What Diseases Are Carried By Mosquitoes?

By: Peter
Last updated:
diseases carried by mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are tiny, fast, and they bite. Not only that, they are annoying little buggers which disrupt a good night’s sleep.

This particularly pesky insect is also a carrier of several harmful diseases that can kill animals and humans if left untreated. Know the disease, its symptoms, and the mosquitoes that cause them



Malaria is the most common disease one can get from mosquitoes. They are prevalent in countries like Africa, India, and South America. The condition is caused by the parasite named Plasmodium, and the Anopheles mosquitoes are known carriers of this disease.

Malaria shows itself as fever, chills, and flu-like symptoms. If you were in any of the countries mentioned, and are experiencing these types of symptoms, get in touch with a health specialist quickly since untreated cases of the disease can lead to more serious complications, even death.


Dengue is another disease caused by mosquito bites. It is widespread in countries in the US, South America, Africa, and Asia. It comes from Asian tigers and yellow-fever-causing mosquito species which is why dengue is commonplace.

Symptoms of the disease include acute headaches, severe joint, muscle, and eye pains, mild bleeding, and rashes. If left untreated, it might lead to grave complications and even death. There is no available vaccine countering the disease, but with quick diagnosis, the disease can be treated.

Yellow Fever

This disease has all the trappings of a virus-related condition. It is transferred to humans by way of infected mosquitoes. Yellow fever is most prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions in Africa and South America.

There is a vaccine available for the disease today. Symptoms of the disease include nausea, abrupt fever, chills, acute headaches, and body pains. Fast diagnosis and treatment often result in total recovery.


This is a virus that is transmitted by yellow fever and Asian tiger mosquitoes. It is rampant in the Caribbean islands, but there have been reported cases in some countries in Asia, and a few cases in the U.S. because of travel. There is no vaccine available for the disease at this time, but it is not a deadly virus and is usually treatable.

West Nile Virus

The disease is caused by infected mosquitoes and can be contracted by both humans and animals. The virus is not as deadly as other mosquito-borne diseases, and individuals can steer clear of this disease by using devices from bug zapper brands, bug sprays, and proper clothing.

A majority of individuals do not get symptoms, but if they do, they might develop headaches, nausea, rashes, body pains, and fever. It is prevalent in countries like Africa, Australia, Southern Europe, Canada, and the U.S.


Like ticks, mosquitoes can spread encephalitis. There are several types of encephalitis, and they can either affect humans or animals. The St. Louis encephalitis affects birds, humans, and mammals, plus it is prevalent in the U.S. and the Gulf of Mexico.

The Eastern Equine encephalitis affects horses and is prevalent in the Gulf Coast and Atlantic areas of the States, South America, and the Caribbean islands.

The Lacrosse encephalitis results from the bites of the tree-hole mosquito, while the Japanese encephalitis type is prevalent in Western Pacific countries and Asia. There is a vaccine available for Japanese encephalitis, but infected individuals can still develop acute complications if left untreated.

Zika Virus

Currently, reports of an influx of the Zika virus in South America have flooded international news. The virus has been around and is known as a mosquito-borne condition, but it appears that the disease has transformed into a terrible strain in which infected, expectant mothers give birth to newborns with acute neurological disorders.

The virus was originally known as a bug that causes moderate conditions that last for a few days. Its symptoms include joint pain, rashes, fever, and conjunctivitis or pinkeye.

The virus was first encountered in Uganda at the Zika forest and then spread into other African territories. It is caused by the yellow fever mosquito or the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

Unfortunately, there is no available vaccine for this disease just yet. There is also no particular medication at this time that is committed to treating the syndromes of the standard Zika virus strain, most particularly the strain that causes microcephaly in newborns. The only way to avoid acquiring the disease is to completely prevent those mosquito carriers from biting you.

Stay Safe

Of course, the best way to avoid the diseases carried by mosquitoes is to eliminate the mosquitoes breeding places, any standing water. But you can only do this in your own home and garden. Mosquitoes will breed anywhere there is some stagnant water and this could be at your neighbor’s or anywhere in your locality.

The next best remedy is to wear clothing the will protect your skin – long trousers and shirts with long sleeves. Especially at the peak mosquito biting times – late afternoon and evening.

Netting can also prove very effective. You can find head drapes and tunics that cover the upper part of your body.

If this isn’t possible then you can use an insect repellent on your skin. The most effective repellents contain DEET or Picardin. There are also some products made with natural plant oils such as citronella or lemongrass oil, however, these are considered as being less effective.

Pregnant women should be particularly careful as the Zika infection can cause severe birth defects. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends not traveling to places where Zika is present.

Another solution is to use a cheap fan. This can be very effective for dealing with mosquitoes in your house but also outside on your patio. Using a couple of oscillating fans can make a nice slow breeze that the mosquitoes will find it very hard to fly in.

Bug zappers or mosquito traps can also greatly reduce the numbers of these pesky insects.

These are the main solutions, another aid is to attract mosquito-eating birds or bats into your garden by hanging bird or bat houses.

Hope that’s given you a few ideas to stay disease free! If you have used any other methods that work well or have any questions, let us know in the comments below.

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Peter spends most of his time outside in his large garden. He has been fighting mosquitoes for a few years trying different traps and repellents without using agressive chemicals.