As the country attempts to contain the spread of COVID-19, for many families, vacation funds are being put towards creating an at-home oasis. With customers looking for a “staycation” destination in their own backyard, frequent mosquito bites definitely put a damper on the fun. That means, for a savvy pest control professional, it could be a profitable time to transition into providing mosquito service.

Not sure how to build your mosquito program? Pest control professionals from across the country share the building blocks to a successful mosquito control service.

As with any new service, start by getting to know the pest and its habitat.

“Know their habitat and be surgical in your treatment approach,” said Mike Russell of LifeSpace Pest Solutions in Hyannis, Mass. “Think about where they’re going to be so you know where to apply for efficacy, safety and cost. You don’t want to waste product or threaten nontarget pollinators.”

Michael Hayes, of ProShield Termite and Pest Control in Mobile, Ala., says to make sure you have the right equipment and technicians to get the job done – and to always give customers realistic expectations.

“Don’t get into mosquito work if you can’t buy the right equipment. Make sure your technicians do a good inspection before treating,” he said. “And never overpromise: Be honest and upfront that you can manage mosquitoes but not eliminate them.”

Toby Crowe of Compass Pest Management in Cornelia, Ga., agrees. “Hire top-notch people who are respectful and honest,” Crowe said. “We tell our team, ‘If you promise the moon and then deliver the moon and stars, you’re OK, but don’t ever oversell or try to scare people into buying. Let them know, too, that they’re not getting the cheapest; they’re getting the best.”

Once you find great and honest technicians, train them with the skills they need to get the job done right.

“Train your technicians thoroughly, giving them good insight into how mosquitoes operate, how the equipment works and the best way to apply product,” said Dave Bonett of Capitol Exterminating System, Old Bridge, N.J. “As with any pest management, education and training are key.”

And don’t be afraid to get creative with your service, said Ron Veitch of Anti Pest & Veitch in Shreveport, La.

“Be creative: Ask customers where they spend most of their time in the yard and where they’re being bitten. Then look around to see which surfaces are likely spots for the mosquitoes to light and treat all of those with a high-quality product, not the least costly one.”