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Vector Control

Whether it is a West Nile Virus, Lacrosse Virus, or St. Louis Encephalitis, mosquito-borne diseases are a continual reminder that nature has its own unique way of transmitting adverse health risks. The Wayne County Health Department attempts to mitigate mosquito-borne disease transmission through an active program of education and mosquito surveillance. These efforts are an attempt to minimize the potential impact of disease outbreaks that mosquito populations may cause.

All mosquitoes need water in which to survive their early life stages. In Indiana, they usually need 10 or more days of standing, still water. Adult flying mosquitoes frequently rest in grass, shrubbery, or other foliage, but they never develop there. Some mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water where they hatch in a day or two. Other mosquitoes lay their eggs in old tires, tin cans, or other water-holding containers and may remain unhatched for weeks or months until they are covered with water.

Mosquitos can carry serious diseases!

  • Dog Heartworm
  • East/West Equine Encephalitis
  • Lacrosse Encephalitis
  • St. Louis Encephalitis
  • West Nile Virus
  • Zika Virus

Zika Virus

Zika virus is mainly spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. The two known mosquitos to transmit the disease are Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. The virus can also be spread from an infected person to their sex partners or from an infected pregnant mother to her baby. Zika virus typically does not cause any symptoms, but 1 in 5 will have mild illness characterized by fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. There is currently no vaccine or treatment available for the Zika virus. There have been no locally-acquired cases of Zika in Indiana in 2015 or 2016.

For more information, you can visit the ISDH website:

Personal Protection

Wayne County Health Department recommends people take the following protective steps to reduce the risk of mosquito bites:

  • Avoid being outdoors during prime mosquito biting times, dusk to dawn, when possible
  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus to clothes and exposed skin
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home
  • When possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when outside

Take the following steps to rid your properties of potential mosquito breeding grounds by:

  • Discard old tires, tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or other containers that can hold water
  • Repair failed septic systems
  • Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors
  • Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed
  • Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains
  • Frequently replace the water in pet bowls
  • Flush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodically
  • Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with predatory fish

ISDH Vector Control Information

Craig Markley

Craig Markley, Vector Control