The illustration below is not a typical irrigation layout. It displays the possible essential components that can be implemented in a sprinkler system. The three rows on the right show aspects of drip irrigation. In an actual sprinkler installation, spacing and device configuration would be altered to suit the landscape design.
Most people do not realize that grass has different irrigation needs depending on the time of year that it is and the corresponding season. During the spring, grass and plants need a lot of water to help them grow. In the summer, they need even more water to sustain the growth that was put on in the spring, and the extra water helps to keep the plant cool in the summer heat.
Finally in the late summer and into the fall, plants and grass need less water because the heat is reducing and the plants are preparing to go into the winter dormancy phase of their life.
Unlike bears and other creatures that hibernate through the cold of winter – waiting patiently for the new life of spring – relying on their reserve stores to sustain life, plants do not hibernate the same way; therefore, they do not need to stock up on water in the fall.
So we dial back the watering times to compensate for these needs and to save precious water resources from being wasted.
Here is a chart that in very simple and basic terms shows the relative time values as they correspond to the kind of sprinkler you are using, the month, and the minutes of run time. This is a general recommendation, so for the most accurate advice contact your local irrigation professional.
Learn how to adjust your controller here.
Sprinkler Warehouse recommends the use of a smart controller that either adjusts watering times automatically based on meteorological info or can be easily adjust using a smartphone, tablet or web interface.
Hendrickson Bros. released a new sprinkler this year aimed at improving the current field of options that exist for the impact rotor market. The product they created is called the PGS Rotor, and its pretty amazing. The rotor is a direct replacement for impact rotors that operate between 40 and 80 psi and cover up to a 74 foot diameter.
Highlights of the product include:
- Silent operation (no chk-chk-chk-chk-chk noise)
- High uniformity
- Low application rate
- 40 psi check valve (sprinkler will not turn on until psi is over 40 psi)
- 80 psi shut off (sprinkler will shut off if pressure exceeds 80 psi)
Here’s your anti-Zika arsenal
There are a variety of mosquito repellent choices.
Today, with Zika cropping up in Miami, a host of products and services claim to stop mosquitoes: natural or synthetic repellents; high-tech clothing; noise makers; citronella candles and a variety of repellent burners or other devices intended to create a bubble of protection. If you’re willing to spend more money, you can hook up a repellent distributor to your sprinkler or install a mister system along the roof eaves.
While South Florida’s mosquito control agencies have tackled marsh mosquitoes with larvicides and aerial- and truck-spraying methods, the Zika-carrying Aedes aegypti is more of a challenge — a suburban invader that can breed in a bottlecap of water and requires house-to-house combat. It usually stays within 150 yards of its birthplace.
“Zika is a manmade issue,” says Beth Ranson, spokeswoman for the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board. “Typically, it’s the neighbor or yourself that is causing the problem. So making it a community effort is very important.”
These latest devices and services all have supporters, but many experts, like the American Mosquito Control Association, say their results have been mixed. They say the best advice may still be the basics: Dump the rain water that collects around your yard, wear long sleeves outside and douse yourself in repellent, particularly stuff with DEET.
Here’s a look at some household treatment options:
1. Sprinkler systems
When you water your lawn to give it that green glow, you can add something extra to ward off mosquitoes. Several companies sell natural oil extracts like garlic, citronella, rosemary, cedar, lemongrass, geraniol and thyme. You can purchase a machine that automatically distributes the concentrate to your sprinkler system — they go for about $1,800 from Sprinkler Magician. Or, to save money, you can buy just the solution for around $130 per gallon and use a hand- or battery-powered sprayer.
“Just because it’s a natural product doesn’t mean it can’t kill mosquitoes,” said Peter Olt, CEO of Sprinkler Magician. He said the company has done lab testing that shows the product’s effectiveness against mosquitoes, and that he has heard reports from customers that it works on other biting insects like red ants and gnats.
While several different companies offer oil concentrates for sprinkler systems, they tend to share the same all-natural ingredients, said Blaine Walker, spokesman for shopping website Sprinkler Warehouse. He said that cedar oil is a particularly effective main ingredient: It kills mosquitoes by dehydrating them and kills larvae and eggs by dissolving their exoskeleton. The concentrates on Sprinkler Warehouse run for $50 to $100 depending on ingredients, and hand-powered sprayers go for about $50.
