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Public Health Nuisances List

Air Pollution – Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has primary jurisdiction. This department may do an initial investigation and refer to IDEM

Open Burning – The health department will send out an initial letter, enforcement is by IDEM.

Dead Animal – Disposal Board of Animal Health for large domestic animals

Nuisance Wildlife Information (DNR)

Bed Bugs – not known to transmit diseases, however, the health department will investigate hotels/motels complaints. Professional exterminators are required. More Bed Bug Information

Blue-Green Algae or IDEM – Blue Green Algae Local health department does not have the expertise to address this issue.

Cockroaches – are a nuisance and can contribute to asthma, health department can take some limited action on an infestation.

Food – The health department does inspect food establishments and follows up on food complaints.

Food-borne illness will require follow-up interviews, most foodborne illnesses take 8 to 72 hours to develop; often the time frame excludes the last meal one ate.

Floods – Homeowner Rehabilitation – State has information to help homeowners with the flood aftermath

County Garbage and Trash or Open Dumping – Health department and Zoning can pursue this- it often becomes a judgment call as to taking legal action. Often these are cleaned up and the complaint is closed. The department needs a new complaint if the conditions deteriorate again.

Hotel and Motels – no code on these establishments which limits authority- health department can investigate using general nuisance codes

Housing & Rentals – there is no housing code in the county: see housing for general information

Landlord/Tenant – Indiana Codes has landlord and tenant responsibilities.

Lead can permanently and irreversibly damage the developing brain and other organs of young children. In 1978 lead was removed from paint and many older homes have lead issues. The health department does follow up on children with high blood lead levels.

Meth – State police notify the health department of a bust, under an IDEM rule the property is to be decontaminated before lived in or sold. The State Board of Health has instructed the local health department to condemn the property until clean-up occurs. The Indiana State Police list all properties not just residences on its website.

Mobile Home Parks, Campgrounds – This is a state program. The county health department will forward complaints to ISDH or you can submit them online to ISDH.

ISDH–Mold and CDC–Mold – There is no standard that indicates mold is too high or is a violation; mold produces non-specific health symptoms. Without a doctor’s statement, the health department is very limited on any enforcement.

Mosquitoes – are mainly an education program and self-protection only a few mosquitoes transmit disease and these usually become an issue late in the summer.

Odors – by themselves are not a health hazard

Sewage (septic) Disposal:



  • Pools – must submit weekly water samples and fall under Indiana code
  • Beaches – the City of Culver tests its beach
  • Other beaches are private and tested by campground or organization that owns them

Radon – The health department does not have a radon program. The state has certified testing agencies and cleans up contractors

CDC-Rodents or ISDH-Rats – Health department will investigate. By code, the property owner is responsible for extermination. Rats will stay where there is food and water: garbage and animal food. Rats are known to steal dog food and water out of the dish and area smart enough to avoid the dog.

Tattoo/Piercings – the state code is complaint-driven, and there is no requirement to notify the health department that they are in business. The health department will investigate complaints.

Ticks & Lyme Disease or Ticks are an educational program

Unsafe Buildings – there is a county code; most of the violations require a building inspector. Often the property is made safe and secure and the complaint is closed. The department needs a new complaint if the conditions deteriorate again. Tearing it down is a long process.

Water Testing – the health department does not test the water. See a list of laboratories that do testing; one must use the laboratory bottles. Most testing is for bacteria which is fairly inexpensive. Chemical testing becomes specific to the chemicals and can be expensive. Water testing labs

Water Information

Wells – there is no county code on wells, residential wells are to be 50 from septic. IDEM monitors public and semi-public water supplies. The flood link has information on disinfecting wells.

Other Nuisances – The Health Departments Do Not have the power to address any offensive condition. What can be addressed depends on laws assigned to public health, and any county codes that have been passed on health nuisances. You can fill out a complaint form and a determination will be made on the subject matter.


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The Indiana State Health Department officials notified the Marshall County Health Department that pools of West Nile virus (WNV) positive mosquitoes have been found in Marshall County. We are asking residents to take steps to protect themselves.

West Nile virus is transmitted to a human by a mosquito that has first bitten an infected bird. A person who is bitten by an infected mosquito may show symptoms three to 15 days after the bite.

"In order to protect yourself and your family, if possible, avoid outdoor areas during peak mosquito biting times, dusk to dawn," said James Howell, DVM, veterinary epidemiologist, State Department of Health. "In previous years, West Nile cases reported outdoor activities around their homes as likely sources of their mosquito exposures, like gardening, mowing, or just sitting on the porch. This is expected since the culex mosquito is an urban dweller and readily multiplies around our homes."

The Marshall County Health Department is urging people to protect themselves by:

  • Applying insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus to clothes and exposed skin.
  • Wearing shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors from dusk to dawn.
  • Making sure all windows and doors have screens, and that all screens are in good repair.
  • Using mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure.

Culex mosquitoes, which carry the virus, breed in places like ditches, open septic systems, discarded tires, and unused wading pools. Even a small bucket with stagnant water in it can become home to up to 1,000 mosquitoes.

You can also protect your family and your community from biting mosquitoes by:

  • Eliminating areas of standing water available for mosquito breeding in or near your property.
  • Repairing failed septic systems.
  • Keeping grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed.
  • Disposing of old tires, tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or other unused containers.
  • Cleaning clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains.
  • Turning over plastic wading pools when not in use.
  • Turning over wheelbarrows and not allowing water to stagnate in birdbaths.
  • Cleaning and chlorinating swimming pools that are not being used.

There is no specific treatment for WNV. See a doctor immediately if you develop symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, muscle weakness or paralysis, nausea, vomiting, sore joints, or confusion.

For more information on WNV, visit

Sandy Dunfee BSN RN Administrator/Public Health Nurse