Insect & Rodent Control
Vector control is the management and prevention of diseases spread through pests. The Boone County Health Department can aid the community’s exposure to vector borne dieses such as West Nile and Lyme Diseases. Please read below to understand what all the BCHD offers to the public.
The Boone County Health Department has developed a mosquito control program to reduce mosquito populations on public lands and to provide information to the citizens of Boone County. The primary focus is to control the mosquito life cycle and manage mosquito populations during larvae development.
Our mosquito control program involves the application of larvicide in areas of concern. Larvicide attacks the mosquitoes that are in the larvae stage and present in standing water areas. This is the most efficient and effective way of controlling mosquitoes and keeps them from becoming biting adults. All larvicides being used breakdown naturally in the environment and are approved for environmentally sensitive areas. Health Department employees are licensed by the Indiana State Chemist office to apply pesticides for mosquito control. If you contract with a commercial exterminator for the control of mosquitoes, be certain they carry a license for this type of work. For more detailed information on the larvicides we use, please contact our office at 765-483-4458.
The Boone County Health Department will be trapping and collecting mosquitoes throughout the county for testing by the Indiana State Department of Health. Information gathered from ISDH analysis will be utilized to identify areas of virus activity.
All mosquitoes need water in which to survive their early life stages. In Indiana they usually need 10 or more days of standing, still water. Adult flying mosquitoes frequently rest in grass, shrubbery, or other foliage, but they never develop there.
Some mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water where they hatch in a day or two. Other mosquitoes lay their eggs in old tires, tin cans, or other water holding containers and may remain unhatched for weeks or months until they are covered with water.
Mosquitos can carry serious disease!
• West Nile Virus
• St. Louis Encephalitis
• Lacrosse Encephalitis
• East/West Equine Encephalitis
• Dog Heartworm
• Zika Virus
Boone County Health Department recommends people take the following protective steps to reduce the risk of mosquito bites:
• Avoid being outdoors during prime mosquito biting times, dusk to dawn, when possible;
• Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus to clothes and exposed skin;
• Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home; and,
• When possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when outside.
Take the following steps to rid your properties of potential mosquito breeding grounds by:
• Discard old tires, tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold water;
• Repair failed septic systems;
• Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors;
• Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed;
• Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains;
• Frequently replace the water in pet bowls;
• Flush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodically; and,
• Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with predatory fish.
Ticks are mites that bite and feed off humans and animals. Ticks can transmit bacteria or viruses into the human body that can cause diseases such as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Anaplasmosis, Tularemia, Alpha-gal Syndrome and Ehrlichiosis.
How to remove an attached tick
DO NOT use remedies such as “painting” the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin. Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible–not wait for it to detach. Here’s how to safely and quickly remove a tick:
Graphic: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Use fine-tipped tweezers or a tick removal tool to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
- Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouthparts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove mouth parts easily with clean tweezers, leave the area alone and let the skin heal.
- After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
- Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet
Below is a graphic of the most common ticks found in Indiana. Each species of ticks can carry different disease-causing pathogens or bacteria. Nymph ticks are considered the most harmful due to their small size. They can often be overlooked. After going outdoors be sure to check your body and hair for ticks.
(Purdue University graphic/Angela Roberts)
Insect Repellent Comparison Chart
|Active Ingredient||Type||Insects Affected||Duration*|
|DEET||Chemical||Mosquitoes, ticks, some flies||Up to 12 hours|
|Picaridin||Synthesized pepper plant ingredient||Mosquitoes, ticks, flies||Up to 14 hours|
|Oil of lemon eucalyptus||Synthesized plant oil||Mosquitoes||Up to 6 hours|
|IR3535||Synthesized plant oil||Mosquitoes||4-8 hours|
|Plant oils (soybean, lemongrass, cedar, citronella, etc.)||Natural plant oil||Some mosquitoes||Estimated 30 min. to 2 hours|
|Permethrin||Synthesized chrysanthemum plant ingredient||Mosquitoes, ticks||Up to 70 washings in pretreated clothing; up to 6 washings when sprayed on; alternatively, it loses effectiveness after 6 or more weeks of outdoor exposure|
|“Wearable” plant oils (integrated into wristbands or clip-on products)||Natural plant oil||Some mosquitoes (in the vicinity of the wearable item)||Multiple days|
|Allethrin||Synthesized chrysanthemum plant ingredient||Mosquitoes||As long as emission device is running (repeller refills lasts 4 hours)|
|Citronella candle||Natural plant oil||Some mosquitoes||As long as the candle burns|
*Note: Our chart of active ingredients lists duration times if you follow the application instructions faithfully and use the longest-lasting formulation of that ingredient.
Stead, A. (n.d.). How to choose Insect Repellents. REI. https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/insect-repellents.html
More information can be found at the Indiana Department of Health website, https://www.in.gov/health/idepd/zoonotic-and-vectorborne-epidemiology-entomology/vector-borne-diseases/
For questions or more information about Vector Borne Diseases in Boone County, contact Claire Fuller at the Boone County Health Department, (765) 483-4458 option 7.
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116 W. Washington St., Suite B202
Lebanon, IN 46052
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