How do I Choose the Best Insecticide Sprayer?

Kay Paddock

The best insecticide sprayer for one garden may be different for another. The most heavy-duty sprayer is probably not necessary for a tiny garden plot, while a small sprayer can make using insecticide on a large garden time-consuming and frustrating. Choosing the right insecticide sprayer will depend largely on the garden size. It is also necessary to decide whether a separate device or a hose end sprayer is preferred.

Some insecticide sprayers can be attached to a riding lawn mower.
Some insecticide sprayers can be attached to a riding lawn mower.

Small areas can usually be covered very well by a hose end sprayer. These screw directly onto the end of a garden hose. The container holds the insecticide that is mixed with the water as it is pushed out the end of the hose through a special mixing nozzle. The insecticide in the container is concentrated so that once it is mixed with the water it will be at the right strength. Hose end sprayers are typically the least expensive option, but they are not without drawbacks.

Pesticide sprayers are manufactured in many different styles.
Pesticide sprayers are manufactured in many different styles.

Once most of the solution is used, the mixture of insecticide and water might not be in the ideal amounts. The liquid may end up too diluted as the amount in the attached jar dwindles. This can mean that the pesticide is less effective. It can also be harder to judge the amount of pesticide that is needed since the amount in the sprayer is usually calculated by determining the exact size of the garden. If the gardener miscalculates the size of the plot, the amount of pesticide may not be enough to adequately treat for pests.

Tank-style sprayers are commonly used for dispersing insecticides.
Tank-style sprayers are commonly used for dispersing insecticides.

A compressed air insecticide sprayer is another option. These are also commonly called tank sprayers. These tanks generally cost more than hose end models but allow the user much more accuracy in coverage. Unlike with hose sprayers, tank versions can be used anywhere because there is no need for a hose to be long enough to stretch to a garden spot. The pesticide is pushed out through the nozzle by the pressure built up in the tank, usually through a hand-pumping mechanism. Some insecticide sprayer models have tanks that strap on like a backpack, which can make them easier to carry.

Large areas might be best treated by a motorized sprayer. These come in stand-alone models that are powered by a small engine. Some styles can be carried by hand while others can be worn backpack-style. There are also some varieties of power insecticide sprayer that attach to a riding lawn mower or garden tractor. These are sometimes the most convenient choice for spraying entire lawns or large garden spots.

Tank sprayers can be used anywhere.
Tank sprayers can be used anywhere.

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