Vector Services highlighted during Environmental Awareness Month

September 14, 2022

Vector Services highlighted during Environmental Awareness Month

MOBILE, Ala. — September represents Environmental Awareness Month, with the goal of promoting the protection and conservation of our natural environment. The Mobile County Health Department’s Vector Services plays a vital role in this mission.

A vector is a living organism that transmits an infectious agent from an infected animal to a human or another animal. Vectors are frequently arthropods, such as mosquitoes, ticks, flies, fleas, and lice.

A vector is an organism that acts as an intermediary host for a parasite. Most importantly, the vector transfers the parasite to the next host. Mosquitoes are unquestionably the most common vector to spread disease in our community. Limiting mosquito reproduction is one of the most important duties of Vector Services.

Vector control has been around since the late 1800’s fighting against malaria and other vector-borne diseases.

The Mobile County Health Department’s Vector Services department will never be able to eliminate all vectors. With the continued use and future improvements to our methods such as abatements, surveillance, source reduction and various types of treatments we will be able to eliminate many immature and adult mosquitoes.

Some methods include the use of CDC mosquito traps, inspector surveillance, and 13 sentinel chicken coops located throughout Mobile County.

So far this year, our department has collected mosquito samples from more than 600 traps. We have collected more than 230 sentinel chicken blood serum samples. Both the mosquito and sentinel chicken blood serum samples are tested for viruses such as West Nile, Eastern Equine Encephalitis and St. Louise Encephalitis. We received negative results this year from all samples tested.

Our night spray trucks have answered more than 618 complaints and have treated more than 363,738 acres.

The inspectors have treated more than 3,715 breeding sites and has completed more than 230 complaints investigation.

The rodent inspectors have received more than 670 complaints, have completed more than 3,665 inspections, and have surveyed more than 500 dog bites.

If you need to make a mosquito or rodent complaint, we can be reached by calling 251-690-8819 for rodent and 251-690-8124 for mosquito. We can also be reached online at vectorservices@mchd.org.

To learn more about the department, you may visit https://mchd.org/vector-control. From there, you can find a link and a QR code to access the new online portal for ordering services.

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