What Diseases Do Mosquitoes Carry

Is there anything worse than the red, swollen, itchy welt left behind by mosquitoes? It turns out, there is. Those bites can be made worse because mosquitoes can transmit a variety of diseases. Some of them you’ve heard of before, but others aren’t as well-known. So, what diseases do mosquitoes carry? Keep reading to find out.

The Mosquito Bite Transmission Process

Before diving into the nitty-gritty, you should learn how mosquito-borne diseases are transmitted. Mosquitoes have long, skinny mouths. The tip is pointy and sharp, and the mosquito uses it to pierce your flesh. After breaking the skin, the mosquito sucks your blood. They’re literally the vampires of the insect world.

However, mosquitoes can only digest fresh, liquid blood. Their saliva produces an anticoagulant to keep its victim’s blood from clotting. Yes, it’s like something out of a science fiction movie! Unfortunately, the saliva can also contain bacteria, parasites, or viruses. And if an infected mosquito bites you, it may transmit the disease into your bloodstream.

Mosquito Diseases Everyone Should Know About

Although most mosquito bites produce an itchy histamine reaction, some also cause serious illness. Symptoms can appear a few days or even weeks after infection. Here are some mosquito diseases to keep on your radar:

  • West Nile Virus

Perhaps the most famous mosquito virus, West Nile causes a range of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. If you’re lucky, you won’t experience any symptoms. However, some people end up with constant vomiting, diarrhea, joint pain, and fever. And in the worst cases, patients end up with meningitis or brain infections.

  • Zika Virus

Zika virus is mild in most cases, but it can be devastating for pregnant women. The virus may cause serious birth defects, such as a small head or brain damage. Pregnant women should avoid mosquito bites in regions where Zika is present for this very reason.

  • Malaria

Malaria is a widespread disease in many parts of the world. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not caused by a virus, but rather a parasite. Malaria can cause a high fever, headache, and vomiting. Luckily, there are anti-malaria drugs available.

  • Dengue

The dengue fever causes a range of strange and frightening symptoms, like easy bruising, bleeding gums, and rashes. Some people may get a deadly hemorrhagic fever.

  • Chikungunya Virus

Chikungunya is common in Africa, India, and Asia. However, infected mosquitoes have migrated to other regions in recent years. Those infected often experience swollen joints, muscle pain, and rash. Although it’s not usually deadly, you may have noticeable symptoms for several months.

  • La Crosse Encephalitis

Luckily, La Crosse Encephalitis is very rare. Only about 65 cases occur each year in the United States. Although you’ll most likely only experience fever or nausea, the virus can damage the nervous system.

  • Yellow Fever

Mosquitoes in Africa or Latin America often transmit yellow fever. The disease causes jaundice, which can make your skin look yellow, hence its name. Be sure to get the vaccine before traveling to high-risk countries.

  • Rift Valley Fever

Mosquitoes can transmit rift valley fever, which can infect both humans and animals. It’s most common in Africa. Symptoms include weakness, dizziness, and vision impairment.

  • Jamestown Canyon Virus

You may never know if you catch the Jamestown Canyon virus. That’s because the symptoms are the same as the common flu. But it can also affect the brain and spinal column. Although this virus can be spread throughout the United States and primarily in the upper midwest, this mosquito-borne disease is rare.

  • Snowshoe Hare Virus

If a mosquito bite causes dizziness, headaches, vomiting, or a rash, you may have snowshoe hare virus. It can also lead to serious problems, including inflammation of the brain. This virus is most common in Canada, Alaska, and eastern Asia.

Whew! That’s a long list of diseases. There’s good news, however. Many of these illnesses only affect other countries. So, what diseases do mosquitoes carry in the United States? West Nile is the most common, but there were only 958 reported cases in 2019. Zika, chikungunya, and dengue are also present. And although rare, Jamestown Canyon virus is only found in the United States.

