With summer comes mosquitos. And if you have water features in your yard, long grass, or a pond or lake is near your house, you may constantly be doing battle with them. If you’re tired of being bitten up each year, it may be time to consider some solutions. Mosquito misting systems can help keep mosquitos at bay, but here’s what you need to know before installing one.
What Are Mosquito Misting Systems?
Also known as automated mosquito control systems, mosquito misters, or outdoor residential misting systems, mosquito misting systems work by releasing a fine mist of pesticides into your yard. This layer of protection will kill or repel mosquitos.
The most commonly used pesticides in mosquito misters contain pyrethrin, permethrin, and/or piperonyl butoxide, but some solutions do use chemicals that are environmentally friendly and non-toxic.
Some benefits of mosquito misting systems include
- Cost effective
- Long lasting solutions
- Reduction of diseases carried by mosquitoes including the Zika virus, heartworm, and West Nile Virus
- Fast results
- A wide variety of misters and chemicals available to suit your unique needs and wants
Are Mosquito Misters Effective?
Yes, these systems can actually work quite well.
Mosquito misting systems are effective and will help you keep the bugs off your property. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highly recommend using an Integrated Pest Management system that incorporates these pesticides. By using a chemical and non-chemical approach, homeowners can lower the risk to their health and better care for their property.
It’s important to note though that mosquito misters with certain chemicals will affect other insects as the chemicals used are toxic to all insects. This can kill off beneficial communities of ladybugs, butterflies, and honeybees as a result. To better protect these insects, you will want to opt for environmentally friendly misters.
It stands to reason that you want the misting system setup in the places you most need to control mosquitoes in your yard. To increase the effectiveness of your mosquito misting system, it is recommended that you use them when mosquitoes are most active (usually early morning and evening) and turn off the system entirely during certain weather patterns, including high wind, rain, fog, or temperatures below 50F. This will help ensure you’re not wasting pesticide when mosquitoes aren’t around!
Are Mosquito Misting Systems Safe?
I have to be careful about this response, because I’m not an authority who can deem something “safe or not.
No pesticide use is 100% risk free, and the fact is, we learn more about the chemicals in our environment every year. However, since the misting systems’ pesticides only last a short period of time in the environment, it is believed that long term exposure is less likely in humans.
When properly installed, mosquito misting systems are generally deemed safe for dogs thanks to its low toxicity. Cats can be sensitive to the chemicals in these pesticides though. The misters spray only a few times a day and the chemicals are diluted, so outdoor cats are likely to be safe, but it is not a guarantee. It’s important to note though that most mosquito mister companies and installers do stand by their products and state that they pose no risk to pets or humans when the pesticides are used properly.
Some of these pesticides, though, are very toxic to fish and amphibians. If you have a fish pond or a community of frogs, you may want to look into other solutions, including non-toxic mosquito control systems and products.
Additionally, the chemicals in a misting system might be harmful to insects beyond mosquitoes. If you want pollinators in your yard, you probably need to forego the misting system.
As for human exposure, mist machines might not have safety features to stop you from touching insecticides directly. For instance, your neighbor, a landscaper, or even kids might not know when the system will spray insecticide, so they could accidentally get exposed. Some insecticide products with pyrethrin have a label that says “Caution” because they can be harmful if you breathe them in. Also, if the misting system isn’t taken care of and adjusted properly, the mist can get on outdoor furniture and children’s toys. That means there’s a risk of accidentally getting exposed to insecticides in those situations too.
These tips will also help to ensure you are using the system correctly and keeping yourself, your guests, and your pets safe:
- Do not apply the pesticide if you, your pets, or food is in the area
- If using an automatic system, timers should be set for times people and pets won’t be outside.
- Do not set your system to apply more than the maximum daily application rate.
- Turn off the system when not in use for extended periods of time
- Read both the manuals and pesticide labels to ensure appropriate use of the chemicals and the system.
- Keep the reservoir and operating system locked at all times and inaccessible to kids.
- Keep the National Poisoning Hotline number (800-222-1222) on hand in events of emergency.
