Mosquito-Borne Illness: Eastern Equine Encephalitis

As one of the deadliest animals in the world, mosquitoes transmit a number of harmful, and often fatal, diseases. The most well known of these diseases include malaria, Zika virus, and West Nile virus.

In our last Mosquito-borne Illness Spotlight, we focused on malaria, a mosquito-borne illness that causes hundreds of thousands of deaths per year. In addition to these illnesses, mosquitoes are also responsible for transmitting a disease known as Eastern Equine Encephalitis. 

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is one of the lesser-known diseases spread by mosquitoes. However, it can be quite serious, often leading to devastating effects. At Mosquito Authority, we make it a priority to educate our customers on not only how to practice mosquito control but also the negative and potentially harmful effects mosquitoes can have.

Here is some basic information about Eastern Equine Encephalitis and steps to prevent mosquito bites in and around your home:

Where does Eastern Equine Encephalitis most often occur?

Mosquitoes can be found all over the world, although only certain species are responsible for EEE. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most cases of EEE in the United States occurred in Massachusetts, Michigan, Florida, Georgia, New York, and North Carolina from 2010-2019. 

What is Eastern Equine Encephalitis?

Eastern Equine Encephalitis is transmitted by mosquitoes of the Aedes, Coquillettidia, and Culex species. Although it is extremely rare, EEE can have very serious symptoms. Symptoms of EEE can range from fever and joint pain to encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and meningitis (swelling of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord). According to the CDC, about a third of EEE cases are fatal, while many survivors end up with mild to severe brain damage. 

How is Eastern Equine Encephalitis transmitted?

EEE is transmitted to humans or animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Similar to malaria, EEE cannot be directly transmitted from person to person. According to the CDC, “Transmission [of EEE] to humans requires mosquito species capable of creating a “bridge” between infected birds and uninfected mammals such as some Aedes, Coquillettidia, and Culex species…”

What precautions can be taken to help prevent mosquito bites around the home?

Taking the proper precautions when it comes to mosquito-proofing your yard and home is critical to mosquito control. Here are some ways you can help lower the risk of getting bitten by mosquitoes in your own outdoor space:

  • To reduce your children’s risk of mosquito bites, dress them in clothing that covers their arms and legs.
  • Always apply sunscreen before applying mosquito repellent.
  • Always be sure to use an EPA-registered mosquito repellent and read the label and instructions thoroughly.
  • Empty any items in your yard that can hold water such as flower pots, tire swings, birdbaths, and children’s toys.
  • Keep patio or outside doors closed when possible to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Hire a professional mosquito control company

Mosquitoes are not only a nuisance, but they are also vectors for dangerous diseases. While DIY mosquito control is important, the best way to reduce your risk of mosquito bites and mosquito-borne illness at home is to hire a professional mosquito control company. At Mosquito Authority, our priority is ensuring your safety from mosquitoes and the diseases they carry.


To find your local mosquito control company, click here.

Species Spotlight: Rocky Mountain Wood Tick

In addition to expert mosquito control services, we also offer tick control services at Mosquito Authority. Ticks are not only bothersome pests that invade your yard, but they are also vectors for a variety of dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases. 

We believe it is essential to educate our customers on ticks, from where they are most commonly found to what diseases they carry. In our last Species Spotlight, we told you some key facts about the Gulf Coast tick, including what their lifecycles look like and how best to avoid them.

In this Species Spotlight, we are highlighting the Rocky Mountain Wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni). Read on for information on this type of tick:

Where do they live?

Rocky Mountain wood ticks are typically found, as the name suggests, in the Rocky Mountain states of the United States (i.e. Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, etc.). These ticks can also be found in some parts of Southwestern Canada. According to the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), they prefer to inhabit scrublands, lightly-wooded areas, and grasslands.

What does their lifecycle look like?

Most ticks go through four stages of life: egg, larvae, nymph, and adult. However, these ticks act differently depending on which life stage they are in. For example, Rocky Mountain Wood ticks prefer to feed on large mammals as adults but typically feed on small rodents as nymphs and larvae. Members of this species usually live for about two to three years.

Are they dangerous to humans?

Rocky Mountain Wood ticks are responsible for spreading a few diseases to humans: Colorado tick fever virus (CTFV), Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), and tularemia. Both nymphs and adults of this species can transmit tularemia, while they can transmit RMSF and CTFV while in all stages of life. Because of a certain neurotoxin in their saliva, ticks of this species can occasionally cause tick paralysis.   

Are they dangerous to animals?

