The 4Ds: How Your Community Can Help Prevent Mosquito Breeding and Bites

The 4Ds: How Your Community Can Help Prevent Mosquito Breeding and Bites

It’s common to spend time in nature to relax and reset, but silent threats like mosquitoes can make this difficult and even dangerous. One of the reasons mosquitoes so often plague our outdoor activities is because they are highly efficient at reproducing. Anywhere water collects—from a stagnant pond to a tiny puddle in the sidewalk—can become an active breeding ground for mosquitoes. Therefore, community members play a vital role in the elimination of standing water, as well as the protection of themselves and their families from vector-borne pathogens

The best way to protect yourself when spending time outdoors is remembering the 4Ds:

1. DEFEND

Consistently wear and reapply an EPA-approved repellent when outdoors

  • The safest and most effective repellents should contain 10-30% DEET (N,N Diethyl-meta-toluamide). 
  • Always follow manufacturer guidelines found on the label to ensure safe and optimal product use.
  • Review the EPA’s list of registered insect repellents – www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/find-repellent-right-you   
  • Keep dogs and cats safe, too, with preventative heartworm medication.

2. DRESS

Wear closed-toe shoes, light colors, and long sleeves and pants to keep your skin protected. 

  • Mosquitoes are more attracted to darker clothing. 
  • Comfortable, loose-fitting clothes are more effective at preventing mosquito bites.
  • Bare skin on your hands, ankles, face, neck, or other areas should be protected with mosquito repellent.

3. DRAIN

Mosquitoes require standing water to reproduce. 

  • Empty and prevent future water collection in outdoor tools and objects like tires, tarps, buckets, birdbaths, basketball goals, wheelbarrows, and lawn care equipment.
  • Ensure water can drain properly from gutters, flower pots, watering cans, rain barrels, low-lying ditches, and stormwater pipes and structures.

4. DUSK & DAWN

Limit spending time outdoors when mosquitoes are most active. 

  • Mosquitoes can become dehydrated in direct sunlight. 
  • During the day, mosquitoes typically linger in cool, shaded places like thick weeds, ivy, bushes, and wood piles.

Self-protection goes hand-in-hand with public education. Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) programs are most effective when efforts are reinforced by the surrounding community. When state, regional, and municipal entities partner with a professional management company, they get access to industry experts who regularly present and work with health departments, churches, schools, libraries, senior homes, local clubs, and other groups to ensure they receive accurate information about the mosquito species, diseases, and tools used in the area. Educational resources can be disseminated through a variety of channels to inform citizens about up-to-date news, safety warnings, and mosquito prevention reminders. 

It’s important to remember that mosquitoes are not hindered by geographical boundaries. In fact, some species can travel many miles for a blood meal. When knowledgeable citizens work together, they can have a significant impact that benefits the entire community and help maximize the results of their local integrated mosquito management program.

Contact Our Experts​

Fill out the form below or call our experts at 866.977.6964 so that they can help you develop a custom IMM program to meet your community’s 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.

Behind the Scenes Look: Utilizing Technology for Successful Surveillance & Disease Testing

VDCI lab testing vial mosquito control education

Behind the Scenes Look: Utilizing Technology for Successful Surveillance & Disease Testing

Responsible mosquito management involves targeting mosquitoes at all stages of their lifecycle. A holistic, integrated approach is the most effective strategy to halt population growth and prevent the spread of deadly diseases while reducing environmental footprint.

surveillance and disease testing

Surveillance is the cornerstone of an integrated mosquito management (IMM) program. This begins with assessing breeding sites and eliminating mosquitoes at the larval stage. By analyzing population dynamics and species distribution, adult mosquitoes can be safely and effectively controlled. Proactive surveillance and data collection also allow scientists to optimize the use of insecticides and limit spraying to specific areas at precise times. These techniques reduce the chance of insecticide resistance, which can create additional challenges and expenses for stakeholders.

mosquito lab testing collecting dataHighly targeted, carefully formulated insecticides are used by experts to safely control mosquitoes and mitigate the risk of vector-borne disease transmission. Though insecticides are an impactful tool in mosquito management, it’s possible for mosquitoes to become resistant to them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) if mortality drops to a rate of less than 90%, the mosquito population is considered insecticide resistant.

