For most Louisiana residents, it has happened that you’ve been out for an early evening walk around the neighborhood, only to have it interrupted by fogger crews as they head up and down the public roadways. They’re easy enough to spot, as their equipment is typically bellowing fog towards the ground & can be heard blocks away.
While many people are leery of anyone spraying or fogging when they are nearby, these foggers are doing it for an important reason; they are trying to thin the local mosquito population. Still, many people have concerns. What is fogging, and does it even work?
How Foggers Work
Foggers work by putting out a small amount of insecticide that is designed to kill airborne mosquitos. While fogging is considered an extremely effective means of killing mosquitos, however it is not a 100% fix for the problem.
Just because an area has been fogged does not mean mosquitos won’t come back in the future, especially if favorable habitats such as low spots and full ditches are present. This is why foggers tend to come back to areas over and over.
The fog itself contains an extremely small amount of pesticide, and it has to be cleared by the EPA and used by a licensed professional when done in public.
How Long Are They Effective For?
Fogging works pretty quickly on flying mosquitos, however it does nothing for larva or eggs. Because fogging only gets flying mosquitos, any that are provided good cover, or that were not flying at the time, can technically avoid the fog.
Also, as stated before, fogging doesn’t permanently clear an area of mosquitos. Instead, it only kills the current population. Typically, a good fogging can last several days in terms of effectiveness.
This means it’s not something that has to be done nightly. Still, it happens on a regular basis in most communities, and is something that is typically scheduled. If you ask your city government, they should be able to provide you with a calendar of fogging times.
The most commonly used insecticides are synthetic pyrethroid insecticides. Foggers may also use these in combination with pyrethrins and malathion. All of these are poisons that have been cleared by the EPA, and any documentation you may want to read on them can be provided by your local government and by poison control.
A common question is whether the insecticides are harmful to people. The common answer is no, the amount used in fogging is not nearly enough to harm a person. In fact, the amount used in fogging is considered to be less than what is generally used on crops.
Still, if you feel that you should not be exposed to fogging, you should make sure your outdoor activities don’t coincide with a fogging event by consulting the local schedule.
Best Time to Fog
Fogging is typically done in the evening, as this is when most mosquitoes go out to feed. Dusk is the prime time for this behavior, so your evening walk might be accompanied by a fogger or two.
Please keep in mind that most local governments are not required to warn you ahead of time if they are fogging. Despite this, many will issue an announcement as a courtesy, but if you are at all concerned about being caught out during a fogging, contact your authorities and ask.
Mosquitos are a common problem, and one that has plagued mankind for years. As new insecticides are developed and used, the war against these tiny, flying menaces will continue to be waged.
While fogging may not be a perfect means of dealing with them, it has been proven to be largely effective, and for those of us who want to enjoy our evenings outside, every little effort helps.