Mosquito Source Reduction Best Practices

Reducing Mosquito Breeding Sites

Mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance; they have the potential to be carriers of some of the world’s most dangerous diseases. To combat these pests, understanding and implementing mosquito source reduction best practices is essential. Source reduction involves identifying and eliminating mosquito breeding sites, which can help to eliminate larvae as well as reduce the areas in which adult mosquitoes can lay eggs. This proactive approach is a critical component of Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), the most comprehensive and environmentally responsible way to manage mosquito populations. Learn how to keep mosquitoes away and protect public health through mosquito source reduction

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Identifying Mosquito Breeding Sites

Identifying mosquito breeding sites, especially in high-traffic areas, is crucial in managing mosquito populations and protecting public health. Breeding sites vary depending on the mosquito species, ranging from a discarded bucket or cooler containing standing water to a clogged stormwater drain. Poor drainage systems, often caused by clogged debris or accumulated organic matter, become ideal mosquito breeding habitats for many species. 

Peridomestic mosquitoes (such as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus) favor discarded containers for laying their eggs and are capable of transmitting pathogens causing yellow fever, dengue, and Zika.

Another significant breeding ground is trash and waste disposal sites. Accumulated garbage like bottle caps and old tires can collect water, creating a hospitable environment for developing mosquito larvae. Communities with poor waste management practices are particularly vulnerable to becoming breeding grounds for various mosquito species, including Culex mosquitoes, which are vectors for the West Nile virus. Landscaping features within public parks, golf courses, and around government facilities, such as ornamental ponds, unmanaged pools, and watered gardens, can also serve as mosquito breeding sites

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Our Mosquito Source Reduction Process

The process of reducing mosquito breeding sites is a crucial aspect of controlling the mosquito population and minimizing the spread of mosquito-borne diseases. Best practices for achieving this goal include eliminating standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs, properly maintaining water bodies to prevent stagnation, and implementing landscaping techniques that discourage water accumulation. Vector Disease Control International (VDCI) employs a comprehensive approach to accomplishing these objectives, which includes detailed mapping and surveillance to monitor mosquito populations and track problem areas with abundant breeding sites. Another essential component of VDCI’s mosquito prevention strategy is public education. We promote a collaborative approach to mosquito control by educating citizens on preventive measures and encouraging them to participate in mosquito source reduction efforts. 

How Mosquito Source Reduction Benefits Your Community

One of the most important reasons for mosquito source reduction is to help prevent mosquito-borne diseases. By eliminating or minimizing mosquito breeding grounds, such as stagnant water in buckets, old tires, and other containers, we can effectively reduce the mosquito population and any disease pathogen they may transmit. Citizens can help with mosquito source reduction by regularly assessing and maintaining their property. This includes eliminating standing water following heavy rainfall or checking for any clogged gutters to ensure proper runoff and drainage. When residents take the initiative to remove breeding habitats in their community, they can help reduce pesky bites and have more peace of mind when enjoying the outdoors.

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Why Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) Makes a Difference

The importance of an IMM program cannot be overstated, and mosquito source reduction is an important part of this strategy. Effective IMM is grounded in the systematic collection and analysis of surveillance data, including both mosquito population dynamics and disease testing, which then informs the deployment of targeted larval and adult mosquito control interventions. Mosquito source reduction can significantly lower mosquito populations by preventing larvae from maturing into adults capable of transmitting diseases. VDCI believes an IMM program is the most effective and environmentally responsible way to control mosquitoes. Contact us today to learn how you can elevate your mosquito management program with comprehensive strategies that target mosquitoes at all stages of life.

Contact Our Experts

Complete the form below or call us at 800-413-4445 to speak to an expert about your mosquito management needs.

VDCI_Logo_squareSince 1992, Vector Disease Control International (VDCI) has taken pride in providing municipalities, mosquito abatement districts, industrial sites, planned communities, homeowners associations, and golf courses with the tools they need to run effective mosquito control programs. We are determined to protect the public health of the communities in which we operate. Our mosquito control professionals have over 100 years of combined experience in the field of public health, specifically vector disease control. We strive to provide the most effective and scientifically sound mosquito surveillance and control programs possible based on an Integrated Mosquito Management approach recommended by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). VDCI is the only company in the country that can manage all aspects of an integrated mosquito management program, from surveillance to disease testing to aerial application in emergency situations.

Fighting Insecticide-Resistant Mosquitoes: How You Can Help

How to Help Avoid Insecticide-Resistant Mosquitoes

In the ongoing battle against mosquito-borne diseases, an ongoing challenge has emerged that threatens to undermine public health efforts and the effectiveness of existing control strategies: insecticide resistance. As these insecticide-resistant mosquito populations grow, the tools and methods we rely on for mosquito management can become less effective, potentially leading to increased mosquito-borne disease transmission or nuisance populations. Understanding insecticide resistance, its causes, and its implications is crucial for executing successful mosquito management programs.

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This is where Vector Disease Control International (VDCI) steps in. As a leader in mosquito management, VDCI is at the forefront of developing and implementing control strategies to help prevent insecticide-resistant mosquitoes. By leveraging surveillance and data to drive mosquito management efforts, conducting rigorous insecticide resistance testing on mosquito larvae and adults, and fostering community education and participation, VDCI aims to protect public health while preserving the efficacy of insecticides for future generations. 

What Causes Mosquitoes to Become Insecticide Resistant?

There are many reasons why insecticide-resistant mosquitoes can develop. It often occurs when a single class of products is relied on to manage an outbreak or a product is overused within a particular area. Over time, this can lead to mosquito populations developing genetic mutations where insecticides intended to manage them become less effective. When a mosquito develops this genetic mutation, it can pass on this trait to its offspring. Over time, this mosquito population develops resistance and is no longer affected by the insecticide class used. This phenomenon makes insecticide resistance monitoring critical in all mosquito management programs.

