Calibrating Equipment for Precise Vector Control

As part of the District’s Integrated Vector Management (IVM) Program, vector control technicians annually calibrate their pesticide application techniques and equipment. All products used by the District for mosquito control are registered for vector control use by the EPA.  This means that these products have been evaluated to be effective, safe, and cause minimal environmental harm, but only when strict guidelines on the product label are followed.  In order to ensure that these applications are made accurately, calibrations are performed to precisely determine the output of control materials. 

Depending on the type of equipment, calibrations are performed using water or non-pesticide granules (“blanks”), employing standardized methods including, but not limited to:

  • Spray water using the equipment into a bucket for a set period of time, using the same type of nozzle and equipment settings as would be used during a pesticide application.  Measure the amount of water sprayed during this time, repeat multiple times and take the average value.  This gives technicians a measure of the volume per-minute rate for a liquid application.
  • Assess the amount, application range, and swath-width of dry material applications made by hand.
  • Measure each technician’s walking pace while making applications.

District technicians performed this annual calibration on their backpacks, hand cans, power sprayers, and other mosquito control equipment on December 21. Calibration of fogging equipment, including measurement of output rate and droplet size, was performed in collaboration with Central Life Sciences earlier in the season.