How to Control Mosquitos Hanging Around Your Apartment Community

how to control mosquitos


Labor Day may signal the unofficial last day of summer, the final big opportunity for outdoor gatherings, but as cooler weather approaches the desire of your residents to chill on patios, decks and outside common areas doesn’t fade. If anything, more people will frequent conversational areas like fire pits and around the grill. The sad fact is, however, that mosquitos are going to be right there with them, especially in parts of the country recently affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. As a property manager, you will be tasked with thinking about ways to control mosquitos.

Mosquitos, which can be the bane of outdoor fun, typically hang around until a freeze. Numerous ways to control mosquitos in common areas are available, including citronella plants and torches, water dunks.

On a larger scale, the grounds can be controlled through applying an insecticide through the sprinkler system. While effective, the treatment is sometimes restricted by city watering restrictions and resident traffic. Waiting until the middle of the night to treat when residents are unlikely to be outdoors may violate imposed watering times during drought.

Hiring a pest control specialist with a spray truck is another option, but accessibility to all parts of the property can be an issue, especially for apartments that have retention ponds, creeks or large water features throughout the property. The areas, while they may be off the beaten path of popular outdoor gathering spots, are often used as residents stroll or walk their dogs. Treating these areas are just as important as spraying the patio.

A mosquito-free community can be a big selling point for apartments, especially given the potential health issues resulting from bites. As of early September, West Nile virus infections in humans, most notably caused by mosquitos, have been reported in 37 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC reports 526 cases.

Backpack foggers/mist blowers provide effective on-the-spot treatment

Mosquito backpack foggers/mist blowers are perfect for on-the-spot treatment to help ensure complete coverage of the property. Treatments can often be done without interference of residents and provide a quick kill to young and adult mosquitos.

The backpacks, which are similar to leaf blowers, are portable and easy to manage, enough that they are a good option for in-property application by the maintenance team (a licensed operator is required but properties can certify appropriate personnel). Applications can be applied before special events or at problem areas, or as part of regular maintenance program.

A number of companies produce gas-powered backpack foggers/mist blowers. They strap on to the operator, who sprays the intended area using a short applicator and nozzle. Most are lightweight and can be prepped with an insecticide mixture and strapped on in just a matter of minutes. Plastic tanks hold three-to-five gallons of treatment.

The machines also double as blowers, which can be used to keep the grounds clean of debris. Several industrial equipment supply and lawn care specialists sell the units, which range from $200-$900. For about $350, and apartment maintenance team can be armed with an effective mister.

Treat areas hours leading up to a resident event without the hassle

The portable design of the backpacks enables apartment communities to douse foliage, common areas and structures more effectively than other treatments. The convenience of using the machines offers quick, easy application just about any time.

In the hours leading up to an outdoor resident event, the area can be thoroughly fogged and eliminate mosquitos and other insects. The need for burning citronella torches, which can be unpleasant for some, or keeping canned spray repellants on hand is reduced.

Also, a 60-day treatment schedule can be administered to coincide with daily walks of the grounds by the maintenance team.

Consider pin-point application of mosquito repellants using the mister/blower system. If you’d rather not manage treatment through the maintenance team, contact your landscaper. Chances are the company has the equipment or works with someone who does.

Either way, your property will improve control of mosquitos and help ensure that residents enjoy the outdoors now and any time of the year.



President, Earthworks

author photo two

Chris Lee is President of Dallas, Texas-based Earthworks, which specializes in multifamily housing landscaping. He is a contributing author to Landscape Management magazine, licensed irrigation specialist and a Toro Intellisense certified technician. Chris studied business at the University of Arkansas from 1990-94 and horticulture and landscape design at Tarrant County College from 1999-01. He has been employed at Earthworks since 1998.

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