In the United States alone, the agricultural sector applies over a billion pounds of pesticides annually, which includes insecticides that share similar active ingredients with those used in mosquito control programs. The Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) has noted that insecticide-resistant mosquitoes can emerge when mosquitoes are exposed to these similar compounds through agricultural applications. The use of pesticides in agriculture, combined with insecticides used in mosquito management, underscores the importance of insecticide resistance monitoring.

Types of Insecticide Resistance

Even with the implementation of best practices, such as responsible product usage and continuous monitoring, it’s likely that some degree of insecticide-resistant mosquitoes will emerge due to natural variations within wild populations. Identifying the specific type of resistance that has developed is a crucial step in devising an effective management strategy to counteract it.

    • Cross Resistance: When a mosquito becomes resistant usually to a similar class of insecticides due to the presence of one or more common resistance mechanisms.

    • Multiple Resistance: When a mosquito becomes resistant to two or more insecticides due to multiple mechanisms of resistance.

    • Target-Site Resistance: When a mosquito develops a point mutation within the insecticide target region, preventing the insecticide from acting effectively. These point mutations occur in the nervous system and involve the sodium channels, acetylcholinesterase and or GABA receptors.

    • Behavioral Resistance/Avoidance: When mosquitoes alter their behavior to avoid exposure to specific products, such as not landing on surfaces that have been treated with insecticides.
resistance-testing

Impact on Integrated Mosquito Management

The most effective strategy for controlling mosquitoes and reducing the spread of mosquito-borne diseases is an Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) program. However, insecticide-resistant mosquitoes pose a significant challenge to IMM efforts and public health. Once mosquitoes develop resistance, mosquito control measures, a cornerstone of IMM strategies, can lose their effectiveness. When applications are less effective, mosquito populations can rise, which in turn, raises the risk of disease transmission to humans. Diseases such as dengue fever, EEE, and West Nile virus, could see surges in case numbers as control measures fail to effectively suppress mosquito populations.

To effectively control adult and larval mosquito populations, ongoing monitoring and data collection should take place throughout a management program.

Testing for Insecticide-Resistant Mosquitoes

Various methods are available to evaluate how susceptible local mosquito populations are to control measures. Among these, the CDC Bottle Bioassays is the primary method for detecting insecticide-resistant mosquitoes. During this testing process, adult mosquitoes are placed in bottles coated with a diluted insecticide solution. These mosquitoes are then compared to a control group, enabling experts to gauge the pesticide’s effectiveness over time.

Other insecticide resistance tests include the WHO Tube test, which assesses adult mosquitoes, and the cup bioassay testing, which tests larvae against larvicides.

VDCI’s Fight Against Insecticide Resistance

VDCI is at the forefront of combating the growing challenge of insecticide-resistant mosquitoes. We recognize the critical importance of staying ahead of resistance patterns and prioritize regular testing of mosquito populations to help detect the early signs of insecticide resistance. This testing is not a mere formality but a crucial tool in our arsenal, enabling us to detect shifts in the effectiveness of various insecticides. The insights gained from these tests guide our mosquito control strategies and allow us to review the insecticides we deploy, how we apply them, and the timing and specific locations of treatments. 

How Can The Public Help Prevent Insecticide-Resistant Mosquitoes?

In the fight against insecticide-resistant mosquitoes, there are several practical steps everyone can take to reduce insecticide resistance and protect themselves from mosquito-borne diseases. One effective approach is the elimination of mosquito breeding habitats. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, so by diligently dumping out any stagnant water around homes—such as in plant saucers, bird baths, and blocked gutters—citizens can significantly reduce breeding grounds. 

Beyond these actions, educating oneself about mosquito-borne diseases and their prevention is crucial. Understanding the life cycle of mosquitoes, breeding habits, and the diseases they can carry equips individuals with the knowledge to implement more effective protective measures. This includes adopting practices such as wearing long-sleeved, light-colored clothing, avoiding the outdoors during peak mosquito activity, and applying EPA-approved mosquito repellents. By combining practical actions with science-backed strategies, citizens can help reduce the impact of insecticide-resistant mosquitoes and protect public health.

Contact Our Experts

Complete the form below or call us at 800-413-4445 to speak to an expert about your mosquito management needs.

VDCI_Logo_squareSince 1992, Vector Disease Control International (VDCI) has taken pride in providing municipalities, mosquito abatement districts, industrial sites, planned communities, homeowners associations, and golf courses with the tools they need to run effective mosquito control programs. We are determined to protect the public health of the communities in which we operate. Our mosquito control professionals have over 100 years of combined experience in the field of public health, specifically vector disease control. We strive to provide the most effective and scientifically sound mosquito surveillance and control programs possible based on an Integrated Mosquito Management approach recommended by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). VDCI is the only company in the country that can manage all aspects of an integrated mosquito management program, from surveillance to disease testing to aerial application in emergency situations.

A Day In the Life of a Mosquito Control Lab Technician

Exploring the Importance of Mosquito Lab Analysis

When the public observes a Vector Disease Control International (VDCI) truck conducting spraying, it may appear routine, or even go unnoticed. However, what many folks don’t realize is the meticulous planning and scientific precision that is calculated for each spray route. Behind the scenes, a dedicated team of experts ensures every decision, from location selection to insecticide dosage and spray time, is backed by rigorous research and analysis.

“Most people are only familiar with the trucks and may not realize there’s a lot more to mosquito control,” Jennifer Riley, VDCI’s Louisiana-based biologist and lab technician said. “I think people would be surprised to learn that there is someone in the lab every day to help ensure the efficacy of our operations.”

Evaluating Mosquito Larvae for Insecticide Resistance

Jennifer specializes in monitoring for larval and adult insecticide resistance, the process by which mosquitoes become less susceptible to insecticides used to control them, either through genetic mutations or behavioral changes. Overuse or unnecessary spraying of insecticides can contribute to the development of resistance. 

