Mos­quito Joe helps to keep all the pests away

Mos­quito Joe fran­chises of­fer their ser­vices to cus­tomers in Ch­ester County

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Sarah E. Mo­ran For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

When C’Anne Wof­ford and her fam­ily first moved to their home, they of­ten en­joyed eat­ing out­side when the weather was fine.

But soon enough, mos­qui­toes and gnats be­gan feast­ing on the Wof­fords in­stead. So they re­luc­tantly re­treated in­side, driven there by swarms of these pesky and some­times dis­ease-bear­ing in­sects.

And, when the time came last spring to throw a rol­lick­ing ‘sweet 16’ party for their daugh­ter, they nei­ther wanted to have the party in­side nor risk us­ing cit­ronella can­dles and other, more tra­di­tional means of de­ter­ring these biters.

En­ter Mos­quito Joe, an out­door pest-con­trol com­pany with two new Ch­ester County fran­chises.

Fran­chisees Jeff Huck­abee and Steve Ru­bin pro­vide pyrethrin-based bar­rier sprays to keep yards and other res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial ar­eas mos­quito-free for 14 days if an or­ganic ver­sion is used, or for 21 days if cus­tomers choose the syn­thetic type. (Pyrethrin is an in­sect re­pel­lent de­rived from the chrysan­the­mum.)

“Jeff Huck­abee came over, walked our one-acre lot and gave us a one-time bar­rier spray so we could have our daugh­ter’s party and the live band out­side,” C’Anne Wof­ford said.

“He was care­ful not to spray around my herb gar­den and flow­ers. The but­ter­flies and bees never left.”

As a re­sult, she and her hus­band have de­cided to use Mos­quito Joe’s ser­vices on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. They’re now able to en­joy be­ing out­side with­out wor­ry­ing about dis­ease-bear­ing in­sects.

A dif­fer­ent Mos­quito Joe spray also re­pels the deer tick, an arach­nid that car­ries Lyme dis­ease, which af­flicts hu­mans and dogs alike. (Leia, one of the Wof­fords’ two lab-mix

“We use mostly a tar­geted spray tech­nique. Visu­al­ize a win­dow screen be­ing erected around some­one’s house or busi­ness. The peo­ple and pets are on one side of that screen and the bugs are on the other.” – Jeff Huck­abee, Mos­quito Joe fran­chisee

pooches, tested pos­i­tive for Lyme but is so far asymp­to­matic.)

Per capita, Ch­ester County has more Lyme dis­ease cases than any other U.S. county, so Lyme dis­ease is a big deal lo­cally.

Mos­quito Joe work­ers wear pro­tec­tive cloth­ing and res­pi­ra­tors when spray­ing. The spray dries in 10 min­utes and is safe for peo­ple and pets to be around within a half-hour.

Huck­abee de­scribed Mos­quito Joe’s pro­tec­tion ser­vices this way: “We use mostly a tar­geted spray tech­nique. Visu­al­ize a win­dow screen be­ing erected around some­one’s house or busi­ness. The peo­ple and pets are on one side of that screen and the bugs are on the other.”

When a mu­nic­i­pal­ity sprays for mos­qui­toes and other pests, “The spray blan­kets the area and usu­ally kills ev­ery­thing that flies,” he con­tin­ued. “We’re able to tar­get where the spray goes be­cause we wear back­packs fit­ted with a dis­pens­ing hose and noz­zle. We eas­ily avoid flow­er­ing plants and bushes, where bees like to con­gre­gate. We don’t want a sit­u­a­tion like the big bee kill in South Carolina last sum­mer.”

(More than three mil­lion hon­ey­bees per­ished when Dorch­ester County of­fi­cials used a wide-rang­ing aerial spray to kill off mos­qui­toes thought to be car­ry­ing the Zika virus.)

Ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion, the Zika-car­ry­ing Aedes ae­gypti mos­quito could range as far north as Penn­syl­va­nia. But none has yet been found here.

Typ­i­cally, the mosquito­breed­ing sea­son runs from March through Oc­to­ber, ex­plained Ru­bin, mak­ing this busi­ness a seasonal one.

He and Huck­abee now spend the colder months ed­u­cat­ing busi­ness own­ers, school of­fi­cials and others about the ben­e­fits of Mos­quito Joe ser­vices. Sev­eral Ch­ester County Montes­sori schools are among their reg­u­lar ed­u­ca­tional clients.

Mos­qui­toes breed when the tem­per­a­ture re­mains con­sis­tently at or above 55 de­grees, Huck­abee added. Their fa­vored breed­ing grounds are: stand­ing wa­ter, tall grasses, bushes and wooded ar­eas.

Huck­abee’s Mos­quito Joe ter­ri­tory en­com­passes the 19380 and 19382 zip codes, while Ru­bin’s runs from Paoli east to Glad­wyne. The pair of­ten col­lab­o­rate on cov­er­age. Ru­bin works with son Alex, a re­cent col­lege grad­u­ate.

Fran­chise costs range from about $70,000 to $125,000, a fee that in­cludes sup­plies, a lease on a yel­lowand-green Mos­quito Joe truck, mar­ket­ing, com­put­ers, soft­ware, equip­ment, sup­port and other costs.

Based in Vir­ginia Beach, Va., Mos­quito Joe has more than 200 fran­chises na­tion­wide, con­cen­trated in states such as Florida, Texas and the South, where mos­qui­toes are an im­me­di­ate prob­lem.

PETE BAN­NAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Alex Ru­bin of Mos­quito Joe of the Main Line with the blower which sprays an air-liq­uid mix­ture.

PETE BAN­NAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

From left, Steve and Alex Ru­bin of Mos­quito Joe of the Main Line and Jeff Huck­abee of Mos­quito Joe of West Ch­ester.

PETE BAN­NAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Jeff Huck­abee of Mos­quito Joe’s of West Ch­ester un­loads the blower which sprays an air-liq­uid mix­ture.

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