Some animals and insects, such as rodents, mosquitoes and ticks, can spread diseases to humans. Although these animals and insects are a natural part of the environment where we live, by minimizing our contact with them we can help to prevent the spread of disease.
Because it is not possible to remove ticks from the environment, try to keep them from biting and attaching to you. When you are out in wooded areas or in tall grass, wear repellent. When you return, check yourself for any ticks that tried to hitch a ride on you. If you do find a tick attached to you, remove it by pulling it straight out – do not twist it – with your fingers or a pair of tweezers. If you find a deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) attached to you, contact your doctor. Monongalia County Health Department conducts tick surveillance to monitor tick diseases, such as Lyme.
Because rodents like to live in trash piles, removing trash from your property is a way to control rodents. West Virginia Code 22C-4-10 requires all persons to have trash service or to take the trash to a landfill at least once per month. Because trash with food scraps will also attract other wild animals, such as raccoons, any trash stored outdoors should be kept in a covered and leak-proof trash container.
Because mosquitoes need standing water to breed, removing standing water from your property, or at least around your house, will help to control mosquitoes. Any standing water – a bucket, an old tire, a pot or a birdbath can be a potential breeding area for mosquitoes. If you live in an area where there are mosquitoes, be sure to use repellents when you are outside to help keep mosquitoes from biting you. If you have any pets, make sure that your pets receive regular heartworm preventative. Monongalia County Health Department conducts mosquito surveillance to monitor mosquito diseases, such as West Nile Virus.
West Virginia Code 16-9 requires a property owner to properly dispose of any animals that die on their property. This is especially important if the dead animal is located in a creek or stream. Dead animals can also attract other animals,
such as rodents. Properly disposing of dead animals helps to prevent the spread of disease.