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Vector Disease

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Mosquito Control Services: Integrated Management Matters

Posted by The VDCI Team on Jun 13, 2018 12:27:00 PM

Written By Tim Bennett, Biologist and Vice President of Western Operations for VDCI

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Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) is a term that everyone in the field of public health mosquito and vector-borne disease control is familiar with. The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) defines IMM as, “a comprehensive mosquito prevention and control strategy that utilizes all available mosquito control methods, either singly or in combination, to exploit the known vulnerabilities of mosquitoes to reduce their numbers while maintaining a quality environment.” This definition describes what Integrated Mosquito Management is, but why is IMM the best practice for controlling mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases?

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Topics: Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), Public Education

Mosquito Management Trucks: Science on Wheels

Posted by The VDCI Team on May 8, 2018 10:54:00 AM

Written By Rob Kozar, Front Range Regional Director - Colorado

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Like cell phones, computers, and domestic beer, today’s adult mosquito fogging trucks bear little resemblance to their predecessors from the not too distant past. While Ultra Low Volume (ULV) fogging machines have been in use for decades the technology to collect data, map, and apply pesticides in the pursuit of controlling adult mosquito populations is as cutting-edge as never before. The utilization of such technology allows mosquito control professionals across the country to practice adult mosquito control via a “science on wheels” approach which places primacy on accuracy, efficacy, and safety as well as the capacity to generate information useful and frequently necessary for clients in addition to helping the employee performing the application.
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Topics: Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), Technology

Mosquitoes Playing Hard to Get? Consider Resistance Monitoring

Posted by The VDCI Team on Apr 10, 2018 2:19:53 PM

Written By Kellie Nestrud, Biologist and Contract Manager in Louisiana 

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There are several different components of a successful Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) program. The consideration of chemical resistance in the local mosquito population is one of the components. Knowing, understanding, and monitoring for chemical resistance should begin as early as possible in an IMM program. It is recommended that all IMM programs monitor their mosquito populations for resistance at the beginning of a season and as often throughout the season as thought necessary. Resistance data is most valuable when collected over time to allow for comparison and monitoring of trends. There are many methods to monitor the effectiveness of an insecticide, and program managers may need to adjust their approach from season to season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines that a population of mosquitoes is considered to be resistant to an insecticide if a mortality rate is less than 90%. So how would one know if they are working with a population that has resistance?
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Topics: Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), Surveillance and Disease Monitoring

Industry Partnerships: Opportunities to Learn and Grow

Posted by The VDCI Team on Mar 15, 2018 12:13:04 PM

Written By The VDCI Team

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The 84th Annual Meeting of the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) took place in Kansas City, MO. The Association’s president, Wayne Gale, brought attention to the meeting’s ability to bring together the industry to share experiences, discoveries, and challenges. A portion of AMCA’s mission highlights the goal to, “… provide leadership, information and education leading to the enhancement of health and quality of life through the suppression of mosquitoes.…”

VDCI is incredibly proud of the way our team continues to reinforce AMCA’s mission, with their dedication to expanding their knowledge of mosquito management by partnering with experts across the industry. It brings us joy to share a few examples, of collaboration and supporting the future of mosquito control, that were discussed or were on display during the 2018 Annual Meeting.
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Topics: Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), Public Education, Industry News

2017 Mosquito-Borne Disease Year in Review

Posted by The VDCI Team on Feb 13, 2018 4:36:30 PM

Written By The VDCI Team

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In 2017, the scientific community, the public, and the press maintained their interest in the Zika virus outbreak of 2016. Articles surfaced on the potential long-term health complications attributed to contracting the virus. The public received extra education on personal protective measures to reduce the spread of Zika. And the scientific community reviewed trusted and experimental methods to prevent future outbreaks. In addition to Mother Nature bringing new mosquito-related problems to Texas and Florida last year, in the floodwaters left by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, both states reported the only locally-acquired U.S. cases of Zika virus for the second year in a row. 

There were several mosquito-borne diseases reported in the United States in 2017. In this blog, we will focus on: West Nile Virus (WNV), Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), and Zika. WNV remains the most common virus transmitted by mosquitoes to humans in the U.S. as well as responsible for taking the highest number of human lives. 
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Topics: Public Education, Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Mosquito Surveillance – Part 2: Life at the Lab Identifying Species and Disease Testing

Posted by The VDCI Team on Nov 29, 2017 11:28:53 AM

Written By Michael “Doc” Weissmann, Ph.D., Chief Entomologist

As discussed in a previous Mosquito Surveillance blog post, a well-designed surveillance program provides important information necessary to guide a modern mosquito control program. However, trapping the mosquitoes is only the first step in surveillance. Once the mosquito specimens are collected, they must be processed in the laboratory.

lab-mosquito-identification-250x166.jpgOnce the sample is euthanized, the mosquitoes are counted to determine how many were captured. If the trap count is very high, the numbers are estimated and only a sample is identified. How high is high? In locations without mosquito control and with good sources of water, nectar, blood-meals, and harborage, trap counts in the tens of thousands of mosquitoes in one night have been recorded, and not just in the tropics!
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Topics: Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), Surveillance and Disease Monitoring

