pests

Vectors and Public Health Pests

According to the World Health Organization, "Vectors are living organisms that transmit infectious diseases between humans or from animal to human." The most common and impactful vectors for humans are mosquitos and ticks. Public health pests are organisms that are a nuisance to the general public, but do not transmit disease. The most common publich health pest is the bedbug though recent research has shown that they may have the ability to transmit disease. Environmental health professionals are instrumental in helping individuals, institutions, and communities reduce vectors and public health pests. One of the most effective strategies to reduce vectors and public health pest is integrated pest managment (IPM) practices. IPM is a multifaceted, environmentally friendly, and common sense approach to managing pests: do not attract them, keep them out, and eliminate them using the safest and most effective methods (CDC, EPA).

Vector Control Tools & Resources (VeCToR) ToolkitNew! The Vector Control Tools & Resources (VeCToR) Toolkit

The Vector Control Tools & Resources (VeCToR) Toolkit provides tools and resources for program improvement activities that are inline with the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services form the framework used to evaluate the effectiveness of a community’s environmental public health system.  The services are based on the three core functions of public health: assessment, policy development, and assurance, and provide a basis for program improvement for every area within environmental health departments.

View the Vector Control Tools & Resources Toolkit


Vectors of the United States Map and Informational Hub

NEHA has developed an interactive and educational resource that provides general vector and public health pest information. This easy-to-use, all-encompassing resource provides comprehensive and reliable information about where vectors are known to be found throughout the country, surveillance and control methods, as well as vector-borne diseases.

Visitors can expand their knowledge and understanding of this important field of study and can use the information to improve policies, programs, and public health. Information includes:

  • Vectors and where they are known to be found in the country
  • Surveillance and control methods
  • Vector-borne diseases and information about those diseases

Vectors of the United States will be frequently updated with information and resources. Visitors can expand their knowledge and understanding of this all-important area of study and can use the information to improve policies, programs, and public health.

View  Vector Informational Map


NEHA Online Educational Opportunities

Enhancing Environmental Health (EEK): Vectors and Public Health Pests Virtual Conference

Enhancing Environmental Health (EEK): Vectors and Public Health Pests Virtual Conference is designed to enhance the knowledge of EH professionals in order to help them better prepare to respond to environmental events of public health concern as well as to bring professionals together in a unique virtual environment to exchange information and discover new solutions to issues in vectors and public health pests. PDF's of presentation slides from the virtual conference are still available. Access them here

Vector Control for Environmental Health Professionals Online Course

NEHA worked with CDC, the National Network of Public Health Institutes, Texas Health Institute, Tulane University, and renowned subject-matter experts to update and expand this training. The new expanded training – Vector Control for Environmental Health Professionals – is housed on Tulane University’s Learning Management System and is preapproved for NEHA continuing education credits. Find out more or register to take the course here: http://lms.southcentralpartnership.org/vcehp.php


School Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program

NEHA has a cooperative agreement with EPA to facilitate the use of integrated pest management (IPM) in schools. IPM focuses on pest prevention and pesticide use only as needed with inspections, monitoring, and reports (EPA). This project promotes effective and environmentally sensitive pest management practices in schools through a mentorship program between school districts and local health departments. The School IPM Mentorship Program objective is for IPM practices to be understandable and accessible for rural and underserved school districts to help build cooperation, partnership, and awareness of IPM. If you are interested in learning more about this program, please contact Vanessa DeArman, Project Coordinator at vdearman@neha.org.

School IPM Resources


Emerging Issues in Vectors and Public Health Pests

CDC Releases New Resources for Tickborne Rickettsial Disease

CDC has released new guidelines around the diagnoses and management of tickborne disease.  CDC’s Tickborne Diseases App  is available for download for immediate access concise, comprehensive, and updated information about the prevention, identification, and treatment of tickborne diseases.

Zika Virus

The Zika Virus was first identified in 1947, but is now having a major impact on public health. To learn more about the Zika Virus and what what EH professionals can do to prepare for it, click here.

Borrelia mayonii 

New species of Lyme Disease-causing bacteria discovered, learn more about B. mayonii.