What Is Ultra Low Volume (ULV) Fogging?
Everything you need to know about Ultra Low Volume (ULV) Fogging
When it’s about winning against harmful pests, insects & pathogens that threaten the environment & health, many innovative solutions like the ULV fogging have been developed as the go-to weapon. Ultra Low Volume (ULV) fogging is one of the widely practiced methods of applying liquid pesticides, disinfectants, or other chemicals in the form of fine mist. The technique is basically the dispersion of droplets with sizes ranging from 5 to 50 microns. The term ‘ultra low volume’ refers to the small amount of liquid used to generate the fog that allows for efficient and widespread coverage with minimal product waste.
How is ULV fogging done?
For ULV fogging, one needs to use specialized machines called ULV foggers that help in producing tiny droplets of liquid, which fall in the size range of 5 to 50 microns. It eventually sprays these liquid droplets in the form of a fog. These ULV foggers use high air pressure to break down the liquid into smaller fine particles, thus creating a mist-like fog that remains suspended in the air for an extended period. You can also check out an article on cold fogging for more details.
Uses of ULV fogging -
As fog generated by ULV foggers easily penetrates hard-to-reach areas, thus ensuring comprehensive control & damage of pests. Thus, ULV fogging is primarily used in pest control, especially airborne flying insects such as mosquitoes that usually dwell in hard-to-reach areas. It is also used to disperse pesticides, insecticides & fungicides in gardens & farmlands. Many public health centers use ULV fogging for disinfection & sanitation purposes. ULV fogging can be used wherever there is a need to replace the conventional spraying method. ULV fogging has grown in popularity for the disinfection of spacious outdoor places & buildings. Let’s understand these uses in greater detail.
Pest Control - ULV fogging has achieved great effectiveness in pest control, hence these have grown popular in this space. The fine droplets generated by ULV fogging disperse through reaching even places like crevices, cracks, and foliage where conventional spraying would never reach. ULV fogging ensures even dispersal ensures that every hiding place of the pesky creature is covered. Moreover, as they use lesser chemicals than the traditional spraying alternatives, they are more environmental-friendly.
Eco-friendly - As previously mentioned, ULV fogging uses an ultra low volume of chemicals than the conventional alternatives, which reduces the sprayed quantity of these harmful substances. Moreover, even dispersal doesn’t allow the chemical to get concentrated in a single spot. Also, this not only reduces environmental contamination but also the collateral damage that may happen to the beneficial organisms. Also, as the liquid is in the form of mist fog with many tiny droplets, they tend to break down quickly and don’t accumulate in the environment.
Did you know?
ULV fogging plays a key role in hunting down mosquito outrages in many nations. During the outbreak of mosquito-borne diseases such as Malaria, Zika, and Dengue, ULV fogging helps in controlling the mosquito population. It has been a go-to weapon and has proven itself in curtailing disease transmission effectively & reducing any collateral damage to the environment and other beneficial organisms. Check out ULV fogging for mosquitoes for more information.
ULV in Agriculture- While ULV fogging serves the urban population by disinfecting, sanitizing & pest control, it plays another vital role in rural settings, i.e., agriculture. Farmers use ULV foggers for spraying pesticides, fungicides, and insecticides. ULV fogging uses lesser chemicals that help in protecting the fertile soils, crops & sprayers’ health. The technique also ensures that every corner of the farmland is well covered such that the crops are well-protected with minimal use of chemicals. For more information, check out our article on ULV fogger machines in agriculture.
What does a ULV fogger contain?
- Nozzles: ULV foggers have nozzles designed to break down the liquid solution into extremely small droplets, typically in the range of 5 to 50 microns. ULV foggers use high-velocity air streams generated by the nozzles to break down the liquid solution into fine droplets. These fine droplets remain suspended in the air for a particular period, providing thorough coverage and penetration into hard-to-reach areas. A few ULV fogging machines are offering adjustable particle size settings, thus allowing users to customize the droplet size based on their specific application needs.
- Electric or Gas-Powered engines: ULV foggers can be powered by electric or gas engines, making them suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Electric foggers are generally quieter and more suitable for indoor applications, while gas-powered foggers are preferred for large outdoor areas.
- Portable and Backpack Models: ULV fogging machines come in various sizes, including handheld, portable, backpack, and truck-mounted models, making them easy to carry and use in different settings. The choice of fogger depends on the size of the area to be treated and the specific application requirements.
- Tank Capacity: The ULV foggers have a tank or reservoir where the liquid solution is stored. The tank capacity varies depending on the model and purpose of the ULV fogger.
- Application Control: Some ULV foggers have adjustable flow rate and spray distance controls, allowing users to regulate the fogging output based on the application requirements.
For more information, check out our article on ULV fogging machines.
Are there any risks associated with ULV fogging?
ULV fogging is extremely sensitive to temperature & humidity. High temperatures & extremely low humidity can negatively impact the efficacy of ULV fogging. High temperatures can cause the fine liquid droplets to evaporate quickly, thus reducing their number and thus efficiency. Extremely low humidity could mean that the fine liquid droplets may remain suspended in the air for longer durations, thus may cause environmental damage or unintentional exposure to other organisms.
While ULV fogging helps in the massacre of targeted pathogens and highly minimizes any collateral damage, it may still negatively impact beneficial insects like bees and other pollinators if not used appropriately. To protect the beneficial creatures, the operator must perform fogging during the low activity period of these organisms or in areas where they are not present.
When ULV fogging is done using proper PPE, the person performing ULV fogging will be completely safe. The PPE includes a coverall, eye safety goggles, and a face mask or respirator. The operators must also adhere to any safety instructions provided by the ULV foggers so that there is no direct contact with the fine liquid droplets. When the operator gets in contact with the fog, then it can irritate. So, necessary precautions must be taken to safeguard the operator’s health. Proper calibration, maintenance, and handling of the machine and chemicals are crucial to achieving the desired results of ULV fogging while ensuring safety and environmental protection.
ULV fogging is a powerful and versatile technique widely used for pest control, agriculture, and disinfection. It has truly revolutionized the way humans have combated mosquito-related diseases & environmental threats. ULV fogging has increased efficiency, minimal environmental impact, and applications in various sectors & industries, which have made it a go-to solution. However, with a safe and effective implementation of ULV fogging by balancing its advantages with the consideration of potential drawbacks, one can harness the complete potential of ULV fogging while preserving our environment.