Mosquito Surveillance – Part 1: The Art of Hunting Mosquitoes

Posted by The VDCI Team on Oct 30, 2017 2:17:22 PM

Written By Michael “Doc” Weissmann, Ph.D., Chief Entomologist

I may be biased, but in my opinion surveillance is the most critical component of the Integrated Pest Management method of controlling insect pests. In modern mosquito control programs, surveillance includes setting traps to monitor adult mosquito populations in a given area.

harvey-emergency-response-truck-surveillance-250x166-blog_TX-danm.jpgA good surveillance strategy includes choosing the right kind(s) of traps to use that meet the goals of the control program. For example, most female mosquitoes are attracted to carbon-dioxide given off by a breathing animal that would be a potential source for a blood-meal. A CObaited light trap utilizes dry ice or some other source of carbon-dioxide to mimic the breathing of an animal blood source, with a small light bulb to draw the mosquitoes close enough to the trap fan for capture. Egg-laying females of species that live as larvae in smaller, water-filled containers can be collected with Gravid Traps. These consist of a fan and net suspended above a container of “highly organic” water as bait (usually an infusion of fermented hay and other ingredients). Many mosquito species are attracted to light, and a New Jersey light trap draws them into a fan using a bright light as bait, but with the unfortunate side-effect of collecting many other species of flies, beetles, and moths that also come to lights – in some locations at certain times of year it can be quite a chore to pick through the non-mosquitoes that are also collected. Surveys for Aedes aegypti - the primary vector of Yellow Fever, Chikungunya, Dengue, Zika, and other viruses – and the related Asian Tiger mosquito (Ae. albopictus) often utilize BG Sentinel traps and lethal ovitraps to attract egg-laying females of these “container-breeding” species.
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Topics: Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), Surveillance and Disease Monitoring

The Mosquito Life Cycle: Is It Possible To Control All Stages Of Development?

Posted by The VDCI Team on Sep 20, 2017 11:42:38 AM

Written By Rob Kozar, Front Range Regional Director

As is generally known there are four life stages in the development of a mosquito: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Perhaps less known is that each stage has a corresponding and unique method of attack, or as we shall see, a lack of one, when it comes to targeting mosquito management efforts to each stage of the mosquito’s life cycle.

Life Cycle Stage 1: Egg

1200px-Culex_mosquito_life_cycle_nol_text.svg-067754-edited.pngAlthough several studies have shown the efficacy of several plant-derived botanical oils as an ovicide (an insecticide designed to kill eggs) these studies were conducted in the lab under a carefully controlled environment, very much unlike the conditions found out in the field where mosquito eggs are extremely difficult if not outright impossible to identify in the numbers needed to make a meaningful impact. While oviciding could be viewed as an ideal control method, in theory, oviciding remains perpetually unproven in the real world. Because the method remains unproven, mosquito management professionals often consider the next stage of development the best option in mosquito control efforts.
 
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Topics: Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), Public Education

Getting Smart With Technology: GIS and Mosquito Management

Posted by The VDCI Team on Jul 27, 2017 12:45:06 PM

Written By Deborah Bennett, GIS Specialist

A geographic information system, GIS, is a set of tools that allow us to visualize, question, analyze, and interpret data. By creating maps, reports, or charts, you can reveal relationships, patterns, or trends in data that often play a significant role in decision making.

technician-gis-data-gps-edwin-wilkinson-250x144_dallas-TX-jasonwGIS is designed to capture data and store it in various digital formats (individual files, databases, geodatabases, etc.) so that data can be edited and managed with ease. Most industries and businesses of all sizes can benefit from GIS to improve record keeping, provide guidance on where to apply financial and human resources, and support communication and education efforts with employees and customers. The technology offers a variety of data to assist in decision making, which is vital within industries that manage time-sensitive projects and/or services where public education and public health is a concern.
 
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Topics: Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), Technology

Aerial Mosquito Management: Timing Control Efforts

Posted by The VDCI Team on Jul 3, 2017 12:17:38 PM

Written By Robbie Allen, Aviation Science - VDCI's Chief Pilot

For districts, counties, or municipalities, it can feel that when the mosquito season starts, the clock also starts. It won't be long before residents begin to contact local leaders to help reduce mosquito populations in their community. If a threat becomes too great, often aerial applications are conducted. The Mission: To reduce large nuisance populations and kill as many mosquitoes that could carry vector-borne diseases as possible. Timing during this mission is a top concern.

2500-acres-larvicide-e_laramie-WY-robbiea-250x166.jpgFrom the moment an aerial applicator wakes up in the morning, he or she is timing out the day. Whether larviciding or adulticiding, timing in Aerial Mosquito Control is an extremely critical component. Knowing the amount of time that is required to go through all the protocols, preflight the aircraft, and be able to hit the “spray on” switch at the exact specified time, to ensure a successful mission, can sometimes present its challenges – but must be accomplished.
 
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Topics: Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), Aerial Applications