Every pest manager knows that a sprayer is an essential piece of kit but which is the right brand and model for your needs? Kevin Parsons from Globe Pest Solutions looks at the options available.
A spray application for general pest control is perhaps the most common treatment a pest manager will apply. Indeed, with some pest managers using spray applications up to ten times a day, choosing the right equipment is essential.
So, what are some factors that could influence the equipment you should choose? Site characteristics will be foremost in the decision-making process. How much product will be required? What is the access like? What type of property is it — residential, commercial or other?
Treating the inside of a residential home is unlikely to require more than five litres of products. A hand-held sprayer will have the necessary volume and portability to move quickly around the property inside and outside. Perhaps the most traditional option is the 5L hand-held, pump pack spray, the old ‘B&G’. Consisting of a stainless tank and brass fittings, with regular basic maintenance, this traditional hand spray should last many years.
However, dealing with a block of units can be a bit more problematic. Having to keep refiling – going up and down lifts or stairs – is a big inconvenience, so a bigger spray tank is required. However, with bigger tanks, it’s important to think ergonomically — you want to protect your back, it’s got to last a lifetime.
Backpack sprayers, such as the B&G Pest Pro IV with its 15L tank, are an option. With its comfortable shoulder straps and its adjustable right- or left-hand pump placement, it can be adjusted as required.
For larger tanks still, a trolley sprayer would be more convenient and easier on the back. The Silvan trolley sprayer has a 25L tank and the gun, wand and nozzle can be changed according to requirements with Silvan components. The six-metre hose provides extra flexibility. The sprayer is battery operated and a fully charged battery should deliver 100L of spray (4 tanks) before recharging (8 hours).
Whilst pump sprayers are still the most popular, certainly there has been a shift to battery-powered sprayers over the last couple of years. Battery power provides bene ts in terms of ease of use, but it’s worth considering the variables when considering which battery operated device to use. The most important feature is to understand how long a single battery charge lasts — how much product can you spray before you need to re-charge? And how long does it take to re-charge the battery? If you run out of charge during a spray, is there an option to change the battery or does it have the facility to hand pump the device?
Advancements in battery technology have made battery operated backpack sprayers lighter and the battery charge lasts longer. The new B&G Pest Pro IV Battery Backpack will soon be available to fill this space.
For larger commercial jobs, the ute-based spray rig may well be the best option. However, when using the spray rig for general pest sprays, there are a number of safety considerations to be aware of. The person using the sprayer may well be out of sight to the vehicle. Even if the vehicle and pesticides are locked up, the operating pump still represents an unattended piece of equipment. In addition, the length of hosing could be significant and represents a trip hazard. Of course, the spray tank should be empty when driving, so only mix as much as is required. For this reason, spray rigs are probably not the best option on most residential jobs, where only small quantities are required.
At the other end of the scale, some commercial jobs are far easier with a spray rig. Conversely, other commercial accounts, especially in the hospitality industry, require discretion. A small, but professional spray unit that can fit in a bag or back pack can allow discrete treatments in hotels, restaurants and the like. The B&G Accu-Sprayers are a 0.5L sprayer which charges fully with ten pumps and comes with a range of accessories.
So whilst the traditional 5L pump sprayer may be the first piece of kit purchased, it’s worth considering the other great options available, all designed to make your job easier and help you get better results.