West Nile Virus Surveillance Program

Government Officials

Building Codes Can Play a Key Role in the Fight Against West Nile Virus

Building codes that have been adopted by local governments can play a key role in the fight against West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.  The International Code Council'sInternational Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) can help local officials enforce the cleanup of existing properties and thus combat the spread of mosquitoes and mosquito-born viruses.

The IPMC has several sections that directly address eliminating mosquito-breeding areas or preventing mosquitoes from entering buildings, including requirement that property owners maintain vacant land "so as not to cause a blighting problem or adversely affect the public health or safety."

Th IPMC requires property to be graded and drained so that there will be no accumulation of stagnant water, addresses proper drainage of roofs and gutters, requires that insect screens be present and properly maintained and for swinging doors to have a proper closing device, deal with the accumulation and disposal of garbage and rubbish and addresses the  extermination of insects.

The IPMC contains a sample ordinance and administrative provisions to aid in the adoption and enforcement processes.

Public Health Page