There are several mosquito spray chemicals that are used in Atlanta mosquito control systems. A mosquito spray is designed to eradicate mosquitoes from your yard or garden and from shrubbery around your home or business premises. Atlanta mosquito control systems often combine such a spray with a mosquito barrier in the form of a misting system. There are several such systems available, depending on what active component is used – that means what insecticide!
Luckily, the horrors of DDT are behind us. However, we should not become complacent because what kills insects might also have the potential to harm many other forms of animal life. We have a number of optional insecticides to use in sprays and mosquito misting systems. Let’s have a look at the most common and compare them for potential risk to ourselves and our children.
Using DEET in Atlanta Mosquito Control Systems
The most popular insecticide in the post-DDT era has been DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide.) This was developed by the U.S. Army way back in 1946, and is the insecticide of choice for many people. However, its safety is in doubt. While tests have shown DEET to reasonable safe if not used to excess for long periods of time, they have also shown it present a health risk to young children, the elderly and those with weak or compromised immune systems.
DEET may be effective against insects, but it smells a bit and irritates the skin, so is not good to spray on yourself or your clothes. It also has an oily feel to it. Don’t use it on rayon or PVC because it can dissolve certain plastics and synthetic fibers. It is also persistent – it does not biodegrade and is not very soluble in water, so can last a long time in your yard!
Mosquito Spray Chemicals: Picaridin, a Safer Alternative to DEET
Among the moreeffective mosquito spray chemicals that are available, Picaridin is a safer synthetic insecticide than DEET. Picaridin was developed by Bayer in 2005, so it is relatively modern. It is also known as icaridin, and is chemically hydroxyethyl isobutyl piperidine carboxylate. So no relation to DEET.
Picaridin has been shown to have a lower level of toxicity and does not irritate the skin as DEET does. However, it does have properties that renders it a better alternative to DEET in Mosquito misting systems and sprays while being equally effective an insecticide. It does not dissolve plastics, leaves no residual smell and is not oily. It is safer to use this on your clothing than DEET and Mr. Mister recommends picaridin as a direct replacement for DEET.
Permethrin in Mosquito Spray and Barrier Systems
Permethrin is a synthetic form of the pyrethrum that is available naturally from chrysanthemums. It can cause slight skin irritation, but is an effective insecticide and mosquito repellent. This is the mosquito repellent of choice for Mr. Mister. We do not use DEET.
We see no need for DEET since permethrin does the job very well. Why choose a more toxic substance if you have an alternative that works? Not only does it work but it is biodegradable. Permethrin disappears within an average of around 3 weeks. Like DEET, it is not very water soluble, and so will persist to repel mosquitoes until it biodegrades. We generally repeat our mosquito spray service for our clients every 21 days.
Pyrethrum For Natural Mosquito Control
Pyrethrum is a natural mosquito control insecticide. It is the preferred mosquito spray chemical for skin or clothing and is obtained from chrysanthemums. It is a less risky mosquito repellent for children and the elderly than any of the above and is safe to use around food crops. It is not as powerful as permethrin and is normally used when natural mosquito control is preferred.
Mosquito Spray Chemicals: Summary
These are the most commonly used insecticides for mosquito spray and misting systems. Generally, Mr. Mister uses permethrin, and offers pyrethrum as a natural organic alternative. Where a client insists on DEET, we do not use it, but recommend picaridin as an effective alternative. These three are all the miosquito spray chemicals that are needed for Atlanta mosquito control systems, and there is little need for DEET with today’s technology.