Insecticide resistance typically occurs during prolonged exposure to insecticides used during the management process. Continued use in moderately susceptible populations can result in the selection of resistant individuals and loss of insecticide sensitivity in certain areas—something that is particularly dangerous during large mosquito outbreaks following rainstorms, hurricanes, and other serious weather events. Insecticide resistance not only contributes to wasted time and resources but it also endangers communities through increased disease transmission.

mosquito lab testingThe best way to prevent insecticide resistance is ongoing monitoring. IMM programs incorporate strategic monitoring efforts throughout the management season to gather information about species bionomics, active periods, host preferences, and the presence of disease. This knowledge about local mosquito populations is used to determine the severity of a nuisance outbreak and inform control efforts. 

Scientists have multiple ways to collect information. Each method is selected based on the unique challenges a community is facing.

mosquito trapsCDC Light Traps

These light traps, which were developed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, are considered the industry standard for mosquito surveillance and collection. Like the New Jersey light trap, it attracts many different species, but it is portable. A 6V battery powers a motorized fan that circulates carbon dioxide (CO2) as an attractant. Once they enter the trap, mosquitoes are sucked into a collection device. CDC traps are most effective when deployed at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

mosquito trapsBG-Sentinel Trap

This trap is designed to capture Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger mosquito) and Aedes aegypti (Yellow Fever mosquito), each of which are known to carry diseases, including Dengue, Chikungunya, Zika virus, and Yellow Fever. Both species thrive in urban environments where they can breed in natural and artificial containers such as gutters, bird baths, watering cans, and outdoor equipment. The BG-Sentinel trap, which is made of a tarp-like material, utilizes an attractant to lure mosquitoes into a funnel. The funnel is outfitted with an electric fan that pulls them into a net where they will remain until collection.

mosquito trapsGravid Trap

Gravid traps are designed to catch Culex mosquitoes, such as Culex tarsalis or Culex pipiens. These species are capable of spreading West Nile virus, St. Louis Encephalitis, and both Western and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Each trap is filled with stagnant water containing organic matter like grass or hay to mimic natural breeding grounds. As Culex mosquitoes approach, they are sucked by an electric fan into the trap for future collection.

mosquito trapsNew Jersey Light Trap

The New Jersey light trap is effective at capturing a wide spectrum of mosquito species. It is typically used as a permanent device that’s mounted and powered by an outlet in target areas. The New Jersey light trap is a beneficial tool to support IMM programs—it is capable of collecting large quantities of local mosquitoes for scientific analysis and data collection. 

PCR Tests 

Clinical tests are commonly used in the industry to identify diseases. PCR tests, for example, allow laboratory technicians to detect different bacteria or viruses that have been transmitted by mosquitoes. Though PCR tests are also used to detect Covid-19, it’s important to note that mosquitoes do not spread the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

RAMP® WNv Tests

RAMP tests are also widely used in the industry. This highly-sensitive test is designed to detect West Nile virus in mosquitoes. A RAMP test can be conducted quickly and efficiently in-house, making it particularly useful following hurricanes and weather events.

lab testing

CDC Bottle Bioassay

One of the most important tools when monitoring for insecticide resistance is the CDC Bottle Bioassay. As part of the testing process, bottles are coated with a diluted pesticide solution and then paired with a control group. Female adult mosquitoes are deposited into each bottle, where they are exposed to stressful conditions. Mortality data is then collected and analyzed by scientists for evidence of insecticide resistance. 

Larval Cup Bioassay

Larvicides are central to proactive mosquito management programs, and resistance is less common; however, it can still occur. Larval control agents work through either ingestion or contact with the target host, depending on the product used. Like the bottle bioassay process, cups are coated with bacterial larvicides like Bacillus thuringiensis israliensis (Bti), Bacillus sphaericus (Bs), or Spinosad and examined for mortality data. 

insecticide resistance - bottle assay

Modern GPS/GIS technologies have made it possible to gather large amounts of data for site mapping, disease tracking, and analysis. This information can be compared over time to identify trends or patterns that help advise the direction of management programs and ensure ongoing compliance with regulatory standards. 

Now, GPS technologies are being integrated into advanced aerial equipment. VDCI’s state of the art drones give technicians a birds-eye-view of target sites for more streamlined site surveillance and mapping, as well as more precise pesticide applications. Likewise, advanced drones allow experts to observe and treat areas that are dangerous, like swamps and wetlands, or more private, like HOAs and other large communities.

drone surveillance

Scientists have many advanced tools at their disposal for trapping, species identification, and disease testing, but the most valuable approach is preventative management. Proactive surveillance, monitoring, communication, and stakeholder education can help experts identify and quickly mitigate disease risks before a community is impacted. VDCI has the experience, necessary equipment, industry-leading technologies, and capabilities to handle all of your mosquito surveillance and disease monitoring needs.

