Mosquito Misting Systems vs. Mosquito Fogging vs. Mosquito Barrier Treatments

Mosquito Joe Breaks Down Mosquito Control Options

As the mosquito population grows and the diseases they carry hit the headlines, many folks are looking for an affordable and effective way to control mosquitoes in their yard. Misting systems have gained popularity over the past several years, but how do they stack up to the newer barrier treatment technology (sometimes known as “mosquito spraying”)? The crew at Mosquito Joe of NW Houston & S Brazos Valley has created a quick sheet to shed some light on the differences of the mosquito eliminating technologies.

What is the Difference?

  1. A mosquito misting system is installed in specific areas of the yard that are used frequently by homeowners. At predetermined times, the misting system releases product into the air to kill mosquitoes and prevent them from breeding. The mosquito misting system runs periodically, from a tank, in much the same way a sprinkler system does. The products have a shelf life and need to be stored, replenished, and/or replaced periodically. The hoses require upkeep and the nozzles can often block and require replacement.
  2. Mosquito fogging uses heated products that eliminate any adult mosquito in its path when released.  It does not remain in the air, nor affect the area treated after fogging is complete. It is intended to be a short-term method of eliminating active adult mosquitoes.
  3. A barrier treatment, on the other hand, is applied by a certified structural pest control technician and is completely customized to the yard. The homeowner never needs to have bulk products stored on site.  The treatment is effective for 21 days and is designed to break the life cycle of mosquitoes in the property by removing adult mosquitoes and developing larvae.

Misting system spraying service treatments

Effective Treatment Area

A mosquito misting system treats the immediate area (10’ around each nozzle typically) and can often be affected by wind, drifting the chemical to an area outside the desired treatment area. Fogging will eliminate adults in its path only briefly. Barrier treatments typically treat the entire yard, allowing full use of the property.

How Long Do They Work?

Misting system sprays are generally effective for a couple of hours after each spray.  Most systems are programmed to spray several times a day.  Fogging lasts only for the duration of the treatment.  Barrier treatments last up to 21 days with the most effective products. Barrier treatments include management of the water on the property, directly affecting the source of the population.

What Do They Eliminate?

Misting systems are useful for eliminating active adult mosquitoes within immediate range of the nozzles. This means that mosquitoes out of range will not be affected. Mosquito larvae are not impacted by this system. They also kill many other insects in the area, which can include butterflies, bees, and other pollinators important to the environment.

The barrier system also eliminates active adults, but additionally prevents future adults from emerging. The service is usually combined with larva control treatment so both the adults and larvae are destroyed. The technicians are trained to avoid flowering plants and bodies of water that may contain fish. Other natural products are generally used in these areas to repel mosquitoes towards areas where they can be killed without impacting the pollinators and beneficial insects.

How much does it cost?

Mosquito Joe technician in Green shirt and khakis applying treatments to Houston yard

Mosquito misting systems have a significant up-front cost that involves equipment and installation by a certified individual. Once installed, maintenance of hoses and nozzles will be required as well as chemical fills as the product is used up.

Home foggers start at about $200.  Because fogging is not a long-term solution to the problem, most homeowners who try this route expend a lot of time and energy before giving up.

Mosquito control barrier treatments are provided as a service and require no maintenance or involvement from the homeowner.  In most cases, the homeowner doesn’t even need to be home. A payment is charged after each treatment or even on a yearly basis. Homeowners are encouraged to keep their yard free of stagnant water, but the technicians will remove what they can at each service.

Safety and Environment

There are some concerns with mosquito misting systems:

  • Misting systems are automatic and can spray while people and pets are outside. Barrier treatments require that humans and pets be out of the area during treatment and 30 minutes afterward to allow the products to dry.  Once dry, the yard can be used as normal.
  • Automatic misting occurs no matter the wind speed, wind direction and weather – often causing a waste of products. Barrier treatments are controlled by the certified technician applying it and never happen in the rain or when the wind is excessive.
  • For a typical area, a misting system may use up to 165 gallons of mixed product per year. For the same property, barrier treatments use approximately 34 gallons FOR THE ENTIRE YARD during that same year.
  • Misting systems are not a part of an Integrated Pest Management System. They simply spray, killing adult mosquitoes for a short period of time. Barrier treatments combine product placement, standing water control and treatment, environmental protection, eliminating the adult mosquitoes, and ridding and prevention of larval mosquitoes.  This all occurs only in the presence of a state tested and certified technician.

