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.

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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.

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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.

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.

outside vdci aerial hanger - aerial mosquito control

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

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.