Facebook Instagram Youtube

Vector-borne Diseases


Infectious diseases that may be transmitted between animals and humans are a concern for all people, no matter what their age, gender, lifestyle, ethnic background, or economic status. The most common carriers of vector-borne diseases are mosquitos and ticks.

Protecting You and Your Family from Disease

A few common tips to avoid mosquitos and ticks:

  • Avoid areas and times of day when mosquitos and ticks are most active.
    • Mosquitos and ticks like moist, shady areas with woods or tall grass
  • Wear clothing that is resistant to mosquitos and ticks
    • Light colored clothing makes mosquitos and ticks easier to see.
    • Long sleeves and long pant legs will make it difficult for mosquitos and ticks to get on your skin and bite.
  • Perform daily skin checks looking for ticks on yourself and your pets
    • Be sure to check your scalp, armpits, and groin
  • Use insect repellents
    • Follow instructions and store safely, away from pets and children
  • See your doctor when needed
    • If you develop a fever, rash, or other symptoms of illness, see your provider for diagnosis and treatment.

Creating Safe Zones Around Your Home

Integrated Pest Management, called IPM, uses many strategies to reduce the insect burden on your property, while protecting the environment.

Here are some simple things you can do to reduce mosquitos and ticks near your home or property:

  • Remove or tightly cover areas or items with standing water (buckets, planters, pools, trash containers, tires)
  • Clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edge of lawns.
  • Place a 3-foot-wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns, wooded areas, patios, and play equipment. This will restrict tick migration into recreational areas.
  • Maintain short grass in lawns and keep leaves raked.
  • Stack wood neatly in a dry area to discourage rodents that ticks feed on.
  • Keep playground equipment, decks, and patios away from yard edges and trees. If possible, place these items in a sunny location.

If you decide to apply pesticides to control insects on your property:

  • Always follow label directions and wear the personal protective equipment specified on the label.
  • Store pesticides in their original containers with proper labels.
  • Keep pesticides locked up and out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Use the amount specified on the label. Using additional product will not be more effective and may harm you, your pets, and/or the environment.
  • Wash clothes that have been in contact with pesticides separately.
  • Wash hands with soap and water after using a pesticide, including insect repellents.
  • Use the Environmental Protection Agency’s search tool to find a repellent product that is right for you.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEE)
EEE is spread to people and equines(horses)by the bite of an infected mosquito. Only a few cases are reported in the state of Michigan each year. Although rare in humans, EEE is very serious. Approximately 30% of people with EEE die and many survivors have ongoing neurological problems. Approximately one third of horses with EEE die, with survivors potentially suffering from permanent neurological deficits. A person or horse infected with EEE cannot spread the disease, only the bite of an infected mosquito transmits EEE. There are no vaccines to prevent or medicines to treat EEE in humans. Horses should be vaccinated with two doses 4-6 weeks apart and an annual booster, consult your Veterinarian for more information.

Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted by the bite of an infected tick, and is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States.

West Nile Virus
West Nile is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States. It is commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Zika Virus
Zika virus is spread by the Aedes species of the mosquito.  It can also be spread mother-to-baby during pregnancy or through unprotected sexual contact. Zika virus has not been seen in the United States since 2017, but the CDC still recommends that pregnant women, or couples that are planning for pregnancy, avoid travel to areas with ongoing Zika activity

If you have concerns about illness related to a mosquito or tick bite, contact your health care provider or Your Local Health Department's office.

Organization Information

Annual Reports


Organization Documents

- Strategic Plan
- Mission and Vision
- Agency Organization Chart