Jason and Jeremy Julio, identical twin brothers and co-owners of Last Bite Mosquito and Tick Control, recently celebrated their 40th birthdays and have been reflecting upon their life at the Jersey Shore. They were raised in Long Branch by their single mom and were positively influenced by their coaches and teachers and driven to help others. Who would have guessed that these two little boys, who were constantly fighting and competing with each other, would grow up to be a business dynamic duo. From playing college football at The College of New Jersey together, modeling for Cosmopolitan magazine, filming Super Bowl commercials, living and owning a house together post-college, getting married, and having kids around the same time – Jason and Jeremy knew that going into business together must be a good idea.
The Julio brothers are still involved in education. Jason teaches intermediate school-level health and physical education in Toms River while his brother teaches health and physical education at the high school level in Long Branch. As they sit down for Sunday dinner, their kids are running around like they did years ago. Now, as adults, the Julio boys are having discussions about life, family, and growing businesses.
Jason and Jeremy were never shy about working. They both managed beach clubs in the summer months, coached 3 sports, and bartended at night. Little did the siblings know that a young relative’s random insect bite would ignite their entrepreneurial streak.
“About eight years ago, our little nephew got a bunch of mosquito bites on his ankles and ended up scratching them so much that he, unfortunately, contracted the MRSA infection,” said Jason. “There were zero companies in the area providing mosquito control and, while we had no background in pest control, we saw an opportunity.”
After diligently researching the industry, connecting with experts in the field, and learning the business from a range of colleagues nationwide, the brothers decided to launch their own independent company based on the need they saw for the service.
“In addition to being annoying to people and pets, mosquitoes carry the West Nile virus, Zika virus, and other illnesses, and ticks carry Lyme disease, all of which can cause serious health concerns,” Jason said. “Any way for people to have added protection against these pests is great.”
After extensive training, the Julio brothers bought a truck, got it professionally wrapped and branded, hired and trained several employees, and officially launched Middletown-based Last Bite Mosquito and Tick Control in 2014.
“Jeremy and I were dedicated to building a brand that people could trust and relate to which stood behind its product and delivered exceptional customer service,” said Jason of the company, which amassed 300 customers in its first year.
Eight years later, “we’ve nearly doubled our business every year,” Jason said of Last Bite’s 60 + employees and more than 7,000 customers located throughout Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex, Union, Mercer, Morris, and Essex Counties.
Servicing homes from April through September/October, “treatments cost $84.99 every three weeks for properties under one acre in size,” said Jason, who noted that customers who pay ahead for all eight treatments in a full season are eligible for a 10 to 20 percent discount, but that starting treatments at any time during the season will still be effective.
According to Jason, “we treat only the areas that harbor mosquitoes and ticks, such as shaded spots with dense trees and shrubbery, and create a barrier around the perimeter of the house and property.
“It’s about breaking the life cycle of mosquitoes, which can breed in as little as a bottle cap full of water,” he said of the adulticides and larvicides they spray to address all stages of the insects’ lifespan, as well as the specialized treatments, applied to high grasses to combat ticks —approaches which he said will result in at least an 85 to 90 percent reduction in mosquitoes and ticks without harming beneficial flora or fauna.
“We also advise homeowners about ‘red flags’ on their property, such as stagnant water and clogged gutters, as well as how to best protect themselves from mosquitoes and ticks when they’re in parks, on hikes, etc.,” he said.
Among trends in the industry, Jason said that homeowners are increasingly concerned about chemicals in pest control products, but he said the products carried by Last Bite are all applied according to instructions, are safe for pets, children, trees, etc. once treatments have dried, and the company offers several different all-natural products for customers who desire the most environmentally friendly approach.
Tinton Falls resident Christine Bianchi can attest to that. With extensive gardens around both her deck and the perimeter of her yard and the fact that her family spends a lot of time outdoors, “we were worried about mosquitoes and ticks,” said Bianchi, who learned of Last Bite Mosquito and Tick Control through a friend. “They come every three weeks, always call, email, and text to confirm their appointment ahead of time, and are very careful to spray around things you want avoided,” she said, adding that she and her family enjoy their outdoor space more than ever now and have experienced much less of a problem with pesky insects.
“The team from Last Bite Mosquito and Tick Control is pleasant and accommodating, they truly care about their customers, and our family has much less fear of Lyme disease and mosquito-borne illnesses since they’ve come on board,” she said.
It’s a labor of love for co-owners Jason and Jeremy, who now has a satellite location in Morris County, and hope to open additional offices in other parts of the state in the future and launched a sister company, Total Home Pest Control, 4 years ago to address other pests such as termites, bedbugs, ants and mice.
“Being professional, offering impeccable customer service, and ensuring that customers are happy is what Last Bite Mosquito and Tick Control is all about,” Jason said. “We’re proud to have built a successful business and to hear customers speak about us so positively. Ultimately, we’re excited to help people reclaim and enjoy their yards again, mosquito and tick-free.”