Understanding the Mosquito Life Cycle

What are the life stages of a mosquito?

Understanding the developmental processes of mosquitoes is crucial to keeping them under control. While there are thousands of different mosquito species, they all undergo complete metamorphosis. This means they have a lifecycle which includes four distinct growth stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.

Watch the video below to learn more about the process. 

A Deep Dive Into the Mosquito Life Cycle

Most female mosquitoes lay their eggs in or near water, just above the water line, or moist soil in areas that are prone to flooding. Most mosquitoes can be categorized as floodwater, permanent water, or container species based on the types of habitats utilized for larval development. 

Where Do Mosquitoes Lay Their Eggs?

Floodwater

Floodwater mosquitoes lay eggs in low-lying areas that temporarily fill with water, such as ditches, agricultural lands, or dry basins. These eggs will hatch when they become submersed during rainfall or flooding events.

Permanent

Permanent water species lay their eggs on standing waterbodies like ponds and marshes. 

Container

Container species lay their eggs on the edge of small stagnant water vessels, such as bird baths, buckets, and even bottle caps. 

What are the life stages of a mosquito?

The Larval Stage

Once exposed to water, larvae will typically hatch from their eggs within 48 hours. During this stage, most larvae suspend themselves near the surface, breathing through a siphon-like tube, and feeding on organic matter and microorganisms. 

The Pupal Stage

Over the course of approximately 4 to 14 days, larvae will shed their skin, or molt, 4 times before developing as pupae

Pupae continue to develop near the surface, resembling small, squirming commas. 

The Adult Stage

After two to four days, adult mosquitoes emerge from their pupal exoskeletons and exit the water as adults. Blood meals are essential for some mosquito species, and it is important to note that only the females seek blood-meals, which provide the nutrition necessary to support egg development.

Though male mosquitoes typically die within five to seven days, females can live several months and are capable of laying thousands of eggs. During this time, many species are capable of vectoring dangerous diseases like West Nile Virus, Yellow Fever, Zika, Dengue, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

Our understanding of the diversity of mosquito species and their unique life cycles is instrumental in developing effective management strategies to maintain safer, more enjoyable outdoor spaces.

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.

Contact Us to Build Your Mosquito Management Program:

Using Your Smartphone to Help Monitor Mosquito Activity

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As warm weather begins to take hold across North America, many people are itching to get outside and enjoy more seasonal temperatures. However, in the wake of a very wet winter and spring in many parts of the United States, scientists are already raising the red flag about heightened mosquito activity in 2023. 

As the climate continues to change, new mosquito species are becoming more prevalent in the United States, particularly in more tropical areas of the country, like Florida and the Gulf Coast states. For example, in March 2023, new research by Larry Reeves from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Science published in the Journal of Medical Entomology reported on Culex lactator, a mosquito species from South America that is slowly gaining a foothold in Florida. Understanding how fast new species like this are spreading, where they are being found, and how they adapt to new climates is critical to developing control methods. 

With the rapid evolution of technology, mosquito researchers are now looking toward ordinary citizens to help gain some of this knowledge, elevating “citizen science” to a new level in helping to understand mosquito activity around the globe. Two new apps, available to anyone using a smartphone or web-enabled tablet, are now making it easier for scientists to track and understand mosquito activity with the help of citizens interested in protecting public health from mosquitoes. 

What is citizen science?

The term “citizen science” was first coined in 1989 by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in describing work being done by community members who were interested in environmental issues. 

The Cambridge Dictionary defines citizen science as “scientific work, for example collecting information, that is done by ordinary people without special qualifications, in order to help the work of scientists.” 

By this definition, any of us can help enable mosquito research from our communities and even our backyards if we know what to look for and how to report it. That’s where two easily downloadable applications, the Globe Observer app and the Mosquito Alert app, empower everyday citizens to help inform scientists about mosquito activity with just a few taps on their smart devices. 

Mosquito Research Safety Precautions

Before using either of the apps in this article, it is important to note that voluntarily engaging in any mosquito research activity can increase your likelihood of being bitten by mosquitoes, which can spread diseases that are harmful to humans and our pets, such as West Nile virus, heartworm, Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), dengue, and more. 

