15 mosquito management pro tips

By |  May 17, 2019
mosquito PHOTO: ISTOCK.COM/TOM STOCKER

PHOTO: ISTOCK.COM/TOM STOCKER

No matter how long you’ve been providing mosquito management service, learning from your fellow pest management professionals (PMPs) can be good for business.

“The majority of all pest control businesses want to grow and provide outstanding customer service,” says Kevin Hudson, director of sales and business development for Advanced Services Pest Control in Augusta, Ga. “If we follow these tips, our customers and our communities will be happy and satisfied, and that equals company growth and longevity.”

The following tips may provide new some fresh ideas when offering mosquito management services.

1. OFFER PROFESSIONAL SERVICE

“If you’re looking to make fast money in little time, forget it. Mosquito management is a service. I hear the dissatisfaction in the voices of customers who complain about competitors that perform 10-minute service calls with no time to form a business relationship, or send different technicians every service call that don’t know what was done last time.”
— Jerry Vance Sr., Owner, Discreet Pest Control, Mesa, Ariz.

2. INSPECT EVERY TIME

“Some technicians like to jump straight out of the vehicle, fire up the blower and get right to the treatment. But this may result in a very unhappy customer. Conditions change from treatment to treatment, so an inspection before every treatment is necessary for the best outcome.”
— David Fleming, Owner, Pest Management Solutions, Spartanburg, S.C.

3. KNOW YOUR SPECIES

“PMPs need to be aware of where and how mosquitos hide. Mosquitoes want to be inconspicuous so they are not eaten by predators such as lizards, frogs and toads. Different species of mosquitoes have different preferences for biting times, so know your target pest.”
— Richard Clark, Special Assistant, Trad’s Pest Control, Jacksonville, Fla.

4. SIMPLIFY INFO FOR CUSTOMERS

“Educate your clients without using too much technical data. You probably aren’t talking to an entomologist, so use terms that anyone can understand. Be sure to describe the processes involved in treating the structure or yard, and don’t overpromise results. We will never eliminate mosquitoes from the face of the earth, so don’t tell customers they can expect 100 percent mosquito reduction in their yards.”
— Toby Crowe, Branch Manager, Compass Pest Management, Clarkesville, Ga.

5. DISCUSS HEALTH RISKS

“Educate customers on mosquito-borne diseases so they know the risks involved, and what to look for if a health issue arises.”
— Jacob Barnes, Owner, Barnes Wildlife Control, Dayton, Ohio

6. RECOMMEND EXCLUSION EFFORTS

“Make sure screens are present on doors and windows. This is a form of exclusion, and can cut down on the number of mosquitoes customers will see indoors.”
— Robert Erwin, President, Erwin’s Pest Control, Clovis, Calif.

7. KNOW WHERE TO TREAT

“Treat the underside of all vegetation, because that’s where mosquitoes rest in the shade. Also, incorporating insect growth regulators will help reduce callbacks and retreats.”
— Brian Ranes, ACE, Operations Manager, McMahon Exterminating, Evansville, Ind.

8. EMBRACE VARIETY

“Don’t rely on one treatment type. Also, don’t just treat the areas where mosquitoes are often seen and are a nuisance. While many types of treatment are effective, it is never a good idea to tell your customer the treatment will eliminate all risk of disease transmission. It certainly will not. No treatment method is 100 percent effective.”
— Chad Highley, Branch Manager, Terminix, Lawton, Okla.

9. MARKET YOUR SERVICES ON SOCIAL MEDIA

“Social media allows us to reach existing customers and potential customers effectively and inexpensively. We mention our mosquito control service regularly during the season, as well as late winter so we can have our services on their mind when they begin to see mosquitoes.”
— Andy Yant, President, PEST Inc., Goodlettsville, Tenn.

10. TRAIN EMPLOYEES

“Don’t start offering mosquito management services without properly training your team.”
— Bernie Holst III, CEO, Horizon Termite & Pest Control, Midland Park, N.J.

11. WEAR PROPER PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)

“The label is the law, and smart practice to boot. Always protect yourself with the label-mandated PPE, and be sure your techs do the same.”
— Andy Shrawder, Owner, Hershey Termite and Pest Control, Hershey, Pa.

12. EMPLOY INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT (IPM) PRACTICES

“Use an IPM checklist to increase profit margins by reducing re-service calls and callbacks. PMPs who have to retreat for mosquitoes basically generate no profit.”
— Kevin Hudson, Director of Sales and Business Development, Advanced Services Pest Control, Augusta, Ga.

13. SET EXPECTATIONS FOR CONTROL

“Inform customers they still may see mosquitoes. This will prevent a lot of wasted time on the phone explaining that you haven’t rid the world of mosquitoes, but have taken an active role in reducing the mosquito population in their area.”
— Jacob Barnes, Owner, Barnes Wildlife Control, Dayton, Ohio

14. PREVENT DRIFT

“Make sure your product does not drift onto certain flowers or bushes. Even though there may not be bees or butterflies on a particular flower when you are there, at some point there will be. Be extremely careful around butterfly bushes; your customer most likely planted them so they can see butterflies in their yard.”
— Brian Ranes, ACE, Operations Manager, McMahon Exterminating, Evansville, Ind.

15. USE QUALITY PRODUCTS

“Use the best products for the job, and apply them thoroughly. Trying to cut corners on materials with mosquito control is useless; the material cost is such a small part of the treatment process. It isn’t worth risking another trip — or more importantly, a customer complaint.”
— Andy Yant, President, PEST Inc., Goodlettsville, Tenn. 

Read a full PDF version of PMP’s 2019 Mosquito Management Survey here.

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