Do Mosquitoes Spread Disease?
Some types of mosquitoes are disease vectors, meaning they can carry and transmit pathogens that cause illness. The pests pick up bacteria, viruses, or parasites when they feed on animals and then transfer them to new hosts as they bite.
Diseases Caused by Mosquitoes
In the Northeast U.S., the most common mosquito diseases are West Nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis.
West Nile Virus
Many people who receive bites from a mosquito with West Nile virus don’t notice symptoms. However, in some cases, nerve or brain damage can occur. The risk of catching this disease is highest during summer, though the pests may bite through the start of autumn.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis
This mosquito-borne disease causes swelling of the brain and, like West Nile, often begins in birds. Cases typically spike in July through September, when the insects are most active. While horses are prone to infection, people and pets can also have problems.
Preventing Diseases Caused by Mosquitoes
There are no human vaccines for these mosquito diseases, so the best way to avoid illness is to prevent bites. Wear protective clothes and repellents before spending time outdoors. Those who suspect they have a mosquito-borne disease should see a doctor for testing.
To do more than dodge mosquito bites, home and business owners can modify their property during mosquito season.
- Remove standing water found in empty containers
- Keep doors closed
- Install screens
Though every effort helps, it often takes an expert to limit the spread of mosquito diseases. Waltham Pest Services offers reliable pest control for residential and commercial spaces.