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Sprayer Depot Blog

Safe Handling of Pesticides: Tips for Applicators

Posted by Sprayer Depot on Wed, May 11, 2016

Pesticides are widely used across the industries we serve. They offer protection against pests that SAFE_HANDLING_OF_PESTICIDES.jpgtransmit diseases which can harm crops, plants, humans and pets. There are many different types of pesticides such as herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides. Each is quite effective at controlling pests when used appropriately. 

Handling pesticides safely can have a huge impact on the efficacy of your application. There are, however, risks involved when using any type of chemicals. The applicator responsible for spraying the solution must be properly trained on how to handle, transport, mix, apply, and store these chemicals.

The University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Cooperative Extension Service has made available a thorough guide on handling pesticides. At Sprayer Depot, we’ve done the homework for you. Read below for our quick recap on Safe Handling of Pesticides.


  • Chemicals should never be transported in the passenger compartment of a vehicle.
  • Ensure chemicals are properly secured to prevent spillage.
  • Never transport pesticides with other items that could become contaminated such as livestock or groceries.
  • A “Hazardous Materials” placard and other labels should be clearly attached to commercial pesticide transporters.

Mixing and Loading

  • Keep soap and fresh water handy in a designated spot before you start so you can quickly wash up if pesticide spills or splashes.
  • Always read the label first and pay close attention to the warnings.
  • Wear personal protective equipment as stated on the label before handling the pesticides.
  • Mix concentrated pesticides below eye level preferably keeping the container below the waist.
  • Ensure your back is to the wind to avoid any fumes or pesticides blowing on you.
  • Always use a stir stick to stir chemicals.
  • Pesticide should always be poured first into a different container to dilute it according to instructions before it’s added to the sprayer tank.
  • Make sure the spray tank doesn’t overflow.
  • Never mix more thank you need.


  • Always read the label and follow the instructions specified for the pesticide.
  • Ensure you are wearing the required PPE.
  • Use the correct spray equipment for the application.
  • Nozzles, hose, valves, seals, and strainers should all be properly serviced and tested for leaks.
  • The sprayer should be accurately calibrated.
  • Monitor the weather and check wind direction to avoid spraying upwind from sensitive crops, homes or other areas.
  • Use drift control spray tips.
  • Always empty a tank by spraying the entire contents onto the vegetation or another area for which it was intended. 
  • Always store pesticides out of reach of children and pets.
  • Never store pesticides near food, feed or seed.
  • Store pesticides in their original containers with labels clearly visible. 
  • The building or room where pesticides are stored should be locked and only accessible by trained applicators.
  • Never store diluted pesticides in sprayers.
  • Store pesticides in a location away from freezing temperatures or extreme heat. 

For more in-depth information on handling pesticides, please read the complete guide by clicking here. Share your tips on proper use of pesticides in the comment box below.

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Topics: sprayer, pest control, spray tips, Pesticide Applicators, pesticides, PPE, University of Georgia

5 Ways to Use a 2-Wheel Trailer Sprayer in Lawn Care

Posted by Sprayer Depot on Tue, Mar 31, 2015

KingsSprayersUsed for a variety of purposes throughout the lawn and landscape industry, our 2-wheel trailer sprayers by Kings Sprayers are very versatile and allow users to cover large areas that they might not otherwise be able to tackle with just a hose. Great for lawns, pastures, golf courses and athletic fields, here we’ll explore five ways to use a 2-wheel sprayer that you may not have considered. Have other ideas? Share them in the comments below. We’d love to hear your thoughts. 

1.) Snow Removal

Our friends up north could use the 2-wheel trailer sprayer for snow removal in the winter months, as this model doubles as a de-icing/anti-icing sprayer. After all, not all de-icing jobs are highways. Keep areas like driveways, sidewalks and parking lots safe and free of ice. Just add a de-icing solution to the tank and go to town clearing a path with 12’ booms in action. Use the boomless nozzle to spray frozen tires on your vehicle too. It’s a great tool to increase safety and access in the winter.

2.) Watering

An obvious choice, the 2-wheel trailer sprayer is a great resource for watering. With this product on hand, all you have to do is fill up the tank and be on your way watering large areas with the 12’ boom option. We’ve even seen some customers who tow the 2-wheel sprayer behind a mower, allowing them to multitask by watering at the same time as they cut the grass. Talk about efficient. Using the spray gun option you can easily spray trees and have a tank full of water at the ready for multiple stops.