To evaluate mosquito larval resistance, Jennifer visits different locations in her jurisdiction to conduct field tests directly on-site. Using tools like mosquito dippers, she quantifies the larval presence in ditches, containers, or other sites where water has pooled. She then calculates and administers a precise larvicide dosage to the water, returning approximately 24 hours later to evaluate the efficacy of the product and identify any signs of resistance. 

“Sometimes it’s hard to find breeding locations and I can be out all day looking for sampling sites,” Jennifer said. “I joke that I’m the only one who gets excited when mosquitoes start breeding again after winter. It’s such a thrill to find one of those really busy ditches.”  

Testing Adult Mosquitoes for Insecticide Resistance

Jennifer also collects mosquito larvae and rears them to adults in the lab for testing adulticide resistance. The mosquitoes are kept in a warm, humid enclosure called an insectarium to maintain their health and vitality until they’re ready for testing. Artificial lights are regulated to mirror day and night cycles, and they’re provided with sugar water to mimic the nectar they feed on when not seeking blood meals.

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“It’s crucial to replicate the environmental conditions they’re familiar with to prevent results from being skewed,” Jennifer explained. 

Adulticide tests are conducted in the lab with the CDC bottle bioassay. To protect their delicate wings, mosquitoes are gently aspirated from the insectarium and transferred into bottles containing a diluted adulticide solution for observation. Mortality rates are then compared to a control group to detect any signs of insecticide resistance. 

insecticide resistance - bottle assay

Adulticide tests are also conducted in the field to replicate real-world conditions in which a nighttime spray mission would occur. This helps to account for variables like air pressure, humidity, wind, and temperature. Adult mosquitoes are placed in containers at various intervals within a range of a few hundred feet. A passing truck sprays adulticide and a post-spray mosquito examination determines mortality rates. These tests ensure that the truck’s speed and spray droplet size are appropriate to target mosquitoes while minimizing the impact on non-target insects and wildlife.

What Happens When Insecticide Resistance Is Detected?

If insecticide resistance is detected in any of these assessments, the next step is to determine how far the resistant population has spread beyond the initial testing site. This may involve placing adult mosquito traps at strategic intervals for additional testing or collecting larval samples from other sites in the surrounding area. 

“After I’ve identified a potential problem, we want to see how big the problem really is,” Jennifer said. “Then, we may discuss rotating insecticide products or altering the formula to ensure our efforts remain safe and effective.” 

In addition to rigorously monitoring and testing for insecticide resistance, Jennifer provides support to other experts involved with mosquito species identification, population counting, and disease testing. This collaborative, science-backed approach helps ensure insecticides are only sprayed in the right locations, in the right dosages, at the right times. 

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Her job is not without its challenges. Environmental factors complicate the task of locating mosquito larvae in the field. In droughts, mosquito populations may surge despite the scarcity of water, making it more difficult to locate breeding sites. Conversely, heavy rainfall can completely wash away larvae habitats, preventing accurate sampling. 

Encounters with unwanted creatures—inside and outside of the lab—are also a possibility. 

“Once, I was sampling larvae in a septic ditch. Just as I went to reach in, I was fortunate to notice there was an alligator,” Jennifer said. “Spiders have also hatched in the insectarium and I have to figure out how to keep them from eating all of my insects.”   

Despite these challenges, Jennifer likes that her job is never boring. 

“Every day is a little different. I love lab work, but I also like being out looking for larvae and seeing the beauty of the state. It’s a great balance for me.”  

Contact Our Experts

Complete the form below or call us at 800-413-4445 to speak to an expert about your mosquito management needs.

VDCI_Logo_squareSince 1992, Vector Disease Control International (VDCI) has taken pride in providing municipalities, mosquito abatement districts, industrial sites, planned communities, homeowners associations, and golf courses with the tools they need to run effective mosquito control programs. We are determined to protect the public health of the communities in which we operate. Our mosquito control professionals have over 100 years of combined experience in the field of public health, specifically vector disease control. We strive to provide the most effective and scientifically sound mosquito surveillance and control programs possible based on an Integrated Mosquito Management approach recommended by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). VDCI is the only company in the country that can manage all aspects of an integrated mosquito management program, from surveillance to disease testing to aerial application in emergency situations.

What’s Your Community’s Action Threshold? Knowing When to Spray for Mosquitoes

Know When to Spray for Mosquitoes with Action Thresholds

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to responsibly and effectively managing mosquitoes. Every jurisdiction faces unique challenges that may be influenced by community desires, budgetary constraints, prevalent mosquito species, disease risks, and local environmental factors. To optimally address these challenges and safeguard public health while minimizing the risk of insecticide resistance, professionals rely on action thresholds.

Action thresholds serve as critical benchmarks in an Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) program. They represent the tipping point at which control measures become necessary to reduce the potential of mosquito-borne diseases, nuisance mosquito populations, or prevent a particular species from reaching levels that pose a significant risk to public health. Action thresholds are not arbitrary; they are meticulously tailored to the specific goals and characteristics of each jurisdiction.

What does it take to develop action thresholds?

Developing action thresholds involves a multidisciplinary approach that integrates scientific expertise with local knowledge and community input. Entomologists, government leaders, and public health officials collaborate to assess various factors, such as mosquito abundance, disease prevalence, ecological dynamics, and human population density. Through comprehensive mosquito surveillance, disease monitoring, and data analysis, mosquito experts identify thresholds that signal the need for targeted control interventions.

Aerial Spraying Malcom 8

One of the primary objectives of employing action thresholds is to ensure the judicious and effective deployment of mosquito control products. Over-reliance on insecticides without regard for action thresholds can accelerate the development of insecticide resistance among mosquito populations, causing control measures to lose their effectiveness over time. Applying insecticides only when mosquito populations exceed predetermined thresholds or if a particular species or disease is present can reduce insecticide resistance and prolong the efficacy of available insecticides – with the ultimate goal of limiting the environmental impact. 

