The War On Pests: Good Results With Good Equipment

There’s good news in the war on garden pests: the struggle grows easier by the season.

Thanks to recent improvements in spraying and dusting equipment, you can go forward to battle assured of winning with a minimum of effort.

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New designs make garden spraying and dusting practically a push-button job.

And even if you are not in the market for new equipment, you can modernize what you have with new laborsaving accessories.

In making equipment easier to operate, manufacturers have recognized a general need.

The chief deterrent to victory in the battle against bugs is that humans tire more quickly than insects.

The new insecticides and herbicides are vastly superior weapons, but unless used with promptness and regularity, the enemy—crawling, chewing, flying insects, blight, weeds—will win the day.

Fortunately, sprayers and dusters for the season operate so smoothly their use becomes a pleasure rather than a chore.

A gardener looking at the new models can look forward to slinging one over his shoulder or on his back knapsack-style and going to work.

For now, getting spray on the undersides of rose leaves or shooting dust on every part of nicotianas requires no gymnastics.

Nor does treating a large lawn for weeds mean heavy labor. And there’s no wrestling with screws and parts in shifting from one type of spraying to another—say, from floating a gentle mist over roses to shooting a tall stream into trees.

Various Insect Control Equipment

Garden stores offer a wide variety of equipment for insect control this season, for the many new pest-killing chemicals call for diversified equipment.

However, the home gardener need not be dismayed at the large selection. 

Manufacturers realize he may not want to set up an insect arsenal in his home, and they have given thought to make versatile equipment that fills several needs.

As a result, the multiplicity of use is a feature of much new equipment.

Use Of Misting Or Fogging Method

For example, to destroy flying insects one may wish to produce a mist or fog which will stay suspended in the air for a time so the insects may fly through it.

But to combat crawling insects a residual spray may be needed. This calls for heavy droplets that wet the surface.

Adjustable nozzles enable the user to shift from one type of spray to the other with a light turn of the fingers.

Different Compression Type Sprayers

Many excellent compression-type sprayers are available.

In these, pressure is built up through a hand-operated air pump, and the liquid is expelled through precision discharge equipment.

Hand pumping is not difficult, but manufacturers are not content to stop with improvements that just make it easier.

They have come out with a sprayer that requires no pumping at all with an eye to pleasing the homeowner!

Sliding Pump Sprayer

One is a sliding pump sprayer which this manufacturer says is so light madame herself can reach the tops of trees with the 20-foot spray.

Both up and down strokes propel the spray. In addition, the hose is attached at an angle to give the user a better grip.

An adjustable nozzle makes it possible also to use this sprayer to produce a fog-mist for delicate flowers and a coarse spray for wetting broad surfaces with insecticides.

The other model is similar in function but is of the compressed air type.

Spray Cart

Another improvement designed to please both men and women is the spray cart, a little two-wheeler, like a gocart, on which the sprayer can be placed for easy moving.

You may have a wide expanse of lawn, brightly spotted with dandelions.

Digging the weeds is out of the question unless you feel the urge to perform a deed of heroism. (And who does?)

Instead, mount your sprayer upon this cart, equip it with a boom to widen its spread, pump up pressure, and go off to slay the pest.

The boom, which is extended at right angles to the original nozzle, has 2 or 3 nozzles and sprays a path as wide as the swathe cut by your lawnmower.

You may be far from your water source, and your lawn may be broad, but the job is done thanks to a cart, and boom easily. Where chiggers are a problem, the same technique can be used.

The multi-nozzle boom attachment comes in handy when the family decides to take up outdoor living and eat its meals on the patio.

Although you would never think it from the pictures on magazine covers, outdoor meals are an invitation to all the neighborhood flies and mosquitoes—unless you forestall the invasion by spraying.

With a boom attached to the compression sprayer, you can get an insecticide into the insect hiding places—lawns and foundation plantings—in a minimum of time.

If you can persuade your neighbors to cooperate, only occasional spraying during the summer will be necessary.

Then you can bring out the hamburgers, spread the table with salads and sweets, and enjoy outdoor meals beside the petunias and the marigolds without signaling a fly invasion.

Various Size And Power Ranges Of Sprayers

The range in size and power of sprayers now available is very great.

They start with a little 5-ounce hand sprayer suitable for flower box use and extend to the tractor-drawn type holding 150 gallons of liquid under 800 pounds of pressure and spreading destruction to insects in the fields at a rate of 3 miles an hour.

