of pesticide are you using?
Most backpack mosquito foggers are suitable for use with liquid chemicals, but not all can be used with powders.
If your pesticide of choice is only available as a dry formulation, you will need to find a model that is equipped to handle this.
Main features to look for:
Nozzles: what type will you need?
The nozzle is one of the most important parts of your backpack fogger, as it controls the rate and volume at which insecticide is sprayed. Nozzle selection is more important than you may realize, as different types are used for different purposes. The two main types for mosquito spraying are fan nozzles and cone nozzles:
- Hollow cone nozzles dispense insecticide in fine droplets, which are sprayed in a hollow cone pattern. This is excellent for treating foliage, as it ensures thorough and even coverage of all spray sites. Cone nozzles are a very popular option for use with insecticidal sprays.
- Fan nozzles are great for dispensing an even distribution of liquid across the spraying area and produce small droplets for greater coverage. These nozzles have to be placed directly over the foliage to be sprayed, so are not suitable for treating trees over 0.5 m in height. However, a twin-orifice flat fan nozzle can be used to spray droplets in two different directions, allowing for more even coverage of shrubs, flowerbeds, and grasses.
Tank: how large should it be?
When choosing the tank volume that’s right for you, it’s important to weigh up two factors; how much land you have to treat, and how much you can carry. Choosing a backpack sprayer with a small, 2-gallon tank may seem sensible in terms of the reduced weight. But, if you have several acres of land to treat, it can mean that you waste a lot of time stopping to refill it. A larger, 6-gallon tank may mean you can get the job done in one go, but may not be comfortable to carry for extended periods of time.
Generally, a modest, 4-gallon tank is a happy middle-ground that fulfills most people’s requirements.
Pump: Piston or diaphragm?
There are two main types of pumps available for backpack sprayers; the piston pump, and the diaphragm pump. But what are the main differences between the two?
Piston pumps are generally the more popular of the two for several reasons.
Piston pumps are more powerful than diaphragm pumps and are able to generate sprays with smaller droplet size and further reach. They are also easier to repair and more affordable than diaphragm pumps, making them a more popular choice for home use.
While the main advantage of the diaphragm pump over the piston pump is their ability to handle a wider range of chemicals. If you intend to use your backpack sprayer to dispense bleach solutions or wettable powders, a diaphragm pump will be able to handle it better than a piston pump.
Additional features to look for:
In-line filters and screens: An in-line screen is essential for stopping your nozzle tip from becoming clogged up with debris. They are also handy for preventing nozzle dripping if the line pressure drops during spraying. The type of screen you use will depend on the size of your nozzle tip; the smaller the nozzle tip, the finer the screen mesh needs to be. Screens are often included as part of your purchase and will come with your backpack sprayer.
Top brands you can trust:
What are the top brands of backpack sprayers that are guaranteed to perform well?
Makita: Makita is well known for producing top of the line power tools for use in both homes and businesses. Their backpack power sprayers have a great reputation for reliability and functionality and are a great purchase if you’re looking for a long-lasting solution to your mosquito problems.
Tomahawk: Tomahawk produces backpack sprayers that are perfect for DIY mosquito removal. These foggers are easy to set up and operate, with a durable design that means you can use them year after year.
- Curved wands: A curved spray wand can be used to tackle hard-to-reach areas that a straight wand simply can’t get to. A curved tip is also great for more accurate spraying of shrubs, flowerbeds, and hedgerows.
- Spray wand booms: A boom can be attached to your spray wand to give it greater reach. This can not only make spraying trees and large shrubs much easier, but it can also allow you to treat large areas more quickly.
Expert tips for using your backpack pesticide sprayer
Maintain a constant walking speed
How fast you walk when spraying is more important than you might think. If you walk quickly, you’ll apply less insecticide; walk too slowly, and you’re at risk of overspraying. It’s best to pick an even walking speed that you can easily maintain throughout treatment, regardless of whether you’re walking on flat terrain or a slope. This will allow you to achieve even, uniform coverage of all areas, for the best possible results!
Maintain a uniform pressure
Your nozzle pressure will also affect how much pesticide is dispensed during spraying. It’s very important to maintain a uniform pressure throughout treatment to ensure even coverage and the best possible results. Aim to keep nozzle pressure between 15 and 20 psi when spraying, for consistent output and even coverage.
You may need to re-apply insecticide throughout the season to keep your mosquito numbers down. In this case, keeping records of previous treatments can help to optimize future results. Details such as nozzle selection, choice of insecticide, spray mix ratios and weather can help you to identify which conditions were most successful. This can help you to apply the most effective treatment during future applications.
Preventing leaks – check for rust, wear and tear
A leaky backpack sprayer can present a serious hazard to the user, drenching you in harmful pesticides during spraying. Preventing leaks is, therefore, vital for ensuring your safety and comfort when spraying for mosquitoes!
When getting your backpack sprayer out for the season, make sure to thoroughly inspect it for rust, wear and tear. Pay special attention to pumps, lines, and clamps when checking for leaks and breakages.
Regularly inspect nozzles and screens
A clogged nozzle or in-line screen can also lead to leakages. What’s more, it can result in an uneven spray pattern, which can reduce the effectiveness of your backpack sprayer. Carefully check both the nozzle and in-line screen for dust and debris which may restrict the flow each time you use your backpack fogger.
Perform an annual calibration
Regular calibration of your backpack sprayer is required to ensure efficient and effective use. This should be performed at least once a year and is essential for making sure you get the best possible results from your mosquito sprayer. This is a process that requires a little experimentation and a few calculations but ultimately will improve the performance of your sprayer.
Warmer weather and summer showers can mean only one thing – mosquito season is on the way! For landowners, this is bad news, especially those with orchards, vineyards, ranches or large backyards. Mosquitoes are not only a major annoyance around dawn and dusk, but they can also pose a serious health risk to anyone who comes into contact with them. Although diseases such as malaria and dengue fever are limited to certain countries and climates, the Zika virus is now a worldwide problem and is especially dangerous for pregnant women. Illnesses, aside, the red, itchy bumps left behind from mosquito bites, are enough to drive anyone indoors, effectively putting an end to an otherwise pleasant evening outdoors.
Fortunately, a backpack mosquito sprayer can be the ultimate solution for DIY mosquito removal. These portable foggers have the capacity to quickly and efficiently treat large plots of land, making them the number one choice for anyone who finds themselves regularly plagued by mosquitoes. A backpack sprayer can be used to spray several acres of land with insecticide in no time at all, effectively eradicating mosquitoes season after season.