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DIY Pest Control through Lawn Sprinkler System

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I live in Texas which means we have only a few months out of the year without mosquitoes.  My wife and I don't like the toxic products as we have a large yard, and the kids play out every chance they can.   My yard requires quite a bit of coverage so, when we can, we take the organic route to solve problems at each opportunity.

I found a good liquid repellant, that does a fair  job, whose primary ingredient is garlic.  Aside from smelling somewhat like an Italian eatery it does work well for a few days at a time, but distribution can take a while.  Using a hand feeder attached to my garden hose to spray the mixture is slow if I want to ensure the yard is covered.

Then I saw that my lawn sprinklers cover the entire place, quickly, and decided to attempt running the mixture through them.  I've seen systems online sold for $1400+.   I did mine for less than $30.

The idea was to steal the water from my backflow preventer, route it through the "venturi" feeder to collect the garlic mixture, and then join back up with the original outbound line to the sprinkler zones.  I had to be able to shut this off and on, both to water my lawn as well as purge the mixture from the lines which only takes a few minutes.  I started with this assembly which came with the house.  There is a black sprinkler head in front which unfortunately is in the way of the lower ball valve in the photos, but the fence turns and this angle was the best I could do.

Unlike some feeders which use a straw to collect the mixture, this one has two orifices of different sizes:  the smaller one is used to fill and pressurize the reservoir; the larger one is the "venturi" orifice to pull the mixture out. 

Once the reservoir is filled the output lists as 3 tbsp per gallon of water.  I'm currently testing the zones to see what the rates of depletion are.
 
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ghartung5 months ago
Can you give a little more detail about how your venturi is setup and if there is a way to limit/ration the amount of mosquito spray? I see what looks you might have fiberglass and glue in the bottom of your spray canister. Is that the case and then you just drilled a small hole at an angle to get the venturi affect?
I love your idea and plan on incorporating it with the sprinkler system that i plan to install in the spring. I was also thinking that I might be able to replace the manual ball valves with an valve with a solenoid (maybe one from a sprinkler manifold like this: http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/202206757?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=202206757&R=202206757#.UnZwp_nkvy4)
As i said, I don't have a sprinkler system yet but my hope would be to hook everything up to a timer so that when my first zone turns on, the valve for the bug juice also opens and then closes after a few minutes (timing is tbd). Then repeat this when the next zone comes on.
kanamic647 months ago
As a Licensed Irrigator i MUST comment on the fact that you have a Pressure Vacuum Breaker on what is in escent a Fertigation system; which, isn't rated for back pressure only back siphonage. Texas State Code dictates that any system that introduces chemicals into an irrigation system must be equipped against both requiring a reduced pressure zone assembly.
Dornier (author)  kanamic647 months ago
I appreciate your comments. Could you clarify the concern? Pressure? Or contents?

I wasn't concerned about code as a) it's not for sale, b) it's removable, and c) garlic and peppermint aren't a chemical--except to say garlic and peppermint have a "chemical makeup". I run organic house and we don't use pesticides.

Please, comment.


kanamic64 Dornier7 months ago
I was Just inputting that if is connected to municipal water supply it needs to protect against back pressure; which, a Pressure Vacuum Breaker(PVB) isn't. The backflow pictured is a PVB and are only rated for fertigation if there is no risk of Backpressure, ie a broken city main. Yes, a PVB has a popet valve but this valve doesn't create an air gap around the seal. And while i don't have a particular opinion on the contents, it is still a contaminant to the public water supply. If you do install a Reduced Pressure Zone Assembly(RP), you may need to check on the state of the pressure at the heads because RP's do create a higher pressure drop on backflow TCEQ License # LI0020599
Nick705871 year ago
This is great. I am planning a a full outdoor cabinet with several feeders for insecticide, and different fertilizers. (I live in vegas where keeping a lawn alive is an all out war during the summer).

I think its very important to point out, as you did, that this rig goes AFTER your backflow preventer. If someone were to install this before the backflow preventer and use more toxic chemicals than you it could cause a lot of harm to people in the house or contaminate other people's water. My home's sprinkler system does not have its own backflow preventer, there is just one for the whole home system to protect the city water, so I will have to install one for the sprinkler system.




Dornier (author)  Nick705879 months ago
I put an update out for the sprayer. Combats pressure issues and better re-filling. I hope to tear down and re-submit the whole thing in a more presentable way, but for now I can say it's leak-proof and does the job quite well. Thank you much for the comments too.
ccerceni1 year ago
Very well done instructable. Awesome job dude.
Mr.Miz1 year ago
Great work. I've had this idea since purchasing my first house but I've never attempted to do it. Plumbing and I have a long sorted past. Its awesome to see somebody actually put this in place. Hope to see any upgrades or recommendations in the future. I have no idea what a venturi is but I'm going to be googling the heck out of that next. When I was a kid my parents use to buy lawn fertilizer in 10 gallon containers that has what I suspect a venturi is on it that you hooked up before your hose then basically the whole hose would distribute the "product"..... ok now you got my brain really turning. Thanks! This is an awesome post.
nanosec121 year ago
This is such a great solution, it falls into the category of "I can't beleive nobody has done this before"

great work
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