As such, it is important to take safety precautions if you plan to be outside or in any area where mosquitoes are known to be active. Remember the 4Ds to help reduce your chances of being bitten. 

  • DEFEND – Always protect yourself by using a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellent
  • DRESS – Dress in closed-toe shoes and loose-fitting pants and long-sleeve shirts that are light in color. Avoid wearing perfumes or other scented products that may attract mosquitoes. 
  • DRAIN – Remove or drain any standing water. 
  • DAWN AND DUSK – Avoid the outdoors during dawn and dusk hours when mosquitoes are most active.

The Globe Observer App

Powered by the United States National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA), the Globe Observer app enables users to enter data and information in 4 different areas: clouds, land cover, trees, and the mosquito habitat mapper. For this blog, we’ll focus on the latter area. 

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To best use the Globe Observer app, users will need to do the following:

  • Download the app to your smart device.
  • Create an account using their email address and verify through a password emailed to the supplied email address.
  • Enable location services while using the app; this allows for the app to easily help you report mosquito breeding habitats.
  • Take photos using your smart device.
  • Allow access to your device’s camera for uploading photos of habitats and larvae.

For safety purposes, this app focuses users on recording data related to mosquito breeding sites and larvae rather than tracking adult mosquitoes.

Once users have downloaded the app and created their account, they can use the mosquito habitat mapper to take one of four actions:

  1. Identify potential mosquito habitats
  2. Sample and count mosquito larvae (using a cup, bulb syringe, or other container)
  3. Identify the larva type (may require a microscope or macro lens on your device’s camera)
  4. Eliminate the larva you have counted and the breeding habitat, if possible

Each of these actions can be taken with a few simple taps, by following the directions provided on each screen.

Users can also view maps of the mosquito observations that other users have made by clicking on the chart icon at the bottom left corner of the screen from anywhere in the app and selecting the See Today’s Mosquito Measurements button. The feature works best when you view it over a cumulative time period. Users can leverage the calendar and zoom features to see further details of activity recorded by other citizen scientists. 

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The Mosquito Alert App

A public information project coordinated by four different research organizations, the Mosquito Alert app works similarly to the Globe Observer app to help citizens report a variety of different mosquito-related conditions to help monitor activity in their area. Data for this citizen science project has been recorded since 2014. 

The Mosquito Alert app is based internationally in Spain, developed by the Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF), Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA), and Blanes Center for Advanced Studies (CEAB-CSIC). As such, many of the current users of the app are based in Europe, but the activity maps do reflect some reports in the Americas. 

To best use the Mosquito Alert app, users will need to:

  • Download the app to your smart device.
  • Create an account.
  • Enable location services while using the app for mapping purposes.
  • Take photos using your smart device.
  • Allow access to your device’s camera for uploading photos of mosquitoes, bites, and more. 

The Mosquito Alert app is focused specifically on five different mosquito species that are particularly important in the spread of disease to humans. 

By clicking on the Settings icon at the top left from any screen of the app, users can access an app tutorial on mosquito identification or a Mosquito guide to note distinguishing features that can help identify particular mosquito species, see photo examples of mosquito larvae and breeding sites, and more.

Once users have set up an account, they can use the app to take one of four actions:

  • Report a mosquito bite
  • Report adult mosquito activity
  • Report a breeding site
  • Or view data they have submitted

When reporting a bite, users will be asked several questions:

  • How many bites they received
  • Using a diagram, select where on their body they were bitten 
  • Select your general location where you were bitten (inside a vehicle, inside a building, outdoors, or do not know)
  • When they were bitten

If users use the app to report a breeding site, a different set of questions will appear. They will be asked whether or not the site is a storm drain or another location. For either option, users will be asked to take a photo of the location. 

If reporting an adult mosquito, the user will be asked to select the type of mosquito they think it was by species, take a photograph if possible, and mark their location (if location services are enabled on the user’s device, the device will automatically record the location on a map).

As of April 2023, the Mosquito Alert app reports having over 278,000 participants around the world and averages nearly 30 reports from citizen scientists each day.

