Collage of five cities showing a cliff near a river, snow covered mountains, and the Golden Gate bridge.

Top 5 western states for West Nile Virus activity

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

As a resident of the western U.S., you should take the proper precautions to avoid West Nile Virus, and reach out to a pest control company if you see high populations of mosquitoes in your yard. Here, your local mosquito control experts at Western Exterminator rank the states that we service for West Nile Virus activity, based on 2021 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Have you seen a high number 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. Oregon

Oregon starts off our list at number five with the smallest number of West Nile Virus cases, but still a higher number that is necessary to report. While the risk is low, a handful of people still contract the West Nile Virus each year in the Beaver state. In 2021, Oregon reported five total cases of West Nile Virus and, fortunately, zero deaths. A vast majority of Oregon’s mosquitoes are found along the Columbia River and near the Bonneville Dam, but the types that transmit West Nile can be found on the western side of the state in Willamette Valley.

Rocky cliff with green trees and vegetation above the Columbia River.

4. Idaho

Idaho comes in at number four on this list. The Gem State contains several bird species susceptible to West Nile Virus, such as the American crow and common raven. Melting snow in parts of Idaho leaves behind stagnant water, providing good conditions for mosquitoes. In 2021, Idaho reported 16 total cases and two deaths from West Nile Virus. If you reside in cities like Boise or Twin Falls, stay alert for mosquitoes and try to eliminate any sources of standing water at your home or business.

Scenic view of snow covered mountains in the distance behind a small town.

3. Utah

Utah comes next in line. Like Idaho, several bird species that are known to carry West Nile Virus are found in the Beehive State, such as the American robin and Bald Eagle. Similar to Idaho, melting snow can result in standing water, a condition conducive to mosquito breeding and survival. In 2021, Utah reported 28 cases of West Nile Virus and three deaths. 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.

Scenic view of a city in Utah with the mountains in the distance.

2. California

Mosquitoes breed year-round in the Golden State, likely due to the temperate climate. In 2021, California reported 115 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 abandoned water containers 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, such as West Nile Virus.

Golden Gate Bridge in California over a body of water with mountains in the distance

1. Arizona

Arizona took the cake, reporting a total of 1,645 total cases and 112 deaths from West Nile Virus. If you live in regions of Arizona such as Phoenix, you’ll want to watch out for West Nile Virus. Mosquitoes are active throughout the year in the Copper State. Here, dry conditions lead to frequent lawn watering. The water from this can create puddles, an opportune place for mosquitoes to breed. The same issue can occur when crop fields are watered. And of course, monsoon season hits Arizona, which also leads to standing water. On top of all that, some residents of the Grand Canyon State have pools, and if not maintained, pools can provide mosquito breeding spots.

A green cactus in the desert with mountains and a purple and orange sunset in the background

West Nile Virus symptoms

Most people who get West Nile Virus do not actually encounter symptoms. Others may deal with fever as well as symptoms like headaches, joint pain, and rash. According to the CDC, around 1 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 particular medical conditions 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

You can take certain steps to lower your risk of mosquito bites. They include:

  • Fixing holes in screens on your doors and windows
  • Eliminating standing water, such as in flowerpots and rain gutters
  • Wearing pants and shirts with long sleeves when spending time outdoors in times of high mosquito activity

Close up of a mosquito on skin on a black background

How to get rid of mosquitoes

If you have a mosquito infestation, you should contact a trustworthy pest control professional to eliminate the problem before it becomes worse. Western Exterminator knows how to get rid of mosquitoes. We will provide an effective treatment solution and can 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: 
https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/statsmaps/preliminarymapsdata2018/disease-cases-state-2018.html

Collage of five cities showing a cliff near a river, snow covered mountains, and the Golden Gate bridge.

Emily Nicholson

Emily Nicholson is a Digital Marketing Coordinator for Rentokil North America. She currently lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and two dogs. She loves being outside - mountains or beach - and enjoys working out, walking her pups, and relaxing with her husband, friends, and family.

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