Action thresholds also enable authorities to prioritize locations most in need of intervention. By strategically focusing resources on areas where mosquito populations pose the greatest risk to public health, interventions can be more impactful. This facilitates funds, time, and manpower to be utilized more effectively. Moreover, this limits unnecessary insecticide applications, ensuring our actions are environmentally responsible and prudent. 

The Importance of Community Engagement In Mosquito Management

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Furthermore, action thresholds serve as a valuable tool for community engagement and communication. By transparently communicating the rationale behind mosquito control decisions and their thresholds, authorities can foster trust and cooperation within the community. Empowering residents with this knowledge also encourages participation in preventive measures and promotes a shared responsibility for mosquito control.

Action thresholds play a vital role in effective mosquito management by providing clear guidelines for intervention based on scientific evidence and community-specific factors. By employing targeted interventions only when and where they are needed, authorities can optimize the allocation of resources, limit environmental impacts, and safeguard the health, happiness, and well-being of the public.

Contact Our Experts

Complete the form below or call us at 800-413-4445 to speak to an expert about your mosquito management needs.

VDCI_Logo_squareSince 1992, Vector Disease Control International (VDCI) has taken pride in providing municipalities, mosquito abatement districts, industrial sites, planned communities, homeowners associations, and golf courses with the tools they need to run effective mosquito control programs. We are determined to protect the public health of the communities in which we operate. Our mosquito control professionals have over 100 years of combined experience in the field of public health, specifically vector disease control. We strive to provide the most effective and scientifically sound mosquito surveillance and control programs possible based on an Integrated Mosquito Management approach recommended by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). VDCI is the only company in the country that can manage all aspects of an integrated mosquito management program, from surveillance to disease testing to aerial application in emergency situations.

Professional Mosquito Trapping: Basics, Benefits & More

How Professional Mosquito Trapping Works

Mosquitoes are more than just pesky insects that cause itchy bites in the summer months – they can also transmit harmful diseases, making them a threat to public health. Professional mosquito trapping is utilized by experts to gain a better understanding of the local adult mosquito population and determine if a potential disease threat exists. Professional mosquito traps serve as important tools to determine the mosquito life stage, species, and population size in a particular area. Once adult and immature mosquitoes are collected, they are sorted, counted, analyzed, and tested for disease so we can gather vital data that can help form more effective Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) programs to better protect our communities from mosquito-borne diseases.

What is Mosquito Trapping?

Our entomologists employ mosquito surveillance to better understand the local mosquito populations in a given area. Adult mosquito surveillance typically includes weekly trapping of adult mosquitoes in a given area. The goal of mosquito trapping is to create a baseline of the current mosquito population, identify any population shift, understand the mosquito species distribution in an area, and monitor the threat of mosquito-borne diseases. There are various professional mosquito traps available, and each one is designed to target specific mosquito species. Determining which one to use depends on the information desired. Once the mosquitoes are captured, they are brought back to the lab for counting, species identification, and disease testing. Ongoing professional mosquito trapping helps us know when and where we need to spray to keep populations under control and when there is a risk of mosquito-borne diseases. 

Selecting The Right Type of Mosquito Traps

Selecting the right type of mosquito trap is an important aspect of mosquito surveillance. There are various types of mosquito traps. Some are designed to capture specific mosquito species or individuals during a certain life stage (host-seeking versus gravid), while others can capture a wide range of species. By using the appropriate professional mosquito trap, our entomologists can collect accurate data on local mosquito populations and determine if there is a risk of mosquito-borne diseases.

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CDC Trap

CDC traps are widely used in adult mosquito surveillance. These mosquito traps are portable and run on a 6V battery with a motorized fan to collect mosquitoes. The most common model comes with a small adjustable light and may be supplemented with dry ice, which releases carbon dioxide (CO2), thereby acting as a mosquito bait source to mimic the exhaled respiratory gases of birds or mammals. Once drawn in, the mosquitoes are forced downward by the fan into the collection net, where they cannot escape. CDC traps are typically deployed at dusk and collected after dawn to gather data when most mosquito species are active.

BG-Sentinel Trap

The BG-Sentinel trap is a specially designed mosquito trap that targets two particular mosquito species: Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti, which are known for transmitting viruses like dengue, chikungunya, Zika, and yellow fever. These mosquito species are common in urban environments and breed in natural and artificial containers. The BG-Sentinel trap is made up of a tarp-like material and is about the size of a five-gallon bucket. It uses an attractant such as Octenol lure, human scent lure, or CO2 to lure mosquitoes towards the trap. Once the mosquitoes are in the vicinity, a funnel located at the top of the professional mosquito trap directs them toward an electric fan (outlet or battery-powered) that pulls them into a collection net. 

Gravid Trap

Gravid traps are specifically designed to capture gravid (egg-laying) Culex mosquitoes, including Culex tarsalis and Culex pipiens, which are capable of transmitting diseases like West Nile virus, St. Louis Encephalitis, and both Western and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Many Culex species are attracted to water containing high organic material to lay their eggs. Gravid traps utilize a black bucket containing an organic infusion, like grass or hay, that has been left to ferment for several days to mimic stagnant water. Once inside the bucket, a battery-powered fan pulls the mosquito into a collection net. To prevent the trap from becoming a breeding site, it’s important to drain the water attractant from the trap on days when no mosquito trapping is taking place, especially if the trap is located near residential areas. 

