Mosquito Joe helps to keep all the pests away
Mosquito Joe franchises offer their services to customers in Chester County
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.
Alex Rubin of Mosquito Joe of the Main Line with the blower which sprays an air-liquid mixture.
From left, Steve and Alex Rubin of Mosquito Joe of the Main Line and Jeff Huckabee of Mosquito Joe of West Chester.
Jeff Huckabee of Mosquito Joe’s of West Chester unloads the blower which sprays an air-liquid mixture.