Contact Our Experts​

Contact, or call, our experts at 866.977.6964 so that they can help you develop a custom IMM program to meet your community’s 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.

The IMM Advantage

CDC Mosquito control disease monitoring

The IMM Advantage

Mosquito — the eight-letter word that no one likes to hear or, even worse, be around. Community members can rely on several strategies to limit their itchy bites and thwart the pests – from insect repellents to reducing breeding habitats. However, these approaches alone will not produce lasting results or provide insights into the threat level that mosquito-borne diseases pose in your community. The safest, most effective, and long-lasting solution is prevention through a proactive and holistic Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) program, which targets mosquitoes at all stages of their life cycle, giving your community peace of mind.

surveillance and disease testing - lab testing - mosquito control - vdci - vector management - markets served

A successful IMM program leans on both science-based tactics and educational initiatives:

CDC Mosquito control disease monitoringSurveillance & Disease Testing

Surveillance involves close observation and analysis of mosquito populations, distribution, density, and species composition throughout a targeted area. By gathering extensive data, scientists can create a customized management approach that’s designed to target mosquitoes in the right areas, at the right times, with the right product. This optimizes product use and most effectively reduces the risk of vector-borne disease.

Mosquito management strategies vary depending on their lifecycle stage. For example, mosquitoes require water to lay their eggs, and larval surveillance data allow experts to identify these habitats and treat them using biological control or EPA-registered larvicides.

The management of adult mosquitoes can be more complex. When it comes to adult mosquito surveillance, experts often utilize mosquito traps to collect, count, and identify mosquito species and determine the particular disease risk in a given area. Each mosquito species has unique host preferences, activity times, and habitat use. Certain species are also more likely to carry and transmit pathogens. Correctly identifying species and understanding their bionomics helps ensure they are managed most effectively. 

insecticide resistanceMonitoring for Insecticide Resistance

An important component of IMM programs is insecticide resistance. Monitoring for chemical resistance should begin at the start of the season and continue throughout the season. Long-term resistance data is valuable because it allows experts to identify trends and modify their mosquito management approach as needed. 

Insecticide resistance most often occurs due to overuse or overreliance on a single class of products. The continued use may reduce population sensitivity and eventually cause selection for resistant insects. Irresponsible product use by homeowners and agriculture can undermine mosquito control efforts, waste funds and resources, and increase the risk of an unmanageable disease crisis. The 2016 Zika outbreak in Miami-Dade County after Hurricane Irma illustrated the reality and danger of insecticide resistance.

Technologies Utilized in Mosquito Control

Ground Crews

Vector-control specialists rely on many types of tools and technologies to achieve mosquito control. Ground crews utilize backpack power sprayers or Ultra-Low Volume (ULV) spray trucks capable of treating highly specific areas. Equipment is specially designed and calibrated for optimal product distribution, with all data recorded in VDCI’s proprietary database. 

vdci spraying mosquito control treatment

Aerial Fleet

Aircraft can be used to treat habitats that are difficult to access due to flooding, compromised infrastructure, or road closures. VDCI’s aerial fleet utilizes highly specialized technology and incorporates real-time meteorological data to determine optimal application efficacy.  

In addition to specialized aircraft, VDCI also utilizes state-of-the-art drones (unmanned aerial systems) that are programmed with advanced GPS technology to map target sites and ensure the precise application of liquid or granular products. Drones bridge the gap between ground and plane applications and allow for wide-area coverage of previously unreachable terrain.

drone applications for mosquito control

Public Education

Mosquito management initiatives backed by science and modern technologies can be highly effective, but a lack of public awareness can ultimately limit the success of these efforts. The role of public education in an IMM program cannot be overlooked. Not only will informed citizens better protect themselves from vector-borne diseases, but they can also assist in removing mosquito habitats and reporting areas of concern.

