Pest control businesses say they've seen an increase in business due to threats of the Zika virus. (Source: WALB)
The Mosquito Authority says they've seen around a 15% increase in business. (Source: WALB)
Brent Sapp (Source: WALB)
Bridges Sinyard (Source: WALB)
Adams Exterminators say they've added extra mosquito trucks to their fleet. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
Summer may be coming to an end...but business is still buzzing for pest control firms in southwest Georgia.
"This has been one of the busiest seasons we've had since we started," said Brent Sapp, owner of The Mosquito Authority franchise in Albany.
Sapp says he hasn't seen a demand like they have this summer in their seven years of operating until the Zika virus started making headlines.
"Obviously the first of the year we always have a pretty large uptick in business, but really once the Zika virus scare came out, we've definitely seen an uptick since then," Sapp said.
Fortunately, Georgia hasn't seen an outbreak of the virus by local mosquitoes but the state has seen more than 60 travel-related Zika cases, and as that number grows so do the number of calls at Adams Exterminators.
"We really saw a tremendous pickup back in March of folks calling wanting to have their yards treated for mosquitoes, particularly younger folks who are thinking about starting a family or who have already started a family," Brent Sinyard said.
Infection during pregnancy has been linked to brain related birth defects. One reason why The Mosquito Authority decided to offer free mosquito spraying for expectant mothers.
"They have enough concerns and worries already, maybe if we can alleviate some of that by helping them get rid of the mosquitoes and alleviate the worry of the Zika virus, that's the least we can do," Sapp said.
And though Zika is in the spotlight, both businesses agree the focus is on keeping customers safe from all mosquito-borne illnesses.
"Our goal is to eliminate as many mosquitoes as possible," said Sinyard.
Mosquito season is expected to end in Georgia around October.
Copyright 2016 WALB. All rights reserved.
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