This restaurant owner couldn’t find a solution for his mosquito problem, so he launched his own abatement business
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RIGBY – Chad Stegelmeier couldn’t find a solution to the mosquito problem at his business last summer, so he decided to launch a business to combat the problem himself.
Mosquito Squad launched in March just before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“We’ve started getting quite a few (customers) this last week,” Stegelmeier tells EastIdahoNews.com. “We couldn’t get our technicians licensed with the state shutdown. But we finally got everybody licensed, the products and we’re out treating now.”
The company is based in Rigby but serves customers throughout eastern Idaho. Stegelmeier and his team drive to a customer’s home and walk around the property with a backpack sprayer.
Mosquito Squad offers a variety of chemicals for mosquito abatement. One of them is called a quick knockout that kills a lot of mosquitoes within the first three days. The other product is sprayed on a 21-day cycle throughout the summer.
“We also have an all-natural product that’s basically essential oils. It lasts for two weeks,” says Stegelmeier.
The cost of the service depends on the size of the acreage a customer wants to be treated, Stegelmeier says.
“For a smaller lot, like a quarter acre, it’s $79 per treatment and it’s guaranteed. So if we come out and treat it and a week later, you see a big increase in mosquitoes, we come back for free in between the 3-week cycle and treat them again,” he says.
Stegelmeier says they’ve acquired about 20 customers in the last week.
Mosquito abatement was something Stegelmeier first started thinking about last May after purchasing 511 Main, a restaurant in Ashton.
“We started having mosquitoes inside and outside the restaurant. They were horrible last summer,” he says.
He searched for someone to come and take care of the mosquito problem for months, but couldn’t find any.
Though there were other companies in eastern Idaho offering mosquito abatement services, Stegelmeier says there weren’t any that offered those services exclusively.
“Many said it was something they offered (on) the side. You had to get a package to do all the other pest control they do throughout the year, along with mosquito (abatement services),” Stegelmeier says.
Unwilling to pay for other services he didn’t need, Stegelmeier decided there was a demand for residential mosquito control in eastern Idaho. That’s how Mosquito Squad was born.
“One company I talked to actually tried to talk me out of doing it,” Stegelmeier says.
Some counties offer mosquito abatement services. Fremont County does not offer those services but even in areas that do, Stegelmeier says there are differences in what they offer.
“Our (service) has a residual 21-day effect and it’s also treating in your personal yard, not just down the road,” he says. “We also look for places…in your yard where mosquitoes breed and empty those things and go the extra mile to give it a personal touch.”
A brochure on Jefferson County’s mosquito abatement website indicates their services do not keep mosquitoes from returning but helps in a small way to temporarily reduce the adult mosquito population in areas where they are abundant.
“We’re really not trying to take away from the county,” Stegelmeier says. “It’s just an add-on of extra coverage and extra protection.”
In addition to residential treatment, Mosquito Squad offers a one-time treatment for special events like weddings or reunions to help control the mosquito problem while there are extra people at your house.
“There’s a huge demand and we’d love to help everyone enjoy their yard, especially with people staying home, we want to help them enjoy that time,” Stegelmeier says.