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Reducing Vectorborne Disease Transmission


Vectors are organisms that transmit pathogens and parasites from one infected person (or animal) to another, causing serious diseases in human populations.


Mosquito-borne diseases that may occur locally in Ohio include: Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV), LaCrosse virus (LACV), St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV), and West Nile virus (WNV). Mosquito-borne diseases that may be imported into Ohio (travel-acquired) include: Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), Dengue, Japanese encephalitis (JE), Malaria, Yellow fever, and Zika.


Take action to protect yourself and others: avoid mosquitoes and mosquito bites, plan ahead for mosquitoes while traveling, and stop mosquitoes from breeding in and around your home.

Mosquito Bite Prevention Tips for Travelers

Mosquito Control Program

FCHD practices an integrated pest management (IPM) approach to mosquito control. This includes trapping for adults, dipping for larvae, treating standing water with larvicide, draining breeding sites when possible, and spraying to kill adults when needed.

Pesticides used by FCHD
to control Mosquitoes:

Larval Control Products
Altosid briquettes

Natular DT

Adult Mosquito Control Products


Mosquito Mist

Mosquitos lay their eggs atop or near water. The eggs then hatch into larvae, which live in the water. Once eggs are laid, a new generation of mosquitoes can hatch, grow and emerge from the water as adults in as little as one week. Eliminating mosquito habitats around your home can go a long way in reducing the mosquito population.

Common mosquito habitats around the home:

• Bird baths (drain and refill every 3-4 days)

• Wading or kiddie pools (drain and refill frequently)

• Pools and hot tubs (keep chlorinated & covered)

• Pool covers that hold water

• Boats, boat covers and tarps

• Pet food containers and water dishes

• Clogged gutters and downspouts

• Leaky outside faucets that create puddles

• Rain barrels that are not properly screened or treated

• Low areas that form puddles and hold water

• Planters and pots, including saucers and catch trays

• Trash cans (use tight fitting lids and keep them covered)

• Trees with holes that hold water – fill voids with sand

• Tall weeds and vegetation - keep grass and weeds cut short

• Tires, buckets, cans, bottles and plastic containers

• Avoid being outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

• Wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when spending time outside in mosquito-infested areas.

•Make sure door and window screens are tight fitting and free of holes.

• Use an EPA registered insect repellent when outside where mosquitoes are present.

• When camping or spending time outdoors, consider Permethrin treated bed-nets, tents, or clothing.

• Avoid perfume, colognes, or other heavy scents that may attract mosquitoes.

Insect repellents help prevent mosquitoes from biting and reduce your exposure risk to the diseases they may carry. ALWAYS FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS WHEN APPLYING INSECT REPELLENTS. Use products that contain active ingredients which have been registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

These ingredients include:


• Picaridin

• Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or PMD

• IR3535

Tips for using repellents on babies and children:

•Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs.

• Cover strollers and baby carriers with mosquito netting.

• When using insect repellent on your child:

   >Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) on children under 3 years old.

   > Do not apply insect repellent to a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, cuts, or irritated skin.

• Apply insect repellent onto your hands and then apply it to a child’s face.


Not all ticks cause human disease, but certain species of ticks can carry the bacteria that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever or Lyme disease.

The American dog tick is the primary carrier of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. In Ohio, this tick is widespread and abundant. It will bite and feed on any available mammal, including humans. The bacteria that cause Rocky Mountain spotted fever is transmitted to humans through the tick’s saliva while feeding. Only 3% of the tick population carries this bacterium, so risk of exposure is low.

Symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever appear 2 to 14 days after the tick bite. These symptoms can include a sudden onset of fever, headache, flu-like symptoms and a spotted rash. The rash first appears at the wrists and ankles and may spread if it is not treated. When diagnosed early, Rocky Mountain spotted fever is treated with antibiotics. If left untreated, it can be fatal.

Lyme is a bacterial disease caused by a spirochete-type bacterium. Lyme disease is transmitted by the black legged tick, also known as the “deer tick”. This tick is commonly found in areas of deciduous forest with leaf litter.

The first sign of a Lyme disease infection is the characteristic “bull’s eye” rash that develops at the site of where the tick was attached to the person. This rash usually appears 7 to 14 days after the tick exposure. Other symptoms could include muscle aches, tiredness, fever, swollen glands, headache and joint pain. Lyme infections can have long-term, chronic complications that develop months or years after infection.

In its early stages, Lyme disease is commonly treated with antibiotics. Having Lyme disease once does not protect against re-infection. People cannot get Rocky Mountain spotted fever or Lyme disease from another person. The disease is only spread through a tick that is infected with the disease.

> Tickborne Diseases in Ohio

Ticks are active in Ohio from early spring to late fall. Ticks wait on vegetation for a person or animal to brush against the vegetation. The tick will then cling to fur or clothing and look for a place to attach and begin feeding. Ticks do not fall out of trees. To reduce your exposure to ticks, follow these guidelines:

  • • Stick to main pathways and the center of trails when hiking.
  • • Wear long-sleeved, light colored shirts and long pants tucked into your socks.
  • • Use repellents that contain DEET on your clothes or exposed skin.
  • • Keep grass cut short and remove leaf litter from around your home.
  • • Check for ticks along the hairline, between the toes, back of the knees, groin, armpits, neck, and behind the ears.

> CDC Tick Prevention


Remove the tick as soon as possible – this reduces your risk of infection. Use tweezers, as close to the skin as possible, and pull with steady-even pressure. Do not twist or jerk on the tick. Try not to crush or puncture the tick or use a cigarette to remove it. This may cause the tick to burst and increase disease risk. After you remove the tick, thoroughly disinfect the bite site and wash your hands with soap and water.

> CDC Removing a Tick
> Tick Bite – What To Do

Some companies offer to test ticks for specific germs. CDC strongly discourages using results from these tests when deciding whether to use antibiotics after a tick bite.

  • • Results may not be reliable. Laboratories that test ticks are not required to meet the same quality standards as laboratories used by clinics or hospitals for patient care.
  • • Positive results can be misleading. Even if a tick contains a germ, it does not mean that you have been infected by that germ.
  • • Negative results can also be misleading. You might have been bitten unknowingly by a different infected tick.

female dog tick ad
Adult female dog tick - CDC photo
black legged tick ad
Adult female black legged tick,
also known as the "deer tick,"
CDC photo
Lifecycles of ticks ad
Lifecycles of ticks and sizes comparable to a dime - CDC drawing