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It's Up to Us to Improve The Data

As with any scientific project, data is invaluable. These apps, and the data they provide to mosquito researchers, will get better as more users report mosquito breeding sites and activity near their locations. YOU can be a part of this important citizen science by downloading one or both of these apps and reporting mosquito conditions near you. 

If you work with or have children, utilizing these apps can be a great science project and learning opportunity by involving them in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) while they are young. 

Don't Forget To Report Mosquitoes To Your Local Authorities

While citizen science apps are a helpful tool for global research, it’s important to remember to report mosquito breeding sites and unusual mosquito activity to local authorities in your community. This will ensure the quickest and most effective action is taken to reduce the risks mosquitoes pose to you, your family, your neighbors, and your community at large. 

While the authority you should report activity to varies by community, calling your local mosquito control board or health department is typically a great start. In some communities, you may be able to call 311 and ask about reporting mosquitoes to get you to the right resources. 

Implementing Integrated Mosquito Management in Your Community

VDCI is proud to partner with government agencies, municipalities, and businesses across the United States to help reduce mosquito populations and eliminate risks in their communities. For more information on our programs, implementing an Integrated Mosquito Management program in your community, and other helpful resources, visit vdci.net. 

Contact Us to Learn More About Effective Mosquito Prevention Strategies:

VDCI_Logo_square Since 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.

Deep Dive Into A Mosquito Laboratory

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Mosquitoes are one of the biggest threats to public health in our communities, killing more than one million people each year across the globe. Government leaders are tasked with the difficult job of protecting citizens from mosquito-borne diseases, but unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Effective management and prevention require a comprehensive understanding of local mosquito activity, evolving population dynamics, and emerging insecticide resistance – knowledge that cannot be achieved without the ongoing support and guidance of a scientific 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. As a mosquito management company licensed in public health, VDCI understands the uncertainty and fear that can arise when diseases are identified in a community. 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. Here’s what goes on behind the scenes in a professional mosquito laboratory.

Identify Local Mosquito Populations via Trapping

Trapping is the first step in understanding mosquito composition within a region. VDCI employs various mosquito traps to capture different mosquitoes based on the species, their disease-carrying potential, and the types of habitats they prefer. Traps are strategically placed in target areas around a community.

The CDC Light Trap is a primary device used for mosquito collection. Created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this trap is considered the gold standard for mosquito collection and is typically set between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. The CDC Light Trap contains a battery-motorized fan and carbon dioxide (CO2) to attract and pull mosquitoes into the device.

Experts may also choose to deploy other tools like the BG-Sentinel Trap, the Gravid Trap, or the New Jersey Light Trap, each of which uses alternate strategies to lure mosquitoes. Gravid Traps, for example, are filled with stagnant water containing organic matter to mimic a natural egg laying habitat. After the designated collection period, experts return the samples to the lab for analysis and data collection.

Examining Mosquito Samples In the Lab

Surveillance and disease testing mosquito management

When mosquito-borne diseases are present in a community, immediate action must be taken to protect the public and keep government leaders up-to-date on evolving safety levels. Disease detection tests arm government leaders with virtually real-time knowledge to make critical public health decisions and management choices. This information can then be shared with other local agencies to take preventative action such as distributing educational materials and expanding insecticide application efforts in high-risk areas. 

VDCI regularly partners with health departments, schools, and local organizations to keep the public informed about personal protection and mosquito prevention around their homes and businesses. Laboratory scientists play a key role in facilitating communication between the experts “on the ground,” community leaders, and government agencies to ensure timely and effective implementation of mosquito control efforts. VDCI’s proprietary database makes it possible to consistently and transparently report urgent information to decision-makers. 

Utilizing Lab Data to Help Reduce Insecticide Resistance

The tests performed in the laboratory serve as an essential backbone of management programs. Over time, the results help form a complete picture of mosquito dynamics in a community – and the risk of disease transmission. This data can also be a powerful predictor of annual mosquito activity, helping government leaders to accurately prepare for the year ahead. This may include choosing trap locations, determining testing intervals, and setting the thresholds that prompt action. By tailoring programs based on laboratory data, communities can use funds and products more efficiently while reducing the risk of insecticide resistance. 

