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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Vector Control in Oakland’s Homeless Encampments

  • Author(s): Mooney, Michael R.
  • James, David K.
  • Kirkpatrick, Bruce
  • Why, Adena
  • De Villa, Augustine
  • Mendoza, Sergio
  • Gutierrez, Alexandria
  • et al.

Homeless encampments are a persistent feature in the city of Oakland, California. Unsanitary conditions in these camps can contribute to large populations of Norway rats and associated vector-borne disease. Alameda County Vector Control Services District has developed a surveillance program for safe and efficient data collection in these encampments. This program includes outreach to residents, effective live-trap ping, ectoparasite collection, vector species suppression, and coordinating with other agencies. The District’s operations around Oakland’s pilot “Tuff Shed” homeless shelter strategy are presented as a case study for Norway rat and Oriental rat flea risk assessment and control.

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