With the leaves falling from the trees, kids back in school and football season underway, fall is here. For some, this means packing up the sunscreen and swimsuits and bringing out the sweaters and jeans. However, for parts of the country located in Southern regions, temperatures can remain well into the 80s through the end of October.
Pools stay open, the kids continue to play outside and mosquitoes remain a prevalent problem that puts families at risk of bites and the potential for vector-borne illnesses if they aren’t taking the proper precautions through the milder winter months.
Mosquito Joe President, Lou Schager, offered some expert advice on how homeowners can help reduce the population of mosquitoes in their yards during the fall season and how opening in milder climates has helped the franchise concept remain profitable year-round.
How is business impacted as you move from the busy summer season into the fall?
Many franchisees continue servicing customers through mid-late November because they’re located in areas of the country where the climate for mosquito breeding is ideal. With only a small portion of our franchisees operating in winter months, we consider this a heavy recruitment period. We welcome new franchisees to our system, orient them to our operations and get them trained up in time to open the following year.
Does the changing weather play a factor within the mosquito population?
Mosquitoes thrive in warm weather and are able to live and breed when temperatures
are consistently above 50° F. In many places across the United States, the climate is suitable for mosquitoes well into mid-fall. Once temperatures dip below 50° for more than seven consecutive days, mosquitoes die off.
We aim to educate customers about mosquitoes and their breeding habits because many aren’t aware how important it is to continue service. People are susceptible to heavy mosquito pressure and mosquito bites if they aren’t protecting themselves throughout the year. A lot of parents think they’re in the clear when their kids go back to school, but often times, this isn’t the case.
Are there any preventative measures homeowners can take as we look forward to next year’s mosquito season?
Homeowners need to make sure all standing water is dumped from potential problem areas, such as buckets, bird baths, flower pots and pet bowls, as they create perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes. These pests are resilient; they lay eggs that can survive months in ice until they hatch and start their breeding cycle the following spring.
Mosquito Joe technicians are trained to look for these problem areas and treat the larvae before they have the opportunity to hatch, which is another way our services are utilized in the cooler months. Our team encourages customers to take preventative measures, even when the temperature drops, to help ensure decreased mosquito pressure the following year.
What are the other pests does Mosquito Joe treat for that can be a common problem in the fall?
Ticks latch on to their hosts, so it’s important for parents to check their kids and pets carefully, particularly after they’ve spent a lot of time outdoors. Similar to mosquitoes, ticks are active when temperatures are consistently above 45° F. Therefore, we continue to treat for ticks well into the fall.
Ticks have been a major topic of discussion all over the United States because they’re creating major health concerns, not just for humans but also their pets. We’ve heard a lot about Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever this year and believe this will continue to be a problem in the near future. While we aren’t experts on vector-borne illnesses, we are outdoor pest control professionals. At Mosquito Joe, we aim to educate our customers about mosquitoes and the potential health risks they carry.