Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How to Use Insecticides

Insecticide use in homes and gardens is at its peak at this time of the year. Flies, spiders, ants, cockroaches, fleas, bed bugs, aphids and others increase in numbers in the warm weather. There are a myriad of insecticide sprays and other products on the shelves of your supermarket, but how many people know which to choose and how and when to use them to the best effect?

What we want is to have a home and garden free of pest insects and spiders, but we don’t want to harm other creatures or ourselves. Over the next few blogs you will find a few tips on choosing the best product and how to use products in the most effective and safest way.

Fly Sprays

There are three forms of fly spray; knockdown aerosol, automatic dispenser aerosol and surface residual spray.
  1. Knockdown aerosol insecticides quickly knockdown and kill flying insects in an enclosed space. The insecticide is usually a synthetic pyrethroid often with the synergist (effect enhancing) piperonyl butoxide. Cover or remove any fish tanks in the area. People and pets should vacate the room for the period suggested on the label. Usually an hour or more. The aerosol should be used in a short burst aiming upward in the middle of the room.  They have little or no residual effect and once the room is ventilated after use insects may return.
  2. Automatic aerosol dispenser units overcome the lack of ongoing control from knockdown aerosols by automatically emitting a puff of insecticide at regular interavls so that there is insecticide in the atmosphere for significant periods over a day. Most of these products such as NO Insects AutoCan contain natural pyrethrum which has a shorter effective life than synthetic pyrethroids and is perceived as less likely to build up in the environment. This is important especially as the room/s are likely to be continually used while the insecticide is in the air. It is important that these units are sited away from food and food preparation areas. These products will be less effective in ventilated areas such as rooms with open doors or windows and will not work outside.
  3. Surface treatment residual sprays such as NO Flies Safe or NO Bugs Super are designed to remain effective for periods of several months. These are also synthetic pyrethroids in formulations that protect the insecticide from UV light. Surfaces where flies land such as window and door frames, window sills, walls, etc. can be sprayed. When the product dries the surfaces become lethal to insects, both crawling and flying. The great advantages of this type of product are that there is ongoing control but no insecticide in the atmosphere and they can be used effectively in ventilated spaces, even exteriors. Residual surface sprays can be used in food preparation areas; food and food utensils and surfaces should be covered or removed prior to treatment but can be returned once the spray is fully dry.
    The disadvantage of surface treatments for control of flying insects is they rely on flies landing on the treated surfaces. One species in particular; Lesser House Fly, is a small house fly that is often seen flying in angular flight patterns in the centre of a room. These flies may not land on surfaces all day and only land at night. NO Flies Safe targets such flies as it contains a fly pheromone that encourages house flies to land on the treated surfaces, killing them more quickly.
    When spraying surfaces it is important to give an even coverage. Spray until just before the spray begins to run on the surfaces. Over spraying can cause run marks and under spraying may reduce effectiveness. It is better to apply a second application rather than over spray on the first spray.
If you have any questions on which product to use or how to use them, the team at Kiwicare is always happy to help. Send us an email or call us.

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