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Sprayer Depot Blog

Sprayer Depot Recognizes National Pest Management Month + Tips for Pest Control Applicators

Posted by Sprayer Depot on Fri, Apr 01, 2016

Pest control applicators are some of the hardest working people we know, up before sunrise and3_Tips_for_Pest_Control_Applicators.jpg still out in the field at dusk. At Sprayer Depot, we appreciate the tireless effort you put into your job, and we want to remind you that we are here whenever you need us. Whether you need a new sprayer, parts and accessories, or even just application advice, you can reach us by phone, email or chat

Spring is the official start of the spray industry busiest season, so we know even longer days are ahead. Before our schedules get too hectic, we thought we would take the time to celebrate pest control professionals by joining in observance of National Pest Management Month.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) celebrates April as National Pest Management Month, an observance that has been taking place for more than 30 years. National Pest Management Month honors the professional pest control industry for playing a key role in protecting both health and property from significant pest-borne threats.

"The NPMA is pleased to have the opportunity to publicly recognize the important work that pest professionals do every day during National Pest Management Month," says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. "In honor of National Pest Management Month, the NPMA is dedicated to raising public awareness about the risks posed by household pests and encouraging homeowners to take proactive steps to prevent pest infestations in their homes and properties."

We've compiled 3 of our favorite pest control tips that can help make this season just a bit smoother:

Technical Resources

It's never too late to learn a new trick or two. We are big advocates of continued education and no matter your level of expertise, there is always something new to learn in the pest control industry. 

We have listed four blog posts filled with great information that will be useful to the veteran technician and the one just starting out! 

Pest Control Technology
We have scoured the internet to bring you the best, most useful, apps for your pest control business.

TechRoutes: Manage your Pest Control routes from your phone. This app allows you to view routes, addresses, directions, record chemicals used, mark time in/time out, and complete services.
PestXpert: Developed by Bayer, this app provides practical information to assist professional pest controllers in the identification and treatment of insect pests. It contains photographs and detailed information on over 25 different species of pest insects and rodents.
PCT: Stay up to date with industry news by downloading the Pest Control Technology app. The professional pest management industry’s leading trade publication, PCT,  provides the latest news and market analysis in an easy-to-read package.
Protective Personal Equipment

PPE requirements are dictated by the type of pesticide used, so always read the label carefully. At a minimum, you should always wear gloves, eye protection and clothes that cover any exposed skin when handling pesticides. Make sure that anyone in contact with the spray equipment and chemicals has been trained and understands the importance of wearing protective gear

Share your favorite pest control tricks of the tradein the comments below. We look forward to hearing from you!


Topics: Sprayer Depot, pest control, Pesticide applicator, pest control app, industry apps, Pest Control Technology, NMPA

Hypro’s Spray Nozzle Selection Simplified

Posted by Sprayer Depot on Wed, Oct 15, 2014

We’re always looking for ways to make spray nozzle selection easier and we’ve shared some tips of the trade in past posts right here on our blog. With new advances in technology and an ever-evolving line-up of options, we couldn’t resist sharing this Spray Nozzle Selection Guide and helpful information from our friends at Hypro.

Consider this. When selecting nozzles it’s easy to determine what droplet and flow rate you need, but what happens when the chemical you are spraying changes? Does that change the nozzle you should be using?

Hypro has developed a simple set of tools that will help steer you to the correct nozzle technology while considering multiple tank mix characteristics. The Spray Nozzle Selection Guide will walk you through a series of questions to identify the correct nozzle, including:

  • What and when are you spraying?
  • Are you using an adjuvant, and if so, what type?
  • In your chemical Contact or Systemic?
  • Is your primary concern drift or coverage?
Hypro's Spray Nozzle Guide

Nozzle Selection Guide

From there you’ll determine which of six nozzles are best for your application. Choices include Hi-Flow and ESI Six Stream, which are best for Fertilizer Plant Nutrients. Those spraying Herbicides and doing Weed Control would be served best with the Ultra Lo-Drift, Guardian or GuardianAir nozzle types, according to the guide. Rounding out the bunch are the Insecticide/Fungicide Plant Health needs that are best suited by using the Guardian, GuardianAir or GuardianAir Twin nozzles.

