Common questions & concerns
From our Weed and Mosquito Director Cory Worwood:
Today I would like to address some of the more common questions/complaints we receive about fogging.
Smell: Falls into two categories. “The stuff you use stinks, I need to close my windows” or “ I did not smell you, so you did not fog?”
For almost 30 years malathion (the stinky stuff) was in the fogging chemical rotation to one degree or another. The past two years we have not used it at all.
After many years of use, it is not surprising that some people may have been conditioned to automatically smell a stinky smell when they see or hear the fogger truck.
The complaint we get more often is you did not fog because we did not smell you. The chemical we use now has very little smell to it. Most people are not going to smell it even if the windows are open.
Speed: “Your truck drove by my house too fast, I did not get enough fog.” Technology has allowed fogging machines to have automatic variable flow. Meaning the amount of chemical coming out of the fogger automatically increases when the truck speed increases and automatically decreases when the truck speed decreases. I don’t know how long Emery County has had this technology but my guess is over 10 years. I think most people remember the days when fogger truck crept by going 5 or 10 miles per hour. Back then the only way to control your application rate was the speed of the truck. Our Fogging machines allow us to apply chemical up to 20 mph. If we go over 20mph an alarm goes off and won’t stop until we are back under 20 mph. The takeaway is that the same rate of chemical is being applied at 1 mph or 20 mph it doesn’t matter how fast the truck is driving people are not getting more or less chemical.
Also, keep in mind we typically don’t double fog the same area in one night.
Sound: “I have not heard the fogger truck go by for a while.”
The fogging machines of today run more quietly than the fogging machines of years past. Combine that with the fact that they drive by the home at 20 mph and not 10 mph. People are much less likely to hear them go by. I am not saying our machines are quiet, just that they are much quieter than machines of years past.
Timing: I don’t get a lot of complaints about this It’s just a good FYI.
Most of the mosquito species we deal with are most active around dusk. So we try and coordinate our fogging to the times they are most active. It allows us to kill more mosquitoes. We start as close to sundown as possible. I have noticed that most of the “you did not fog last night” complaints come from homes fogged later in the night. When people are more likely to be asleep.
Another one is “you don’t fog enough!”
Over the years rules, regulations and restrictions on insecticide chemicals have become more and more strict. When people tell me they don’t get fogged as much as they used to in the good old days they are making a true statement.