Petrol Powered Backpacks

Date: December 2012

2012-12-20Petrol Powered Backpacks

The use of a Motorised Backpack Mister (MBM) for spider control in a commercial situation may be a viable method of treatment application. However, as with any pesticide application, there are precautions that need to be addressed prior to the commencement of the treatment.

There are also 'pro's' and 'con's' to this form of application method.

While not an exhaustive list, the following are some of the 'pro's':

  • The operator is not hampered by hoses while moving around a property during the treatment.
  • No risk of damaging your hose, or the property and its contents, by dragging your hose around.
  • The ability to treat large areas very quickly.  
  • From the ground an operator can treat at a greater height. A time saving and safety feature.
As with any form of treatment, there are also negative aspects. Some of these 'con's' are as follows:

  • MBMs must be calibrated so that the chemical is applied as per the chemcial's registered label.
  • MBMs need to be maintained in good working condition.
  • Moving around, especially backwards, is more difficult with a weight on your back and can increase the chance of trip and falls.
When using an MBM to apply a chemical, to a certain degree the airflow produced by the MBM travels around obstacles, such as signs, lights structures, etc. This may allow a treatment in areas where other spray applications would encounter a "shadow" effect, as the back of an obstacle is not treated. This would allow any spiders in this area to remain untreated and therefore reinfest the property quicker.

However, as an MBM is able to propel the chemical into areas where the operator does not have a direct line of site it could mean that the product may be going around a corner, where people may be present.

It is therefore best to perform this type of treatment when there is no, or only minimal staff present, not only on the site to be treated but also in surrounding properties. 

Ideally the treatment should be arranged for a time when the treatment area is completely vacated. 

Prior to treatment, warning signs should be posted so they are readily observable by persons approaching the treatment site.  

Attention must be paid to reducing or excluding the threat of damage or injury not only to people, but also importantly, the environment

While it is possible to conduct a treatment with an MBM, extreme care needs to be taken. A detailed risk assessment needs to be undertaken. Weather conditions, particularly the presence or absence of wind at the time the treatment is to take place, must be observed and documented.

The operator should be well trained and experienced in using these backpacks to ensure that the correct procedure and chemical application occurs.

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