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New Jersey Light Trap

The New Jersey light trap is a versatile mosquito trap that can capture large quantities of mosquitoes and a wide range of species, making it an excellent tool for mosquito surveillance programs. The variety of mosquito species caught can help determine the relative mosquito populations in an area, identify local mosquito vectors, and assist technicians in finding breeding sources. It is best used as a permanent trap and should be securely mounted about five to six feet above the ground and powered by an outlet. The New Jersey Light Trap utilizes a bright light and pulls mosquitoes into the trap via a fan. Dry ice can also be used as an attractant by suspending it above the mosquito trap in a vented container. The attractants in this professional mosquito trap tend to attract

Traps that Aren't Effective for Mosquito Surveillance

It’s important to note that professional mosquito trapping is part of a mosquito surveillance program designed to gather data on the local mosquito population. Professional mosquito traps are not the same as bug zappers or sticky mosquito traps that homeowners may use to control mosquitoes on their property. Bug zappers and sticky traps are not effective for mosquito surveillance. These traps attract a variety of other insects, which can make it difficult for professionals to form an accurate population count. Moreover, few mosquitoes are attracted to these traps, and those that are often have significant damage to their bodies, making them ineffective for mosquito surveillance purposes.

Mosquito Trapping Step-By-Step

Trapping plays a crucial role in our mosquito surveillance programs, helping us better understand the activity of the local mosquito population and develop action thresholds to determine the right time to deploy control strategies. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how VDCI conducts mosquito trapping:

  1. Our team determines the best locations to set mosquito traps to cast a wide net for mosquito surveillance.

  2. Based on the environment or targeted mosquitoes, we employ the type of mosquito trap needed for surveillance. Mosquito trapping is often conducted weekly over several months to ensure we get an accurate representation of the mosquito population and to understand the mosquito seasonality changes for the particular region.

  3. Once the mosquitoes are captured, they are taken back to the lab for counting and species identification or to undergo insecticide resistance testing or disease testing. 

  4. Based on the results from these tests, our entomologists will recommend control strategies to decision-makers to ensure mosquito populations do not reach dangerous or nuisance levels. 

By employing mosquito trapping as part of an IMM plan, we can provide community leaders and government entities the information they need to protect their citizens from mosquito-borne diseases and help them enjoy the outdoors.

Why Professional Mosquito Trapping Matters

Mosquito trapping is an essential part of any successful IMM program. Comprehensive mosquito surveillance helps monitor population levels, identify mosquito species in an area, and identify potential disease risks. 

Professional mosquito trapping data can also be used to determine if the population levels exceed the average number in the area or if there is a mosquito-borne disease present, and control strategies need to be deployed. This ensures our control strategies are as effective and environmentally responsible as possible. The role trapping plays in mosquito surveillance programs is crucial to our IMM programs – helping us to protect public health and keep our communities safe.

Contact Our Experts

Complete the form below to speak to an expert about your community’s mosquito management needs.

VDCI_Logo_squareSince 1992, Vector Disease Control International (VDCI) has taken pride in providing municipalities, mosquito abatement districts, industrial sites, planned communities, homeowners associations, and golf courses with the tools they need to run effective mosquito control programs. We are determined to protect the public health of the communities in which we operate. Our mosquito control professionals have over 100 years of combined experience in the field of public health, specifically vector disease control. We strive to provide the most effective and scientifically sound mosquito surveillance and control programs possible based on an Integrated Mosquito Management approach recommended by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). VDCI is the only company in the country that can manage all aspects of an integrated mosquito management program, from surveillance to disease testing to aerial application in emergency situations.

Analyzing Mosquito Larvae to Drive Decision-Making

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How larval surveillance and lab analysis help support mosquito management programs

Mosquitoes are not only a nuisance, but they can transmit dangerous diseases that have a significant impact on human health. That’s why monitoring and controlling their populations is crucial. One of the most effective ways to do this is through an Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) program. 

There are four pillars of an IMM program, one being surveillance of both larvae and adult mosquitoes. Through larval surveillance, experts can identify and eliminate potential problem areas before the larvae have a chance to become adults. This process also involves collecting mosquito larvae from various breeding sites and testing larvae for insecticide resistance. With the data collected, experts can implement more effective control measures. Keep reading as we explore the importance of mosquito surveillance and how it can help protect public health.

How Larval Surveillance and Lab Testing Works

Larval surveillance is the process of monitoring the growth and development of immature insects, particularly mosquitoes, to gain a better understanding of the local population dynamics and if they are resistant to commonly used larvicides. Let’s break down how the larval surveillance process works:

  1. Mosquitoes require standing water to breed. With this in mind, experts search for common larvae sites throughout a community, like ditches, tires, marshes, bird baths, and more. Our entomologists identify mosquito larvae in water and collect them via a dip cup or a tubular suction devices for examination. 

  2. We then bring larvae back to the lab, where they undergo efficacy testing. Our entomologists conduct insecticide resistance testing to ensure the larvae aren’t resistant to common larvicides.

  3. Some larvae are set aside in our “mosquito room,” a dedicated space used to house larvae and adults for further testing, and are kept warm to mimic the ideal habitat for mosquitoes. 

  4. After placing the larvae in the room, our entomologists wait for them to develop into adults for additional insecticide resistance testing. If resistance is identified, experts can modify their control strategies to help ensure the most effective intervention strategies are used. 
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Why Larval Surveillance

Larval surveillance is vital to every IMM program. This critical strategy helps not only combat insecticide resistance, but it helps us identify problem areas with abundant breeding sites and implement solutions like source reduction or habitat modification. By identifying mosquito habitats and conducting efficacy testing, our experts can leverage this data and their expertise to build more effective IMM programs. 

Mosquito surveillance allows us to gain a better understanding of larval habitats and the breeding behaviors of adult mosquitoes. Through our field analysis and testing, we can take a proactive approach to mosquito management by reducing the amount of larvae that make it to adulthood and reduce the number of vectors capable of spreading pathogesn. In addition, by testing mosquitoes for insecticide resistance as larvae and adults, we can ensure we are conducting applications using effective EPA-registered larvicides that provide lasting control solutions.

