Using a Backpack Sprayer for Lawn Insecticide Applications: Tips and Tricks

The time has come to treat your lawn with an insecticide. Either ants, termites, mosquitoes, or some form of fast multiplying and damage-causing insects have appeared on your property, and it is action time.

Key Points:

  • Backpack sprayers for lawn insecticide applications can be an effective way to manage pest infestation.
  • Careful maintenance of the sprayer and adherence to dilution and application rate instructions is key to success.
  • Proper application may require adjustment of the nozzle tip, pressurization of the solution, as well as uniform coverage of the treatment area.

The size of your lawn and the square foot area needed to cover is so vast that a simple hand pump will not suffice. In these instances, a backpack sprayer for lawn insecticide applications is best.

But there is much more to treating your lawn than throwing insecticide into your sprayer’s unit and squirting it all over the plants in fact, proper application with a backpack sprayer can be tricky. It is easy to over-apply poisons, and this can have severe side effects that make the treatment worse than the disease.

Read on to find out all the best tips and tricks when it comes to killing bugs with a backpack sprayer. 

How to Use a Back Pack Sprayer Efficiently?

Sprayers Plus 105EX Powered Backpack Sprayer

Using a backpack sprayer works a lot better when all the parts are attached and used correctly.

If you want to get the most out of your insecticide application, it is important to take the proper steps to maintain and care for your equipment, that way when it comes time to spray, everything works well, and there are no issues requiring you to stop, empty the mixture and adjust, leading to wasted time and having to start over.

Below are some tips to help you use your backpack sprayer even more efficiently.

Check Equipment

Once all the parts are assembled tightly, pour a little water into your sprayer and try out the pump and nozzle to ensure there are no leaks. Make sure nothing is clogged, and there are no issues that will require you to dump out your solution and start again, and that the calibration for the sprayer is correct.

If no water is leaking and the application pressure is significant, you can proceed to check that all the straps are solid and not cracked or frayed. 

Use Proper Dilution Rates

When filling the sprayer tank, it is important to maintain control and pour insecticide in slowly to avoid any spills. Boom sprayers and other types of lawn applicators have wide openings meaning it is easy to apply the product at an application rate based on the chemical labels without a funnel.

Next, add gallons of water until you have achieved the proper dilution rate for a formula that will be tough on pests but gentle on your turf. 

Adjust the Tip

Check the pressure gauge as you pump to make sure air is building and staying pressurized, and then open the tip to its widest capacity to remove any particles that could interfere with the flow rate.

Keep tightening the tip until the output volume is correct, and you can achieve a uniform distribution of the chemicals. 

Pressurize the Spray

Whether you are using manual sprayers, a hydraulic sprayer or even a hose-end sprayer, the rate in gallons of solution that comes out will vary. Lithium battery sprayers pressurize automatically, while a manual sprayer needs to be hand pumped to build pressure.

Make sure to check the pressure gauge if your sprayer has one to blast a gallon of spray mix at your pests quickly for control of ants and control of pests that may have invaded your lawn. 

Point Nozzle and Spray

Once the spray mixture is ready to be applied and pressurized, you can point the spray wand where you need it and adjust your spray pattern until you are satisfied with the actual application rate of your sprayer.

The application of chemicals has different spray density needs, with the application of fertilizers being a deeper saturation and the application of pesticides being a lighter and less prolonged application. 

Apply Uniform Coverage

During the application process, you will want to apply the solution in a smooth and even manner. The proper application rates calculated to kill pests often involve only a single pass with the spray, and spending too long spraying one area can lead to unintended consequences of the poison.

For example, spraying gallons of weed killer in a small area can kill grass even if the chemical being used is selective and not meant to harm turf grasses. A uniform distribution of chemicals can help against that. 

Avoid Walking Through Sprayed Areas

After you have sprayed the area, you need to wait before walking through the wet grass. The exact time it takes for the chemicals to dry varies, but an average time for most chemicals is at least 2 hours on a hot, dry day.

On overcast and damp days, it may take longer for the lawn to be safe to walk on without transferring chemicals to other parts of the lawn or into your home. 

Empty Reservoir

Try to only mix and fill your sprayer with the amount of solution you need for sufficient coverage of the target area without going overboard or having to stop halfway through and refill your tank. You can check your product label or chemical container label to find out how many sqft your tank can sufficiently cover.

