Vector Disease


Urban Mosquito Management: Success of Truck-Based Wide-Area Larvicide Application

Posted by The VDCI Team on Mar 23, 2017 10:39:10 AM

Written By Broox Boze, Ph.D.

Cities around the globe continue to learn about new control methods that can protect their growing populations from disease-carrying insects.

ulv-truck-250x255_brooxb.pngThe emergence of Zika virus in the Americas brought to light many of the challenges facing mosquito control programs and abatement districts throughout the world as well as within the United States. Traditional door-to-door interventions for managing urban mosquitoes such as Aedes aegypti (Yellow Fever mosquito) and Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger mosquito) have put financial stress on many programs and encouraged investigation into novel or alternate application technologies. It can prove challenging to supply enough manpower to turn over every flowerpot, remove garbage, and inspect every clogged gutter in densely populated areas. Residential technicians also find limited access to private commercial and individual properties and are challenged to identify or access the small and cryptic breeding grounds utilized by these invasive urban mosquito species. The new public health threat associated with Zika, combined with management obstacles, have forced new thinking on how to control mosquitoes within densely populated areas.
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Topics: Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), Technology

VDCI Team on Stage: 2017 AMCA Annual Meeting

Posted by The VDCI Team on Mar 8, 2017 12:24:27 PM

Written By Broox Boze, Ph.D.

The annual American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) meeting kicks off the unofficial start to mosquito season.

malcom-williams-amca-industry-award-2017_san-diego-CA-jayd.jpgAMCA hosted its 83rd Annual Meeting in San Diego earlier last month, and attendees were excited to learn about cutting-edge technology, the challenges associated with Zika virus, and to simply catch up with colleagues and partners from around the country. The VDCI team contributed to the meeting by presenting on key industry topics, hosting a young professional entering the world of mosquito management, and had the additional honor of seeing a team member recognized for 40 years of industry contributions!
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Topics: Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), Industry News

Municipal Mosquito Control: Answers To 7 Questions You Asked About

Posted by The VDCI Team on Feb 2, 2017 1:47:22 PM

Written By Kris New, Regional Director

VDCI team members are constantly in conversations with city, county, and parish officials as well as mosquito abatement districts who are interested in starting or upgrading their mosquito abatement programs. We field many questions, and some are really great! We would like to take the time to provide answers to a few of the questions that our professionals were asked over the past year.

municipal-meeting-mosquito-management-zika_hinds-county-MI-krisn.jpg1. Our community has conducted our own spraying for years. Why would we want to contract out our mosquito abatement program?

Mosquito control involves much more than using trucks to spray a community at night. Truck spraying should be the end result of a fully integrated approach to managing mosquitoes that includes public educationsource reductionsurveillance, larvicidingdisease testing, and adulticiding. VDCI can provide all of the above in a turn-key mosquito abatement program, freeing up your resources and lowering your liability.

2. I am aware that VDCI has airplanes. We have never conducted an aerial mission before. Why would we need it?

Aerial missions may not be a need in your community. Many mosquito control operations around the country use aerial applications, and for a good reason. With truck and foot missions, you can encounter limitations with road networks and the ability to safely access a given area. If some areas are not accessible, it can be challenging to ensure good control. VDCI's aircraft are equipped with industry-leading technology that assists in desired coverage for large and small target areas, often seeing as much as a 95% reduction in the mosquito population.
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Topics: Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), Public Education

2016 Mosquito-Borne Disease Year in Review

Posted by The VDCI Team on Jan 12, 2017 10:25:33 AM

Written By VDCI Team

2016 was a year of intense scrutiny over vector-borne diseases due to the outbreak of Zika virus. The media coverage of Zika has overshadowed several other mosquito-borne diseases that remain a threat within the U.S. In this blog, we will cover three of the many diseases that were transmitted by mosquitoes in 2016: West Nile Virus (WNV), Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), and Zika. All of the information in this post was taken from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s data points and website as of 01/17/2017.