Avoid Getting Sick in the First Place

What causes mosquito-borne diseases? Mosquito bites. If you don’t want to get sick, you need to prevent bites before they happen. These insects like to hide in tall grass, weeds, and wooded areas. They also like stagnant water. When heading outdoors, try to cover as much skin as possible. Although mosquitoes can bite through fabrics, they’re more likely to move along to find another victim.

Mosquitoes don’t like certain smells. Spraying your clothing with DEET is one way to repel these pests. However, never use it around young children. Citronella, peppermint, and eucalyptus oils also keep mosquitoes away. Even crushed up garlic will stop the appetite of a hungry mosquito.

The best way to get rid of mosquitoes for good is with regular property treatments. If you see too many mosquitoes flying around your yard, Mosquito Joe can help. We offer barrier spray mosquito treatments that last for weeks. Visit us online or call 1-855-275-2563 to keep your family protected from mosquito diseases.

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How to Prevent Lyme Disease

Ticks are an unavoidable nuisance in the United States. They live in nearly every state, and bites happen throughout the year when the temperature is above freezing. Unfortunately, tick bites can cause Lyme disease. This potentially debilitating illness is often difficult to diagnose and sometimes even more challenging to treat.

But there are ways to keep you and your family protected from bites. If you want to know how to prevent Lyme disease, keep reading.

First, What Is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted by the black-legged tick. It causes a range of symptoms, but most patients report feeling extreme fatigue and bad headaches. Fever and rashes are also common. In some instances, the patient may develop more chronic conditions of the heart, bones, or nervous system. Antibiotics can treat and cure Lyme disease, but it may take several courses and must be started soon after the disease is contracted. Some people will continue to experience symptoms long-term.

How do you get Lyme disease? Black-legged ticks, sometimes called deer ticks, infect a host after a prolonged bite. The bacteria transmits from the tick’s mouth into the victim’s bloodstream. While black-legged ticks can carry the bacteria, not all of them do. And a short bite (where the tick is detected and removed only a few hours after being attached) is not likely to cause an infection. The risk of catching Lyme disease is highest if the tick remains attached to its host for over 36 hours.

Tips for How to Avoid Lyme Disease

Even though it’s impossible to eradicate all ticks in the world, you can follow these tick tips and tricks to avoid catching Lyme disease.

Here are the easiest ways to prevent bites when you head outdoors:

  • Dress for the Occasion

Ticks only bite bare skin—they can’t reach you through layers of clothing. When heading outdoors, cover up as much skin as possible. Even in the middle of the summer, it’s best to wear long sleeves and full hiking pants. Tuck in your shirt and pull your socks over your pant legs to close any gaps. Hiking boots are better than sneakers, and you should always avoid sandals.

Many experts recommend wearing light-colored clothing. The idea is that if a tick does crawl on you, it’s easier to see it against a brighter background. However, ticks dislike dark colors and are more attracted to light hues.

  • Spray from Head to Toe

Over-the-counter insect repellents are a great way to keep ticks away. Ticks don’t like products that contain DEET or Picaridin. However, you shouldn’t spray DEET on children. Instead, you can try a natural repellent such as sprays that include citronella or peppermint essential oils. Apply a generous coating on all exposed skin and clothing. Reapply as needed.

  • Don’t Venture into the Woods

Deer ticks love hiding in wooded environments, and their orange-brown bodies provide them with the perfect camouflage. Avoid sitting on fallen branches, woodpiles, or even the ground. Ticks don’t like sunlight, so staying on the trail is better than heading into the dark, cold woods.

  • Perform a Thorough “Tick Check”

When returning indoors, check your clothing and body for ticks. If possible, have someone else lend a hand, and inspect all children for ticks. Ticks like to hide, and since they’re so small—especially early in the season before they grow to full size, you may miss them. You will definitely feel an adult-sized tick if you come across it with your fingers.