Interested in more? Hypro’s Spray Tip Guide digs further into the subject, providing technical details to support your selection. Some of the topics covered include:

  • Why different nozzles should be used when changing what you spray
  • How do adjuvants effect nozzle selection
  • When does using a Contact or Systemic chemical change your nozzle selection
If you still have questions regarding what spray nozzle you should use, contact one of Sprayer Depot's knowledgeable Customer Service Technicians.

Topics: Hypro, herbicides, Sprayer Depot, Sprayer Parts, pest control, spray tips, Spray Nozzles, pesticides, Pesticide Application, Pesticide applicator, spray tip, spray tip selection, Sprayer Parts Guide, spray smarter, sprayer nozzle, tip selector, tip selection, spray tip selector, fungicides, Sprayer Nozzles, spray nozzle, weed control, fertilizer, insecticide, plant health, spray tip guide, nozzle selection guide, spray nozzle selection

4 Features of the New Sprayer Calibration Calculator App

Posted by Sprayer Depot on Wed, Sep 17, 2014

Sprayer Calibration CalculatorRecently Corn and Soybean Digest reported on a newly released smartphone app called Sprayer Calibration Calculator that is designed to assist spray applicators with calibrating a pesticide sprayer. The app was developed by the University of Illinois Extension and is available free to those with Apple and Android phones. As we’ve shared in previous posts, the cost of wasted chemicals can be high when your best tool isn’t set up right.

We took a closer look at the app, developed by Scott Bretthauer, an Extension Specialist in the pesticide safety education program, which includes functions to determine nozzle flow rate, among other things.

The Sprayer Calibration Calculator app allows users to select from one of four main options, including:

1.) Calibration:

This setting allows users to calibrate four different sprayer types, including: aircraft, ground rig, turf boom and boomless. Within each of these sections, the app offers sprayer calibration scenarios that can then be saved for future reference.

We explored the ground rig option for sprayer calibration that starts by entering in a few variables, including: application speed, nozzle spacing and targeted GPA. The app then calculates the required nozzle flow rate in gallons per minute. It’s pretty simple. Note that the boomless option is identical to prompts in the ground rig option, but asks for swath width rather than nozzle spacing. All good so far.

2.) PSI for GPM:

The next section is the ever-important setting that allows users to calculate required pressure (in pounds per square inch, or PSI) in order to provide a specific flow rate (in gallons per minute, or GPM), or do the opposite. A good example of its use was identified in the U or I July/August 2014 issue of the Illinois Pesticide Review that mentions this would come in handy if the flow rate isn’t listed in the nozzle manufacturer’s flow rate table. Or for those “my dog ate it” scenarios.

3.) Nozzle Speed:

The third offering in the app is pretty self-explanatory and should only be used with sprayers that have a flow control system. In short, it lists the minimum and maximum speeds for a specific nozzle.

4.) Convert Value:

Lastly, the convert value function assists users with some of the commonly associated pesticide application-related unit conversions that could be useful as a quick reference guide.

In a prepared statement that discussed how to use the smartphone application, Bretthauer explained that when using the smartphone application, “for most variables, touching the name of the variable brings up a definition of what the variable is and how it is measured.” It also looks like the developer has plans to add a function to assist with tank mix calculations, which could be fun, and more.

If you have the chance to check it out, let us know what you think in the comments below.

Topics: Sprayer Depot, sprayers, pest control, Apps on the Sprayer Depot blog, Pesticide Applicators, calibrating a sprayer, pesticides, Pesticide Application Technology, Pesticide Application, Pesticide spraying, Pesticide applicator, Spray apps, apps for spraying agriculture, pest control app, Sprayer Calibration, sprayer checklist, Sprayer Set Up, Calibrating a Boom Sprayer, Boom Sprayer Calibration, sprayer tips and tricks, University of Illinois, Scott Bretthauer

Think Accuracy, Efficacy, Environment and Cost When Applying Pesticides

Posted by Sprayer Depot on Thu, Aug 14, 2014

Contributed by Guest Blogger: Erdal Ozkan, Professor and Extension Agricultural Engineer, Pesticide Application Technology at The Ohio State University

Professor Erdal Ozkan, Ohio State University

This is the time of the year you will get busy with spraying. Just take a moment to review some common sense ideas to get the most out of those expensive pesticides you will be spraying. Pesticides have played a key role in the abundant and high quality food we enjoy in the United States. However, this comes with a cost, and the potential health and environmental risks associated with pesticides. If you follow good application practices, you not only save money, but you also take the potential risks out of pesticides.  Efficient use of pesticides must be the primary goal of an applicator to save money, and to protect the environment.

