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A New Dawn for Fighting Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Posted by The VDCI Team on Aug 20, 2018 10:39:38 AM

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Over recent decades many mosquito-borne diseases have resurfaced or emerged and spread rapidly. From Zika, dengue to West Nile fever and chikungunya. Even malaria, which has had long-term global efforts to eradicate it has recently shown signs of increasing.

Many of these diseases have no specific treatment and the limited medicines available for some are facing resistance. Insecticides used to control mosquitoes are also facing resistance. On many fronts, innovations are urgently needed to control old diseases and prevent new ones from spreading.

Scientists in fields as diverse as biochemistry, genomics, entomology, computing, remote sensing, avionics, artificial intelligence, robotics, and aerospace engineering are combining their resources to develop new ways to fight diseases.

Here are a few examples of some recent scientific developments that are bringing a new dawn in the fight against the global threat of mosquito-borne diseases.
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Topics: Mosquito-Borne Diseases, Public Education

Public Health: U.S. Mosquito-Borne Diseases [Quick Overview]

Posted by The VDCI Team on Aug 14, 2018 1:04:32 PM

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There are really only two reasons to control mosquitoes; to avoid nuisance biting, and to preclude the spread of mosquito-borne disease. Everyone recognizes that mosquitoes can be a terrible blood feeding nuisance, but many people do not realize the magnitude of the health threat that they represent globally. Some of the world's most deadly diseases are carried and transmitted by mosquitoes. It is estimated that up to a million people die every year from mosquito-borne illness with many countries around the world ravaged by malaria, yellow fever, and dengue-hemorrhagic fever. What is the history and what are the current local cases of mosquito-borne disease in the U.S.? 
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Topics: Mosquito-Borne Diseases, Public Education

Vector-Borne Disease Spotlight: Jamestown Canyon Virus

Posted by The VDCI Team on Jul 12, 2018 11:48:37 AM

Written By Kris New, Regional Director for VDCI
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What? There is another virus that can be transmitted by mosquitoes?!

Yes. Mosquitoes are the deadliest animals in the world, and Jamestown Canyon virus is another virus on the long list of diseases vectored by these arthropods.

What is interesting about Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV), is that it behaves a little differently than a few of the viruses the public may be more familiar with. West Nile virus (WNV) and Zika virus rely on a reservoir host to perpetuate the virus, as the mosquito cannot pass it on to their offspring. With JCV, in addition to having reservoir hosts, such as deer, this virus can also have transovarian transmission, which means the parent arthropod (in this case a mosquito) can pass the disease pathogen to their offspring. This is not completely uncommon. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a vector-borne disease that is transmitted through an infected tick carrying the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii. The bacterium can be transmitted to offspring in this way as well.

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Topics: Mosquito-Borne Diseases, Public Education

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

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: Public Education, Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), 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: Mosquito-Borne Diseases, Public Education

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

Disease Spreading Tick: Ixodes scapularis [Quick Overview]

Posted by The VDCI Team on Jun 8, 2017 11:16:00 AM

Written By Emily Hibbard, Entomologist and Contract Supervisor

Have you heard several tick-related stories this spring? Listened to predictions that 2017 will see an increase in tick populations? Read an article on why we may be seeing a rise in Lyme disease? Watched a story about a new case of Powassan virus? A lot of attention has been placed on ticks in the last year. While there are hundreds of species of ticks, there is one main culprit in spreading both of the above diseases to humans.

Female_Adult_Black-legged_deer_tick_Ixodes_scapularis_disease_testing-682083-edited.jpgIxodes scapularis, the black-legged tick or deer tick, is the main vector of Lyme disease and Powassan virus to humans. Black-legged ticks are born disease free, and it is during their first larval stage blood meal that the tick may acquire a disease from an infected host. White-footed mice and other small mammals are known in the Lyme disease cycle as the primary reservoir hosts carrying the disease and infecting the larval tick.
 
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Topics: Integrated Tick Management (ITM), Public Education

Commercial Properties and Outdoor Employees: 4 Mosquito Management Tips

Posted by The VDCI Team on Apr 6, 2017 11:00:02 AM

Written By Kris New, Regional Director

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Food Processing Facilities. Steel Mills. Paper Mills. Power Plants.

Commercial properties have many facilities that feed, power, and clothe the world. Often these locations are operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and can present employees with challenging working conditions indoors and outdoors. Mosquitoes do not have to be one of the daily challenges on commercial properties. By taking a few simple steps, employers can reduce concern for these pests both as a nuisance and their potential to spread vector-borne diseases.
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Topics: Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), Public Education

Mosquito Surveillance Traps: Are They All The Same?

Posted by The VDCI Team on Feb 23, 2017 1:06:46 PM

Written By VDCI Team

Why are there several different types of mosquito surveillance traps? Most mosquitoes are attracted to light, right?

Yes, many mosquito species are attracted by light; however, some species, including the notorious Aedes aegypti, prefer to feed in the day and early evening. This blog will provide a brief overview of four mosquito surveillance traps, each with its advantages, depending upon what specific information is desired. Adult mosquito surveillance programs include the weekly trapping of adult mosquitoes by dividing an area such as a city, county, or industrial facility into control zones and utilizing traps that are most meaningful in each zone. Understanding a community’s environment and history, along with the implementation of the right trap(s), will provide a better picture of the mosquito species in a given area and if a potential disease threat exists.

BG-Sentinel Trap

https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/581508/bg_sentinel_trap_250x140_-dallas_TX_jasonw.jpgThe BG-Sentinel trap was designed with two specific mosquito species in mind, Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger mosquito) and Aedes aegypti (Yellow Fever mosquito). The two species are known to vector dengue, chikungunya, Zika, and yellow fever viruses and thrive in urban environments. Both species use natural and artificial containers for breeding, making them notoriously difficult to catch in significant numbers. The BG-Sentinel trap is made of a tarp like material, about the size of a 5-gallon bucket, and utilizes an attractant such as Octenol lure, human scent lure, or carbon dioxide (CO2). A funnel located at the top of the trap leads mosquitoes to an electric fan (outlet or battery powered) that pulls them into a collection net. The BG-Sentinel traps do well at catching the elusive Aedes species when placed in the proper areas and with the appropriate attractants.

 

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Topics: Surveillance and Disease Monitoring, Public Education