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Nuisances & Human Health Hazards
Overview
The Wauwatosa Health Department investigates a wide range of complaints posing a potential public health threat. Some examples include: 
 
Filing a Nuisance or Human Health Hazard Complaint
If you wish to file a nuisance or human health hazard complaint, please contact the Public Health Information and Referral Nurse at (414) 479-8939 | Email. The Wauwatosa Health Department registered sanitarians will investigate all complaints based on current department policy.
 
Please provide the following information:
  • Contact information of the person making the complaint
  • Location of the hazard
  • Type of hazard
  • Background information and duration of the problem

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are a pest of significant public health importance although they are not known to transmit disease. 

People carry bed bugs on them as they travel from place to place. Bed bugs will also hide in the seams and folds of luggage, overnight bags, folded clothes, bedding, furniture, and in other small spaces. Most people do not realize they can transport stow-away bed bugs as they travel, potentially infesting new areas, including their homes.

Bed bugs are experts at hiding. During the day they crawl into the seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, dresser tables, cracks or crevices, behind wallpaper, and under any clutter or objects around a bed. Bed bugs come out at night to take a blood meal from the sleeping person. Their small flat bodies allow them to fit into small spaces where they wait for their next meal. They are able to live several months between blood meals. 

One of the easiest ways to identify a bed bug infestation is by bite marks that appear on the face, neck, arms, hands, and any other body parts. However, these bite marks may take as long as 14 days to develop in some people.

Please see the resources below for more information on how to identify and deal with bed bugs.





Head Lice

The head louse, or Pediculus humanus capitis, is a parasitic insect that can be found on the head, eyebrows, and eyelashes of people. Head lice feed on human blood several time a day and live close to the human scalp.  Humans are the known host for head lice; dogs, cats, and other domestic pets do not carry lice.  Symptoms include a tickling feeling or a sensation of something moving in the hair, irritability and sleeplessness, and sores on the head caused by scratching.  It is treatable with commercial brand pesticides that are safe for humans to use.  Head lice are not known to spread disease.

Head lice outbreaks are common among children in day cares, schools, and institutions.  Based on evidence-based research, classroom or school-wide screening for decreasing the incidence of head lice is not efficient nor cost-effective.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) determined that “No-nits” policies that require a child to be free of nits before they can return to school are not recommended.  Head lice are a nuisance, but they have not been shown to spread disease.

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West Nile Virus Surveillance 
West Nile Virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) in humans and other animals. Since the virus cycles in nature between birds and mosquitoes, Wisconsin State and county health officials test certain species of birds to assess the presence of WNV in the area.  Although very few mosquitoes actually carry WNV, infected birds serve as an early warning that the virus is present in the area and that people should be more vigilant in protecting themselves against mosquito bites. 


See resources below to take steps to reduce your risk.

Resources


 Resources
 
Wauwatosa Municipal Code (Chapter 8: Health and Sanitation) 
Mold Information (EPA) 
Asbestos Information (EPA) 




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