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Top 5 eastern states for West Nile Virus activity

Mosquitoes are considered the deadliest creatures on the planet. Although there are larger and more fierce creatures in the world, they do not carry the disease threats mosquitoes do. One of those diseases is West Nile Virus.

The thing about West Nile Virus is that it is a disease usually 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 is how mosquitoes spread various diseases to humans across the world.

Which states have the most reported cases of West Nile Virus? Ehrlich Pest Control, the experts in mosquito control and prevention, look at the top five east coast states with West Nile activity using 2021 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you have too many mosquitoes around your home, then you need to contact the local experts who can reduce populations of mosquitoes in your yard all season long. Reach out to your local Ehrlich Pest Control office today.

5. Ohio


Located along the shores of Lake Erie, Ohio comes in at number five on our list with 13 total cases of West Nile Virus and one death. The state’s humid continental climate means cold winters, late springs, and hot, humid summers. This type of weather can make for perfect mosquito breeding zones, no matter the size of the city. Mosquitoes thrive in areas where there is a lot of standing water, such as Cleveland and other cities on the lake coast across the state of Ohio. Cleveland, which is on the banks of Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River, has experienced a handful of West Nile Virus cases in the past.

4. Pennsylvania


Pennsylvania is another state with a humid continental climate. Cold winters followed by very wet, warm springs and then hot summers make the state of Pennsylvania the perfect place for mosquitoes. Pennsylvania reported 26 total cases of West Nile in 2022 with one death. 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.

3. New Jersey

New Jersey

Located across the river from New York City, New Jersey reported 36 total cases of West Nile Virus with five total deaths. Similar to Ohio and Pennsylvania, New Jersey also experiences cold winters and warm, wet springs and summers, again making the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. In New Jersey, cases of the West Nile Virus have been on the rise for the last couple of years.

2. New York

New York

The second-highest concentration of West Nile Virus in the eastern portion of the country comes from the state of New York but, in particular, the large metropolitan area of New York City. The entire New York City metro area is the most populated area in the country. In 2021, New York reported 40 total cases of West Nile Virus with one death. Its location near bodies of water creates the perfect conditions for mosquitoes to breed. Combine that with easy access to food (in terms of human meals) and the West Nile Virus is easily spread.

1. Michigan


Surrounded by three of the Great Lakes, including Lake Michigan, Lake Heron, and Lake Erie, it is no surprise that in 2021, Michigan took the number one spot for the state with the most West Nile Virus activity. Michigan reported 46 total cases and seven deaths, and the state’s warm and wet summers definitely had an impact. Urban areas in the lower southeastern and western parts of Michigan have seen the most West Nile Virus activity.

What is the West Nile Virus?

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.

Most of the time, people who are bitten show absolutely no signs of the accompanying West Nile Virus. This is the case with over 80% of those who get it. There are some who experience very mild symptoms such as a headache, fever, rash or vomiting. Less than 1% of the population runs the risk of the more severe form of the virus, which can turn into encephalitis or meningitis. These are mainly those with weakened immune systems or those over the age of 60.

Mosquito biting on skin

Ehrlich Pest Control can handle mosquitoes

Of course, 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 in which mosquitoes lay eggs can mean an infestation.

Ehrlich Pest Control technicians can help you get rid of mosquitoes around your property. Our treatments also prevent mosquito reproduction. 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/preliminarymapsdata2021/index.html

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