Protecting Your Citizens Together

At VDCI, we know that mosquito surveillance is one of the most important aspects of an effective Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) plan. Our entomologists gather data that allows public health officials to identify areas at risk, track local mosquito populations, and implement targeted control measures to reduce the impact of nuisance and potentially disease-carrying mosquitoes. As a company licensed in public health, we’re here to help community leaders keep public spaces safe and protected from mosquito-borne diseases. 

Contact Our Experts​

Complete the form below or call us at 800-413-4445 to speak to an expert about your community’s mosquito management needs.

Government Partners in Mosquito ManagementSince 1992, Vector Disease Control International (VDCI) has taken pride in providing municipalities, mosquito abatement districts, industrial sites, planned communities, homeowners associations, and golf courses with the tools they need to run effective mosquito control programs. We are determined to protect the public health of the communities in which we operate. Our mosquito control professionals have over 100 years of combined experience in the field of public health, specifically vector disease control. We strive to provide the most effective and scientifically sound mosquito surveillance and control programs possible based on an Integrated Mosquito Management approach recommended by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). VDCI is the only company in the country that can manage all aspects of an integrated mosquito management program, from surveillance to disease testing to aerial application in emergency situations.

4 Ways Government Leaders Can Help Protect Their Citizens from Mosquitoes

Utilizing An Integrated Management Approach for Effective Control

As stewards of public health and wellbeing, government leaders shoulder the responsibility of protecting citizens from health threats posed by mosquitoes as well as ensuring they can enjoy time spent outdoors. These tiny pests can become a major nuisance and certain species transmit dangerous pathogens that can cause diseases such as West Nile, yellow fever, Zika, Eastern equine encephalitis, and dengue. With public health and quality of life on the line, government leaders can make significant strides in safeguarding their communities by engaging with a mosquito management partner that specializes in Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM).

Vector Disease Control International (VDCI) is committed to protecting public health through strategic partnerships and effective IMM programs. Integrated mosquito management is a foundational, environmentally responsible approach to mosquito management that encompasses four essential pillars: surveillance and disease testing, larval control, adult mosquito control, and public education.

#1 Mosquito surveillance and disease testing

Mosquito species have different host preferences, feeding times, habitats, and pathogen-carrying capacities. Identifying and understanding their unique biological behavior is key to effectively managing them. Mosquito surveillance involves vigilant monitoring of adult and larval mosquito populations, with all data recorded in VDCI’s proprietary database. This hinges on meticulous data collection and laboratory testing. Surveillance strategies can vary depending on the mosquito life cycle stage. Mosquito control specialists analyze parameters such as species distribution, population density, disease prevalence, and insecticide resistance in the specified area, enabling well-informed decisions for strategic intervention.

#2 Larval mosquito control

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By proactively identifying areas conducive to mosquito breeding, such as ditches, ponds, and stormwater drains via surveillance, experts can tailor and implement specific larval mosquito control solutions. These solutions may involve source reduction, habitat modification, and the introduction of natural predators such as mosquitofish. In certain cases, EPA-registered larvicides may be applied from the ground or air to help ensure sustainable larval control.

#3 Adult mosquito control

While mosquito surveillance and larviciding are initial steps in any mosquito control program, managing adult mosquito populations is a vital aspect of integrated management.

Weekly mosquito trapping is crucial to monitor adult populations. This proactive approach involves setting specialized traps to regularly observe population levels, species dynamics, and disease presence, thereby providing professionals the necessary information to promptly intervene before adult populations escalate beyond control.

When nuisance mosquito populations reach unacceptable levels or the risk of mosquito-borne illnesses is high, adulticides may be employed. Utilizing data obtained through trapping and other assessments, experts can conduct precise applications of insecticides to specific locations for safe and effective mosquito control.

#4 Public education

Public education plays a pivotal role in the success and continual progress of mosquito control efforts. To effectively protect the public from mosquito-borne diseases, citizens are urged to follow The 4Ds: Drain, Dress, Defend, and Dusk and Dawn. Encouraging individuals to drain standing water, wear protective clothing, use insect repellent, and avoid outdoor activities during peak mosquito activity times can significantly help mitigate the risk of mosquito bites and disease transmission. VDCI regularly coordinates with government agencies, media, public health departments, and other organizations to disseminate timely educational resources.

Protect Public Health with an Integrated Approach to Mosquito Management

For government leaders, a successful mosquito control program reflects proactive leadership, portraying them as vigilant guardians of public health rather than merely addressing a nuisance. Partnering with an adept mosquito control company specializing in integrated management allows leaders to reclaim valuable time that would otherwise be consumed addressing complaints and health issues linked to mosquito-borne illnesses. This collaboration not only fosters a healthier, safer community but also elevates the overall quality of life for citizens.

Contact Our Experts​

Complete the form below or call us at 800-413-4445 to speak to an expert about your community’s mosquito management needs.

Government Partners in Mosquito ManagementSince 1992, Vector Disease Control International (VDCI) has taken pride in providing municipalities, mosquito abatement districts, industrial sites, planned communities, homeowners associations, and golf courses with the tools they need to run effective mosquito control programs. We are determined to protect the public health of the communities in which we operate. Our mosquito control professionals have over 100 years of combined experience in the field of public health, specifically vector disease control. We strive to provide the most effective and scientifically sound mosquito surveillance and control programs possible based on an Integrated Mosquito Management approach recommended by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). VDCI is the only company in the country that can manage all aspects of an integrated mosquito management program, from surveillance to disease testing to aerial application in emergency situations.

The Top 5 Mosquito Management Articles of 2023

Mosquito Control Tips & Educational Resources

We know how difficult it can be to manage mosquitoes. Effective mosquito management requires science-backed solutions, data collection, and knowledge from entomologists, biologists, environmental health specialists, and vector management experts. That’s why we produce educational articles to help you understand the fundamentals of mosquito management so that you can make informed decisions regarding your community’s mosquito management program.

