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Friday, Aug. 26, 2016

Battling the bug

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Mike Bolen, owner of Bolen Brothers Landscape Nurseries, shows his granddaughter, Matelyn Bolen, 8, how to use the Skeet-R-Gone application system.
SIKESTON - Mike Bolen knew what it would take for business success: If he could just figure out how to rid Southeast MIssouri of moles and mosquitoes. He just may be half way there.

Bolen is the Missouri distributor for Skeet-R-Gone, a concentrate injection device for sprinkler systems. To hear him tell it, this is the solution for those pesky bugs which dominate the Bootheel's summers.

The device first caught his attention at a trade show.

But before he became a believer, Bolen first tested it at his own home.

"We didn't want to promote it until we tried it," he explained.

Skeet-R-Gone works in conjunction with a sprinkler system. Bolen simply connected the small gray box containing the chemical applicator to his own sprinkler system, chose a biologically safe concentrate and sprayed his yard. The system applies the chemical by zones, spraying each zone for 30 seconds. He estimated his large yard, located next to a wooded area, was completed in less than 10 minutes.

"Mosquitoes congregate around our house. We sprayed this and by that afternoon there were two mosquitoes where there had been a bajillion, " he said. "It really does sprinkle them to death."

According to Bolen, the Skeet-R-Gone system can be used to kill not only mosquitoes, both the mature mosquito and the larvae, but also fleas, ants, bugs, ticks or anything that "crawls, jumps or flies in your yard." However, it is safe for people, he said, noting that the chemicals to be used must be EPA approved and are diluted as each zone is saturated.

Bolen, owner of Bolen Brothers Landscape Nurseries, has now installed the system for about a dozen customers. Another customer purchased the system from Bolen and installed it himself.

He said the system is easy to attach to a sprinkler system. However, Bolen cautioned that those with a sprinkler system using a city water system would have to ensure the chemical would not back flow into the city system. Those with a pump irrigation system will not have this to worry about, he said.

Bolen recommends placing the Skeet-R-Gone system with the irrigation controller. The tubes hook to the main irrigation line but the rest of the operation is separate, running off 110 volt electricity.

Operation is done manually with the push of a button. An indicator counts down the allotted time for spraying in each zone.

"It really is easy to set up and easy to operate," Bolen said. "You don't even get your hands dirty."

When the spraying is complete, Bolen said a water bottle replaces the chemical bottle, allowing the tubes to clear of any residual chemicals.

The frequency of use varies depending on the area and on weather but Bolen suggests when the mosquitoes become noticeable that is the time to spray again.

For more information about the Skeet-R-Gone, contact Bolen Brothers Landscape Nurseries or on the Web, go to www.skeetrgone.com. Bolen offers a discount on the system for those who are a member of the Team National Business Exchange.