Vector Control

This virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people infected with SLE virus do not have symptoms. Those people who do become ill may experience fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and tiredness. Some people may develop neuroinvasive disease, such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord). In rare cases, long-term disability or death can occur. There are no vaccines to prevent or medicines to treat SLE. You can reduce your risk of infection with SLE virus by using insect repellent, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and taking steps to control mosquitoes indoors and outdoors.

What is Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)? This virus is a rare cause of brain infections (encephalitis). Only a few cases are reported in the United States each year. Most occur in eastern or Gulf Coast states. Approximately 30 percent of people with EEE die and many survivors have ongoing neurologic problems.

This disease is caused by the Zika virus, which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting up to a week and many people do not have symptoms or will have only mild symptoms. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly and other severe brain defects.

This virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. The most common symptoms of infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash. Outbreaks have occurred in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In late 2013, chikungunya virus was found for the first time in the Americas on islands in the Caribbean. There is a risk that the virus will be imported to new areas by infected travelers. There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat chikungunya virus infection.

Mosquito Control

General Information

Heavy rainfall during the year in Mobile County leads to an increase in mosquito activity. The Vector Control Department uses many control efforts to limit mosquito breeding and growth. During the year, ultra low-volumes of insecticides (chemicals that kill mosquitoes) are applied, through the truck and aircraft-mounted equipment, in target areas to control adult mosquitoes. Target areas, or areas with an increase in mosquito activity, are selected by surveying or monitoring areas.

Inspectors survey, map, monitor and treat mosquito breeding sites throughout the year. Typical breeding sites include roadside and drainage ditches, storm drains, swamps, spoils sites and low areas. Environmentally safe insecticides are applied to breeding sites to kill the immature mosquitoes before they hatch into biting and harmful adults. Adult mosquitoes may be harmful because they can carry diseases.

Do your part to stop the spread of mosquitoes:

  • Mosquitoes breed in standing water, empty water from old tires, cans, jars, buckets, drums, plastic wading pools and other containers.
  • Clean clogged roof gutters and repair broken screens.
  • Change pet watering dishes daily and rinse birdbaths weekly.

Residents should be very careful and try to reduce their exposure to mosquito bites. Since mosquitoes are more active at dusk and again at dawn, limit outdoor activities during these times.

Other precautions residents can take to reduce mosquito bites include:

  • Use a good mosquito repellant on arms, legs and other exposed areas (some of the most reliable repellents contain the chemical DEET; repellants with high concentrations of DEET – over 10%, should not be used on children). Follow instructions carefully when using any insect repellent.
  • Long sleeves and long pants used with a mosquito repellent helps to limit bites.
  • Wear light-colored clothing (dark-colored clothing may help attract unwanted insects).
  • Wear a hat or a cap (preferably light-colored).
  • Be aware that aromatic (scented) cosmetics may also attract insects.

Mosquito bites can be treated with topical agents such as calamine and menthol lotions. Cortisone creams and oral antihistamines are available as over-the-counter medications that can reduce itching. Bites to children should be watched for secondary infections that might need to be treated by a physician.

A mosquito complaint may be submitted to our office by calling 251.690.8124 or by emailing VectorServices@mchd.org

Note: The complainant must provide his/her name, address and telephone number if submitting a complaint by email or over the telephone. Any information submitted through the complaint program is considered public property and any interested party may obtain a copy of the complaint through the Freedom of Information Act.

SENTINEL CHICKEN PROGRAM

For almost 30 years, the Mobile County Health Department’s Vector Control has monitored sentinel chickens placed throughout the county to help detect the presence of viruses carried by mosquitoes.

Mosquito Control

Adulticiding

The Mobile County Health Department provides a comprehensive program that includes mosquito surveillance, disease surveillance, public health education, larviciding (larvae control) and adulticiding (adult mosquito control) to track, monitor, and control mosquitoes and assess the potential for mosquito-borne diseases.

When environmental conditions are favorable and when mosquitoes are most active, the Mobile County Health Department utilizes airplanes and agency trucks equipped with ultra-low volume (ULV) spray machines that dispense very fine aerosol droplets to kill adult mosquitoes on contact. Our agency calibrates all spraying equipment annually and as needed throughout the season to ensure the proper flow rate and droplet size. Ground spray units are equipped with speed-compensated metering devices to allow accurate dispensing of insecticides at vehicle speeds up to 20 mph.