2. Professional spraying service
Many professional pest control companies offer periodic yard spray, which can cost $50 and up depending on yard size. Unlike sprinkler systems, they focus more on shrubs, bushes and patio furniture. Yoel Gutierrez, co-owner of Mosquito Joe of South Miami, said his company has found mosquitoes do not tend to hide in lawn grass unless it is very tall. Mosquito Joe’s offers two types of spraying: natural options — with ingredients like peppermint, wintergreen or rosemary oil — and synthetic pyrethrin (a compound derived from the chrysanthemum flower). The natural options last about two weeks, while the synthetic option lasts three. Both are designed to work if it rains. Gutierrez says the synthetic option is more effective, but some consumers prefer to avoid pesticides.
“This is not a repellent,” Gutierrez said. “We are trying to kill them. We want to reduce the population of mosquitoes on your property.”
3. Misting systems
Misting systems are installed on a building’s roof eaves or other high surface. They feature timers that periodically emit a fine mist of natural or synthetic repellent intended to kill mosquitoes or drive them and other insects away. However, some have raised concerns about the environmental impact of misting systems that use pesticides. “Scheduled sprays used by these misters may needlessly broadcast pesticides into the environment, affecting mosquitoes and nontarget insects alike,” reads an analysis on the American Mosquito Control Association’s website.
While businesses called by the Miami Herald were reluctant to give a price estimate because of variations related to property size, they can run from the thousands of dollars and up.
4. ‘Bubble’ protection
Another realm of products works by heating and dispersing repellent into the air to create a “bubble” of protection while you enjoy your yard. One manufacturer, Thermacell, is particularly popular among customers, says Ruben Mijares, camping gear director at the Bass Pro Shops in Dolphin Mall. Thermacell uses the repellent allethrin, a copy of the chemical found in chrysanthemum flowers. Thermacell says the technology is silent and odor free and lasts for four hours with the standard product, and up to 12 with the maximum strength product. The product recently received EPA approval and comes in various forms like portable repellers and flame free “torches.” They go for $25-$50.
The downside, users say, is that they tend to be less effective in windy areas and skeeters can target you if you leave the small bubble.
5. Zappers, sound makers
Mosquito zappers use black light to attract and then electrocute insects. These devices are shown to be very successful at doing this but, as the American Mosquito Control Associationpoints out, the two controlled studies conducted on the instruments show the vast majority of bugs they kill are not mosquitoes. This can hurt the ecosystem by killings the bugs that we actually need. “Indeed, reduced numbers of moth and beetle prey species have contributed significantly to the decline of songbird populations in many affluent suburbs,” reads the website of the American Mosquito Control Association. “Insect electrocution devices undoubtedly bear some responsibility for this phenomenon.” Mosquito zappers go for around $25 from online sellers.
Ultrasound device makers that are supposed to scare off mosquitoes or confuse them to disrupt their mating also get a bad rap from AMCA: “At least 10 studies in the past 15 years have unanimously denounced ultrasonic devices as having no repellency value whatsoever. … The fact is that these devices just do not work — marketing claims to the contrary.” They start around $10.
6. Mosquito traps
The biggest boom in household mosquito control has been with devices that bait bugs with an odor-emitting attractant, then suck them in with a vacuum to be electrocuted or dispatched in some other way. These devices, which range from $50 up to several hundred dollars, come in a wide array of styles and sizes — some claiming to protect large swathes of land, an acre or more.
They require maintenance to replace traps and clean out dead bugs, but AMCA lists them among the most promising and evolving technology. Effectiveness depends on factors including the size of the mosquito population and the proximity to breeding habitat.
7. Specialty clothing
Another option is permethrin, a chemical sprayed on clothes, shoes and gear that will be good for a few wash cycles. You can also purchase clothes with permethrin built in (the main brand is Insect Shield). The chemical is EPA-registered in both spray and factory-added forms. The environmental agency has found no evidence of negative effects on pregnant or nursing women or their children. Clothing with permethrin built in costs up to $80 from Insect Shield. Permethrin spray costs around $15.
Clothing with premethrin should be washed separately from other clothes, as the chemical is meant only for outerwear. Also keep in mind that premethrin-treated clothing is only good for the parts of the body that it covers. Other body parts that remain exposed, like hands or ankles, should be given a dose of insect repellent.
