Vector/Pests

Definition

Vector is defined as a disease-carrying insect or organism.

Role of the Tazewell County Health Department

The Tazewell County Health Department collects mosquito samples using Gravid Traps (traps designed to attract and collect egg bearing female mosquitoes) and tests them for West Nile Virus using a technique known as a rapid immunochromatographic assay. This technique involves grinding the mosquitoes in a testing solution and then using a test strip to determine the presence or absence of West Nile Virus. These results are then reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

In addition to collecting and testing mosquitoes, we also collect dead birds for testing. These birds are then sent off to a state lab for testing. Bird collection begins in May. Please call us when you find a dead bird meeting the following criteria:

  • The bird is dead, but shows no signs of decomposition.
  • The bird shows no sign of why it died, other than disease.
  • The bird must be one of the following: Crow, Blue Jay, Grackle, Starling, Robin, Cardinal, Sparrow, Finch, Hawk, or Owl.

To learn more about West Nile Virus in Illinois go to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s West Nile Virus page. More information can also be found by visiting the Centers for Disease Control’s page on West Nile Virus.