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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.