Which should I use?

The EPA has cautioned against misting systems as the components are not classified as ‘application equipment’. They also are generally not as effective as other systems, like barriers, and can be hazardous to the environment. Fogging is ineffective and short-lived. Mosquito barrier treatments are proven to work more effectively at eliminating and preventing mosquitoes. The environmental impact can be much less due to the decreased overall amount of product being used, and they also cost less up front and require no maintenance.

How Can Mosquito Joe Help?

The good news is, Mosquito Joe of NW Houston & South Bravos Valley offers many outdoor pest control options to keep those pesky insects at bay. Effective mosquito control barrier treatments, special event sprays, all-natural barrier treatments, commercial treatments and more. We would love to talk to you further about any questions you have about mosquito barrier sprays, misting systems or fogging treatments so please give us a call at 281-815-0228 or send over an email to


National Heartworm Awareness Month

April is National Heartworm Awareness month. 65% of all US households own pets! Put another way, 78 million dogs and 85.8 million cats are kept as pets in the United States. If you are anything like our household, you might also own a bird, a snake, gerbils and a various assortment of reptiles brought home by eager young children exploring the woods.

Pets are near and dear to our hearts and we go to extraordinary lengths to make sure that they are as comfortable and as well-kept as possible.  They can also be our best friends and our most trusted confidants.

That’s why heartworm disease is such an important topic.  It is a serious and potentially fatal disease that affects dogs and cats as well as ferrets, foxes, wolves and even sea lions. While we often purchase heartworm preventatives for our dogs, this medication cannot be used for cats. Cats typically go undiagnosed with heartworm as they often have no adult worms and they tend to develop a condition known as HARD (heartworm associated respiratory disease) because of infection from the disease.mosquitoes and pets - prevent heartworm with mosquito control services - nw houston

Heartworm disease is prevalent in all 50 states and is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. It is impossible to know which mosquito is infected and which isn’t, which is why prevention is so important. The mosquito bites an animal (wolf, fox, coyote etc.) and becomes infected with microfilariae while taking the blood meal.  These microfilariae mature into the infected larvae stage inside the mosquito. When it bites another animal, the larvae move into the animal and infect it.  In just 6 months this larva grows into adult worms where they live in the animal for 4-6 years.

The American Heartworm Society is involved in research into understanding this disease and recommends that all pet owners speak with their vet about preventing heartworm disease. Prevention is a much cheaper option than treatment, and these days includes monthly tablets, topical treatments (cats) and injectable options. The AHS is also very committed to spreading the word that there are no herbal or home remedies available for the prevention and treatment of this awful disease. Visit the AHS website for more information on what you can do to keep your pets safe.

pets are friends, and family! prevent heartworm with mosquito joeWhile we are not experts in heartworm prevention, we are certainly able to share some recommendations for minimizing mosquitoes in your yard. While this doesn’t in any way replace the need to keep your pets treated, it will minimize those bites and make their time outside (and yours) much more enjoyable. Just remember, no stagnant water! One capful of water is enough to make a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The more water you keep out of your yard the better – so drill holes in those tire swings, make sure toys are upside down and those gutters are clear.  Make sure your pets have fresh water each day and clean up any piles of debris and trash in your yard. Add a solar powered aerator to your birdbaths- mosquitoes only like still water.  Of course, Mosquito Joe of NW Houston will not only dump your water for you, but we will treat any areas you can’t get rid of and give you our recommendations for changes to make in your yard.  And we will treat your yard to make your outside fun again!  Now get outside with those pets and have some fun!