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Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest creatures on the planet. Despite the insects small size, their ability to carry and transmit diseases makes them a force to be reckoned with. One of those diseases is West Nile Virus.
West Nile Virus is a disease commonly carried by birds. However, mosquitoes who get a blood meal from birds can become infected. They then transfer the virus to humans through their saliva, which allows mosquitoes to spread various diseases to humans across the world.
Which states have the most reported cases of West Nile Virus? As experts in mosquito removal and prevention, we ranked the top five east coast states with West Nile activity using 2022 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you have too many mosquitoes around your home, contact our experts to get rid of mosquitoes and prevent them from returning. Reach out to your local Ehrlich Pest Control office today.
North and South Carolina are tied for fifth place, with each state reporting 10 cases of West Nile Virus and one death in 2022. Both states are known for their warm weather, sandy beaches, humidity, and marshlands. This combination results in a lengthy mosquito season with more chances for mosquito-borne diseases to spread. In addition, both states are home to growing cities like Charlotte and Charleston, giving mosquitoes more human blood to feast on.
Georgia is home to the internal travel hub of Atlanta, peaches, southern hospitality, and plenty of mosquitoes. The state's warm weather and humid conditions make the perfect home for mosquitoes to breed. Georgia's short and warm winters give mosquitoes less time to hibernate and a longer active season. In 2022, Georgia reported 18 cases of West Nile Virus and two deaths.
Located across the river from New York City, New Jersey reported 19 total cases of West Nile Virus and three deaths. Like many states across the eastern region, New Jersey experiences cold winters and warm, wet springs and summers, making the garden state the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. In the last couple of years, cases of the West Nile Virus have been on the rise, but fortunately that overall number decreased in 2022.
Coming in second place, Pennsylvania is another state with a humid continental climate. Similar to New Jersey, cold winters followed by very wet, warm springs and then hot summers make the state of Pennsylvania the perfect place for mosquitoes. Pennsylvania reported 34 total cases of West Nile in 2022 and two deaths. Some cities in PA experience more West Nile Virus cases than others, like Philadelphia, as it is located on the Delaware and Schuylkill River and has several smaller lakes. This, combined with the humid subtropical climate of hot, muggy summers, makes for the perfect recipe for mosquitoes.
The highest concentration of West Nile Virus in the eastern portion of the country comes from the state of New York, specifically, the large metropolitan area of New York City. The entire New York City metro area is the most populated area in the country. In addition to the many people who call this city home, New York City is a hub for international and domestic travelers. In 2022, New York reported 79 total cases of West Nile Virus and three deaths. Its location near bodies of water creates the perfect habitat for mosquitoes to breed. Combine that with easy access to food (in terms of human blood meals) and the West Nile Virus can easily spread.
West Nile is an RNA virus in the family known as Flaviviridae. This is the same family of viruses that other mosquito diseases originate from, including Zika, yellow fever, and dengue. The virus is found primarily in birds, but can transfer from birds to people via the saliva of a mosquito.
In over 80% of cases, people who are bitten show absolutely no signs of the accompanying West Nile Virus. There are some who experience very mild symptoms such as a headache, fever, rash, or vomiting. Less than 1% of the population are at risk from the more severe form of the virus, which can turn into encephalitis or meningitis. This applies to those with weakened immune systems or people over the age of 60.
There are many DIY ways you can try to get rid of mosquitoes around your property, but none of them are 100% effective. Just missing a single puddle of stagnant water, mosquitoes' ideal breeding ground, can lead to an infestation.
Our technicians can help you get rid of mosquitoes around your property and prevent them from returning. Contact your local Ehrlich Pest Control office to discuss our mosquito control methods and treatments today.
For further information from the CDC about West Nile cases, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/statsmaps/preliminarymapsdata2022/disease-cases-state-2022.html