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Why get started with a mosquito management program?
Simply put, the increased prevalence of mosquitoes makes a mosquito management program so attractive. Increasing temperatures and more precipitation have created longer mosquito-breeding seasons and opportunities. Regardless of the cause, mosquitoes seem to have an increased presence in consumers’ minds and actions.
According to recent research, nearly 50% of consumers indicated past-year experience with mosquitoes, making them one of the fastest-rising pests.
According to recent pest control publications, nearly 80% of those businesses that offer mosquito services anticipate their business will grow in the coming year.
When should I market my mosquito management program?
As with many pests, timing is key with mosquitoes. While the exact timing will vary from year to year, mosquito season generally starts in early February for the southernmost US and early May for northern locales. The season will generally last until the first frost.
Being top of mind with customers will be crucial when they first experience mosquitoes. If possible, start your communications a month or two before the season starts. This will help keep you top of mind. Don’t forget to maintain your communications throughout the season. Pest pros are busy in the summer and every time you are in touch with a customer it is an opportunity to remind them of your mosquito management program.
What mosquitoes can I expect?
There are over 3,000 species in the world and over 175 are found in North America. The Aedes and Culex are among the most common. Here is a guide to help identify the species in your area and their typical breeding sites.
Marketing your mosquito management program 101
The desire to get started with a mosquito management program may exist, however, as with any new business, it can be tough to know where to start. Fortunately, there are 5 simple marketing tactics you can do right now to get in the game.
5 MARKETING ACTIVITIES FOR A MOSQUITO SERVICE
- Monitor your market – before you rush into any action take time to become familiar with the competitors in your area. Are there any national providers that are active. If so, what are their marketing activities and what do their services look like? Just keeping an eye on the competition will ultimately inform how to differentiate your service.
- Up-sell,up-sell, up-sell – when it comes time to launch your mosquito management program start with your existing customer base. They already know your company and you may have established trust based on your other services. As a result, you don’t have to introduce your company, just the service.
- Get involved – look for ways to get involved in your community. Offer a free mosquito service for a local non-profit and write a press release about it or share it on social media. Sponsor a baseball team and make yourself available as a resource to local media. Consumers indicate they prefer buying local so do everything possible to let them know that’s you!
- Focus on the customer experience – train your employees to go above and beyond with an account, take time to talk with customers about how they can minimize mosquitoes on their property, make them experts too!
- Own the referral – once you have a happy customers don’t be afraid to ask for their referral and train your employees to do the same. Offer the customer something of value, like a free treatment, in exchange for their referral. Remember, if you don’t ask the answer is always no!
What products can help me?
The Catchmaster® brand is proud to offer a set of non-toxic tools for your mosquito management program. Our products have been field tested under the harshest conditions.
Final Feed™ is the only mosquito bait on the market. It is a 25b exempt product that uses mosquitoes’ appetites against them to deliver a lethal dose of microencapsulated garlic. Final Feed™ immediately suppresses blood appetites, kills a majority within 1-2 days and collapses populations by up to 90% within 2-3 weeks.
Ovi-Catch™ Mosquito Trap uses mosquitoes’ breeding instincts against them. It utilizes technology developed and tested in the performance of research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Female mosquitoes seek out Ovi-Catch™ as it mimics their favorite breeding sites and traps them on a non-toxic glue board. Removing just one female mosquito can remove up to 1,000 future mosquitoes. And, like all glue board devices, Ovi-Catch™ works as a monitor and will provide you with physical evidence to inform your customers about flying insects on their property and treatments that may be required.
Where on a property are mosquito services most needed?
One key to managing customer expectations is to understand that a mosquito management program will help control mosquitoes but is unlikely to eliminate them completely. That is because mosquito pressure is most likely a function of underlying environmental conditions that may be out of your control. You may want to use the term nuisance reduction in describing your service. However, there are several activities you, and your customer, can undertake to mitigate mosquito pressure.
- Inspect, inspect, inspect – mosquitoes require access to standing water to complete their life cycle. A mosquito only needs about a bottle-cap sized amount of water to breed. Therefore, it is important to remember that water is not limited to ponds or lakes but also includes lots of man-made reservoirs like clogged gutters and discarded tires or buckets.
- Identify the likely mosquito hot spots – mosquitoes seek out areas that are moist, cool, shaded and out-of-the-wind. Find these spots on a property and you most likely have your starting points for any treatment.
- Interview – if you can, take the time to walk the property with the customer. Not only is it a great touch point, it offers you the opportunity to be the expert. Ask them questions – where on the property are the mosquitoes seen? At what time of day are people being bitten?
Here are some tips for how your customers can prep for mosquito season: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/10-mosquito-prevention-tips-for-your-yard/
Who should you market your mosquito management program to?
Look beyond your current customer base when it comes to a target market for your mosquito services. There are some unique niches that are in need of mosquito control. Consider the following targets.
- Residential, single family homes – up-sell your mosquito management program to your current pest management customers. A good target is a single family home with higher income and children or pets. Look for homes with a water feature, like a small pond or lake, nearby. Homes with pools or hot tubs may be targets as well. Be sure to target those who use outdoor spaces like decks or patios as they may be particularly vulnerable to mosquito pressure.
- Communities of all kinds, particularly those with retention basins and ponds – apartment complexes, condo associations and homeowner associations often times have shared ponds or retention basins on the premises and require a mosquito management program.
- Landscapers, pool companies and other outdoor services – consider targeting other service companies who work on lawns and landscapes. Oftentimes they are asked to do mosquito work but will work to sub work out or recommend another local mosquito company. Consider targeting those types of companies to build a relationship.
- Businesses who offer outdoor venues – any business with outdoor spaces for their customers to enjoy may need a mosquito management program. Examples include restaurants with outdoor facilities, event halls, parks with pavilions, etc. And don’t forget sensitive situations such as schools, daycare centers, nursing homes and healthcare facilities. These populations can be particularly susceptible to mosquito annoyance, and the decision-makers will be particularly interested in services that utilize non-toxic products.
- Municipal mosquito control – while mosquito control districts often do mosquito control work using licensed employees there may be times they will not be able to keep up with the need for treatment and may need support. Consider forming a relationship with the decision-maker within the municipalities to be on-call for overflow work as needed.
- Tire retailers and auto shops – tires make for a perfect breeding site for mosquitoes as they capture and hold rain and other water. These business are in need of your service and may even be mandated by law to control mosquitoes if nearby businesses or homes are experiencing a mosquito problem.
Mosquito Management Program – Additional Resources
Learn more about the CDC here: https://www.ott.nih.gov/technology/e-166-2013
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Learn more about mosquitoes from the National Pest Management Association here: https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/mosquitoes/
Stan Cope, PhD is the Vice President of Technical Services for the Catchmaster® brand and blogs frequently about mosquitoes: https://catchmasterpro.com/?s=captain+stan