In addition to disease monitoring, insecticide resistance monitoring is one of the most important aspects of mosquito management. In the lab, scientists regularly complete tests to gauge the effectiveness of products currently in use. CDC Bottle Bioassays are used to identify resistance in adult mosquitoes. During the testing process, female mosquitoes are placed in bottles applied with a diluted pesticide solution and observed. The mortality data is compared against a control group for signs of resistance. Similarly, Larval Cup Bioassays expose mosquito larvae to diluted products to examine mortality. 

Determining the Type of Insecticide Resistance

Determining the type of resistance that has occurred is crucial in developing an effective management strategy for the mosquito population. There are several types of insecticide resistance:

  • Cross-resistance occurs when mosquitoes become resistant to multiple insecticide products that work in the same way.
  • Multiple resistance occurs when mosquitoes become resistant to several different types of mosquito products.
  • Target site resistance is when mosquitoes develop a genetic mutation that protects them from products designed to target a specific genetic trait.
  • Behavioral resistance occurs when mosquitoes change their behavior to avoid exposure to specific products, such as not landing on surfaces that have been treated with insecticides.

Mosquito management experts can use this knowledge to measure the success of ongoing management initiatives and make responsible adjustments if product use has become less efficient. 

Executing Mosquito Control Strategies for A Safer Community

mosquito-aerial-application

EPA-registered larvacides and insecticides are necessary and invaluable components of Integrated Mosquito Management programs. When the threat of disease transmission is high, these products help quickly and safely eliminate dangerous populations. Experts rely on data gathered through trapping and disease testing to identify areas most at risk and determine precisely how much product should be used for maximum effectiveness. This data may also dictate the types of equipment used such as ULV (Ultra-Low Volume) trucks or backpack sprayers, aircraft, or modern technologies like state-of-the-art drones. Technology used for the management of mosquitoes is always improving. Scientists are driving new innovations to make it faster and easier to count mosquito eggs, identify species, distinguish between male and female mosquitoes, and remotely detect high-risk areas for mosquito breeding such as stagnant ponds and pools. 

Mosquito management is challenging. High reproduction rates, wide species distribution, and strong adaptability make mosquitoes one of the most resilient species in the world – one that’s survived for millions of years. More than ever, science-backed management strategies, public education, and coordination among stakeholders are necessary to combat mosquitoes and minimize the threat of deadly diseases. Scientific laboratories are at the epicenter of these efforts and will continue to play a fundamental part in the safety and enjoyment of our communities. 

Contact Us to Learn More About Effective Mosquito Prevention Strategies:

VDCI_Logo_square Since 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.

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

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Government leaders work hard to keep their communities safe. Mosquito management is an important part of these efforts. The threat of West Nile, Dengue, EEE and other mosquito-borne diseases can frighten the public and detract from enjoyment of outdoor amenities. No leader wants to experience the stress or public outrage associated with a disease outbreak – not to mention the impact it has on the community that they care so much about. Mosquito prevention is key, and public education is a crucial component of preventing bites and reducing breeding habitats.

Most people view mosquitoes as nuisances that hinder the enjoyment of camping, gardening, sports games, nature walks, fishing, neighborhood cookouts, and other outdoor activities. While this is true, mosquitoes are also responsible for killing more than one million people and animals worldwide annually through the transmission of diseases. When the general public understands how these diseases are spread, the habitats in which mosquitoes breed, and effective ways to protect themselves when outdoors, they can help limit the dangerous impact of mosquitoes and reinforce efforts of an Integrated Mosquito Management program.

Community-learning-dip-cup

Community education is a critical part of an Integrated Mosquito Management program – a comprehensive management approach that targets mosquitoes at every stage of their life cycle, including surveillance, disease testing and the implementation of ground or aerial control measures when necessary. Mosquito management efforts have a greater chance of long-term success when supported by the public. As a mosquito management company with a mission of protecting public health, VDCI collaborates with government agencies, mosquito abatement districts, health departments, schools, and public organizations to disseminate information across communities. 