Be sure to inspect these common hiding spots:

  • Your hairline and scalp
  • Between fingers and toes
  • Behind your ears
  • In your armpits
  • Near the groin

Remove your clothes as soon as possible after returning home and toss them into the washer. Hot water will eliminate any ticks in your clothes that may not have had a chance to attach themselves to your skin. And if you do find a tick, carefully remove it with tweezers.

Worried About Ticks in Your Backyard?

There may be ticks living in your lawn, but you don’t want to find out the hard way. Lyme disease prevention always begins at home. Another great way to avoid Lyme disease is to have Mosquito Joe set up a spray-treatment barrier in your yard. This treatment works on fleas and mosquitoes, too!

Ready to say goodbye to ticks? Connect with us online or call 1-855-275-2563 to schedule a barrier treatment.


Is your yard an overgrown haven for tick-carrying animals? Get in touch with the trusted landscaping professionals at The Grounds Guys, a fellow Neighborly® company.

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Do All Ticks Carry Lyme Disease?

While insect bites are bad enough to deal with already, a single bite from a deer tick (also known as blacklegged ticks) can transmit Lyme disease. Any single of these blood-sucking insects can potentially carry and transmit the bacterium that causes this horrible illness. But do all ticks carry Lyme? No. Do all blacklegged/deer ticks carry Lyme? No.

Continue reading to find out when you should worry about a tick bite and when you can relax.

Do All Tick Bites Carry Lyme Disease?

Before you vow never to venture outdoors again, you need to know which ticks carry Lyme disease. Even though there are hundreds of tick species, only the blacklegged variety (deer tick) transmits the disease. These insects are always searching for a host. And both humans and animals—especially white-tailed deer and chipmunks—make for a tasty meal.

Blacklegged ticks have flat, ovular bodies. They are orange-brown in color and only reach about 1/8” in length. Their color and size, however, change throughout different points of the tick life cycle.

Understanding the Basics of Lyme Disease

A dangerous bacterium scientifically dubbed Borrelia burgdorferi causes Lyme disease in humans. You can only get this disease from ticks, and luckily, there’s no evidence that Lyme disease is contagious between humans.

This illness causes a wide range of symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Infected persons often experience fever, aches, fatigue, and headaches. Problems with the heart, joints, and nervous systems are also common. In very rare cases, an infected person may die. Treatment is a 10-to-21-day course of antibiotics that is most effective when taken as soon as possible. But even after taking antibiotics, some patients continue to experience lifelong symptoms.

A bullseye-shaped rash may appear around the bite site after someone has been infected with Lyme disease. If you see this telltale sign, visit a doctor as soon as possible.

Where Do Lyme-Carrying Ticks Live?

Blacklegged ticks can be found throughout the eastern United States, but Lyme diseases is most prevalent in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Minnesota, Maryland, Virginia, New Hampshire, Delaware and Maine.

Ticks like to live in wooded areas, grassy environments, and, unfortunately, your yard. These insects thrive throughout the United States. The ticks that carry Lyme disease are the most active from April through September. However, a tick can bite you any time of the year, and even a deep freeze won’t eliminate them.

Risk of Contracting Lyme After a Bite

So, do all deer ticks carry Lyme disease? No, just because a tick can carry the disease doesn’t mean it does. A bite from a deer tick doesn’t always turn into a case of Lyme, but if you pull one off your body, it’s best to monitor the site for any reaction and yourself for Lyme symptoms. Symptoms can appear a few days or even several weeks after a bite. Early antibiotic treatment is vital for a fast recovery from Lyme disease, so see a doctor at the first indication of Lyme.

Here are risk factors for Lyme disease:

  • Having a tick attached to your skin for more than 36 hours
  • Exposing a lot of skin while outdoors
  • Working an outdoor job
  • Living in a heavily wooded area

While not all species carry Lyme, many other varieties do sometimes carry other diseases. After removing any tick from your body, make sure to be on the lookout for any signs of sickness. Again, not every tick will transmit disease, but any tick bite has the potential.