Just like with humans, Rocky Mountain Wood ticks can transmit certain illnesses to animals. For example, animals can contract Rocky Mountain spotted fever or tularemia if they are bitten by a Rocky Mountain Wood tick. Animals bitten by these ticks can also experience tick paralysis, as with humans.     

When are they active?

Rocky Mountain Wood ticks, especially adult males and females, are typically active from January to November, but reduce their activity during the summer months. They are most active during the late spring and early summer months of the year. Nymphs, on the other hand, are most active from March through October, and larvae follow the same pattern. 

What do they look like?

According to the NEHA, adult female Rocky Mountain wood ticks resemble American Dog ticks. They are dark brown and cream-colored, while adult males have dark brown bodies with brown markings.

How do I protect myself and my pets from Rocky Mountain Wood ticks?

There are several ways to reduce your risk of being bitten by ticks. Here a few:

  • Check your pets for ticks after they come indoors
  • Remove leaf litter from your yard
  • Avoid grassy or wooded areas
  • Hire a local tick control company

Rocky Mountain Wood ticks are found in many states and can transmit several serious diseases. While it’s important to practice tick control at home, the most effective way to prevent tick bites is by hiring tick control professionals. At Mosquito Authority, we make it our mission to protect you and your family from ticks and the diseases they carry.
Find your local tick control company here.

Mosquito-Borne Illness: Zika Virus

Mosquitoes are quite a nuisance during the warmer months of the year. But did you know they can be much more than just an obstacle in the way of enjoying the outdoors? These pests can be highly dangerous, as they are vectors for a variety of diseases such as West Nile virus, malaria, dengue fever, and equine encephalitis.

In our last spotlight on mosquito-borne illness, we discussed West Nile virus, from the symptoms of the disease to how to prevent yourself from contracting it. As we continue our series on mosquito-borne illnesses, this week we are introducing you to Zika virus. 

As a mosquito control company, we strive to educate our customers on the potential health risks of mosquitoes in order to create a happy and safe outdoor environment. Here are some frequently asked questions about mosquito control and Zika virus along with information from the National Pest Management Alliance (NPMA):

Where are mosquitoes found?

While mosquitoes inhabit areas all throughout the United States, some species are more common in specific regions. For example, the Asian tiger mosquito, which can transmit Zika virus, is typically found in the southern and northeastern states. Unlike many mosquito species that feed during dusk and dawn, Asian tiger mosquitoes prefer to feed during the day (NPMA).

What is Zika virus?

Zika is a disease spread primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito of the Aedes species. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Zika outbreaks have been reported in areas such as tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands since the first human cases were detected in 1952. However, Zika cases have also been reported throughout the Eastern Pacific, South and Central America, and the United States.

While Zika virus is usually not fatal, it can have long-term side effects. For more information on Zika virus, visit the CDC website here.

How is Zika transmitted?

As mentioned before, Zika is transmitted through the bites of infected Aedes species mosquitoes. These mosquitoes are also responsible for transmitting illnesses such as dengue fever and chikungunya. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are among the most common mosquitoes in the United States, are the primary carriers of Zika. Additionally, Asian tiger mosquitoes can transmit Zika and are found mainly in Southeast Asia (NPMA). 

What precautions can be taken to help prevent mosquito bites?

Knowing what precautions to take in order to prevent mosquito bites is crucial to proper mosquito control. Here are some helpful tips on how to do this:

  • Use air conditioning and fans (if possible) when you are sitting outside.
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellent products.
  • Always apply and reapply insect repellent when outside.
  • Dress your child in clothing that covers their arms and legs.
  • Use insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin.
  • Hire a local mosquito control company.

We at Mosquito Authority aim to give you and your family peace of mind by eliminating mosquitoes from your outdoor space. Apart from being a bothersome pest, mosquitoes also transmit dangerous diseases such as Zika virus, malaria, dengue fever, and more.


Don’t wait until mosquitoes have invaded your backyard to do something about it. Find your local mosquito control company here.

Mosquito-Borne Illness: West Nile Virus

Mosquitoes are known for being a highly bothersome pest, invading your backyard and preventing you from enjoying the outdoors. But did you know they are also the deadliest insect in the world? By transmitting diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, mosquitoes cause hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide every year. One of those diseases carried and transmitted by mosquitoes is West Nile virus. 

As a mosquito control company, our main goal is to protect you and your family from mosquito-borne illnesses so you can feel free to enjoy the outdoors with peace of mind. Here are some commonly-asked questions about mosquitoes and West Nile virus along with some helpful information from the National Pest Management Alliance (NPMA):

Why are mosquitoes considered a dangerous pest?

