Vector Control Toolkit

The Vector Control Tools & Resources (VeCToR) Toolkit provides tools and resources for program improvement activities that are in line with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services. The Essential 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.

Essential Service #1: Monitoring

Monitor environmental and health status to identify and solve community environmental public health problems

Monitoring is referred to as disease surveillance and it is vital for reportable infectious diseases. It is essential to monitor the health of populations to identify trends in vector-borne disease, allowing for the assessment of needed health resources. Vector program activities that fit into Essential Service #1 include, but aren’t limited to:

  1. Include vectors in a Community Environmental Health Assessment
  2. Having a protocol for disease surveillance
  3. Utilize GIS in monitoring citizen complaints, trap locations, and control activities
  4. Monitoring mosquitos in the area with surveillance traps


Essential Service #2: Diagnose and Investigate

Diagnose and investigate environmental public health problems and health hazards in the community

Diagnose and investigate activities to assist in identifying health problems and health hazards in the community. Joint investigations with environmental health, epidemiology and laboratory must be conducted for vector disease outbreaks, patterns of infectious disease and injuries, environmental hazards, and other health threats. Vector program activities that fit into Essential Service #2 include, but aren’t limited to:

  1. Utilize mosquito traps and other vector surveillance methods
  2. Utilize electronic collection forms for inspections and citizen complaints
  3. Communicate to community and clinical health that disease is active in the community
  4. Communicate to community treatment methods, areas, and times


Essential Service #3: Inform, Educate, and Empower

Inform, educate, and empower people about environmental public health issues

Inform, Educate, and Empower covers the development and dissemination of information that educates and promotes activities to reduce health risks associated with vector-borne diseases. The utilization of health communication such as media advocacy and social marketing allows for reliable and vetted resources to be accessible to the community. Vector program activities that fit into Essential Service #3 include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Having a comprehensive communication plan
  • Conducting community outreach through a variety of means, including: door hangers, public meetings, advertisement, and social media


Essential Service #4: Mobilize

Mobilize community partnerships and actions to identify and solve environmental health problems

To mobilize community partnerships that identify and solve vector-related health problems, appropriate stakeholders who contribute or benefit from public health must be sought out. Public health agencies can foster awareness, help build coalitions, and facilitate these partnerships to solve community vector-borne disease health issues. Vector program activities that fit into Essential Service #4 include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Involve community stakeholders in developing a mosquito (or other vector) control plan
  • Conduct outreach and build partnerships with organizations that work within the community


Essential Service #5: Develop Policies and Plans

Develop policies and plans that support individual and community environmental public health efforts

The alignment of resources and strategies to develop policies and plans that support individual and community vector health efforts involves implementing an effective governmental presence at the local, state, and tribal levels. Vector program activities that fit into Essential Service #5 include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Build understanding and support for having a response plan for vector-borne disease
  • Develop a response plan for vector-borne disease
  • Develop policies that support response plan objectives


Essential Service #6: Enforce Laws and Regulations

Enforce laws and regulations that protect environmental public health and ensure safety

Enforcement of laws and regulations helps to protect health and ensures safety of the community. This essential service is implemented through the review, evaluation, and revision of existing laws and regulations that were designed to protect the community against the spread of vector-borne illness and disease to reflect current scientific best practices. Vector program activities that fit into Essential Service #6 include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Build understanding and support for enforcement actions
  • Ensure that enforcement actions are uniformly applied


  • Notice of Inspection Templates for Mosquitos, Rodents, Ticks Customizable templates for sanitary inspection notices for mosquitos, rodents, and ticks.
  • MVCAC Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California (MVCAC) is the leading voice and advocate for mosquito and vector control in the California Legislature. Each year, the organization hosts a Legislative Day at the State Capitol where participants meet with legislators and decision makers to promote the importance of mosquito and vector control.
  • Urban Blight and Public Health Insect and rodent vectors problems are magnified in blighted neighborhoods and substandard housing. They are part of a much bigger and complex picture of multiple disparities, and their effects, that range from the individual to the neighborhood level. To understand vector control problems and related issues in such areas, one should be familiar circumstances and conditions in the communities. This report gives useful insight into the role of public health in housing policies.
  • Rat Control Health and sanitation code for the city of West Allis, WI

Essential Service #7: Link and Provide Care

Link people to needed environmental public health services and assure the provision of environmental public health services when otherwise unavailable

To link the community to important health services, systems must identify barriers to personal health services such as language, access, transportation, etc. The environmental health and vector control workforce must ensure that appropriate health services are coordinated and development interventions can overcome barriers. Vector program activities that fit into Essential Service #7 include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Develop outreach communication in languages other than English
  • Work with clinical care to ensure that personal protection information is shared with vulnerable populations


  • Chatham County, GA Chatham County, Georgia has developed an online resource for community members can sign up to receive notice of spraying activities via phone, email, or text.
  • Greater Los Angeles County, CA Greater Los Angeles County, California provides a variety of presentations for their community members on vectors.
  • DeKalb County, GA DeKalb County, Georgia uses the social media app, Nextdoor, to conduct directed outreach to neighborhoods.
  • Orange County, FL Orange County, Florida provides mosquitofish to residents who are interested in using them in water features to control the mosquito population.
  • Tick bites: First Aid Information on how to treat a tick bite and when to seek medical attention
  • Clinical-Community Linkages Helps to connect health care providers, community organizations, and public health agencies to improve patients' access to preventive and chronic care services

Essential Service #8: Assure a Competent Environmental Health and Vector Control Workforce

Assure a competent environmental public health workforce

This essential service requires the assurance of a workforce that is adequately competent to meet the needs for the community's public health and vector services. Conducting assessments of the members of local, state and tribal health workforce is necessary to maintain standards, to improve the efficiency for professional licensure/credentialing and ability to incorporate the Essential Public Health Service into the systems. Vector program activities that fit into Essential Service #8 include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Providing access to education and training to workforce
  • Ensure workforce has appropriate certification


Essential Service #9: Evaluate 

Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based environmental public health services

To improve community health outcomes, public health professionals must regularly evaluate the effectiveness, accessibility and quality of their programs.  Results should be made available to make scientifically supported policy decisions and to allocate resources for program improvements. 
Vector program activities that fit into Essential Service #9 include, but aren’t limited to:
  • Ensuring equipment is calibrated and utilized correctly
  • Utilizing data to compare surveillance and control activities from year-to-year


Essential Services #10: Research

Research for new insights and innovative solutions to environmental public health problems

Research is imperative for the development of new and innovative solutions to vector control problems.  This service is comprised of public health professionals working with institutions of higher learning to create real-world strategies and best practices. Vector program activities that fit into Essential Service #10 include, but aren’t limited to:
  • Developing relationships with local schools, including community colleges and universities
  • Incorporating new technology into vector control programs – this includes smart traps, citizen science apps, and other innovative vector surveillance and control methods.