Public-Education-Source-Reduction-Larval-Habitats

Public education starts with establishing strategic partnerships within the community. VDCI partners with health departments, schools, churches, and other community groups to share accurate information and strategies to support city and state governments or mosquito abatement districts. Community members are taught to remember the 4 D’s:

  • Defend – Protect yourself by using an EPA-approved repellent.
  • Dress – Wear light-colored clothing, closed-toe shoes, long sleeves, and long pants when spending time outside.
  • Drain – Mosquitoes need water to complete their life cycle, and even something as small as a bottle cap can hold dozens of mosquito larvae.
  • Dusk & Dawn – Stay indoors during these times of day when mosquitoes are most active. 

There is no one solution to control mosquitoes. IMM programs are complex, customized, and ever-changing. Success is best achieved by merging surveillance and monitoring efforts with advanced knowledge and technology. And the better the community understands its role in that equation, the more favorable the outcome can be.

Contact Our Experts

Contact, or call, our experts at 866.977.6964 so that they can help you develop a custom IMM program to meet your community’s 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.

2021 Mosquito-Borne Disease Year In Review

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2021 Mosquito-Borne Disease: Year In Review

While the COVID-19 pandemic has captured the attention of the world’s leading infectious disease experts, the scientific community has continued to track the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases, including West Nile, Zika, Chikungunya, Dengue, and other dangerous illnesses. As of December 14, 2021, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that more than 2,400 human infections of West Nile occurred in the United States in the past year, of which 165 resulted in death. Nearly every state in the country has been affected, with  Arizona, Colorado, California, and Nebraska representing the most cases.

West Nile Virus

CDC WNV 11.30.21 This map from CDC shows West Nile virus activity across the U.S. in 2021.

As in years past, West Nile virus (WNv) continues to be the most reported and most deadly mosquito-borne disease in the United States. WNv is carried by over 150 species of mosquitoes, which usually pass the virus to humans after feeding on infected birds. Scientists have identified Culex pipiens, Culex tarsalis, and Culex quinquefasciatus as the primary vector species.

Approximately 20% of people infected with WNv experience flu-like symptoms such as nausea, headache, muscle pain, fever, and swollen lymph glands. These symptoms may also be accompanied by rashes, sleepiness, disorientation, and stiff neck. Among those infected, less than 1% will go on to develop West Nile Encephalitis or Meningitis. This can result in tremors, convulsions, paralysis, coma, and even death.

WNv transmission is cyclical in nature, with 2021 data showing a significant increase in both total cases and death:

2021: Cases
2,445 Cases
2021: Deaths
165 Deaths

This chart reflects data taken on December 14, 2021.

2020 – 28 cases in citizens returning from travel, 0 cases in U.S. territories 

2019 – 192 cases in citizens returning from travel, 2 cases in U.S. territories 

2018 – 116 cases in citizens returning from travel, 8 cases in U.S. territories 

To learn more about the symptoms, treatment, and mosquito species that vector this virus, visit our educational page on West Nile virus.

Zika Virus

CDC ZikaThis map from CDC shows Zika virus activity around the world.

Zika is a dangerous virus that primarily affects Africa and South America. Historically, U.S. citizens have become infected while traveling abroad, but warming climates have allowed the presence of Zika in the southern United States as well. Unlike other types of viruses, which require an animal reservoir host, mosquitoes are able to transmit Zika by simply feeding on the blood of an infected person. This can increase the spread very quickly during the summer months. 

In the United States, Zika is typically transmitted by Aedes aegypti, but growing evidence suggests that the Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus) could also be a vector. Common symptoms of infection include fever, rash, headache, joint pain, muscle pain, and Conjunctivitis (red eyes). Zika very rarely results in death; however, it can cause serious congenital disabilities when an infection occurs during pregnancy. These typically manifest as microcephaly (collapsed skull), decreased brain tissue, eye tissue damage, and joint or muscle tone complications.

After an alarming peak in 2016, when the CDC reported more than 40,000 cases in the U.S. and its territories, Zika cases have decreased to remarkable lows. This may, in part, be due to pandemic-related travel restrictions:

2021: Cases in the United States
28 Cases
2021: Returning From Travel
1 Case

This chart reflects data taken on December 14, 2021.

2020 – 4 cases in citizens returning from travel, 57 cases in U.S. territories

2019 – 27 cases in citizens returning from travel, 74 cases in U.S. territories

2018 – 73 cases in citizens returning from travel, 148 cases in U.S. territories 

To learn more about the symptoms, treatment, and mosquito species that vector this virus, visit our educational page on Zika virus.

Chikungunya Virus

CHIK-World-Map_10-30-2020This map from CDC shows Chikungunya virus activity around the world in 2020.

