Another company, Mosquito Squad, recently announced
plans to hire as many as 500 additional technicians. The Virginia-based company, which has 200 franchise locations nationwide,
offers its own proprietary EPA-registered barrier treatment that
address mosquito breeding spots.
According to a recently published Mosquito Control: U.S.
Market Analysis and Opportunities report by market analysis
firm Kline, consumption of insecticides by professional mosquito
control districts, which exhibits slower growth of 1.2% in 2015
over 2012, is forecast to spike in 2016 due to newly developing public awareness of mosquito-borne diseases, fueled by the
threat that the Zika virus could spread to the US.
Larvicides, insecticide products that are applied to control
mosquito larvae in their aquatic breeding sites, showed the highest growth at approximately 3% a year since 2012, according to
Kline. The strongest growth stems from products demonstrating
a favorable environmental profile, such as those based on Bacillus
thuringiensis israelensis, Bacillus sphaericus and spinosad.
A slight decrease in the use of adulticides, which are insecticides applied to control adult mosquitoes by spraying the flying
form of the pest, was found in the reporting period. The incidence
of the West Nile Virus remained in the low to moderate range,
with 2,060 human cases reported to the CDC in 2015, notes
According to Dennis Fugate, industry manager at Kline’s ag-rochemicals/specialty pesticides practice, the increased awareness on the part of the public about the Zika virus will put added
pressure on mosquito control professionals to do everything possible to control mosquito vectors in their districts. At the very
least, strong growth in surveillance and larviciding will result in
the coming season, especially in areas where Aedes aegypti and
Aedes albopictus (a potential vector) are present.
In addition to the newly published control study, Kline says
a survey of mosquito control professionals in the US regarding
their up-to-the-minute operational responses to the potential
threat of Zika will be published sometime this spring.
For personal protection, repellent sprays are the best defense. In
February, Consumer Reports made its test results and ratings of
mosquito repellents available to the public for free. According to
the group, some repellents worked much better than others at
protecting against the type of mosquitoes that transmit Zika.
According to CR, the most effective products against Aedes
mosquitoes were Sawyer Fisherman’s Formula Picaridin, Natrapel
8 Hour and Off! Deepwoods VIII, which kept mosquitoes from
biting for approximately eight hours. Repel Lemon Eucalyptus,
with 30% lemon eucalyptus, stopped bites for seven hours, ac-
cording to CR’s research.
The publication suggested that consumers should skip products made with natural plant oils, noting that none lasted for
more than one hour against Aedes mosquitoes, and some failed
With Zika concerns mounting, market leader SC Johnson,
maker of Off!, Raid, Autan and Baygon, has ramped up production.
The company said it has seen an increased demand for products from both retail customers and consumers as a result of the
growing concerns about the Zika virus.
For example, this mosquito season, SCJ operations in
Argentina and Brazil are reporting a 400-600% increase in production over the normal levels last year. And compared to last
year, SCJ said it is already reporting significantly higher orders
from customers in the southern states in the US, which the firm
expects to soon be the case nationally.
“To meet product demand during such a critical period, we’ve
ramped up production throughout the Americas and are pursuing easier flow of our products across markets. Our plants are
working around the clock to meet customer and consumer demand—some with three 8-hour shifts, working 24 hours a day, 7
days a week,” an SCJ spokesperson told Happi.
Further, SC Johnson said it is responding to this crisis by us-
ing its more than “ 50 years of expertise in fighting mosquitoes
to help educate the public. We are providing information, prod-
uct and support on how to protect against mosquitoes via our
website at scjohnson.com/mosquitoes. We will be regularly up-
dating this site with information about mosquitoes including fact
sheet, tips, videos and links to other information sources to help
them protect themselves, their families and their homes against
That wealth of knowledge comes from SCJ’s extensive R&D
activities that take place at the company’s entomology research
center in Racine (see p. 42 for more details).
Sales of outdoor insect/rodent control products at US multi-outlets rose 11.21% to $516.1 million for the 52 weeks ended Jan.
24, 2016, according to data compiled by IRI. The leading players are SC Johnson and United Industries/WPC Brands—which
account for more than half of the category’s sales total—with
Spectrum Brands, Techpac and private label trailing far behind
The leading SKUs include products sold under the Off! and Raid
banners, private label, Tiki and Cutter.
While not as dynamic as anti-aging skin care or as fashion-forward as color cosmetics, this personal care category will be one
to watch as the weather warms up, Americans head outdoors and
mosquito season begins.•
SC Johnson’s Off! Deep Woods in production at the company’s Waxdale
manufacturing facility in Mt. Pleasant, WI.