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Don't let the bugs bug you: new mosquito prevention business coming to Perham area

Perham area residents will soon start seeing more of the Petrie family's Mosquito Joe van. Submitted photo1 / 3
Trevor and Jackie Petrie, top and far right, own and operate the northwest Minnesota Mosquito Joe, based out of Alexandria. It's a family business for them, as their daughters, McKenna and McKayla, also work for the company. This mosquito season, they are expanding their business into the Perham area. Submitted photo2 / 3
When there's something annoying in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Mosquito Joe technicians conduct customized spray treatments unique to each customer's property, to ensure the best possible outcome. Submitted photo3 / 3

Stop spending your summers swatting.

A new business is coming to Perham, and it's on a mission to "make outside fun again."

Mosquito Joe, a nationwide mobile mosquito prevention business, will soon be covering the local area, and its owners promise to provide some real relief from the summer's biggest little pests.

Northwest Minnesota Mosquito Joe owners, Trevor and Jackie Petrie, got into the business two years ago because they wanted to spend more time outside in the summers, and they wanted to give other people the freedom to do that, too—without the annoyance of mosquitoes, fleas and ticks.

"It brings people back outside again," Trevor Petrie said of Mosquito Joe's services. "People have sent me pictures of their kids outside reading in hammocks after we've sprayed there, alongside other pictures of them looking like they've got chicken pox from all the bites they got at grandma's house... Outdoor weddings, too—the feedback from them is that they didn't see a bug all night, that nobody needed bug spray and nobody was swatting."

Mosquito Joe offers custom commercial and residential mosquito barrier treatments. Working from the ground up, technicians spray around areas where mosquitoes like to hide during the day, such as around tree lines, under decks, within mulch, etc. They also apply larvicide to areas around standing water, to prevent the young from growing into adults.

The company offers a synthetic spray, which treats fleas and ticks as well as mosquitoes for a full three weeks, or an all-natural spray that acts more like a mosquito repellent and lasts about two weeks.

The big thing, Petrie said, is that "each job is customized to the customer's yard. Each yard is different, and we treat each yard special to the people's needs."

Some customers want technicians to come back every three weeks all summer and fall to reapply the barrier, while others may have them come just once or twice before a big outdoor family event, to take care of bugs temporarily.

"It's a progression," Petrie explained of how the system works. "We get about a 70 to 75 percent (mosquito) reduction on the first spray...and into the 90-percent and above range by the third spray. A lot of it is also working with the homeowners to make sure they understand what they can do on their own while we're not there."

They offer a guarantee that their services work.

Mosquito Joe was founded in 2013 and has grown its system to 245 locations across the country. While the brand has seen steady growth driven by its franchisees, it saw an unprecedented increase in business throughout 2016 due to the rise of the Zika virus in the U.S.

The Petries, who are based in Alexandria, Minn., decided to expand the range of their business after getting calls from people in the Perham area last year.

It's a true family business for them—Trevor pounds the pavement, meeting with customers and providing service quotes; Jackie answers phones and does some office work in the evenings; and their two daughters, McKenna and McKayla, also help, with one answering phones and the other working as a sprayer. Two brothers-in-law and a sister-in-law also assist from time to time.

Trevor said they've already been fielding some phone calls for work this season. They're looking to get started in mid-May, weather permitting, so that they can get properties treated before Memorial Day. They offer their services for as long as customers want through the summer and fall, ending for the season at the winter freeze.

To contact the local Mosquito Joe, call 320-228-6100, visit, or find them on Facebook.

Marie Johnson

Marie Johnson joined the Detroit Lakes Tribune in November 2017 after several years of writing and editing at the Perham Focus. She lives in rural Frazee with her husband, Dan, their young son and daughter, and their yellow Lab.

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