Not only a nuisance, mosquitoes can pose a serious health threat to people. Disease can be spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Over 40 different mosquito species can be found in Washington, and many are vectors for diseases, such as West Nile virus, western equine encephalitis, and St. Louis encephalitis.
In the past, sporadic outbreaks of western equine encephalitis and St. Louis encephalitis had occurred in Washington afflicting hundreds of people. These mosquito-borne disease outbreaks prompted the development of many mosquito control districts in our state. Today, with the emergence of West Nile virus, mosquito control and bite prevention remain key in protecting public health.
Mosquitoes can also spread Zika. Only two types of mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, are known to spread the virus to people. These mosquitoes are not found in Washington. Learn how you can help watch for the arrival of these invasive Aedes mosquitoes (PDF) and stop their spread in your community.
The best way to protect against mosquito-borne disease is to prevent mosquito bites.
Avoid Mosquito Bites
Don't Give Mosquito a Home
Support Your Community
- Support your community's mosquito control program. If none exists, consider starting a mosquito control district, MRSC.
- Mosquitoes and West Nile Virus (PDF) | Spanish-Mosquitos y el virus del Nilo Occidental (PDF)
- West Nile Virus Education and Media Materials
- Bti (Bacillus thuringiesis israelensis)
- Distribution of Mosquito Species in Washington (PDF)
- West Nile virus
- Zika virus
- West Nile Virus: Mosquito Control, CDC
- West Nile Virus: Insect Repellent Use & Safety, CDC
- Zika Virus, CDC
- Insect Repellents, EPA
- Choosing and Using Insect Repellents, NPIC
Content Source: Zoonotic Disease Program