Recent headlines may boost demand for mosquito control

Updated Aug 30, 2016
The tiger mosquito is known for serving as a vector for diseases like yellow fever and the Zika virus. Photo: PixabayThe tiger mosquito is known for serving as a vector for diseases like yellow fever and the Zika virus.
Photo: Pixabay

Today, with headlines about the Zika virus following on years of concern about West Nile disease, your clients’ concern about mosquitoes may go beyond simple annoyance. Offering an effective mosquito-control service may be a good way to help your company stand out from the competition.

While only a small minority of people infected with Zika or West Nile virus actually exhibit symptoms and far fewer die from related diseases, no one likes to take that chance. As there are no vaccines for either of the viruses, prevention is the best method to lessen the risk of being infected.

Especially if your area includes few or no pest-control services targeting mosquitoes, your company can step in to fill that gap. However, there are some factors you need to consider before jumping into the exterminator game.

Do you have the training?

If your crew already has pesticide licenses, then you’ve already saved some time. If not, then take care to calculate how much time will be spent earning a license before this service can be profitable.

Organic or chemical?

This is generally a client preference so before stocking up on a ton of pyrethroid, you should probably poll customers in the area to see which they prefer. There are a number of companies that offer organic alternatives, such as those listed in this TLC article about mosquito control.

If preference is running about 50-50, offer both methods so you can appeal to a sufficient number of customers to make the effort worthwhile.

What is your method?

Mosquitoes can be controlled by using adulticides, larvicides or both. Targeting the larvae lessens the number of adult mosquitoes that need to be controlled by other pesticides. Urge your client to remove as many sources of standing water as they can and then treat the remaining areas in which mosquitoes may lay eggs.

Other methods include applying a barrier of pesticide around a property that has to be reapplied every three weeks. Some companies offer misting systems, but the technical adviser for the American Mosquito Control Association, Joe Conlon, cautions against them.

“They put pesticides unnecessarily out into the environment, which kills non-target insects and promotes resistance in insects …,” Colon told “I would stay away from misting systems.”

To franchise or not to franchise?

Pest-control franchises can be useful additions to your landscaping business, of course, as they normally provide the necessary training and some require a fairly low investment. As an added bonus they can be sold off separately, or together with the rest of the company, when retirement beckons.

If you like being in control of all aspects of your company, franchising probably isn’t for you as these often have constricting standards you must stick to.

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