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Pest Control Equipment - Dusters

A duster is a piece of equipment used in the pest control industry to apply a dry, powdery form of pesticide commonly called dust.  You can learn more about dusters and/or purchase them here.  The advantage to using a duster to apply types of dry formulations of pesticides is that avoid coming in contact with the pesticide. There are different types of dusters used for different situations depending on the type of pesticide applied and how precise the application must be. The two main types of dusters are power dusters and hand dusters.

Indoors, dusters are used to treat cockroaches, silverfish, carpenter ants, and other insects that hide in cracks or in wall voids. Outdoors, dusters can be

crank duster

used to treat the perimeter of buildings to prevent ants, millipedes, ground beetles, crickets and other insects from coming inside. Dusters are used to apply products such as Diatomaceous earth, Drione Dust, Delta Dust, ECO Dust, Timbor, and Borid.

Dust pesticides can be difficult to apply properly. There is a learning curve to applying a thin layer of dust rather than clumps of dust. The thinner the dust layer the more likely that insects will walk through it.

The duster's chamber should not be completely filled with dust when loading it with pesticide dust. Leave air space in the chamber so the dust doesn't clump up and will blow out of the duster evenly. Make sure the dust is not exposed to moisture or dusters can get clogged. You will need to shake the duster occasionally or rotate the device to create the desired air/dust mixture. Some actually place a few small pebbles inside the duster to help break up clumps.

Bulb and bellows dusters hold only four to eight ounces of material. When the bulb or bellows is squeezed the air forces the pesticide out. These devices should be used when applying dust to cracks and crevices in small areas. Plunger dusters are larger and can hold several pounds of pesticides. The plunger pushes out an air-dust mixture. Crank dusters release a lot of dust quickly, but with much less control. It can get a bit sloppy.


It is important that you keep the spout of the duster above the level of the dust inside the duster. Like in a watering can, dust will spill out if you tip the spout down too far. You also might think about keeping the metal extension tip of the duster out of electrical outlets for obvious reasons, and away from moisture that could get sucked into the duster.

Don't use the same duster with two different kinds of pesticides without thoroughly cleaning it first. Use all the dust and do not wash leftover dust down the drain. Dispose of it safely and according to the pesticide label.

The following is a list of types of dusters and their uses:

Crank Duster – Uses a hand crank and long tube to disperse diatomaceous earth or granular pesticides over a wide area, such as a garden.

Bellows Duster – Uses a hand bellows to disperse dust into smaller spaces.

Bulb Duster – Hand squeezed bulb spreads dust with the precision of a turkey baster.

bellows duster

Hand Dusters – Link to more bellows and bulb dusters.

Power Duster – Uses an electric motor to spread large amounts of dust quickly over large areas. Use with caution.

Plunger Duster – Uses a hand pump attached to a long tube to spread up to 1lb. of dust at a time.

Hudson Adjutant Duster - This is the kind of metal plunger duster Brando dusted tomato plants with in The Godfather.

Chapin Duster – Lightweight plunger duster good for indoor or outdoor use.

The Dustick – Pump type duster attached to 21 foot pole so you can reach high places like under eaves and gutters or high attic rafters without using a ladder.

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