Beat the Buzz

A new pest control firm takes the bite out of mosquitoes and ticks

Photo: Trevor Davis and Christine Healey of Goodbye Skeeter

CHRISTINE HEALEY AND Trevor Davis are looking for a bowl of porridge that’s just right.

The married couple spent years eating the porridge that was too hot. They worked 100-hour weeks in downtown Toronto, doing equity market research and investing—she, a chartered accountant, for Scotiabank and Genuity Capital Markets, and he, an MBA, for Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.

After a decade or so of that, they sold most of their ­possessions and travelled the world for much of 2016: six months in Eastern Europe, five weeks in Australia, four weeks wandering through Asia.

“We were backpacking, travelling on the cheap,” says Healey, a native of Belleville.

“We stayed off the beaten path,” Davis says. “We were burnt out after working in Toronto and looking for a different lifestyle.”

Call it the cold porridge phase. They were happy, but ­eventually needed to create an income of some kind.

As they searched for porridge that was just right, “We realized Canada was still home,” says Davis, a native of Charlottetown.

“We’re just going to see how this first season goes. But this service is very popular in the U.S., so we expect there will
be a demand”
—Trevor Davis

They considered Vancouver, but eventually decided London was the place to settle. Davis had earned two degrees at Western and worked for six years in Strathroy before ­moving to Toronto in 2007.

There was one other factor that pushed them toward Southwestern Ontario.

Mosquitoes.

After months of consideration, they decided their Goldilocks situation would be to own their own business and build in time to travel and enjoy life. So, they created Goodbye Skeeter , a pest control company that targets mosquitoes and ticks. If you’re going to kill mosquitoes for a living, you’ve got to go somewhere with plenty of the pesky critters. Welcome to London.

Using a Health-Canada approved pesticide, they apply a perimeter barrier treatment in backyards and around patios, anywhere mosquitoes breed. To be effective all summer, the treatments should be applied every three weeks.
“That will keep your yard practically mosquito-free for a whole season,” Davis says. The odd mosquito might break through, but by treating the areas where they go during the day, Goodbye Skeeter can virtually eliminate the pests from your yard.

And the company offers a guarantee to that effect.

In addition to residential treatments, Goodbye Skeeter also offers special event services for activities such as outdoor weddings and family reunions

Same goes for tick control, although treatments are laid down in spring and fall when ticks are most active.

“We can treat any yard or area,” Healey says. “If you’re ­having a special event, an outdoor wedding or family reunion, we can treat the area ahead of time, so you don’t have to worry about mosquitoes on your big day.”

The full season, regular treatment costs $549 for a yard up to half an acre. There is an early-bird special until mid-May, and one-time treatments for special events are priced separately, depending on the size of yard and other factors.

With their first season just getting underway, Davis and Healey are not yet thinking about year two or three of their plan, but they have set up the business to allow for expansion to other cities, possibly by franchising.

“We’re just going to see how this first season goes,” Davis says. “But this service is very popular in the U.S., so we expect there will be a demand.”  Christopher Clark