3.) Fertilizing

Using the 2-wheel trailer sprayer to fertilize commercial, residential and recreational areas is a practical alternative to walk-behind rotary fertilizers. It’s also a time-saving option and has shown that this type of application results in applying product more consistently for the job since employees become less fatigued than they might otherwise with the push options. On top of that, using a liquid fertilizer reduces potential runoff and allows for more chemical control.

4.) Herbicides

These sprayers are a great option for herbicide application, or weed control, by allowing you to spray a pre-emergent herbicide to an entire lawn using the boom, as just one example. After all, there are a variety of herbicides used to combat a variety of weeds, in order to achieve a healthy lawn.

5.) Insecticides

Pest control is a popular use for the 2-wheel trailer sprayer within the lawn and landscape segment as outdoor spaces are often threatened by a multitude of pests. With a two-wheel sprayer, folks can easily apply an insecticide across an entire lawn or planter area using the 12’ boom or boomless nozzle.

There are a variety of other uses for the 2-wheel trailer sprayer that delivers high pressure to spray trees or shrubs, high-volume for turf spraying, high flotation turf tires roll easily, and it’s wide stance keep the sprayer stable on most terrains.

To learn more about the Kings Sprayers line and determine a model that’s right for you, contact our Customer Service Technicians.

Topics: herbicides, fertilizer sprayer, Sprayer Depot, Kings Sprayers, pest control, Kings 2 Wheel Sprayer, Pesticide Applicators, pesticides, sprayer tips and tricks, fertilizer, insecticide, de-icing sprayer, snow removal

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

Pesticide Applicators Can Save Money By Following Three Spring Tips

Posted by Sprayer Depot on Wed, May 07, 2014

by MSU News Service

Pesticide applicators can save money by inspecting their spray equipment, calibrating their sprayers and testing the quality of their water before spraying, said Montana State University Extension Pesticide Education Specialist Cecil Tharp.

“It’s easy for applicators to focus on purchasing pesticide products while neglecting to calibrate the output of their spray equipment or test the quality of their water being used for spray applications,” Tharp said.

Offering three tips for spring spraying, Tharp recommended first that applicators inspect their spray equipment by checking spray pumps, lines, hose clamps and fittings for leaks and assessing the entire sprayer for rust, wear and breakage. Applicators should also inspect nozzles to see if the screens are free of debris and each nozzle spray pattern is uniform.

“A finely tuned ground sprayer in the fall may deliver a vastly different spray output in the spring,” Tharp said. “Rusted nozzles, ruptured seals or rust in the lines may eventually lead to uneven spray patterns or a significant departure from desired target flow rates.

To check the spray pattern, Tharp suggested that applicators spray water over gravel or concrete. If the spray pattern seems uneven, they should replace or clean the nozzles. They should select a nozzle tip that’s rated for the width they want to spray. Hypro Spray Tip

In his second tip – calibrating sprayers – Tharp said the goal is to make sure that the output of their sprayer falls within the range required on many pesticide product labels. Once applicators determine the output of their sprayers, they can determine how much pesticide product to add to a tank. For more information on calibrating sprayers, Tharp suggested applicators go to and select “Reference material” at the lower right side of the web page. He recommended applicators either download and print the MontGuide titled “Calibrating Ground Sprayers Using Shortcut Methods” or refer to the calibration PocketGuides.

In his third tip – checking water quality before mixing solutions – Tharp said many applicators don’t realize that water quality affects pesticide effectiveness. A pH over 8, for example, may lead to a 50 percent loss of 2.4-D amine efficacy within a few hours. In addition, glyphosate (Roundup, for example) formulations lose efficacy if hardness exceeds 150 parts per million.

“Water quality can significantly lower pesticide performance of many pesticide products,” Tharp said. “Vast areas of Montanaharbor ground water with less than ideal pH and/or hardness for spraying common pesticides.”

Applicators can test their water with a pH meter or pH litmus strips, Tharp said. If pH is a problem, applicators should consider using alternative sources of water or adding a buffering agent to adjust the pH. For more information on water quality, a new MontGuide titled “Pesticide Performance and Water Quality” is available by going to and selecting “Reference material.”

Topics: sprayers, spray tips, Pesticide Applicators, calibrating a sprayer

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