Some of these have as many as 25 nozzles on their booms and reach eight rows of crops at a time.

For fairly large jobs, there are 25- to 50-gallon units powered by air-cooled engines with piston-type pumps and positive agitators for keeping the spray solution properly mixed.

These can be attached to a tractor or jeep for field work. In addition, booms of various lengths can be used for field spraying.

Mechanized Wheelbarrow Sprayer

Smaller in size is the mechanized wheelbarrow sprayer. Holding from 12 to 15 gallons of liquid, these models have pumps that will discharge up to 2 gallons of spray material per minute.

But the small home gardeners have not been forgotten, and even window box enthusiasts can find equipment scaled to their needs.

Manufacturers have made a versatile instrument of the 1- to 3-quart sprayer.

Some have adjustable nozzles, making it possible to use a mist spray on sticking insects or spread a residual coating on vegetation where it may be eaten by chewing insects to their destruction.

One new 3-quart household sprayer has a cutoff valve which enables the user to get a steady spray by pumping a head of air into the tank and depressing the valve.

Uses Of Sprayers

Sprayers can do different things. For example, one sprayer will start a fire (a flame sprayer for burning brush), and another will put out the fire (a gardener’s aid for quenching grass blazes).

Whatever the use, today’s sprayers are designed with careful attention to the effect upon them of the new insecticides and herbicides.

Their hoses and gaskets are resistant to oil and chemicals, and their metals are selected for wear. Durable metal containers are also carefully selected.

The widespread use of sprays to kill weeds has brought a new problem to the gardener.

If a vestige of the herbicide remains in the sprayer when he switches to an insecticide, he may find himself killing off roses instead of weeds.

Careful Cleaning Of Used Sprayers

Careful cleaning, of course, prevents the danger. Still, the United States Department of Agriculture, aware that all of us are not model housewives, recommends using two sprayers, one to be kept exclusively for herbicides and plainly labeled.

Taking note of this need, one manufacturer has brought out a simpler type of compression sprayer, which sells for half the price of his more elaborate model of the same type.

The less expensive model has interchangeable discs for fine, coarse, or fun spray and is intended to serve many of the purposes of the more costly model.

A knapsack-type slide sprayer is another popular-priced model suited to the home gardener’s needs.

The horizontal cylinder rests against the small of the operator’s back.

Improved Dusting Procedure

Dusters, like sprayers, have been improved. But, simple as the dusting procedure has always been, manufacturers have found ways to make it even easier.

Changes in dusters may not be visible to the user, for they are of the built-in variety, but the operator enjoys their effects, such as:

  • Better lubrication for the plunger lessens the effort needed to operate it.
  • Better agitation in the dust chamber improves the discharge.
  • Filling is made easier by such improvements as the hand lug on the filler cap of one make and the built-in scoop of another.
  • A new plunger type has an adjustable nozzle for under-leaf work, where insects like to hide.

This year, making its debut is a duster that can be operated with one hand.

A spring inside the bellows is set in motion by a gentle up-and-down wrist movement.

This duster is a British patent but is manufactured by an old American company.

Specific Uses Of Different Dusters

Although dusting is a simple process, there are a variety of dusters designed to meet specific uses.

Plunger dusters apply small quantities of pest control dust accurately and without waste.

The garden-sized duster protects home plantings. For larger gardening, truck crops and crank dusters have been developed. These are carried in front of the operator using shoulder straps.

High-speed gears inside the duster are powered by a hand crank that operates the fan. The fan draws dust from a chamber into a discharge tubing.

Another type is the knapsack duster, designed to carry on the back and operate by bellows. This duster is intermittent in action and is used where spot application is needed.

Then there are dusters for a large-scale operation, including:

  • Wheelbarrow
  • Crank dusters
  • Big power dusters for field crops

All are on the market in improved forms this year.

Essential Spraying And Dusting Methods For Agriculture

Progress in spraying and dusting is striking when you consider that these essentials to agriculture are of relatively recent origin.

The first-hand sprayers date from the Civil War period when western potato farmers were faced with ruin by the Colorado beetle.

Finding that Paris green would destroy the pests, practical inventors of that period made band sprayers to protect their potato crops.

Now the making of commercial pesticide equipment is big business.

In any case, it’s now – within the power of home gardeners to win their war on plant pests.