Pest News   |   February 16, 2018

Keys to an effective insecticide application: exterior perimeters and outdoor household pest control

By Brian Mount, M.S. BCE, Technical Services Manager, FMC Professional Solutions

In my role as a Technical service manager at FMC I am often called upon to provide support and direction on the proper use of products.  In this article, I want to focus on exterior pest control.

The question I get most often from applicators is: “how much product do I add to my tank?”  This may seem like a simple question, but it can be a bit more complex.  Many pest control product labels explain proper use rates based on % active ingredient and/or amount of product per 1,000 ft2.  So, the question is which is correct?  The short answer is that they both are.  Most product efficacy trials are conducted based on an amount of active ingredient per square foot, so this is where I like to focus.  If you carefully read a label you will see that the label indicates a maximum to apply per 1,000 ft2.  For example, the Transport Mikron label indicates not to apply more than 1.25 fl. oz. per 1,000 ft2 for outdoor household pest control.  The label also instructs that you can mix up to a 0.11% solution (1.25 fl. oz. per gallon).  With this in mind, it should become clear that if you mix at 1.25 fl. oz. per gallon, that gallon should be used to cover no less than 1,000 ft2.   Another way to look at this is to find the maximum amount of product that can be applied per 1,000 ft2, and then add that amount to the number of gallons you use to cover 1,000 ft2.  For example, if you know – through calibration – that your 3-gallon backpack sprayer applies 3 gallons per 1,000 ft2, you can add up to 1.25 fl. oz. of Transport Mikron to that backpack. 

Let’s also talk a bit about calibration.  As I mentioned earlier, the one question I always seem to run into is; how much product do I add to my tank?  My immediate question back is always, how much area does the tank cover?  Many times, the answer is “I don’t know,” or “three or four houses.”  At this point we need to get the customer’s rig calibrated.  An easy way to accomplish this (for larger tanks 25-100 gal) is to mark out an area that is 10ft wide by 100ft long (1,000 ft2).  Next, add a known number of gallons of only water to the tank. Let’s use 10 gallons as an example.  Then start applying the water as usual to the area marked out.  When done applying determine how many gallons are left in the tank.  If there are 5 gallons left then you just applied at a rate of 5-gallons per 1,000 ft2.  I would recommend doing this a few times to double check your output rates.  For backpacks or hand-held sprayers use a smaller test area of 10-100 ft2.

Lastly, what are some of the product attributes that would make for an ideal exterior pest control product? 

  1. A product that mixes clear
  2. A product that stays in solution when mixed (less agitation required)
  3. A product that mixes evenly in the tank (does not sink or float leading to inconsistency)
  4. Small particle size for better coverage and penetration into the target insect

…and these are all attributes which make Transport Mikron an exceptional exterior perimeter product!

For more information on Transport Mikron, contact your FMC Market Specialist or visit us at

Always read and follow label directions.

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