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Keeping Mosquitoes and Rats at Bay: Vector Control in Multnomah County

With 80 percent of the world’s population at risk of one or more vector-borne diseases, government agencies play a crucial role in protecting their communities. Accountable to more than 800,000 residents and responsible for 465 square miles, the Multnomah County Vector Control and Code Enforcement department in Oregon manages animals or organisms that can spread disease to humans. Mosquitoes and rats are the most common vectors in the Pacific Northwest, and the Multnomah team keeps them in check through surveillance, abatement, code enforcement, and community education.

On the insect side, surveillance helps to monitor the presence of mosquitos and mosquito-borne disease in the county. They perform inspections of potential mosquito breeding habitats and maintain the population at levels that are safe and comfortable for residents. They also provide mosquitofish to residents to assist in controlling mosquito larvae in ornamental ponds and pools. When it comes to rats, vector control specialists perform inspections to assist residents in the control of vermin around their homes and provide technical assistance to landowners on their prevention.

To proactively keep vectors at bay, Multnomah specialists also need support from their community. To help residents better understand what vectors are, where they come from, the diseases they carry, and how to prevent them, the vector control group provides trainings to schools, civics clubs, and other organizations. In addition, the code enforcement program enforces Multnomah County and City of Portland regulations that directly impact vectors, such as animal issues, nuisances, and illegal dumping.

With so much ground to cover, Multnomah County looked to Cartegraph operations management software to help them work faster and make smarter, data-driven decisions. As of March, the county expanded their Cartegraph implementation into the Vector Control and Enforcement department and has already benefitted from more effective and efficient operations.

  • Streamlined workflows: To help the vector control team focus on and track the work that matters most to them, the Cartegraph implementation team helped create unique assets, including vector structures, adult mosquito sites, and larval mosquito sites. Leveraging map-based mobile applications, specialists are receiving real-time work orders in the field, quickly responding to resident inspection requests, capturing data on the go, and eliminating the need for redundant data entry back at the office.
  • Environment protection: Along with who did what and how long it took, specialists are now documenting pesticide and insecticide quantities for each task using a custom “ingredients” child record set. Using an automation, the county can quickly calculate quantities to ensure there is minimal chemical exposure to residents, reduce risk to the environment, and prove state compliance.
  • Lab support: The Vector Control and Enforcement department is capturing and storing the laboratory test results by attaching the information to the associated sampling task.
  • Enhanced reporting: With customizable dashboards, easy-to-use reporting, and powerful data analytics, the county is excited to put their asset, work, and resource data to good use. By being able to quickly organize and understand information, they can now capitalize on operational insights to meet regulatory reporting compliance and spend their time and budget dollars smarter.

Having accomplished all this in a matter of months, we can’t wait to see what the Multnomah County team tackles next. If you’re interested in learning how your organization can leverage Cartegraph’s vector control capabilities, please connect with us at