Although most Americans think of mosquitoes as just a nuisance, they are much more than that. Mosquitoes are notorious for spreading several potentially deadly diseases to humans and animals, including West Nile Virus, malaria, dengue fever, and equine encephalitis. According to the NPMA, more than 700,000 children die each year from malaria in Africa.

Should the average American be concerned about contracting West Nile virus?

West Nile virus has continued to spread throughout the United States since 1999. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Nile virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne illness in the United States. Most people infected with West Nile virus do not experience serious symptoms, while others can die from the disease. In order to reduce your chance of being bitten by an infected mosquito, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts while outside when appropriate.

Are mosquitoes more prevalent during a specific season?

Yes, mosquitoes are most prevalent during the summer months. However, depending on the region and temperature, mosquitoes can also be active during the fall. Mosquitoes typically remain active until temperatures drop below 60 degrees.

Does the weather have an impact on the spread of West Nile virus?

Since mosquitoes thrive in high temperatures, they are more active in the warmer months. According to the NPMA, extreme heat and drought conditions might play a part in the spread of this virus. When the weather warms up, mosquito larva grows more quickly and the breeding cycle speeds up.

What are the symptoms of West Nile virus?

Symptoms of West Nile virus are typically mild and usually mimic those of the flu. However, some severe cases can lead to a potentially fatal infection causing fever, body aches, weakness, confusion, and sometimes coma.

How can I prevent West Nile Virus?

There are several precautions you can take in order to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile virus. Here are some tips from the NPMA:

  • Eliminate mosquito breeding sites around your yard and home by getting rid of all standing water. Common items that tend to collect standing water include grill covers, trash cans, birdbaths, tire swings, and more.
  • Screen windows, doors, and other openings in your house with mesh.
  • Minimize outdoor activity during dusk and dawn, which is when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon-eucalyptus on exposed skin.
  • Contact a local mosquito control company

Our job as a mosquito control company is to help protect you and your family from mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses. By knowing the potential health risks, you will be better prepared to prevent them.
To find your local Mosquito Authority, click here.

Tick Control: Diseases in Animals

At Mosquito Authority, we make it our priority to protect your entire family– including the furry members. A big part of ensuring the safety of your dogs and cats is knowing that they are safe from ticks and tick-borne diseases. That’s why we take tick control seriously; so you can have peace of mind every time your pets are enjoying the outdoors.

You probably know that getting bitten by a tick puts your pet at risk for Lyme disease. However, ticks can spread numerous other diseases to animals as well, and can even infect your pets with more than one at a time. 

Here are some tick-borne diseases that can be transmitted to animals:

Rocky Mountain spotted fever

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is transmitted by the wood tick in the western United States and the American dog tick in the eastern part of the country. It’s important to frequently check your pets for ticks, because they can contract Rocky Mountain spotted fever after a tick has been on them for five hours. When infected with this disease, dogs can experience joint pain, reduced appetite, liver damage, heart problems, or other serious symptoms.

Anaplasmosis

Anaplasmosis is transmitted by deer ticks and western black-legged ticks. Both dogs and cats can contract this disease. If your pet has been infected with anaplasmosis, they may experience vomiting, joint pain, and nervous system disorders, among other things. 

Tularemia

Tularemia can be transmitted by three different ticks in the United States: the dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), the wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni), and the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum). This disease, also known as rabbit fever, usually affects cats more often than dogs. There is no preventative vaccine for tularemia, but it can be treated with antibiotics.

Babesiosis

Babesiosis is one of the more serious illnesses caused by tick bites. Usually caused by a bite from an Ixodes scapularis tick (deer tick), most cases of this disease are found in the northeastern and Upper Midwest areas of the United States. Babesiosis can cause severe problems in dogs, including high fever, depression, shock, and even death. 

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is one of the more commonly known tick-borne illnesses, and a significant reason why we practice tick control. Like Babesiosis, Lyme disease is primarily reported in the Upper Midwestern and northeastern United States and transmitted by the deer tick. It usually takes about 48 hours for a tick to transmit Lyme disease to its host, so be sure to check your pets for ticks often and remove them as soon as possible. Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs include fever, swollen joints, and reduced appetite.


Practicing tick control and preventing tick-borne illnesses is an important part of making sure your pets are happy and healthy. Click here to find your local tick control company.

For more information on tick-borne diseases, visit the CDC website