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.
In addition to the toolkit, CDC has a framework to reduce risk of vector-borne diseases. To address the growing threat to public health, CDC, five federal departments, and the Environmental Protection Agency developed a joint National Public Health Framework for the Prevention and Control of Vector-Borne Diseases in Humans.
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:
- Include vectors in a Community Environmental Health Assessment
- Having a protocol for disease surveillance
- Utilize GIS in monitoring citizen complaints, trap locations, and control activities
- Monitoring mosquitos in the area with surveillance traps
- Integrated Pest Management: Conducting Urban Rodent Surveys- This manual is for classroom use and for field training of those who work in community-based rodent integrated pest management programs. The manual is also a reference for survey techniques and for the preparation of reports and maps.nce Man
- Community Awareness Assessment Question Bank - This question bank contains a series of questions along potential response choices to assist in the development of a mosquito-focused community awareness assessment.ual
- Community Environmental Health Assessment The CDC's Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health, a tool for communities to identify their health concerns, take action on their environmental health problems, and improve their health and quality of life
- What to Look for - Identifying Active Rodent Signs (ARS) Explains how to determine an active rodent infestation from an inactive one, recognize the difference between house mouse fecal pellets and large cockroach droppings, and know the difference between rat and mouse gnawing damage.
- Fairfax County, VA Community Health Improvement Plan- The Community Health Improvement Plan discusses seven key priorities to improve health and well-being for the Fairfax Community. The plan focuses on providing all members of the community the opportunity to make healthy choices and have access to health care when they need it.
- Neighborhood Mosquito Report: Gilbert AZ- The town of Gilbert AZ conducted a neighborhood survey as part of the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department's Vector Control Division (VC). Residents were asked about their knowledge of mosquito-borne diseases, their feelings of how likely it was for them to catch one, their awareness of relevant resources, their preferences on how to get information during an emergency, and their demographic information.
- Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District Field Technicians Work Smarter—Data Access Increases Efficiency Case study on Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District's plan to improve field data collection efficiency, reproduce and control existing workflows, centralize data sources, and establish modifiable forms/reports
- 2015 Madison County Community Mosquito Survey Final Report
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:
- Utilize mosquito traps and other vector surveillance methods
- Utilize electronic collection forms for inspections and citizen complaints
- Communicate to community and clinical health that disease is active in the community
- Communicate to community treatment methods, areas, and times
- Environmental/ Mosquito Complaint form Tulsa Health Department
- Environmental Services Complaint form Maricopa County, AZ
- Online Report Form West Allis, WI
- Sample Notice of Inspection for Ticks Download and customize this form to meet your department's needs.
- Sample Notice of Inspection Rodents Download and customize this form to meet your department's needs.
- Sample Notice of Inspection Mosquitos Download and customize this form to meet your department's needs.
- Service Request or Complaint Form Download and customize this form to meet your department's needs.
- Harris County Mosquito Surveillance/ Control Map An interactive map of mosquito borne disease activity in Harris County, TX
- Mosquito Trap comparison and utility grid to compare the various types of traps.
- Tick Encounter Resource Center A page with information for identifying ticks and tracking tick activity from the University of Rhode Island
- How to Perform a Tick Drag
- Mosquito Trap How-To Videos:
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
- Vector-Borne Disease Section (VBDS) VBDS conducts prevention, surveillance, and control of vector-borne diseases, including hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, plague, Lyme disease, West Nile virus, and other tick-borne and mosquito-borne diseases in California
- Tulsa Health Department Pest Control Information on the Tulsa County Health Department's mosquito surveillance program and tips on how to reduce the mosquito population
- Tulsa County Health Department West Nile Virus Positive Traps Map of West Nile Virus positive mosquito traps in Tulsa County, OK as of September 2017
- Mosquito Word Search Puzzle from New Hanover County, NC
- Things You Should Know About Ticks Infographic about ticks, the diseases they carry, how to remove them, and how to prevent infection from New Hampshire Public Radio
- Tulsa Health Department West Nile Virus Gives information on West Nile Virus, mosquito surveillance and prevention, signs of mosquito bites. Click here for Spanish version
- Mosquito Reference Sheet Reference sheet of mosquito species. The sheet has a photo of the mosquito, scientific name, common name, distinctive features, diseases carried, and ecology
- Diseases Carried by Rats and Mice Discusses disease risks from house mice and rats. Video from Orkin Pest Control
- Tickborne Diseases of the United States Description of tickborne diseases in the United States from the CDC
- Aedes albopictus mosquito brochure Information about the Aedes albopictus mosquito, how to reduce their population and prevent bites. Click here for Spanish version
- Fight the Bite: Defeat mosquitoes and their diseases Video from the Oklahoma State Department of Health
- Pyrethroid Insecticides Fact sheet on pyrethroid insecticides, how they are used, and their health effects from the Illinois Department of Public Health
- Preventing Disease Spread by Ticks Booklet on how to protect yourself and your pets from ticks from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Also available in Spanish, Portuguese, and Haitian Creole
- Community Education and Outreach Powerpoint Template Editable PowerPoint Template with mosquito, tick, and rodent information
- Find the Repellent that is Right for You Search tool to find the right repellant to use based on target pest, duration, and chemicals used from the EPA. Also available in Spanish here
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
- Xerces Society: Effective Mosquito Management
- Mobilizing Community Partners to Action: How a Small Vector Control Program Tackled Zika Examples, tools, and resources of how a Local Health Department (LHD) used community partners to address mosquito issues, including the arrival of Zika. Explains local-level coordination after self-assessment centered on ES 4. Outcomes included outreach, property inspections, education, and media interviews.
- Tulsa Health Department Community Outreach Case Study This case study will explore a project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Public Health Foundation (PHF) to improve public health communications and mosquito control activities within northeastern Oklahoma.
- Expanding Capacity at local level: ES 8/4 Expanding mosquito surveillance in MI Explores the process of training and equipping local health departments in the state of Michigan to increase capacity and respond to threats of mosquito-borne disease (WNV and invasive/emerging arboviruses)
- Centers of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases: Cross-state partnerships to facilitate research, detect new diseases, understand the role of vectors in transmission, and find ways to effectively survey and control vectors.
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
- Creating a Mosquito Control Policy A guide for understanding and developing effective and enforceable mosquito control policies
- Public Health Confronts the Mosquito A guide for developing sustainable state and local mosquito control programs focused on planning ahead, involving others, using the best science/data, and informing the public
- Mosquito Control Policies and Plans
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.
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
- 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
- Quality Improvement Story Board: Rabies Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)
- Customer Satisfaction Survey Template
- Tools to Drive Quality Improvement of Vector Control Services
- CDC Bottle Bioassay
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.