Achieving satisfactory results from pesticides depends on five major factors: a) positive identification of the pest, b) choosing the least persistent and lowest toxicity pesticide that will work, c) selecting the right equipment, particularly the right type and size of nozzle for the job, d) applying pesticides accurately at the right time, and e) calibrating and maintaining equipment.

Be well informed about the specific recommendations for a given pesticide, and follow the laws and regulations on pesticide application. Carefully read the product label to find out the specific recommendations.

Tips to Better Spraying

Here are some general recommendations that will help you achieve maximum efficacy from the pesticides.

  • Always calibrate the equipment before starting to spray. It is the only way to determine whether a sprayer is actually applying a chemical at the recommended rate. For safety, calibrate with only water as the spray solution. Detailed, step–by-step information on calibration can be obtained from Ohio State University Publication AEX-520, available at:
  • Some chemicals and/or spray additives are highly dense and may create mixing problems if added to the sprayer tank without further diluting it. In such cases, you should mix the chemical in a small container first, and then pour into the sprayer tank to achieve a uniform mixing of active ingredients in the tank.
  • Find out if the pesticide requires the use of specific adjuvants to provide good product efficacy, influence droplet size or solution evaporation rate, to reduce drift, and to improve deposit and retention on the target.
  • Some pesticides are highly volatile and may require incorporation into the soil after application. Follow label recommendations to avoid drift from highly volatile pesticides.
  • Carefully examine the components of the sprayer (tank, nozzles, hoses, pressure gauge, pump, etc.) to make sure they are the right type, size, and can function effectively under various operating conditions. Make sure no leakage is occurring anywhere in the spraying system. Check the tank agitation system to make sure the flow to the tank for agitation is sufficient and effective.
  • Application equipment generally arrive already set up with a particular nozzle spacing that is typical for the type of spraying to be performed (i.e. row crop sprayer, floater, etc.). Choose the appropriate equipment setup best suited for a given situation (banding, broadcast, directed spraying, etc.).
  • Spray pressure affects the performance of a sprayer in several ways. It changes the application rate as well as the size of droplets. Make sure you have an accurate and functioning pressure gauge on the sprayer, and operate the sprayer within the pressure range recommended by the nozzle manufacturer.
  • Boom height affects the spray pattern overlap, deposition uniformity on the target, and the time during which the droplets are exposed to wind and evaporation, both of which directly influence drift. Keep the boom height to a minimum to reduce drift.
  • Maintain uniform deposition of spray material on the target across the boom. Uniformity of deposition is as important as the amount deposited.  Non-uniform coverage can result from simple reasons such as using misaligned or clogged nozzles, nozzles with different fan angles, or from uneven nozzle height across the boom.  These common problems result in streaks, untreated areas, or over-application of chemicals.
  • Observe the output pattern of nozzles periodically.  Streaks in the pattern indicate that foreign materials are inside the nozzles.  Remove such particles from the nozzle tip using a wooden tooth pick or soft object; clean the nozzle filter using a soft brush. Maintain the sprayer in peak condition by periodic inspections and repairs.  Carry extra nozzles, washers, other spare parts, and tools for quick repairs in the field.
  • Spray drift is one of the most serious problems the pesticide applicators have to deal with. It wastes expensive pesticides, may damage non-target crops nearby, and may pose a health risk to people living in areas where drift is occurring. Spray drift accounts for about half of all non-compliance cases investigated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. So, take spray drift seriously. Various drift reduction strategies are outlined in OSUE Bulletin 816.

Chemical manufacturers recommend the proper label. However, how close you can get to their recommendation is your responsibility. You will be hurt economically whether you apply more than the recommended rate or less.  Too little pesticide results in poor pest control and reduced yields, while too much injures the crop, wastes your chemical dollars, and increases the risk of polluting the environment. Hopefully some of the points I raised in this article will help you achieve maximum efficacy from pesticides you apply. 

Erdal Ozkan, Professor and Extension ag engineer, can be reached at 614-292-3006, or This column is provided by the OSU Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, OSU Extension, Ohio Agricultural Research & Development Center, and the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Topics: Sprayer Depot, sprayer, pest control, spray tips, Pesticide Applicators, pesticides, Ohio State University, Pesticide Application Technology, Pesticide Application, Pesticide spraying, Pesticide applicator, Professor Erdal Ozkan

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