Chikungunya (chik-en-gun-ye) is less well-known than other mosquito-borne diseases, but has become more widespread among American citizens, most often when traveling abroad. Like Zika, Chikungunya virus can spread when mosquitoes feed on a person who is carrying the infection. Chikungunya is also primarily transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes.

Those infected with Chikungunya virus may experience painful and even disabling symptoms that appear 3-7 days after transmission. These most often include fever, severe joint pain, and rash. Death is very rare and, in fact, infected individuals tend to develop immunity from future infections.

Annual U.S. Chikungunya cases have dropped dramatically in recent years - reaching a record low in 2021. This may, in part, be due to pandemic-related travel restrictions and effective mosquito control interventions:

2021: Cases in the United States
0 Cases
2021: Returning From Travel
21 Cases

This chart reflects data taken on December 14, 2021.

2020 – 28 cases in citizens returning from travel, 0 cases in U.S. territories

2019 – 192 cases in citizens returning from travel, 2 cases in U.S. territories

2018 – 116 cases in citizens returning from travel, 8 cases in U.S. territories 

To learn more about the symptoms, treatment, and mosquito species that vector this virus, visit our educational page on Chikungunya.2018 – 116 cases in citizens returning from travel, 8 cases in U.S. territories.

Dengue Virus

DengueThis map from CDC shows Dengue activity across the U.S. in 2021.

While many people think of Dengue as a disease we don’t need to worry about in the United States, mosquitoes capable of transmitting this virus are abundant in many areas of the country and quickly expanding their range.  Characteristic symptoms of dengue include high fever, rash, in addition to muscle and joint pain. In severe cases there can be serious bleeding or shock, which is life threatening.

In 2021 there were 86 human cases of Dengue diagnosed in 23 states across the continental United States.

To learn more about the symptoms, treatment, and mosquito species that vector this virus, visit our educational page on Dengue.

0
Human Cases (2021)
0
States Affected Across the U.S. (2021)

Monitoring Real-Time U.S. Mosquito-Borne Disease Activity

The key to limiting the spread of mosquito-borne diseases is monitoring and prevention. Municipalities and mosquito abatement districts often execute Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) programs to help protect communities, but private citizens can support these efforts and empower themselves with disease tracking tools like the CDC’s ArboNet map. The map provides a live overview of reported mosquito activity and the most common vector-borne diseases, including:

  • West Nile Virus (WNV)
  • St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE)
  • Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)
  • La Crosse (LAC)
  • Dengue (DEN) locally-acquired and travel-associated
  • Chikungunya (CHIK) locally-acquired and travel-associated
  • Zika Virus (ZIKA) locally-acquired and travel-associated
  • Powassan Virus (a tick-borne disease)

*ArboNet is designed to reflect real-time information, but there are times when it may not be in sync. This resource is easy to navigate and can be sorted by disease type, state, and year.

Public Education in Reducing Mosquito Populations 2 bugspray mosquito prevention health and safetyIn addition to staying informed about the risks posed by mosquitoes in your community, it’s important to observe any travel warnings issued by the CDC, particularly when pregnant. It’s also essential to exercise personal protection measures like wearing insect repellent and exercising best practices around your property to reduce mosquito reproduction.

VDCI is committed to public education and spreading awareness throughout the U.S. about the dangers of mosquito-borne diseases and their preventability, with the overarching goal of reducing illness and fatalities. Our dedicated and experienced team works tirelessly with local governments to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases in all of the contracts we service from coast to coast.

VDCI Wants To Make Your Community Safer. How Can We Help?

Speak to an expert about implementing an IMM program.

Fill out the information below, and one of our experts will follow up with you shortly.

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.

Reshaping the Mosquito Control Industry with Advanced Technology

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Every year, new technologies emerge that help keep people safer, healthier, and happier. This includes technologies used in the mosquito management industry.

Vector-borne diseases spread by mosquitoes are responsible for killing more than one million people annually. That’s why the development of new innovations is key in the mission to prevent mosquitoes from endangering communities worldwide. 

When we choose to utilize advanced technologies, it’s because they enhance the accuracy, efficacy, and safety of our work. Here are some of the innovations we utilize as part of an Integrated Mosquito Management program to help keep the communities we serve safe.

