How Surveillance and Disease Testing Reduces the Threat of Mosquito-borne Diseases

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How Surveillance and Disease Testing Reduces the Threat of Mosquito-borne Diseases

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In order to execute a successful integrated mosquito management program, surveillance is key. Through surveillance, entomologists are able to identify species composition, population dynamics, and the threat of dangerous mosquito-borne diseases. This information helps decision-makers choose the most effective management approach to control mosquitoes and protect community members in their area.

Mosquito Surveillance & Disease Testing Reduce Mosquito-borne Disease 3Adult mosquito surveillance is conducted in areas that have historically produced mosquito populations of a nuisance and/or public health concern or in novel areas in response to natural disasters like flash floods and hurricanes. Adult surveillance is accomplished through the use of specialized traps that are strategically placed throughout a given area. Traps are selected and placed based on mosquito concentrations, activity periods, and habitat characteristics like climate, wind, weather, and time of year. 

Trapped mosquitoes are then taken back to a laboratory for scientific examination, which involves species identification and counting. While some areas are primarily impacted by a single mosquito species, others may be home to vast and diverse populations. Entomologists study physical markers like colors and patterns of scales, setea, spines, and other features to distinguish between the 175+ species found in North America. Examinations also include disease testing. Different mosquito species are known for carrying specific pathogens such as West Nile virus (WNv)MalariaEastern Equine EncephalitisDengue FeverYellow FeverZika Virus, and Chikungunya.

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Armed with this knowledge, entomologists can determine the severity of an outbreak and respond with the most effective management solutions based on the habits and characteristics of the target species. Often, experts utilize either truck-mounted sprayers, drone technology, or aerial fleets to apply adulticides at the proper rate and product droplet size. During this process, GPS technology is used to ensure safe and even distribution across large areas.

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These mosquito elimination efforts are most effective when conducted as part of a customized Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) program. IMM programs use a comprehensive toolbox of solutions to target mosquito populations and proactively prevent them. These programs typically require coordination between many different stakeholders, municipal entities, and public education providers. They may also evolve significantly over time in response to species population surges and possible insecticide resistance. 

Ultimately, no matter what kinds of challenges a community faces, consistent surveillance and disease monitoring serve as the foundation of their management efforts. Discover how our team can support an existing program or help you develop a custom program to meet your community’s needs by contacting our mosquito experts or calling us at 866.473.1753.

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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.

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Add Aerial Application Services to Your Existing Mosquito Management Program

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Add Aerial Application Services to Your Existing Mosquito Management Program

Mosquitoes are most effectively managed when a multitude of professional solutions and innovations are utilized to target the species. Personal protection efforts, public education, mosquito habitat reduction, and ground-based activities are highly impactful in the battle against mosquitoes. Over the last 20+ years, VDCI has helped reinforce these strategies by taking management to the skies. 

VDCI is a leading operator of advanced aerial fleets for adult and larval mosquito control around the country. Aerial applications of EPA-registered insecticides can provide more thorough protection across states, counties, and municipalities, particularly when the risk of vector-borne disease transmission is elevated. 

How can the public benefit from aerial mosquito control?

During warmer months, mosquitoes can be found nearly everywhere in our communities. And because they are capable of traveling many miles for a blood meal, it’s also beneficial to target mosquitoes where they thrive, such as swamps, wetlands, and thickets. Unfortunately, these areas can be hard to reach, environmentally protected, or dangerous for ground crews to navigate. 

Aerial product applications may be the only way to interrupt the mosquito breeding cycle in remote locations where populations are abnormally high or when roads and natural areas are inaccessible due to flooding, compromised infrastructure, or road closures. When conducted from above, monitoring and applications are typically more comprehensive, faster, and safer; ground crews in one Ultra-Low Volume (ULV) spray truck can treat approximately 1,000 acres per load – or potentially less following weather emergencies – while a single aircraft can treat 10,250 acres per load.

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VDCI Aerial Advantage

When designing a management approach, professionals take into account many factors beyond the size and type of area being treated. The process begins with surveillance of the local mosquito species and their populations, patterns, peak activity, and susceptibility to certain types of management styles. VDCI supports the best practices of mosquito abatement districts by helping target mosquitoes at every phase of their lifecycle. This means using specified adulticide and larvicide applications at distinct rates and times of year and with the equipment that’s best suited for the job. 

VDCI is the only company nationwide that operates a diverse, in-house fleet of drones and aircraft that are exclusively dedicated to mosquito control:

Fixed-wing aircraft:​

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  • Capable of treating up to 50,000 acres per aircraft, per night
  • Integrated systems ensure uniform spray cloud density
  • Swift emergency response tool following hurricanes or severe flood events

Professional drone technology:​

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  • Capable of applying up to 200 acres of product per session
  • Pre-programmed flight routes with superior GPS navigation 
  • Highly maneuverable and unobtrusive in residential areas

VDCI’s advanced aerial equipment is operated exclusively by licensed aerial pesticide applicators who are authorized through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). All professionals specialize in maintenance procedures, airspace regulations, and coordination with local aviation agencies. Together, these professionals boast a combined 50,000+ hours of experience.

We Are Here For Your Every Need

Whether you are experiencing routine mosquito problems or an unforeseen circumstance, VDCI’s vector control scientists are well equipped to safely mitigate the challenges in your area. Our expertise, technology, and reporting capabilities are an asset to any program in need of aerial application services.

Educating Your Community Can Help Eliminate Mosquito-Borne Diseases

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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.