A vector is any animal or insect that carries and transmits a disease into another living creature. Vectors are typically flies, mosquitoes, cockroaches, fleas, and ticks that may transmit a number of diseases to humans. Rodents, such as rats and mice, may also transmit diseases. The basic method of controlling vectors is to limit, as much as possible, their ability to live and breed.
Mosquitoes need quiet, standing water to breed. To control their breeding, sources of standing water, such as bottles, jars, unused buckets, and tires, should be eliminated. Items like wheelbarrows, tubs, wading pools, boats, etc. should be properly stored or covered.
Rats and mice need food, water and shelter to live. To control them, store garbage in tight, rodent-proof containers. Keep food items, such as rice, flour, or cereal, in metal or glass containers. Do not leave pet foods open in yards or garages. Keep alleys, empty lots or other outdoor areas clean and free of rubbish to eliminate rodent shelter.
To minimize fly breeding, keep garbage in tightly covered containers and properly dispose of it weekly, Also, remove excessive animal waste from yards.
For heavy infestations of insects or rodents, it may be necessary to hire a licensed pest control company. However, application of pesticides or poisons is only a temporary solution to a vector problem without the basic community sanitation practices listed above.
Environmental Health Specialists from the Community Environmental Protection Division are available to investigate complaints regarding solid wastes (garbage, sewage, plumbing deficiencies, animal feces). They also investigate vector complaints and work with the property owners to eliminate breeding places and sources.
For information about ticks, fleas, roaches, raccoons, etc., visit Alabama Vector Management Society
Call 205.930.1230 to register a complaint concerning one of these issues.