Without data, it’s difficult to understand the effectiveness of mosquito control efforts or fully demonstrate to stakeholders the financial return of their investment. It’s also more challenging to strategize an effective management plan. GIS mapping can be utilized in nearly every facet of an integrated mosquito management program, from tracking larval and adulticide applications to monitoring mosquito populations and disease data. Over time, this information can be analyzed to identify trends or patterns and determine the overall impact of treatment efforts.

arcmap_biggerBeyond the day to day operations of an IMM program, GIS technology has several other applications. GIS serves as a critical tool for regulatory compliance, as maps can be used to both assure compliance and also streamline requirements for initiatives like NPDES permitting. Maps that show disease monitoring in a given area can also be used to support public education and communications throughout the community. Lastly, federal, state, and local governments use GIS to aid in emergency response efforts.

Mosquito Trapping and Lab Analysis

Mosquito Surveillance & Disease Testing Reduce Mosquito-borne Disease 3Mosquito traps are not used to control adult mosquitoes; rather, they serve as an important tool for collecting data on species distribution, population dynamics, and calculating disease risk based on vector competence.

Our professionals utilize several types of traps, including the CDC Miniature Light Trap, Gravid Trap, BG-Sentinel, and New Jersey Light Trap, just to name a few.  Collection, counting, and identification of the mosquitoes help staff determine which abatement solutions should be employed.  Once collected, mosquitoes also undergo professional testing and analysis at the lab. Oftentimes, the diseases mosquitoes can transmit can be detected in the mosquitoes themselves weeks before they can be passed on to their human and animal hosts. This gives mosquito management experts a window of opportunity to take action to reduce the risk of human disease transmission in the local community.

Mosquito management professionals utilize several technologies when conducting larviciding and adulticiding applications.

CDCMosquito-adult-larviciding-2-scaled

Ground Application Technology

For smaller areas, crews may choose to perform ground applications using either backpacks or power sprayers capable of holding 2-100 gallons of product.  Whether an application is done by hand or with specialized truck-based equipment, they’re calibrated frequently, and all applications are recorded in VDCI”s proprietary database.  

Planes

For large areas that need to be treated quickly or places you simply can’t access with vehicles, aerial fleets are the go-to option. VDCI operates one of the world’s largest aerial fleets dedicated to mosquito control and services customers from coast to coast.

Aerial Spraying Malcom 9

Aircraft equipped for adult mosquito control utilize the Wingman® GX spray optimization and guidance software in addition to an AIMMS-20 onboard meteorological probe to ensure the most effective application possible. This integrated system is the only scientifically validated one of its kind that incorporates constant real-time meteorological data at the release height to optimize the entire application. This optimization ensures that the maximum spray cloud droplet density is delivered to the target zones, thus providing you with the maximum level of mosquito control.

Each member of VDCI’s flight crew is highly trained and licensed through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Crews utilize military-grade ANVIS -6 night vision goggles on all nighttime spray missions to increase visibility and accuracy. At the completion of each spray mission, data is downloaded from the aircraft, and reports are generated, providing our customers with a visual depiction of the spray mission, along with the vital statistics of each spray.

Unmanned Aerial Drones

Recent advancements in drone technology have provided a new way to reach and treat areas that were previously inaccessible via ground or plane.

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Our drones are custom-built by Leading Edge Aerial Technologies, Inc. for commercial applications. Each drone exhibits a 6ft wingspan and is equipped with superior features that are operated remotely by a professional team. Drones are supported by GPS technology to access mapped target sites and guide precision applications using a variety of liquid or granular products. They are also configured with state-of-the-art software that blocks filming, so homeowners can have peace of mind while drone applications occur nearby.

VDCI Remains At The Forefront of Vector Industry Advancements

VDCI is committed to staying at the forefront of technological advancements in the mosquito management industry and creating new standards for safety and efficiency. We employ a wide array of technology, ranging from advanced software systems to state-of-the-art application equipment, to provide you with the most comprehensive mosquito management services possible. Contact or call our experts at 866.977.6964 to discuss the most effective control solutions for your community.

VDCI Wants To Make Your Property Safer.
How Can We Help?

Fill out the information below, and one of our experts will follow up with you shortly.

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.