All insecticides used in our Adulticiding program are labeled for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.

Community Spraying

At the beginning of the season, a news release is sent out to inform the community that routine seasonal spraying will take place. All of Mobile County (every municipality and each unincorporated area) are included in the routes based on trap data, inspection reports, disease surveillance data, service requests and populations of citizens being affected.

Notification of Spray or No-Spray Requests

Individuals can call Mosquito Control 251.690.8124 to be added to the “Bee and Allergy List” to prompt a call prior to spraying activity in their immediate area or to express any reservation related to possible adulticide applications in their immediate area.

Precautions to Reduce Exposure to Insecticides

Vehicle operators will attempt to limit exposure to insecticides by discontinuing spray operations in the immediate vicinity of pedestrians. As with all insecticides, you should take care to reduce or eliminate any exposure that is not absolutely necessary.

Mosquito Control

Spray Truck Routes

Spray Routes

The Mobile County Health Department provides a countywide, comprehensive program that includes mosquito surveillance, disease surveillance, public health education, larviciding (killing the immature mosquitoes) and adulticiding (killing the adult mosquitoes) to track, monitor, and control mosquitoes and the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases. When environmental conditions are favorable and when mosquitoes are most active, the Mobile County Health Department utilizes agency trucks mounted with an ultra-low volume (ULV) spray equipment that dispenses very fine aerosol droplets to kill adult mosquitoes on contact. Each day, the Health Department evaluates mosquito and disease surveillance data, inspection reports, rainfall data and service requests to target 9-10 routes out of a total of 50 routes for nightly (Monday – Friday) spraying. When necessary, weekday morning, weekend and holiday spraying is conducted. Mobile County is broken down into the following 50 spray route areas.

  • AZALEA RD / PLEASANT VALLEY RD (36609)
  • CATHERINE ST / DAUPHIN ST (36603, 36604, 36606, 36607)
  • COTTAGE HILL RD / RIVERA DU CHIEN (36693)
  • DIP / BROOKLEY / CLUBHOUSE (36605, 36615)
  • DOWNTOWN MOBILE (36602, 36603, 36604, 36605)
  • GOVERNMENT BLVD / PLEASANT VALLEY (36604, 36605, 36606)
  • HILLCREST RD / GIRBY RD (36693, 36695)
  • HILLCREST RD / GRELOT RD (36609, 36695)
  • HOLLINGERS ISLAND / CYPRESS SHORES (36582, 36605, 36619)
  • MOFFETT RD / WOLF RIDGE RD (36608, 36609, 36618)
  • NAVCO RD / MCVAY DR (36605, 36606)
  • OLD SHELL RD / MCGREGOR AVE (36608)
  • OVERLOOK RD / MOFFETT RD (36608, 36618)
  • SAGE AVE / DAUPHIN ST (36606, 36607)
  • TRINITY GARDENS / TOULMINVILLE (36617)
  • ZEIGLER BLVD / HILLCREST RD (36608)
  • BAYOU LA BATRE / CODEN (36509, 36523)
  • LOTT RD / NEWBURN RD (36612, 36613)
  • BELLE FOUNTAIN (36582)
  • LOTT RD / SPICE POND RD (36575, 36613, 36587)
  • CHICKASAW (36611)
  • MCDONALD RD / OLD PASCAGOULA (36582, 36541)
  • CITRONELLE (36522)
  • MOUNT VERNON (36560, 36512, 36513)
  • CODY RD / SNOW RD (36608, 36695)
  • PRICHARD EAST (36610)
  • CREOLA / AXIS (36505, 36525, 36512)
  • PRICHARD WEST (36610)
  • DAUPHIN ISLAND (36528)
  • SARALAND (36571)
  • DAWES (36619)
  • SARALAND / KALI OKA RD (36571)
  • FAIRVIEW (36575, 36587)
  • SATSUMA (36572)
  • SEMMES (36575, 36618)
  • GEORGETOWN / ST ELMO / IRVINGTON (36541, 36544, 36568)
  • MASON FERRY (36521, 36522, 36587)
  • TANNER WILLIAMS RD (36608, 36575)
  • GRAND BAY (36541)
  • THEODORE (36582)
  • GRAND BAY WILMER RD / TILLMANS CORNER (36619, 36693, 36582)
  • AIRPORT BLVD (36587, 36608, 36695)
  • TURNERVILLE / CHUNCHULA (36521, 36522)
  • HERON BAY / DELTA PORT (36523, 36582)
  • UNION CHURCH / HOWELLS FERRY RD (36575)
  • GRAND BAY NORTH (36541)
  • JEFF HAMILTON RD / REPOLL RD (36695)
  • WHISTLER / EIGHT MILE (36612, 36613)
  • KUSHLA MCLEOD / SPICE POND RD (36613)
  • WILMER (36587)

