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Tricks of the Trade for New Pesticide Applicators

January 19, 2023 | Categories: ,
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spraying pesticide with portable sprayer to eradicate garden weed

You have all of your pesticide applicator certifications. Now what? Here are some tips and tricks of the trade that they don’t always teach in education programs.

Product Selection

With so many chemicals available, it can be overwhelming to choose products. Do your research to find the best solution for your situation, and don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from others in the industry.

When selecting products, it’s wise to verify the identity of your target pest. Use a weed identification website to confirm that you’re treating the right pest. Applying the wrong pesticide can be costly from both a product and labor perspective.

Remember the difference between product cost and application cost. The same-sized packages of different chemicals can have very different costs, but application rates ultimately dictate how much the product costs to apply. Sometimes, a pesticide with a higher price tag is less expensive in the long run because it has a lower application rate.

Maintain a value-add mindset by going above and beyond for your customers. Select chemistries that will produce exceptional results to set you apart from the competition. As callbacks and customer replacement are very expensive, it’s more profitable to keep your existing clients happy with an outstanding lawn. 

Tank Mixing

Tank mixing is an excellent way to make spray applications more efficient and significantly reduce labor costs. Just be sure to read and follow product labels when tank mixing chemicals.

Use product labels to determine if you should add a surfactant, adjuvant, or spreader sticker to an application. Adding one of these options can improve the effectiveness of an application, but only if it complies with labels.

Temperature and Timing

Read product labels for temperature restrictions. Generally, don’t make applications when the temperature is above 85°F. Ester-based formulations, specifically, shouldn’t be applied in warm weather because they can volatize.

So, in what temperatures should you make applications? It depends on what pests you’re trying to control. Growing Degree Days are a helpful timing resource for pre- and post-emergent herbicide applications. 

Calibration

Don’t underestimate the importance of calibrating your application equipment properly. Doing so will ensure that you apply the intended amount of chemical, while improper calibration can cause either excess or insufficient applications.

When calibrating your equipment, use a walking speed that you can sustain throughout the day. Otherwise, you risk slowing down and underapplying product as you go. The important thing is to maintain a consistent pace.

Business Logistics

Use accurate square footage measurements of the properties you treat. Correct measurements will help ensure precise applications while also allowing you to price your services appropriately. There are several free online tools available for measuring lawn size.

Lastly, confirm that you have all the necessary licensing to begin working as a pesticide applicator. In addition to your pesticide applicator license, you also need a pesticide business license before legally advertising your services. Work with the governing agency in your state to obtain proper licensing.

Many Advanced Turf Solutions sales reps have been where you are now, and they’re here to help you succeed. Contact a rep today!

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