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Top 5 western states for West Nile Virus activity

If you think the only threat mosquitoes pose are itchy bites, think again. Mosquitoes can spread multiple diseases, including West Nile Virus. Mosquitoes get this virus from feeding on birds who carry the disease, and when an infected mosquito bites someone, it can pass along the virus.

Residents of the western U.S. should take the proper precautions to avoid West Nile Virus and reach out to your local Wester Exterminator as soon as you see signs of an infestation. Below we rank the states that we service for West Nile Virus activity based on 2022 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Have you seen an increase of mosquitoes around your home or business? Get in touch with Western by calling 888-444-6138 or contacting us online. We understand the threats that mosquitoes pose and will help eliminate them from your premises.

5. Idaho

Idaho starts our list with only three cases of West Nile Virus, and zero deaths reported in 2022. The gem state is home to many bird species susceptible to West Nile Virus, such as the American crow and common raven. Although the reported amount of cases is small, it’s still important to take proper precautions against mosquitoes to avoid contracting the disease and an increase in cases.


4. Washington

The Evergreen state is home to many of our nation's most popular national parks, but it is also susceptible to mosquito activity. In 2022, Washington reported four cases of West Nile Virus and zero deaths. With longer, hotter summers on the rise, cities like Seattle have seen more mosquito activity in recent years.

Seattle skyline

3. Utah and Oregon

Oregon and Utah are tied for third place, with each state reporting five cases of West Nile Virus and zero deaths. Oregon sees most of their mosquito activity near water sources such as the Columbia River, Bonneville Dam, and Willamette Valley. 

Melting snow in Utah's mountains can cause standing water, a condition conducive to mosquito breeding and survival. There are also several bird species that are known to carry West Nile Virus in the Beehive State, such as the American robin and Bald Eagle. If you live in areas like Salt Lake City, you’ll want to watch out for mosquito activity on your property and take action at the first sign of an infestation.

Utah and Oregon mountains

2. Arizona 

Mosquitoes breed year round in Arizona, with a total of 62 cases and four deaths from West Nile Virus. Popular cities in Arizona such as Phoenix can see more mosquito activity than most, making it essential to protect yourself from mosquito-borne diseases. In the Copper State, dry conditions lead to frequent lawn and crop watering. The water from this can create puddles, the perfect place for mosquitoes to breed. And of course, monsoon season hits Arizona in the summer months, which leads to more standing water and larger quantities of mosquitoes.


1. California

The highest number of West Nile Virus cases can be found in the Golden state of California. In 2022, California reported 168 total cases of West Nile Virus and 11 deaths. California has a high population, providing plenty of opportunities for a blood meal. Standing water that pools in low areas after spring rains and any abandoned water containers on your property both give mosquitoes a greater opportunity to breed. Whether you live in Los Angeles, Sacramento, or another California city, it’s key to get ahead of mosquito issues to prevent further problems.

California coast

West Nile Virus symptoms

In most cases, people who have West Nile Virus do not actually experience symptoms. Some may deal with a fever and symptoms like headaches, joint pain, and rash. According to the CDC, around one out of 150 people infected with the virus encounter an illness that affects the central nervous system, such as meningitis. People over 60 years old or who have weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of contracting the virus.

If you think you may have West Nile Virus, contact a medical professional as soon as possible.

West Nile Virus prevention

Follow these proactive steps to lower your risk of mosquito bites:

  • Fix holes in screens on doors and windows
  • Eliminate standing water, such as in flowerpots and rain gutters
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts when outdoors during high mosquito activity
  • Avoid being outside during dusk and dawn
  • Use an EPA-registered mosquito repellent when outdoors

How to get rid of mosquitoes

If you have a mosquito infestation, contact your local Western Exterminator office to eliminate the mosquitoes before they get worse. Our technicians know how to get rid of mosquitoes and can provide an effective treatment solution. Your technician will also give recommendations on how to get rid of standing water at your property. Contact us today to learn more about our mosquito control services and take the necessary precautions to protect your family.

Learn more about West Nile Virus cases: 



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