Do not leave chemicals in the sprayer, as they quickly lose potency and can erode plastic components, washers, and gaskets. 

Clean Residue and Empty Tank

If you are left with gallons of material, you may need to dump it somewhere safe. Make sure you are not adding gallons of liquid containing harmful chemicals to waterways or places where wildlife may uptake the chemicals.

If you find that there is still a lot of solution in your high-capacity sprayer, then you can consider mixing a smaller batch or purchasing smaller common sprayers in the future. 

Store Properly

When empty, rinse out any residue and dump where treatment has occurred to prevent polluting other areas of the property. Let the tank air dry briefly, and then make sure to store it somewhere dry and out of direct sunlight.

Storing in sunlight can lead to the deterioration of the straps and wear out the control valves making effective control of pressure, application rate, and uniform distribution much more difficult. 

How Full Should a Sprayer Be?

It is generally best to think of the tank in 4ths. If you will not need even a fourth of the tank’s worth of chemicals, then a hand sprayer is probably going to be a better option for applying and will be easier to clean and carry around.

Generally, at least half of the reservoir should be filled to reduce time spent going back and mixing more product. Part of the advantage of the backpack is its ability to carry much more pest control solutions than a simple hand sprayer. 

The balance of the course is weight, as the fuller a backpack is, the heavier it will be. As long as you follow the correct dilution rates found on the label of the pest control method you are using, you can keep your unit as heavy or empty as is needed to reach the area you will spray.

Sometimes an application requires a bit of a trek, and a full backpack may be unwieldy and unnecessary for the task. The size of the infestation and the amount of spray needed, as well as how hard the site is to reach on foot, will all dictate how full the spray tank should be. 

Backpack Sprayer Parts

My 4 Sons M4 Backpack Sprayer

Knowing all the parts of your backpack sprayer can help with effective pest control. Regardless of your spray material, it will sit in a reservoir, be pressurized, and come out of the nozzle tip of the wand.

As you prepare a gallon of spray mix and dilute it with 3 to 5 gallons of water, you will want to make sure all parts are attached and tight, or leakage will occur. Below are the main components that make up basic sprayers. 

PressurizerNear your right or left hand at about the waistLets you build air sprayers used to spray material all over a property for tick control and to fight other pests while achieving a consistent spray for uniform coverage 
ReservoirOn your backA large tank that sits against your back and houses the chemicals mixed with water to the proper dilution rate and holds a larger volume for consistent output
WandNear your left or right handLets you control a manual sprayers application by aiming the wand where you want the chemical to go providing better accuracy and ease of operation than hand-pump sprayers afford
NozzleTip of wandNozzle attachments can let you have even more control over how the chemical is sprayed, and adjustable nozzles save time compared to having to carry additional nozzles and change them out for different chemicals and application goals 
StrapsAttached to the tankAllow you to hang the reservoir tank on your back and may include a harness strap in front to take pressure off of your back and allow easy carrying of gallons of liquid around your property
HoseConnects the tank to the wandThis part allows you to have more mobility than a rigid wand-to-tank attachment and can help prevent application errors by allowing you to get the nozzle as close to the application site as possible 

What Kind Of Back Packer Sprayer Do I Need?

The main thing is that the sprayer has the capacity to carry the amount of solution you will need for your tasks and that it is comfortable and easy for you to operate.

If you have the budget, then a battery-powered backpack sprayer will make your job easier and take away the need to constantly pump. These sprayers will have to be charged and taken care of more fastidiously, or else the sensitive electrical components could fail.

Cheap backpack sprayers may leak and can cause issues, so the best backpack sprayer for you is the one that gets the job done affordably. 

How to Maintain Your Sprayer?

Always clean out all solutions from the reservoir, wand, hose, and nozzle, or the chemicals can build and degrade the sprayer.

When you are done using the sprayer, clean the inside and outside, as there is a chance dirt and other debris has accumulated on the unit. When clean and dry, place the sprayer in a secure location out of direct sunlight to prevent the breakdown of the fabric and plastic parts when exposed to UV light.

If you follow these tips, your backpack spraying jobs will be much more successful, and pests on your property won’t stand a chance.

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