Herbicide equipment: backpack sprayer, handheld sprayers

Working with herbicides means you need to be careful and wear proper protection. Always use nylon gloves when mixing and wash your hands immediately. Eye protection is advised, too. Skin and eyes are the easiest entry points to your body. I’m including an article on Choosing Herbicides, which explains that process along with where we purchase ours. It also explains which herbicides we use the most often. Another often asked question is the mixing rates and techniques used for applying the herbicide. You’ll find all that info in the buttons below.

One other technique to be aware of is what we call the “Spritz.” It is when we use the spray bottle and spritz the leaves. This is how we foliar spray with Element 4 in bark oil. One does not need to use a lot of this when it’s mixed this way vs when it’s mixed in water. Foliar spraying with water means you must coat each leaf. A spritz can be done on 1-4 leaves (depending on the size of the plant) or can be spritzed at the base of small woody plants rather than cut & treat. 

Backpack Sprayers

These backpack sprayers are awesome when doing spot spraying over a large acreage. They allow you to walk the acres without having to refill often. 

The cons to these sprayers is it is difficult to control how much herbicide it released. There are adjustments but it’s still more than a handheld spray bottle would put out. 

They also need to be cleaned after each use if you’ve put herbicide that is mixed with bark oil in it. Even if you’re going out the next day to use the same herbicide! That oil deteriorates the rubber diaphragm. 

backpack sprayer

Handheld Sprayers

We tend to use this more than the backpack any more. We have managed the invasives sufficiently that we only have minimal spot spraying to do. 

Which handheld you use is a preference. We have found the cheap ones from Ace Hardware (photo just to the right) to last longer and the expensive pump brands (photo on the far right). We also have more control over the amount of herbicide being put out, which is very important to minimize collateral damage and maintaining soil health.


Spray bottle
pumping handheld spray bottle