8. Dump standing water
Just two ounces of standing water is enough to breed 300 mosquitoes. So keep making those rounds to check gutters, tarps, recycling and trash bins, potted plants — anything that can collect a breeding pool.
Ranson of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board believes that is the single most important step to stop the spread of Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases. “A mosquito has to bite a diseased person, develop the virus in themselves, and then bite someone else. They don’t create it in their own body.”
Even with any of the options above, using repellent also makes sense. Less than $10, depending on the size.
“DEET should be the new perfume in Wynwood,” said Dr. Matthew DeGenarro, director of the Laboratory of Mosquito Genetics and Behavior at FIU. He uses genetics to study how mosquitoes detect human scents and swears by DEET, suggesting produces with at least 15 percent concentration.
Although the chemical’s safety has been a source of debate among some consumers for years, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Food and Drug Administrationand the American Academy of Pediatricts are clear on the matter: When used as directed, it is safe, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women and for children. The EPA notes that in its extensive review of the data on the topic, there were no toxic effects seen in studies even with doses that greatly exceeded those found in DEET products.
DEET should not be used on children younger than 2 months. Parents should also be careful not to use combination sunscreen/insect repellent products because sunscreen must be reapplied every few hours, while insect repellent should not be reapplied as often. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests products with concentrations ranging from 10 to 30 percent, which are similar in effectiveness but vary in how long they last (two to five hours, respectively).
10. Alternative repellents
If you don’t want to use DEET, Consumer Reports also found two other active ingredients effective and safe: picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus. Both can retail for less than $10, depending on the size. Picaridin is a synthetic compound that mirrors a chemical found in the black pepper plant. Look for a concentration around 20 percent. A product with this main ingredient (Sawyer’s Picaridin 20% insect repellant) currently tops Consumer Report’s list of recommended insect repellants.
Mijares, from the Bass Pro Shops, says picaridin is popular among his customers. “The fishermen here in South Florida have told me that DEET sometimes deteriorates their gear,” he says. “It’s not as harsh on your skin. They come in droves and buy it.” He still also recommends DEET, though, pointing to the CDC’s conclusion that the product is safe.
The Consumer Reports brief also gives high marks to products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus. Look for concentrations around 30 percent. This natural product is EPA-registered, meaning it has been stamped by the agency as safe and effective even for pregnant and breast-feeding women. However, the FDA says oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under the age of 3.
Consumer Reports said other natural products — cedar, cinnamon, citronella, lemongrass, and peppermint — did not perform well in tests, with some wearing off after just 30 minutes.
Both picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus come with a head’s up for potential eye irritation.
11. Citronella candles
Mijares, of Bass Pro Shops, says that citronella candles have gotten mixed reviews. “I’ve had customers swear by them, and some come back and say, ‘I wish it worked better,’” he says. He stresses they should be used only outside in a well-ventilated area. They are available for less than $10 online.
Do your part to fight against Zika by eliminating the places where mosquitoes most like to breed. Eight of the most common areas around your yard that are likely to be a hot bed for mosquitoes to breed if they have standing water in them are:
- Bird Bath
- Rain Gutters
- Trash Cans
Apart from these eight places, anywhere in your yard that can allow for standing water will be a concern for mosquito breeding. It is recommended that you eliminate such places, or if draining is not possible, treat the offending area with a product like PCO Choice which will inhibit the breeding of mosquitoes.
Fight Zika using your home’s sprinkler system
with a 100% Organic pesticide that is safe for kids and pets
Houston, Texas: Protect your home and family from Zika using your sprinkler system to apply a 100% organic, food-grade pesticide that kills mosquitoes and stops and prevents their breeding. The cedar based blend of oils is safe for pets and kids alike. Kits to install this system and start fighting Zika can be found at www.sprinklerwarehouse.com/zika.
“For consumers who are hesitant about using DEET-based products, cedar based products provide a safe-to-use alternative without sacrificing the protection,” explained Steve Okelberry, Owner of Sprinkler Warehouse. “For families with kids or pets, it’s a great way to add a layer of protection.”
The organic pesticide is so safe that it can be applied directly to the skin if desired to provide hours of chemical-free protection for mosquitoes and other biting insects.
Homeowners can purchase a system that directly injects the organic pesticide into their sprinkler system or a hose-end kit that anyone with a garden hose can use. A battery operated hand spray version is also available.
