Top 5 mosquito management tips

By |  April 24, 2018

Many pest management professionals (PMPs) offer mosquito management as an add-on service. Whether your applications are one-time only or seasonal, the following advice may help boost business.

1. Inspect thoroughly

“Being thorough will provide a quality treatment that will allow you to sell your services to the account again and again.”
— Roger Meitler, Owner, World Pest Control, Plainville, Kan.

“Identify, correct and treat all potential breeding sources. Any item or area that holds, or potentially could hold, standing water must be corrected so mosquitoes cannot lay eggs that will hatch in the water and become viable adults. Do not overlook even the tiniest of items, such as plastic bottle caps, toys, flower pots, etc.”
— Dennis Judy, Owner, Judy’s Pest Services, Snellville, Ga.

“It’s a must to eliminate and treat mosquito breeding areas; otherwise, you are solving part, not all, of the problem. Treatment has to be targeted where mosquitoes are. Spraying the lawn while ignoring bushes and shaded foliage will not be a successful treatment.”
— Josh Wise, Service Manager, A Plus Pest Control, Edmond, Okla.

“Mosquitoes like calm, standing water. If you have a pond with no movement, add an aerator to constantly move the surface water around. Not only will this help with the mosquitoes, it will add oxygen to the pond.”
— Jamie Fontenot, Quality Manager, The Bugman, Baton Rouge, La.

“Always ask the customer to clean up any debris. Check your surroundings for items that should not be sprayed, as well as tripping hazards.”
— Andrew Harrington, Pest Control Specialist, Orkin, Queensbury, N.Y.

“A thorough inspection does not mean a casual walk around the house or property; it should be an intense search for breeding sites. The inspection must include safety issues, such as tripping hazards and areas that may cause concerns with drift or product contamination. Be sure to include a look at adjacent properties for issues that may prevent treatment on that day.”
— Patrick Boland, ACE, Technical Director, Scherzinger Pest Control, Cincinnati, Ohio
 

2. Follow directions

“Comply completely with the label of the product. Many products have a ‘rainfast’ time listed on them, and even a light rain that is not timed well with the application can wash off and put pesticide where it doesn’t belong. As a professional working outdoors, it is our responsibility to our clients and fellow workers to be aware of what Mother Nature is doing.”
— Chris Olson, Production Manager, LaRosa Landscape Co., Cedarburg, Wis.

“Certain pesticides are toxic to bees and other pollinators. If actively foraging on flowering plants that were treated, the pollinators may be endangered when collecting pollen. Many labels include a Bee Advisory Box. In addition, new use restrictions indicate application when bees are not foraging, while plants are not flowering and only after flower petals have fallen off. Make sure to read and understand these labels.”
— Dennis Judy, Owner, Judy’s Pest Services, Snellville, Ga.

“Use the proper equipment and treatment techniques for each product. Choose equipment that is best for you and your company. Be sure to use the product that is best for the situation.”
— Patrick Boland, ACE, Technical Director, Scherzinger Pest Control, Cincinnati, Ohio

“Wind drift needs to be monitored. Wear clothing that is waterproof, instead of water-resistant; it’s one of the main reasons poisoning incidents occur through the skin. Everyone is wearing cotton baseball hats, but hats should be chemical-resistant. Pant legs should be outside, instead of inside, the boot.”
— John S. Besic, President, Besic Pest Control, Transfer, Pa.

“Do not skimp on the material you use. Many products are available for mosquito treatment. Just because a product is cheap doesn’t mean it is the best product for your bottom line. A quality treatment with a quality product will enable you to resell your mosquito service much more easily.”
— Roger Meitler, Owner, World Pest Control, Plainville, Kan.

“Talk to your distributors and ask questions. They are your best resources to reduce the mosquito population and satisfy customers.”
— Jamie Fontenot, Quality Manager, The Bugman, Baton Rouge, La.
 

3. Train technicians

“Educating customers about what your service involves and what they can expect should be part of every pest management program.”
— Josh Wise, Service Manager, A Plus Pest Control, Edmond, Okla.

“Providing a well-trained workforce is essential. A properly trained technician has the knowledge to provide effective control measures safely, while at the same time bolstering customer confidence. In addition, a properly trained employee is less likely to have a morale problem and much less likely to make mistakes while servicing a customer.”
— Dick Crawford, Quality Control Manager, D A Exterminating Co., Metairie, La.

“Talk to your supervisor or coworkers, and ask questions. There is a wealth of knowledge out there.”
— Jamie Fontenot, Quality Manager, The Bugman, Baton Rouge, La.

“Many times the service is sold, but when the technician arrives for the application, he may say a few things nonchalantly that are taken as gospel by the homeowner. Complete eradication is not something the technician should be talking about. A simple comment like, ‘You won’t have to worry about any mosquitoes at your BBQ,’ sets in the client’s mind that he will not see one single mosquito. That can create an angry customer.”
— Roger Meitler, Owner, World Pest Control, Plainville, Kan.
 

4. Educate customers

“Many times, effective control requires assistance from the customer. For instance, when attempting to control a bed bug infestation, customers have to be instructed what to do to get their homes ready for treatment. Similar customer education is needed to effectively control many other pests, such as mosquitoes.”
— Dick Crawford, Quality Control Manager, D A Exterminating Co., Metairie, La.

“Give customers tips to reduce or eliminate mosquito resting places. When the lawn is cut, bag grass
and leaves. Keep shrubs trimmed. Fold up patio furniture.”
— Jamie Fontenot, Quality Manager, The Bugman, Baton Rouge, La.
 

5. Price accordingly

“Pricing your service is very important. Mosquito control takes a little more time than a simple pest management application, and more material is used, usually at higher concentrations. Take that into consideration.”
— Roger Meitler, Owner, World Pest Control, Plainville, Kan.

“Underpricing pest control work potentially leads to poor control if you are unable to spend the necessary time on the job. Poor control results in customer dissatisfaction, loss of revenue due to the poor performance of an underpriced job, and the loss of potential work from that customer. A disgruntled customer is more likely to provide poor reviews to neighbors, family members and friends.”
— Dick Crawford, Quality Control Manager, D A Exterminating Co., Metairie, La.

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