A local woman recently opened a regional franchise for Mosquito Joe, a pest control chain based in Virginia.
Kim Maalouf previously served as marketing director for Robert Rothschild Farm, a food manufacturer in Urbana. But after a career change she recently decided to open a franchise of the pest control agency with 125 franchise locations in 33 states.
The business opened late last month and will serve 11 counties, including Clark and Champaign, she said. The business focused primarily on residential customers but also provides services for commercial properties. A separate franchisee covers Montgomery and parts of Greene County.
“We have technicians that will come out to the property and they will inspect the property, look for where mosquitoes are breeding and hiding,” she said.
The properties are treated again every three weeks after the initial visit to reapply treatments designed to prevent the insects. The business has one truck and technician now but will add staff as the business ramps up, she said.
Along with mosquitoes, the business also provides services to treat fleas and ticks. Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported illnesses from mosquito, tick, and flea bites have tripled in the U.S., with more than 640,000 cases reported during the 13 years from 2004 through 2016.
“We don’t like to do any scare tactics,” Maalouf said. “We’re there to protect your yard to get rid of mosquitoes, fleas and ticks so people can go outside and enjoy it.”