Texas Cooperative Extension,
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

June 2006

Mosquito Spraying Systems: Safe and Appropriate?

by Dr. Doug F. Welsh, Extension Horticulturist,
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Backyard spraying systems intended to control mosquitos have become extensively advertised recently, as an eradication measurel for both these and other flying insects.

How useful are these systems in controlling mosquitos? other flying insects? What might be the effects of these pyrethrin-based products on fish such as koi in nearby ponds? Will this cause mosquito populations to develop insecticide resistance?

Dr. Michael Merchant,Texas A&M Associate Professor and Extension Urban Entomologist, has posted extensive answers to many of these and related questions on his website 'Insects in the City' which may be accessed at http://citybugs.tamu.edu/IntheNews_Details. He is a strong proponent of the Integrated Pest Management concept, which stresses that measures to control problem insects should be undertaken only when pest numbers have reached a necessary threshhold, rather than continually to apply pesticides over residential areas for the entire mosquito season.

Dr. Merchant's web article also points out that drift of insecticide sprays may drift to neighboring yards where insects such as butterflies or honeybees are valued. In all, this is a well balanced perspective on the pros or cons of automated spray controls for insects.

Earth Kind uses research-proven techniques to provide maximum gardening and landscape performance while preserving and protecting the environment. For more information on Earth Kind Landscape Management Practices see our web site: http://earthkind.tamu.edu