Educating Your Community Can Help Eliminate Mosquito-Borne Diseases

PublicEducation VDCI mosquito control - teachers portal - research and resources

Educating Your Community Can Help Eliminate Mosquito-Borne Diseases

mosquito bite on arm msquito control public educationWe’re all impacted by the presence of mosquitoes – in more ways than you might know. Itchy bites are often a harmless annoyance, but the spread of mosquito-borne disease can have disastrous consequences for both humans and animals. Proactive integrated mosquito management (IMM) is the most effective way to limit their populations. VDCI partners with city, county, and state governments as well as mosquito abatement districts and public health entities to protect residents and visitors to their community. Depending on the species of mosquito in your area, public education can play a critical role in preventing mosquito development and bites can be minimized with the use of EPA approved repellents and personal protective clothing. 

Mosquitoes Are a Threat to Public Health

You may have heard about common diseases like West Nile virus, malaria, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Yellow Fever, Zika, dengue and others. It can be easy to brush off the transmission of these pathogens as extremely rare instances, but the reality is mosquitoes spread more disease than any other species on earth, resulting in approximately one million deaths annually. Victims of these diseases can experience severe complications, including flu-like symptoms, allergic reactions, brain and nervous system inflammation, permanent physical and mental disabilities, or birth defects. Mosquitoes are also responsible for transmitting deadly parasitic heartworms to cats, dogs, and other wildlife.

We Each Play a Role

Mosquitoes have existed on earth for millions of years and with over 3,000 unique species  they won’t be eradicated any time soon. There are numerous ways to reduce mosquito populations in your area and they all begin with an understanding of species biology and empowering community members to take personal protective measures.

Eliminating Mosquito Habitat

Public Education in Reducing Mosquito Populations 1Mosquitoes require standing water to develop. A single female can lay anywhere from 200-300 eggs and utilize habitats as small as a bottle cap.  When it’s hot outside these larvae can develop into biting adult mosquitoes in less than 4 days!  Some of the sites we frequently find in backyards include clogged gutters, old tires, and potholes or depressions near sprinkler heads. You can do your part to help eliminate mosquitoes by emptying outdoor containers such as cups, buckets, flower pots, bird baths, and watering cans. Likewise, take steps to ensure water properly drains off of tarps, tables, and outdoor equipment during rainstorms.

Personal Protection Against Mosquito Bites (Repellent and Clothing)

While reducing mosquito habitat on your property can make a significant difference in the battle against mosquitoes, many species are capable of flying several miles to take a blood meal.  Because of this it’s also important for you to wear protective clothing and use an EPA approved repellent when biting pressure is high or transmittable diseases have been identified in local populations. Wear light-colored clothing, closed toe shoes, long-sleeves, and long pants when spending time outside can reduce your likelihood of being bitten. This is especially important around dawn or dusk when mosquitoes tend to be most active. Bare skin on hands, ankles or face should be protected with repellent or covered when possible. For the safe and effective use of any product, always read the label and follow manufacturer guidelines.

Public Education Is Imperative

Public Education in Reducing Mosquito Populations 2 bugspray mosquito prevention health and safetyPublic participation can play an important role in reducing local mosquito populations and preventing transmission of disease. The tools used to control mosquitoes are diverse and often misunderstood. Partnering with a professional mosquito management organization can help ensure community members receive the most accurate and effective information about the mosquito species, diseases, and tools used in your area. This is a core pillar in any successful mosquito control program that municipalities, health departments, churches, schools, and other community groups must prioritize when getting started. 

The science behind mosquito management is foundational to everything we do and application strategies continue to develop as environmental conditions shift and management solutions become more advanced. Whether a project requires targeted ground operations or large-scale efforts using drones and aerial fleets, VDCI helps stakeholders design the most productive and economical approach.

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.

2018 Mosquito-Borne Disease Year in Review

Written by the Vector Disease Control International (VDCI) team

 

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Official reports on vector-borne diseases, severe weather, and changes in our climate were repeated in various media outlets last year. The attention brought heightened awareness to a number of disease-carrying pests, with a lot of the attention on – the mosquito. For this article, we will provide a brief overview of mosquito-borne disease reporting to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2018. We will also discuss lesser known mosquito-borne diseases, and the CDC report that highlighted an increase in vector-borne disease reporting over the last decade.

Vector-borne disease transmission cycles are complex. They involve a variety of interconnected environmental parameters – meaning that predicting where they will be prevalent in any given year is difficult. However, we will also briefly cover what is currently being reported in 2019.

A New Dawn for Fighting Mosquito-Borne Diseases

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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.Continue reading

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

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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.? Continue reading

Vector-Borne Disease Spotlight: Jamestown Canyon Virus

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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