- If you notice any issues with your system, contact the installation company, turn off the system, and keep pets and people away.
- Never use a pesticide that isn’t approved for use in these misting systems.
With all this said, I am not a chemical engineer or health scientist, so I can’t conclusively comment on safety of chemicals.
How Can You Install a Mosquito Misting System?
Mosquito misting systems use a series of spray nozzles and misting heads that are installed around the perimeter of a property that are connected to a supply of insecticide through tubing. Some systems can be manual and require the homeowner to use a remote controller or a switch, but there are also automated systems.
I recommend the automated systems as they can not only bring ease into the equation, but they can be designed around you and your pets’ routines. They can even be controlled from a mobile app!
Mosquito misting systems can vary quite a bit in price! Starting at around $550 to $4,000, the average price is around $2,500 for an automatic system with 30 nozzles. The final price of your system and its installation will depend on the size of your property, drum-based vs tankless, automatic vs manual, and brand.
Labor costs for the installation may run homeowners an additional $200 to $1,000 though that depends on the system and company.
What Do You Need to Know Before Installation?
Before you opt to install a mosquito misting system in your property, you will want to check with your state’s laws. The EPA doesn’t regulate residential misting systems, but states do. Some have certain pesticides banned while others may require notifications and postings of pesticide use on your property.
Maintenance is also required to ensure that tubing and nozzles are in good condition and aren’t leaking chemicals.
These other tips will help ensure a smooth and safe installation, too:
- Always go with installers and maintenance companies who are licensed with your state and have up to date certifications and registrations
- Nozzles should be placed less than 10 feet from the ground. This will reduce chemical drift that can affect others’ properties.
- Nozzles should be pointed away from eating and cooking areas, bodies of water including swimming pools and fish ponds, air conditioners, and home air intakes.
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What Are the Best Mosquito Misting Systems Available?
Here are just a few mosquito misting systems that I recommend that can be found throughout the United States!
MosquitoNix Misting System
The MosquitoNix Misting System not only tackles mosquitoes, but can handle spiders, flies, fleas, ticks, gnats, and more. You can even opt for add-ons that rid your home of rodents and fire ants. Highly customizable, the system is automatic and comes with a remote for both iPhones and Androids. The misters also use a non-toxic solution that comes from clean organic sources.
Misting systems from MosquitoNix cost between $1,800 and $3,000, and come with a lifetime warranty.
Mistaway Mosquito System
Mistaway Systems offers two mosquito misters: Gen III+, a tankless system and Gen 1.3, a drum based system. These misters come with a wide range of available features including better control over the dosage rate, leak detection, wind sensors, wireless control, and more. Through the app, users can also see the status of the system such as when the last mist occurred and when the next one is due.
Mistaway mosquito systems can cost between $1,200 and $3,000, with the Gen III+ being the more expensive of the two.
Pynamite Mosquito Misting Systems
Pynamite mosquito misting systems are another pesticide option that can handle more than mosquitoes. They can also eliminate flies, spiders, gnats, and other unwanted insects. Instead of a drum tank, Pynamite’s solutions use a Cube tank that is much smaller than other options but can contain just as much pesticide as its counterparts. Their mosquito misters also come with a bluetooth controller that allows for remote control and better management of the system. And for homes where electrical power is not available, there are solar panel solutions, too.
Pnamite’s misting systems can cost between $1,700 and $2,300.
Do I Recommend Installing a Mosquito Misting System?
If you struggle with a particularly heavy mosquito population in your yard, and have the budget for a misting system, and understand how to use it safely, I would recommend considering a mosquito misting system. However, it is essential that you take all safety precautions, select your pesticide carefully, and understand how the system operates. You want to be sure you’re choosing a solution that serves your needs but also protects yourself, your guests, and your pets.
Before installing your system, be sure to reach out to the manufacturer to address any safety concerns you may have. Always read the label of your pesticides, too, to ensure you are properly using them!
Mosquito misting systems can bring a wealth of benefits to your home, especially if you’re constantly doing battle with insects. If you’re tired of being bitten or want to reduce the risk of West Nile or heartworm for you and your pets, it may be time to install your system.