west-nile-virus-wnv-2016-incidence-cdc-map-united-states-01032017.jpgWest Nile Virus (WNV): WNV is the most common virus transmitted by mosquitoes to humans in the United States. WNV is typically transmitted to humans by mosquitoes that have previously fed upon an infected bird. While over 150 species of mosquitoes have been known to carry WNV, the main vector species in the U.S. are Culex pipiens, Culex tarsalis, and Culex quinquefasciatus. These mosquitoes are all active at night, and most cases of infection occur during the summer months. Approximately 20% of people affected by WNV will experience flu-like symptoms including fever, headache, nausea, muscle pain, and swollen lymph glands. Other symptoms may include a stiff neck, rash, sleepiness or disorientation. Less than 1% of those infected will develop West Nile Encephalitis or Meningitis, which can lead to coma, tremors, convulsions, paralysis, and even death.

As of January 17, 2017, 47 out of 50 states and the District of Columbia have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes in 2016. Overall, 2,038 cases of WNV were reported in humans, and there were 94 confirmed deaths (4.61%) in 2016. The total is a slight improvement from 2015, where there were 2,060 human cases and 119 confirmed deaths (5.8%). To learn more about the symptoms, treatment, and mosquito species that vector this virus, visit our educational page on West Nile virus.
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Topics: Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Zika-Carrying Aedes Aegypti: Municipal Mosquito Control Solutions

Posted by The VDCI Team on Dec 29, 2016 4:21:57 PM

Written By Jason Williams, Texas Regional Director

Based on the spread of Zika virus in 2016, many municipalities are revisiting how they prepare for the 2017 mosquito season.

markets-served-vdci-municipal-mosquito-aedes-aegypti.jpgWe previously provided an overview on why Aedes aegypti is a species that is challenging the mosquito control industry. Because of these challenges, mosquito management experts continue to explore new methodologies to manage Aedes aegypti populations, with the goal always being to protect public health by providing the best solutions to the unique needs of communities.

Understanding If A Threat Exists: Surveillance, Monitoring, and Disease Testing

As discussed in our recent blogsurveillance and monitoring of Aedes aegypti require specialized trapping methods, and there are some proven models as well as novel trap designs that provide great insight into the presence and population density of a species within a given area. The discovery of Aedes aegypti in a community does not mean Zika is soon to follow. After identifying captured mosquitoes, the next step should be to conduct disease testing to determine if a threat exists within the community.
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Topics: Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Mosquito of the Month: Culex erraticus

Posted by The VDCI Team on Dec 14, 2016 1:04:57 PM

Written By Courtney Brown, Surveillance Technician

Continuing the theme of mosquitoes of diminutive stature, this month we focus on another small mosquito – the tiny and mighty Culex erraticus.

Culex_erraticus-Carpenter-and-Lacassee_1955_250.jpgIn contrast to the beautiful, benign Uranotaenia lowii of last month, Culex erraticus is dressed more plainly in rich chocolate brown from proboscis to toe with lighter tan banding on the abdomen. Their size is not to be underestimated; they come equipped with a long proboscis with the business end being swollen. Their bite is regarded as painful, with the added insult of being accompanied by a vector-borne disease at times. Even though sorting through great masses of tiny brown mosquitoes quickly becomes monotonous, these tiny mosquitoes are of great interest to mosquito management programs due to their appetite for birds, large hooved mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and humans.

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Topics: Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), Mosquito of the Month Series

Zika-Carrying Aedes Aegypti: Challenging Mosquito Management

Posted by The VDCI Team on Nov 30, 2016 12:39:07 PM

Written By Jason Williams, Texas Regional Director

We recently featured Aedes aegypti, the Yellow Fever Mosquito, in our Mosquito of the Month blog series. In the world of mosquito management, the species is challenging to beat – both as a topic of interest as well as a target with unique behaviors and habitats.