This year’s educational blogs covered various topics including emergency response planning, understanding action thresholds, personal protection tips for citizens, and more. Below are the top articles you found the most interesting and informative in 2023!

Aerial Mosquito Spraying and How We Make It Safe​

Mosquitoes pose one of the most significant threats to public health which is why they require careful monitoring and management to prevent the spread of dangerous diseases like West Nile virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and Zika. When mosquito populations reach an unacceptable level or a disease outbreak occurs, aerial mosquito spraying is often required. Discover how aerial mosquito spraying fits into an Integrated Mosquito Management program and how we make our application safe and effective.

VDCI’s Guide to Helping You Educate Community Members About Mosquitoes

person-showing-protection-plan

One of the most important aspects of mosquito management is public education. When citizens understand how mosquito-borne diseases spread, the habitats in which mosquitoes breed, and ways they can protect themselves from bites, they can help limit the dangerous impact of mosquitoes. In addition, when community members are educated on their local mosquito control efforts, the program has a greater chance of long-term success. Discover how to strengthen your mosquito management program and keep your citizens safe with this public education guide.

Mosquito Natural Disaster Response: Are You Prepared for the Big Storm?

Severe weather can be devastating to our communities, bringing heavy rain and flooding, damaging infrastructure, displacing people from their homes, and creating conditions that promote overwhelming mosquito populations. Luckily, government leaders can prepare for abundant mosquito populations by building an emergency response plan. Discover how to build a contingency plan and explore the benefits of partnering with a professional mosquito management company that can help you navigate post-storm mosquito problems.

3 Mosquito Surveillance Techniques Professionals Utilize

Surveillance is one of the most important aspects of an Integrated Mosquito Management program. When you have a deep understanding of the local mosquito population, you can implement the appropriate control measures in the right place, at the right time. Collecting and analyzing data should occur during mosquitoes’ various life stages: egg, larval, pupae, and adult. Learn about the three types of surveillance techniques and how professionals utilize the data to optimize mosquito management strategies.

Deep Dive Into A Mosquito Laboratory

Mosquito laboratories play a critical role in every step of the management process, from building Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) programs and emergency response plans to keeping the public informed about mosquito activity. We believe that everyone deserves peace of mind while enjoying the outdoors, which is why we use laboratory testing and data collection to drive safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly IMM programs. Discover what goes on behind the scenes in a professional mosquito laboratory.

Create Safe, Enjoying Outdoor Spaces for Citizens

Family camping mosquito-free

Protecting public health is our top mission at VDCI. We want to help government leaders like you create effective and safe mosquito management programs that keep nuisance mosquito populations under control while also protecting citizens from the potential transmission of dangerous diseases. Are you ready to build an Integrated Mosquito Management program? Contact us today to get started.

What to explore our other educational blogs? Click here.

Contact Us to Build Your Mosquito Management Program:

VDCI Experts Support New American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) Virtual Training Program

AMCA Launches New Virtual Training on Integrated Mosquito Management Featuring VDCI Experts

The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) announced their new virtual training program, “Best Practices for Integrated Mosquito Management,” featuring two VDCI colleagues: Dr. Broox Boze, Ph.D., Director of Technical Services for VDCI and Deborah Bennett, GIS Project Manager.

Dr. Broox Boze, Ph.D and Chris Fredregill, M.S., serve as instructors for the course, alongside other industry professionals. Dr. Broox Boze, Ph.D., says, “This resource highlights VDCI’s commitment to promoting best management practices,” and Brook says she is “honored to be part of such an influential project alongside so many talented individuals.” Deborah Bennett, a GIS Specialist for VDCI, was foundational to the establishment of the course content and served as the industry expert for mapping and visualization of data. 

Dr. Broox Boze, Ph.D. Module 11 (Adult Mosquito Control)

Dr. Broox Boze is the Director of Technical Services for Vector Disease Control International (VDCI) and has a Ph.D. from Colorado State University. As a specialist in mosquito emergency response, she has developed protocols and coordinated surveillance and management operations with various local, county, state, and federal organizations. When she is not coordinating emergency response activities, she oversees research and development activities for VDCI to ensure the intervention strategies used are environmentally friendly and avoid non-target effects. Boze currently serves as the Industry Director for the American Mosquito Control Association and is President of the West Central Mosquito and Vector Control Association.

Broox Bronz Headshot

Deborah Bennett Module 6 (Mapping and Data Management)

Deborah joined VDCI in 2003 as a GIS Specialist. Over the years, she has handled GIS data from over 60 ground contracts and over 35 aerial contracts in 15 states. Her emergency response work has included more than 20 hurricanes and tropical storms, and numerous West Nile Virus outbreaks, across the country. Deborah earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Chemistry from Eastern New Mexico University and her CPGIS from The Pennsylvania State University. In addition to working for VDCI, she held a Teaching Assistant position with The Pennsylvania State University in their GIS program for eight years. Deborah is proficient in ESRI’s ArcGIS, SkyTracker/Wingman, SatLoc, and AGNAV mapping programs. She is also an active member of the Northwest Mosquito and Vector Control Association.

Deborah-Bennett-headshot

Integrated Mosquito Management Virtual Training Program

AMCA’s new virtual training program is designed to help mosquito control professionals protect public health by using a science-based approach to determine when to take action and what treatments to use. Throughout the course, participants will learn the importance of Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) programs and explore its five main components: 

  1. Community engagement
  2. Collecting and using data
  3. Reducing potential larval habitat
  4. Using all control methods available and reasonable
  5. Regularly evaluating the efficacy of the program

The program features 24 expert instructors located throughout the U.S., Australia, and Puerto Rico. Once completed, colleagues have the opportunity to earn a professional certification. 

Colleague-counting-mosquitos

Our Partnership with AMCA

The American Mosquito Control Association is the leading authority on setting the standard of care for protecting public and environmental health through knowledge and advocacy in vector management. AMCA’s mission is to enhance health and quality of life by suppressing vector-transmitted diseases and reducing mosquitoes and other public health pests by providing leadership, information, collaboration, tools, and education. 

