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How Can a Minnesota Mom Survive Mosquito Season?

This post is written in partnership with Mosquito Squad of Mankato

Nothing ruins a beautiful evening in your backyard faster than mosquitoes.  And if you’ve spent any amount of time outdoors in Minnesota in the summer, you know that the little pests are plentiful here.  Today we are talking to Heather and Jason Quint, owners of Mosquito Squad about how to control the mosquito population so you can enjoy your outside spaces without worry!

A little about Heather and Jason:

My husband and I started this business in 2017 as I get eaten alive by mosquitoes and we saw a need in our area.  We decided to become part of the Mosquito Squad franchise as they are the originator of the mosquito barrier treatment, having invented the category in 2004.  Mosquito Squad has over 250 locations nationally as well as some now internationally. We chose to partner with Mosquito Squad as their values echo ours: run a reputable business, provide products and service that are top notch and serve others.  We are a passionate about helping others and serving in the community that we live in and love. We also love being part of Mosquito Squads support of Malaria no More, providing resources to help reduce malaria in Cameroon, Africa.

Mankato Moms Blog: What steps can people take on their own to help prevent the breeding of mosquitoes?  

Heather: We educate people on the 7 T’s!  It is an easy way for people to contribute to the reduction in mosquitoes on their properties and should be done weekly, possibly when you mow.  These steps help reduce the areas that mosquitoes can breed and hang out. A bottle cap full of water is enough for a female mosquito to lay 300 eggs! The 7 T’s are as follows:

Tip – tip over anything that has collected water or has had water sitting in it.  These include bird baths, dog bowls, tire swings (poke a hole in the bottom by the way), kids sand box toys, plant pot water trays, and tree houses.

Toss – toss out grass clippings, leaves, sticks, pine needles, etc.  Check your yard, under decks, and around fire pits.

Turn – turn over any items in your yard that can collect water.  Toys, bowls, trash cans, portable sandboxes, etc. Eliminate these items or keep them turned over until you use them.

Tarp – tarps are notorious for providing breeding and harboring areas for mosquitoes.  Pull these tight, or buy custom fitted covers for grills, boats, firewood, etc.

Take care – take care of any home maintenance that can contribute to standing water.  These could include leaky faucet or sprinkler, low areas in yard, clogged gutters. Keep your lawn height low and areas weed-free.

Team up  – talk with your neighbors on reducing mosquito breeding areas.  

Treat – when all else fails call a professional like Mosquito Squad to treat your property.

As a mom who gets eaten alive and with one child who has reactions to mosquito bites, I was always looking for something to help prevent mosquito bites. I’ve tried so many things and I don’t like putting deet on my kiddos.  So when I’ve practiced the above tips, I have noticed less mosquitoes. Some additional advice is that when you will be outside when mosquitoes are at their peak feeding times (early morning and evening), as much as possible, have your kids wear long-sleeve shirts, long pants and socks! If your kids are anything like mine, good luck with that during these nice summer temperatures!

MMB: What are some best practices for protecting your family from mosquitoes and ticks?

Heather: Well in addition to the tips above for mosquitoes, we also have some tips for protecting your family from ticks. We call these the 6 C’s.

Clear – clear out yard debris

Clean – Clean leaf litter

Choose – choose plants deer hate

Check – check tick hiding places

Care – care for pets with tick collars

Call – call the pros like Mosquito Squad for barrier sprays and tick tubes

Another thing I do as a mom living out in the country with lots of wooded areas where deer travel through, is to make sure my kids are wearing clothing that will protect them like socks, tennis shoes and long pants if we are going to go adventure into the wilderness! As well as checking for ticks on your kids if you have been adventuring into places where ticks like to hang out (wooded or grassy areas). When my kids go for a hike or have been hanging out in the woods, I always make sure to check for ticks on them when they are done. Areas where ticks like to hang out on people are in the hair, ears, underarms, belly buttons, pelvic/groin areas and the backs of knees. Once you are done hiking or playing in those wooded or grassy areas, you can throw clothes into a hot dryer, have your kids take a shower and don’t forget about those 4-legged kids you have, too! Make sure if you find a tick to remove it properly with a tweezers, as well.  

 

MMB: Mosquito squad offers a few different options for mosquito and tick control, can you talk to us about those choices?

Heather: We do, we offer a traditional and an all-natural treatment.  

The traditional barrier treatment uses a synthetic derivative of the chrysanthemum flower.  The product we use kills mosquitoes and ticks on contact and up to 21 days after the treatment.  It is formulated for the body size of these creatures so as to not harm beneficial bugs.

The all-natural treatment is composed of essential oils.  This product will kill mosquitoes and ticks on contact but acts more as a repellent to mosquitoes and ticks and lasts about 14 days.  This product has a nice smell to it as it is made up of some vanilla and peppermint oils.

MMB: What are the differences between the all-natural and synthetic treatments?

Heather: The synthetic treatment kills on contact as does the all-natural, but the product that stays on the foliage after treating a property from the synthetic version continues to kill mosquitoes, whereas the all-natural acts more of a repellent.

 

MMB: Are both safe for children and pets?

Heather: Both are non-toxic to kids and pets when applied according to the label and allowed to dry.

 

MMB: How long do you need to stay off the lawn following your treatment?

Heather: Typically about 20 minutes to allow the product to dry and then you can resume outdoor activities.

 

MMB: How often are treatments recommended?

Heather: For the barrier treatment program, we recommend every 21 days. If you are noticing more mosquitoes towards the end, we offer a premium package where we come out every 14 days. Most people feel that the barrier program where we come out every 21 days, does a great job for them.

The all-natural treatment is recommended every 14 days as it kills on contact but then acts more of a repellant and therefore is recommended more often.

 

MMB: How can readers get an estimate to have their own lawn treated?

Heather: We can be reached by phone at (507)320-3223 or you can email us at [email protected]. Also, you can leave us a message on Facebook with your contact information!  We’d love to serve and protect your families and allow you to enjoy your outdoor spaces.  

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