New Havertown Business Goes On Warpath Against Mosquitoes
Mosquito Platoon owner Chris Whiting talks about pesky mosquitoes and what people can do to combat them this summer season.
For Chris Whiting, there were some simple reasons why he went into the mosquito-killing business.
“Going outside at any time of the day meant spraying yourself with nasty repellents or putting up with multiple itchy (and swelling for my wife) mosquito bites. Also, five to 10 ticks on my Golden Retriever every time she went into the woods surrounding my home,” he explained to the Haverford-Havertown Patch on Monday.
With some of those reasons, Whiting, who is also the president of the Haverford Township Civic Council, decided to create Mosquito Platoon.
Having taken a Penn State pesticide course from September of 2011 to March 12 and having passed the commonwealth’s Department of Agriculture Certification, Whiting opened his business in April of this year and travels to various places, such as Delaware, Bucks, Chester, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties.
The long-time Havertown resident gave advice on what homeowners can do to fight off mosquitoes and described some of the equipment that he uses.
Patch: With summer here a lot of people are in their backyards and doing outdoor activities. Of course mosquitoes and ticks will be an issue for them. What is your advice to prevent mosquitoes from coming into people’s yards?
Whiting: Most people think that standing water is the cause of the mosquito problem. Eliminate standing water in your yard and you will have no mosquitoes. Standing water is the source of the problem. Mosquitoes breed in standing water but will fly up to 1/2 mile away to live in your yard. The mosquitoes feed on your plants and look for a blood meal from you, your pets or birds and rodents. Then they fly back to standing water to breed and make more mosquitoes.
Patch: Many people like to go hiking along the trails in Haverford Township and other places. What type of protection should they use?
Whiting: Haverford Township, the Haverford Civic Council and the Friends of Haverford Trails have been doing a lot of work to promote trail walking in our town. You can take some precautions like using repellent on you and your clothes, wear light color clothing, covering up with long pants and long sleeve shirts and keeping on the trails and not in the brush.
Ticks climb into the top of tall grass, shrubs and trees. Then they wait until a warm body comes by and drop down. Keep away from overhanging branches and tall grass on the edge of the trails and check yourself and your pets, when leaving the trail before going back into your house.
Patch: And how about indoors? So many mosquitoes get inside the home and are just snacking away at people. What is your advice to help homeowners get rid of these little vampires?
Whiting: Treat the area outside of your home and you will have less insects inside your home.
Patch: A lot of people are concerned with West Nile virus since it’s been in the news lately. Does Mosquito Platoon test for West Nile and how does it combat it? Have you seen a lot of cases this year?
Whiting: The State of Pennsylvania test for West Nile Virus. What most people do not understand about West Nile Virus is that the average healthy person can get it and have minor flu symptoms for a few days and it goes away. The elderly, under 3-year-old children and those with compromised immune systems are the ones who suffer the most and end up in the hospital with multiple health problems or worse.
Patch: What type of equipment and chemicals do you use?
Whiting: Mosquito Platoon’s certified technicians spray your property with a back-pack blower and a 21-day barrier spray. The blower forces the spray up into your bushes, trees, flowerbeds, pachysandra and ivy. The 21-day barrier spray spreads and sticks to the top and bottom of leaves, bark, branches and vines. When an insect comes in contact with the 21-day barrier spray they die.
The 21-day barrier spray is a pyrethrin-based insecticide that is the same that is sprayed on all fruits and vegetables in the U.S. and the same ingredient is used in children's head lice treatment and pet tick and flea shampoo. It is non-toxic and safe for people and pets. The 21-day barrier spray is odorless and dries in less than an hour.
The Enviro-Spray 30-day barrier is 100 percent natural and 100 percent organic that kills insects by dissolving them. The Enviro-Spray 30-day barrier has a pleasant cedar smell for 24 hours and dries in less than an hour.