Jay Dembeck

Photo: Rock Water Farms

Jay Dembeck, maintenance manager for Rock Water Farm in Aldie, Virginia, says that encouraging clients to treat their properties for mosquito and tick control is important not only to protect their families, but to protect RWF crews as well. When the company sends maintenance crews out to work on properties for long days — often working up close in mosquito and ticks’ habitats — they want to ensure their safety, too.

The company recently began making a stronger push for their organic tick and mosquito spray. Dembeck says that the Northern Virginia area is notorious for mosquitoes and ticks. In fact, one of the local counties ran a big campaign to educate residents on Lyme Disease. Loudoun County also created the Loudoun Lyme Disease Commission and adopted a 10-point action plan to mitigate the disease. These efforts were recognized as a model program by the Virginia Association of Counties. The County maintains a number of resources for the local community to learn more about the disease.

The region’s climate and geographical make-up has a lot to do with its conditions. There are pockets of woodlands intermixed with wetland protected areas. Ticks are usually found in more dry terrain and mosquitoes thrive around pockets of wetland area that cannot be developed because they are protected by the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. As a result, both types of insects are found throughout the area.

“The high concentration of pests in our region is a real problem,” Dembeck says. “That’s why it’s so important that clients are educated on the seriousness of these concerns. We were happy to see Loudoun County put together a great educational campaign and we also take on some of that responsibility for education.”

Rock Water Farm has written blog posts and shared one-on-one with clients about the dangers of these pests. Diseases like West Nile, Lyme, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Zika Virus are all real concerns that people need to be aware of, Dembeck says.

Of course, there are also concerns about the safety of doing perimeter control so Dembeck says education about their product is also important.“We use a product that is safe for families with pets and kids but that doesn’t mean we don’t get concerns or need to answer questions,” he says. “It’s important to educate the client.”

Getting more clients to spray for ticks and mosquitoes is not only beneficial to them and their families, but to Rock Water Farm, as well.

“When we have crews out there working in bushes on a property, they’re being exposed to ticks and mosquitoes,” Dembeck says. “We really like to see our clients taking steps to manage these pests on their properties as it protects them, and it protects us. It’s really a win-win all around.

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