1_Aedes_aegypti_mosquito_eNews.jpgThe species has been the focus of much industry news this year because of its ability to transmit Zika virus, a new virus to the Western Hemisphere, that can have effects ranging from mild illness to severe birth defects. This mosquito, as well as many other mosquito species that can transmit human pathogens, has already had an enormous impact on human history. In addition to Zika virus, the Aedes aegypti is also known to carry several other mosquito-borne diseases that have potentially severe medical implications including, yellow fever, dengue, and chikungunya. The increased awareness of the species, combined with 2016 Zika outbreaks and fears of an outbreak in areas where the species resides, have helped influence social behavior and have had an enormous impact on our global economy. The recent effects are most evident as communities try to determine how to properly fund Zika control efforts to protect their residents and individuals evaluate their family planning timeline and reconsider where and when they travel. With all that fear riding on those tiny wings, proper management of this challenging species and the pathogens it carries is obviously prudent.
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Topics: Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Understanding Biological Mosquito Control Agents

Posted by The VDCI Team on Oct 27, 2016 2:50:23 PM

Written By Tim Bennett, VP Western Operations and Cristina Flores, Regional Director

When most people think of mosquito abatement, they think of trucks or airplanes spraying insecticides to control the biting adult mosquitoes. However, what many don’t realize is that this spraying is just one part of any well managed mosquito control program. Scientifically-based modern mosquito abatement programs use what is called Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) to reduce their mosquito populations while minimizing negative effects on the environment. As the name implies, these programs integrate all available resources, such as larval and adult surveillance, disease testing, source reduction, public education and GIS mapping, in addition to pesticide applications, in order to provide the best mosquito control possible and protect the public health. One of the most important aspects of a complete IMM program is the use of biological control agents. what are biological control agents? While they may sound intimidating, biological control agents are simply naturally occurring organisms, such as bacteria or predatory animals, which can be used by mosquito control professionals to reduce local mosquito populations. Biological control agents are often an important tool in mosquito control because, when used correctly, they are both environmentally friendly and highly effective.
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Topics: Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), Public Education

Aerial Application Services for Effective Mosquito Management

Posted by The VDCI Team on Sep 26, 2016 2:32:32 PM

Written By VDCI Team

Awareness of aerial application has increased this summer with the threat of Zika virus and an elevated risk of West Nile virus transmission throughout many parts of the country. Aerial applications can be an important component of an integrated mosquito management (IMM) program and are most often performed when the risk of vector-borne disease transmission is elevated. As municipalities and mosquito abatement districts gain a better understanding of the specific disease risks in their communities, our team continues to stay on the cutting edge of technology, utilizing fixed wing or rotary wing aircraft for each specific job to effectively target larval and adult mosquitoes.

eNews_aerial_applications_September_2016.jpgAs the owner of the largest fleet of aircraft in the world dedicated specifically to mosquito control, VDCI has been on the front lines combatting both West Nile Virus and Zika all summer. Each contract that we serve has unique needs and our team considers several factors before conducting an aerial application, including the species of the mosquito, the need for larval and/or adult mosquito control, the size and type of area to be treated, and whether the use of an airplane (fixed wing) or helicopter (rotary wing) is optimal.
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Topics: Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), Aerial Applications

Larval Mosquito Habitats

Posted by The VDCI Team on Aug 11, 2016 12:11:30 PM

flooded_salt_marsh_pan_Nantucket_Mosquito_Larval_Habitat_250.jpgMost people have heard the stories about mosquitoes being capable of using the tiniest amount of water as habitat in which to lay their eggs. There’s no doubt that many of these same people believe that such stories are often exaggerations because surely a mosquito would not really lay eggs in a bottle cap, right? Well, I can honestly say that I have seen exactly that, mosquito larvae wiggling around in a two-liter soda bottle’s lid, in a trash pile in Mississippi in 2004. No exaggeration, no embellishment, no joke.

Mosquitoes are easily some of the most adaptable and persistent animals on the planet. They are found on every continent except Antarctica, from the hottest deserts and rainforests to the icy tundra of the Arctic Circle. Essentially, if there is standing water with enough nutrients to sustain the development of their larvae, there is a good chance that mosquitoes will be there, and while some species have adapted to very specific larval habitats and environments, for others, almost any stagnant water will do. Thus, larval surveillance and habitat identification are key components of a successful integrated mosquito management program.

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Topics: Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM), Surveillance and Disease Monitoring