Preventing Tick Bites and Lyme Disease

The best way to prevent tick bites is to avoid their habitat. When you do wander outdoors, cover as much skin as possible. You should also keep your lawn manicured and remove any excess brush and fallen tree limbs.

Mosquito Joe can also put your mind at ease. Our barrier control service will prevent all types of ticks from ruining your picnic. Ticks don’t stand a chance against our team! Get in touch with us online or call 1-855-275-2563 to schedule your tick control treatment.

Is your overgrown backyard looking like a haven for ticks? The Grounds Guys, another brand in the Neighborly® family, can provide the professional landscaping and lawn care services you need.

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How Is West Nile Virus Spread?

What You Need to Know About West Nile Virus Transmission

Is West Nile virus contagious? How is this mosquito-borne disease spread? With mosquito season in full swing, you may be thinking about the risk of West Nile virus and what you can do to keep your family protected. If you are concerned about West Nile virus transmission from person to person, you will be relieved to know that the World Health Organization (WHO) reports no known human-to-human transmissions of the virus through casual contact.

Still concerned? The experts at Mosquito Joe dig a little deeper into the facts about West Nile virus transmission and the steps you can take for virus prevention.

West Nile Virus Transmission Facts

Birds are the natural hosts of West Nile virus, and the virus proliferates in nature through a lifecycle that involves transmission between birds and mosquitoes. Mosquitoes pick up the virus when they feed on an infected bird and the virus is stored in the mosquito’s salivary glands. Infected mosquitoes can then pass the virus to mammals, including humans, when they bite, injecting the host with the virus.

People most at risk for contracting West Nile are those who work outside or participate in outdoor activities. . anyone who lives in an area where West Nile virus has been identified in mosquitoes is at risk.

West Nile Virus Symptoms

According to WHO, 80% of people who become infected with the virus do not experience symptoms. However, in the worst cases, it can lead to a fatal neurological disease. Approximately 20% of infected people develop West Nile fever, which can include the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Body Aches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Skin rash
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Symptoms typically begin to show two to six days after being bitten by an infected mosquito, although it can take up to two weeks. Most people who develop symptoms will make a complete recovery, but residual fatigue and weakness can last several weeks following the infection.

West Nile Virus Prevention

Because there are no medications or vaccines to treat West Nile virus, protecting against mosquito bites is the best plan for prevention.

Here are tips for limiting unwanted encounters with mosquitoes when you or your family members are outside:

  • Apply insect repellent anytime you plan to go outside. Repellent products containing DEET and picaridin are effective and provide longer-lasting protection from bites. Insect repellents containing coconut oil compounds are effective botanical alternatives.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants.
  • Avoid going outside during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most prevalent.
  • Decrease the number of mosquitoes around your property by emptying standing water from containers and ensuring the yard does not have piles of leaves or debris.
  • Consider the professional application of yard treatments specifically designed to keep mosquitoes and other pests off your property.

Achieve an Itch-Free Yard with Mosquito Joe

A highly effective way to protect your yard from mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus is to have outdoor pest control experts like Mosquito Joe apply recurring barrier treatments to your property. Regular treatments will eliminate mosquitoes and other pests like ticks and fleas for up to three weeks at a time. Your local Mosquito Joe team has the tools and solutions to make your outdoor space fun again so you and your family can enjoy bite-free time in your yard this year.

Let our professionals perform the customized mosquito control services to fit your property’s needs. Give us a call at 1-855-275-2563 for more information or request a free quote online now.


Worried about other viruses that might make their way into your life? Consider these tips from Molly Maid for how to stop spreading germs at work. Molly Maid is a fellow member of the Neighborly® family of home service brands.

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West Nile Virus Prevention Basics

West Nile Virus Prevention for Your Family

Are you concerned about protecting your family from West Nile virus? The thought of anyone in your family contracting an illness from an infected mosquito may be enough to make your shelter inside, especially if the virus has been identified in your area. Don’t let worry about the West Nile virus keep you and your family members from spending quality time together outside.

