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PEST CONTROL EQUIPMENT – BACKPACK SPRAYERS

We’ve complied the latest information about backpack sprayers on the market in Australia, which according to our readers, appear to be steadily growing in popularity. 

The recent Pest Pulse survey on portable sprayers has highlighted a significant change in the sprayer market over the last three years. It seems pest managers have switched from handheld sprayers to backpack sprayers as their portable sprayer of choice, with some 83% of pest managers now using a backpack sprayer.

A key driver of this change has been the development of reliable and long-lasting battery units. Of the pest managers using backpack sprayers, 93% use a battery-powered version. Not only does the battery provide increased convenience by avoiding the need to continuously re-pump the unit, but it provides a more consistent spray rate. Indeed, with the higher spec’d units, the pressure and flow rate can be controlled as required. This performance benefit is a consideration for users, with 43% mentioning adjustable pressure as a factor in their purchase decision.

Of course, users do have to be aware of battery run time and recharge time to ensure they don’t run out of juice on a job. Some 56% of pest managers cited battery duration as one of their key considerations. However, only 14% mentioned battery recharge speed as a factor in purchase, which makes sense if they decide on having a spare battery on hand.

One of the other key benefits of a backpack sprayer is the increased tank volume. With the most common tank size being 15 L, it is three times bigger than a standard handheld sprayer, which means less refilling on or between jobs. Of course, the larger tank also means extra weight, so it’s not surprising that comfort is mentioned by over 50% of users as a key factor in product choice. There is some variation in pack and battery weight, as well as some smaller tank sizes, so there are options for those who would prefer a lighter backpack sprayer.

 

Figure 1: Backpack sprayer brands used by pest managers

 

However, reliability is the number one purchase decision factor, no matter the type of sprayer. Being the workhorse piece of equipment for pest managers, this is perhaps not surprising. Certainly, if there are issues with the battery or pump it can be very frustrating and 63% of pest managers have a back-up handheld sprayer (either manual or battery operated). Leaking units can also be a source of frustration no matter the sprayer, although with backpack sprayers product leaking onto overalls is more of a safety issue than leaks with handheld sprayers – some 20% of pest managers specified ‘no leaking’ as a factor in their purchase decision.

With battery-operated backpack sprayers being the spray equipment of choice, it’s no surprise that there are many brands and models to choose from, with Solo and Flowzone sprayers appearing to be the most popular (Figure 1).

To provide an overview of the main options currently on the market, we have provided these summary tables for both manual (Table 1) and battery-operated handheld sprayers (Table 2). In addition to comparing specifications, it may also be worth looking into the country of manufacture, as it can be quite varied and that may also influence your purchase decision.

 

Table 1: Manual models

Brand Model Tank size Tank material  Wand Nozzle Weight
B&G

PestPro IV

15L

Polymer

Brass

Brass (adjustable)

6kg

Birchmeier

Flox 10 / Iris 15

10L / 15L

Polymer

Brass

Brass / stainless steel adjustable

4.6kg / 4.7kg

Flowzone

Storm 2.5

10L

Polymer

Stainless Steel

Brass

Unspecified

Solo

4 models

10L / 15L

Polymer

Polymer

2 polymer nozzles

4.5 – 5.5kg

Silvan

Standard and Prograde

15L

Polymer

Stainless Steel

Standard with 2 polymer nozzles. Prograde with 4 brass nozzles

4 – 4.5kg

Stihl

SG51 / SG71

12L / 18L

Polymer

Polymer

Brass (adjustable)

5kg

 

Table 2: Battery models

Brand Model Tank size Tank material  Wand Nozzle Voltage/ Control Charge duration Charging time Weight
AEG

18V / 58V

15L

Polymer

Stainless steel 2 brass nozzles 18V Adjustable flow rate unspecified 1 hr 6.5kg
Birchmeier 4 models with increasing spray / battery capacities 15L Polymer Brass Brass adjustable 14.4V / 18V / 25.2V Adjustable pressure 2.2 – >10 hrs depending on model and settings

2 hr

4.1kg

Flowzone

2 models with different spray / battery capacities 15L Polymer Stainless steel Brass adjustable 18V Adjustable pressure 2.5 – 3 hrs 1 – 2 hrs unspecified
Milwaukee Switch tank backpack sprayer 15L Polymer Stainless steel Brass 18V 5 pressure levels Up to 12 tanks unspecified 7.6kg
Protege Multi-function backpack sprayer 15L Polymer Stainless steel 3 polymer nozzles 18V 90 minutes / 200L unspecified

4kg

Solo 5 different models 10L / 16L / 18L Polymer Polymer

Polymer

10.8V / 12V / 18V Some models with adjustable pressure settings 3.5 – 5hrs depending on model 1 – 8 hrs depending on model 4.5kg – 7.8kg
Silvan 3 models 12L Polymer Stainless steel adjustable Polymer adjustable 12.6V 2 hrs 4 hrs 3.1kg
Stihl SGA 85 18L Polymer Polymer Brass (adjustable) 36V adjustable pressure unspecified 45-100 minutes depending on charger 6.2kg