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Mosquito Squad focuses more un public health and targets specific species of biting insects.

Mosquito Squad’s new vice president of strategic growth sees the franchisor’s services as a public health necessity. “They’re protectors of public health,” Kurt Vandock said. “It’s as simple as that.”

While he’s new to Mosquito Squad, Vandock’s background in public health is what attracted him to the company in the first place. Vector diseases spread by mosquitos cause at least 725,000 deaths globally on average per year.

Pest control is a common practice, with some metro areas dropping larvicide in stagnant water, spraying and utilizing other tactics to reduce biting insects. Mosquito Squad prides itself on going outside the norm when it comes to controlling pests.

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Dr. Kurt Vandock, vice president of strategic growth at Mosquito Squad.

When Vandock was serving as the head of public health for Bayer, the franchise stood out from the get-go. “People always say that culture eats strategy for breakfast, but Mosquito Squad has a fantastic culture that is innovative in the market,” he said.

The brand’s innovative approach is more specialized, said Vandock, who joined the company this month. Instead of a broad-spectrum larvicide, which can possibly harm other insects in the environment, Mosquito Squad uses various techniques targeting specific species. As Vandock put it, “Controlling mosquitos in Ohio to out west in the Rockies is very different.” 

Franchisees are encouraged to know their community and its needs. They do what clients need, and that doesn’t always mean eliminating the pest population—just making it more comfortable for the people, pets and livestock that live there.

“We know just by establishing relationships with our communities that the standard ways of doing things may not be the best,” said Vandock. 

When searching for those new operators, highlighting the unique aspects of Mosquito Squad is key, especially their sustainable services, Vandock said. Pests aren’t going away, so there’s always business, but that’s not all sustainable means. As a part of its culture, the company focuses on impacting the environment as little as possible while maintaining public health.

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Mosquito Squad franchisees are encouraged to engage with their communities.

That culture also provides all the training and expertise for new operators to utilize, Vandock said. Getting them prepared for their territory is part of the training. 

“Phase one is listening to and understanding your customer and those franchise owners that we have in the system today,” said Vandock. “Mosquito Squad has that built into their ethos.”

In 2018, the concept was focusing on some international expansion into Indonesia, Kenya and the Caribbean to name a few. 

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Jef Flournoy, vice president of franchise development, said the company had “tabled international expansion” since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Vandock said the brand is focusing on the spread of mosquitos and their diseases such as dengue and zika in the United States as they move further north.

“The mosquitos have found a way to make our business international by moving those international diseases right here,” he said. “No one would have thought that aedes aegypti,” the yellow fever mosquito, “would be across the Mason-Dixon line, but here it is.”

Part of Authority Brands, also the franchisor of Monster Tree Service, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing and other home services concepts, Mosquito Squad has more than 220 locations.

Previously a reporter at a local newspaper, Megan is looking forward to dipping her toes in the world of franchises. Her reporter experience gave her the chance to learn about anything and everything in her community, and she’s looking forward to narrowing that broad experience into our publication.