To prevent West Nile virus transmission, Mosquito Joe has prepared some tips so you can combat the mosquitoes in your yard and take the proper steps to make your property an itch-free zone.

How to Prevent Getting West Nile Virus

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for West Nile virus, so the number-one way to prevent virus transmission is to stop mosquito bites in the first place.

Here’s what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones:

1. Use an effective mosquito repellent product.

Look for insect repellant products registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Products containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), and 2-undecanone have been proven to repel mosquitoes and other biting insects. These products are an effective solution for everyone, even women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. However, these repellents are not recommended for young children. Always read product labels and check the EPA site for product safety and effectiveness.

2. Wear long sleeves and pants.

Covering as much skin as possible is a good way to keep mosquito bites away. Neutral-colored, loose-fitting clothing is best. Avoid bright colors or flower patterns that can attract mosquito attention, as well as tight clothes, which can make it easier for the mosquito to penetrate through the clothing to the skin. Tuck pants into socks and consider wearing a hat for additional protection.

3. Treat clothing with permethrin.

Permethrin is a common mosquito control product that can be sprayed on clothing and shoes. The product is irritating to mosquitoes which keeps them from landing and biting, and can even kill them on contact. The product can be sprayed on all clothing, or you can purchase clothing that has been pre-treated with permethrin. However, do not apply the spray directly to the skin. Read the product label to determine how long the pesticide protection will last.

4. Avoid going outside at dusk and dawn.

Dusk and dawn are when mosquitoes are the most prevalent. If possible, avoid going outside during these times. Another time to stay inside is immediately following a rainfall, when mosquitoes may be hanging out near standing water in and around your yard.

5. Avoid and prevent mosquito high-traffic zones.

In addition to steering clear of stagnant pools of water like puddles, birdbaths, and clogged, water-filled gutters, it’s a good idea to avoid areas including garbage cans, flowerbeds, piles of leaves, shrubbery, orchards, and wooded areas—all tend to be high-traffic areas for mosquitoes.

You can also take these steps to make your property less attractive to the biting pests:

  • Empty standing or stagnant water around the property on a regular basis.
  • Keep your lawn and shrubbery trimmed and tidy so mosquitoes have fewer places to lurk and rest.
  • Stay on top of gutter maintenance to avoid dirty gutters with stagnant water accumulation.
  • Repair leaky outdoor faucets and store garden hoses properly.

6. Additional steps to protect children.

Not every insect repellent that’s approved for adults should be used for infants and young children. Always read product labels and check the EPA list for registered insect repellents to determine which products are right for your child. Do not use products that contain oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) on children younger than three years old.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), insect repellent use on infants under two months old is not recommended.

Whether your child is too young for insect repellants, or you would like to find alternatives, here are other and West Nile virus:

  • Cover baby carriers and strollers with protective netting.
  • Clothe baby head-to-toe in loose-fitting, neutral-colored clothing; include a hat to protect head and ears from bites and shoes or socks to protect feet.
  • Avoid the use of strongly scented soaps, lotions, hair products, and perfumes.
  • Keep the baby inside as much as possible if your yard does not have proper mosquito control.

West Nile Prevention for Your Property

Many homeowners find the most effective way to prevent West Nile virus transmission on their property is to eradicate mosquitoes. No mosquitoes mean no mosquito bites. And no mosquito bites means no West Nile virus.

Ready to reclaim your yard from the threat of biting mosquitoes and worries about mosquito-borne illnesses? Let your local Mosquito Joe team apply the effective barrier treatments that will keep mosquitoes away for up to three weeks. No more swatting, worrying and scratching. Your family can have peace of mind while you enjoy bite-free time together outside. Call the friendly, knowledgeable pros at Mosquito Joe today at 1-855-275-2563 or contact us online to take back control of your yard this season.


Keeping your window screens in great shape is a good way to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home. Consider window screen repair or replacement services from Glass Doctor®, another member of the Neighborly® family of trusted home service brands.

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