In summary, the reasons to use a sprinkler based Zika — and other mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile — fighting system are:
- 100% natural and organic formula that is safe for kids and pets
- Kills mosquitoes and other insects on contact plus stops the breeding cycle
- Automated application (through your sprinkler system) ensuring a safe barrier is maintained around your yard and home
About Sprinkler Warehouse
Based in Houston, Texas, Sprinkler Warehouse is the nation’s largest online supplier of irrigation parts and supplies. They offer the lowest prices on the broadest range of professional grade irrigation related parts, supplies and tools anywhere. All orders ship the same day.
For further inquiries, contact:
Blaine Walker, Digital Marketing Director
As each day passes, the threat of the Zika virus grows more and more real. There has been an increase in recorded cases in the US, and it’s now officially recommended that all pregnant women get tested for the virus whether or not they have been exposed directly or indirectly to the virus.
Add this to the ever present fear created by other mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile or Chikungunya, mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance – they are a legitimate threat to our health and well being!
This means we must adopt new mentalities about how we protect ourselves and prevent the growth and spread of mosquitoes. We know that standing water is the primary breeding ground for mosquitoes. For this reason, sprinkler systems can actually act as a promoter of mosquito breeding. But what if we could turn that liability in to a strength and a beneficial tool against the war on mosquitoes and the spreading of disease?
We can! By using a sprinkler system, it is possible to spray natural mosquito repellents that also act as a pesticide onto your lawn. The solutions are safe for human contact, for your pets, and your kids while proven effective in fighting off mosquitoes.
SprinklerWarehouse.com now offers a variety of different options when it comes to these kinds of systems. They range in cost, but every one can be retro fitted to work with any existing sprinkler system regardless of its age or size.
Check out sprinklerwarehouse.com/zika to start protection you and your family from a mosquito’s bite.
Sprinkler warehouse is proud to support Team USA as they compete in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio.
We will be following the games each day and cheering on the amazing athletes who have made it their life’s work to compete at the highest level in each of their sports.
No matter how many gold, silver or bronze medals we bring home, we love our athletes and stand behind them with complete faith, confidence and pride that they are the elite of the elite.
Go Team USA!!!
The type of heads utilized on a specific project are determined by the dimensions of the area being covered, the water pressure available for operation, and a variety of other factors. Choose between a spray or rotor.
Spray heads spray water in specific circular patterns and can be changed at your discretion. Spacing between sprinklers varies depending upon the specific nozzle that is installed in the head. To operate efficiently, units should rarely be spaced further than 15 feet apart and should be supplied with 20-30 psi of water pressure. Ideal for smaller, fragmented, hard-to-reach areas, these heads discharge 2-3 times the water of a rotor.
Rotor heads also disperse water in circular patterns. However, these are used to cover larger areas of uninterrupted space. Small rotors tend to cover radii of 15-52 feet and large rotors can be designed to cover radii of up to 100 feet. To operate efficiently, rotors need to be supplied with more water pressure than spray heads. The psi level should approximately equal the space between each installed unit. There are two basic types of rotary heads categorized by the mechanism that causes the sprinkler to rotate. These types are impact rotors and gear-driven rotors.
This is the most common design selected by consumers. Installed below the ground, the sprinkler head remains out of sight while inactive. Accordingly, it will not corrupt or compromise the aesthetic beauty of your landscape. Furthermore, there won’t be any pipes sticking out of the ground for you and your children to either destroy or trip over. Once the sprinkler system is turned on, a small portion of the head will emerge above the surface to disperse water to the irrigation area.
Installed above the ground on a riser, this sprinkler design should be utilized if you need to provide water to high-reaching plants. They are sometimes cheaper than pop-ups, but we do advise you that this is not the best selection for an area in the middle of the lawn if it can be avoided. Pop-ups can usually be designed to perform similar functions and will mitigate the potential problems caused by shrubs (risers) as described in the above paragraph. If a shrub is indeed needed, we encourage you to install them in the corner areas of the landscape not usually walked through.
During the winter time, most of the country will shut down their irrigation systems.
Whether you are in the Northwest where snowstorms will bury your sprinklers under a drift of windswept snow or in southern Texas (where we are) and lizards use the sprinkler heads as their own personal lookout post, we cannot wait for spring to fire up the sprinklers and start greening up the grass again.
Share with us what your sprinklers are doing this winter. #WeLoveIrrigation #SprinklerDIY