Vector Control

The Moniteau County Health Center actively works to limit diseases spread by rodents and mosquitos.


Worldwide, rats and mice spread over 35 diseases. Rodent-borne diseases are spread directly to humans through bite wounds, consuming food or water that is contaminated with rodent feces, coming in contact with surface water contaminated with rodent urine, or through breathing in germs that may be present in rodent urine or droppings that have been stirred into the air (a process known as “aerosolization”). Diseases from rodents are also spread indirectly to humans by way of ticks, mites, and fleas that transmit the infection to humans after feeding on infected rodents. In some cases, the rodents are the reservoirs (carriers) of the diseases, while in other cases the ticks, mites, or fleas act as the disease reservoirs.


The Moniteau County Health Center works in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) providing information/education to the citizens of Moniteau County. These agencies work to protect our citizens from the many diseases that can be contracted through the mosquito. Information is available by contacting the MCHC.

West Nile Virus Information Service

During the mosquito season the public is encouraged to report sightings of dead crows, blue jays, or hawks to the MCHC. For information on West Nile Virus click here.


The bite of an infected tick can spread bacteria, viruses, or parasites to humans and animals. Some of the most common tick-borne diseases in Missouri include Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme-like disease and tularemia. Ticks are usually more active in the months of April through October and peak in the summer months. Common symptoms of tick related illness are fever, chills, aches and pains, and rash. If you have been bitten by a tick and develop these symptoms within a few weeks, see your health care provider. Additional information may be obtained by contacting MCHC at (573) 796-3412 or at the CDC website.


Rabies is a viral disease of mammals transmitted primarily through bites of infected animals. In Missouri rabies is found naturally in wild animals. About 40 cases of rabies in animals are reported annually mainly in bats and skunks, although other animals are also found rabid, including domestic dogs, cats, horses, and cattle.

Although rabies in humans is almost invariably fatal, human deaths in the United States have become relatively rare due to effective rabies vaccinations and aggressive public health practices for quarantine or testing of biting animals. A human rabies fatality occurred in Missouri in 2008 in an individual who did not seek medical advice or treatment following a bat bite.

Before this, the last human rabies infection in the state was reported in 1959. Vaccinated pets are the first line of defense between the people who own and interact with them and rabid wild animals which the pets may contact. For more information about animal bites and rabies prevention contact MCHC or the Missouri Department of Health website.   


Lodging establishments and day care facilities receive routine inspections for sanitation purposes which include identification of insect infestation. Private citizens may consult with the MCHC for resources and prevention methods of treating a bedbug situation/occurrence as well as other infestation.