For maximal impact, messaging and resources should educate the larger community about the importance of personal protection and explain the influence every person has on mosquito populations in their area: 

Personal Protection

One of the most beneficial ways to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases is personal protection. Physical and chemical barriers can effectively keep bites at bay when spending time outdoors. 

Avoid the outdoors during dawn and dusk hours when mosquitoes are most active.

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Property Maintenance

Residence and property maintenance also play a vital role in mosquito prevention. Mosquitoes require standing water in order to breed. It’s essential to identify and regularly drain containers where water may collect. These may include:

  • Bird baths
  • Flower pots and buckets
  • Outdoor pet bowls
  • Children’s toys and playsets
  • Tires and lawncare equipment
  • Pool covers
  • Potholes
  • Tree stumps
  • Canoes and kayaks

Consistently monitoring and clearing gutters and stormwater ditches is important to ensure water is correctly diverted during rainstorms. Mosquitoes also prefer cool, shady areas. Keeping weeds, bushes, and shrubbery trimmed can help reduce places of respite.

Communication Channels

It’s important to distribute information through as many communication channels as possible. Parish and county websites are influential platforms to provide mosquito prevention tips and links to relevant resources. Sharing this information through social media may expand messaging even further. Additionally, instructing city representatives during council meetings can provide them with actionable knowledge to educate their constituents.

Utilizing industry experts to educate community members is also a favorable option. Presentations at schools, libraries, local clubs, senior citizen homes, boy scouts, and public health expos can also help to spread the word about mosquito risks. By focusing on protection and prevention, the community can work together to reduce the risk of disease transmission.

A note on DIY Solutions 

It can be tempting for citizens to purchase yard sprays or foggers from home improvement stores, but in the long run, these products can have disastrous consequences. Many products available to consumers are not registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the management of mosquitoes. Overuse of these products, as well as failure to follow label guidelines, can allow mosquitoes to develop resistance to insecticides, including the more advanced products that are only accessible to licensed mosquito management experts. 

Instead of DIY spraying, homeowners can support the mosquito management program in their local community by following the best practices mentioned above and becoming educated on the science-backed solutions included in an IMM program. Professional IMM programs may involve: 

Knowledge is key when it comes to reducing dangerous mosquito populations in a community. Ultimately, these preventative efforts can be summed up as the 4 “Ds” – 

  • DEFEND
  • DRESS 
  • DRAIN
  • DAWN & DUSK

As long as citizens understand and incorporate these simple practices into their daily lives, they can help reduce the risk of mosquito-borne diseases.

An educated public is a powerful pillar of an IMM program and a useful measure of its effectiveness. By consistently distributing mosquito control resources, community leaders can help show their commitment to public safety and build trust between the government and the public. At VDCI, we are dedicated to partnering with government entities and health agencies to keep citizens engaged and informed through regular program updates, prevention reminders, and safety warnings as needs arise.

Contact Us to Learn More About Effective Mosquito Prevention Strategies:

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VDCI_Logo_square Since 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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In order to execute a successful integrated mosquito management program, mosquito surveillance is key. Through a mosquito surveillance program, 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.

Gathering Population Data Through Adult Mosquito Surveillance

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 mosquito surveillance programs are accomplished through the use of specialized mosquito surveillance traps that are strategically placed throughout a given area. 

Mosquito surveillance traps are selected and placed based on mosquito concentrations, activity periods, and habitat characteristics like climate, wind, weather, and time of year. 

Testing for Mosquito-Borne Diseases In the Lab

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.

Utilizing Lab Data to Make Informed Management Decisions

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.

These mosquito elimination efforts are most effective when conducted as part of a customized Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) program. And a vital component of any IMM program is mosquito surveillance conducted with specialized mosquito surveillance equipment. 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 through mosquito surveillance or help you develop a custom program to meet your community’s needs by contacting our mosquito experts or calling us at 800-413-4445.

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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.

Educating Your Community Can Help Eliminate Mosquito-Borne Diseases

PublicEducation VDCI mosquito control - teachers portal - research and resources

Personal Protection & Property Maintenance Tips

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 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. 

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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.

Contact Us to Build A Public Education Program for Your Community

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.