Mosquito Control

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus (WNV) is a virus that is spread by infected mosquitoes. The virus usually infects birds, but it can be spread to humans by mosquitoes that bite infected birds and then bite humans. The virus can only be spread from infected mosquitoes; not from infected humans or infected animals.

The disease caused by WNV is very similar to Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE), but it is generally milder. Human infections with these mosquito-borne viruses are very rare and can be prevented by taking simple measures to avoid mosquito bites.

Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing with long sleeves and long pants when outside. Avoid using perfumes, colognes, fragrant hair sprays, lotions and soaps, which attract mosquitoes. Apply repellents containing DEET to clothing when outdoors. Citronella candles and repellents containing citronella can help, but their range is limited. Avoid the outdoors at dusk or dawn when mosquito activity peaks. Keep windows and door screens in good condition. Replace porch lights with yellow light bulbs that will attract fewer insects. Don’t give mosquitoes a place to breed in your yard; empty anything containing standing water (old tires, flowerpots, jars, buckets, plastic wading pools, etc.). Empty and refill pet watering dishes and birdbaths daily.

Most people (over 99%) who are infected with WNV will have no symptoms or may have a mild flu-like illness with a fever, headache and body aches before they recover. In some people, particularly the elderly, the virus can cause inflammation of the brain called encephalitis. Symptoms of encephalitis may include high fever, severe headache, nausea, stiff neck, confusion, muscle weakness, paralysis, disorientation, convulsions, coma and rarely, death. People who have any concerns about their health should see their doctor immediately.

The symptoms of the disease can be treated and most people who get the illness recover from it.

There is no vaccine for humans against West Nile Virus infection. There is a vaccine to protect horses. Horse owners should contact their veterinarian for information about obtaining the vaccine for their horses.

The Health Department is tracking the presence of WNV in Mobile County through dead, infected birds. Dead bird surveillance can sometimes be a faster way to confirm WNV in an area. If you find a dead blue jay, crow or raptor (a bird of prey like a hawk or an owl), check to see if any infected birds have been reported in your zip code. Go to the West Nile Virus Updates page for a listing of zip codes already reported. Birds will continue to be tested from zip code areas until two birds are confirmed positive. If your zip code is NOT on the list, call the Mobile County Health Department Vector Control Program at 690-8124 to report the dead bird. To submit a crow, blue jay or raptor for testing, it must have died within 24 hours and kept cool on ice until picked up by county officials. Don’t panic if you find a dead bird. Remember that birds die for many reasons, it may have nothing to do with WNV. You cannot get West Nile Virus by handling a dead bird, and using a plastic bag to cover your hand will protect you from catching any other germs.

Go to the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Alabama Department of Public Health. Both of these sites give more details about WNV. Another source of information is the News Releases page of this website where you will find the latest news on West Nile Virus from the Mobile County Health Department.

Rodent Control

Rodent Control services are provided in response to complaints from the public. Inspectors use rodenticides (rodent poison) outside of buildings and instruct residents on sanitation (cleaning) measures that they can take to discourage rodent activity.

A rodent complaint may be submitted to our office by calling 251.690.8819 or through email – VectorServices@mchd.org

Note: The complainant must provide his/her name, address and telephone number if submitting a complaint by email or over the telephone. Any information submitted through the complaint program is considered public property and any interested party may obtain a copy of the complaint through the Freedom of Information Act.

Chicken Permits

To request additional information on the permitting, please call the City of Mobile Animal Shelter 251.208.2800.

A permit* is required to keep chickens within the city limits of Mobile, Alabama. The permit is non-transferable with respect to persons and locations and may be revoked at any time by the Director of the City of Mobile Animal Shelter.

*Reference City Ordinance 07-014-2015