We are proud to be sustaining members of The American Mosquito Control Association. Our colleagues take an active role in the organization by serving on the board of directors and numerous committees. We attend annual meetings to give presentations, meet with other mosquito control professionals, and learn about the latest technologies in the industry. Through this partnership, we work to educate the public about mosquito-borne diseases and prevent the spread of illness. 

How VDCI Protects Public Health

At VDCI, we believe everyone should have peace of mind while enjoying the outdoors. Our team of experts includes biologists, entomologists, environmental health, and mosquito specialists who work to protect public health through research, education, and community outreach. Our goal is to spread awareness of mosquito-borne diseases and promote best management practices in mosquito management. By working alongside city, county, and state governments, we can support public health and work to stop the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.

Contact Us to Build Your Mosquito Management Program:

VDCI_Logo_squareSince 1992, Vector Disease Control International (VDCI) has taken pride in providing municipalities, mosquito abatement districts, industrial sites, planned communities, homeowners associations, and golf courses with the tools they need to run effective mosquito control programs. We are determined to protect the public health of the communities in which we operate. Our mosquito control professionals have over 100 years of combined experience in the field of public health, specifically vector disease control. We strive to provide the most effective and scientifically sound mosquito surveillance and control programs possible based on an Integrated Mosquito Management approach recommended by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). VDCI is the only company in the country that can manage all aspects of an integrated mosquito management program, from surveillance to disease testing to aerial application in emergency situations.

Public Health Pesticides For Mosquito Control: A Higher Standard

Are Mosquito Control Pesticides Safe?

Pesticides are vital tools for the management of disease-carrying mosquitoes. Climate change, urban development, and severe weather events are making the world more hospitable to mosquitoes that spread West Nile virus, Zika, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Dengue, and other deadly diseases. Though proactive management is essential for the protection of our communities, pesticides are an important component of an integrated mosquito management program. Understanding how pesticides are developed and incorporated into mosquito management programs is key to ensuring they work safely and effectively in our times of greatest need.

As a mosquito management company with a mission to protect public health, VDCI only uses pesticides that meet all federal guidelines and are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state agencies for that specific purpose. The process of developing and registering a pesticide product can be lengthy and complex, but helps ensure that products work as intended without unreasonable adverse effects on humans or the environment, including endangered species, non-target insects, plants, ground water, and the food supply.

Truck-spraying-treatment

Before a pesticide can be registered for public health purposes, it must undergo extensive testing to determine its safety and effectiveness in controlling mosquitoes. This research is typically conducted by the manufacturer or a third-party testing facility and can take several years to complete. All information pertaining to the pesticide, its chemical composition, proposed use, and safety data is evaluated by the EPA to identify the product’s benefits and potential risks:

  • ​Aggregate risks – through food, water, and residential uses
  • Cumulative risks – from different pesticides with the same effects
  • Occupational risks – to those applying the product during their work

As part of this process, additional testing or data collection may be required. Once the pesticide has been deemed safe and effective for mosquito control, it will be published in the Federal Register and issued a label number with precise specifications and precautions for product use. The EPA will continue to monitor its impact and performance through periodic reviews and inspections. If any safety concerns arise, the pLEARroduct’s registration may be revoked, or it may require additional labeling or testing.

Following label guidelines is a crucial aspect of pesticide safety. Many of the products used in mosquito control can only be applied by licensed professionals with the appropriate training and equipment, such as ULV (ultra-low volume) sprayers, aircraft, or GPS-guided drones. These technologies help optimize pesticide use, allowing for just one ounce of product per acre to be applied. Experts also have access to multiple pesticide products, each of which contain different active ingredients and may require unique application methods or frequencies, so understanding label specifications and taking into account proper timing is essential.

Government leaders are tasked with the challenging job of protecting the public from nuisance mosquitoes as well as the threat of disease transmission, but sometimes citizens have reservations about the use of pesticides in their communities. VDCI strives to minimize product applications by incorporating a variety of safe, environmentally responsible techniques under one program. 

scientist-looking-at-dip-cups

Laws and regulations around pesticide use are incredibly stringent, and VDCI is committed to driving new techniques and innovations that make pesticide applications even more safe, efficient, and long-lasting. Though mosquitoes are a problem that will not be solved any time soon, government leaders and their community members can rest assured that their safety is the foremost priority of an IMM program.

Through an integrated approach, professionals work to identify and removing mosquito breeding habitats, target mosquitoes at the larval stage, and continually monitor for the presence of disease. Pesticides are only used when pre-determined disease or population thresholds are met.

Safety is at the center of everything we do, which is why public education also remains a central pillar of Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) programs. When government leaders choose to partner with a mosquito control company focused on protecting public health, they ensure their community members have access to the latest mosquito management resources for mosquito prevention and personal protection from mosquito-borne diseases. VDCI regularly collaborates with health departments, mosquito abatement districts, schools, libraries, and other public organizations to disseminate pertinent information, including real-time updates about mosquito dynamics and scheduled treatments in the local area.

Contact Us to Learn More About Effective Mosquito Management Strategies:

VDCI_Logo_squareSince 1992, Vector Disease Control International (VDCI) has taken pride in providing municipalities, mosquito abatement districts, industrial sites, planned communities, homeowners associations, and golf courses with the tools they need to run effective mosquito control programs. We are determined to protect the public health of the communities in which we operate. Our mosquito control professionals have over 100 years of combined experience in the field of public health, specifically vector disease control. We strive to provide the most effective and scientifically sound mosquito surveillance and control programs possible based on an Integrated Mosquito Management approach recommended by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). VDCI is the only company in the country that can manage all aspects of an integrated mosquito management program, from surveillance to disease testing to aerial application in emergency situations.