Are There Dangerous Mosquitoes in Missouri?

When the weather turns warm in Missouri, people cannot wait to get outside and hike, camp, or just enjoy a backyard barbecue. Unfortunately, mosquitoes can quickly invade and turn what was supposed to be an enjoyable time into a rather annoying one. While mosquitoes are a nuisance and can deliver bites that are incredibly itchy and can even become painful, they can pose more danger than that. In Missouri particularly, mosquitoes have shown to carry eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), a disease that is extremely dangerous for horses and humans.

Mosquitoes and Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Residents of Missouri first learned of the disease EEE in the summer of 2019. The disease first appeared in horses, with six horses dying in the state in just a matter of months. Mosquitoes can transmit this disease to humans and in the same amount of time, three humans lost their battle with the virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 30 percent of people that contract EEE die from the disease, and even those that survive it have continuing neurological problems.

EEE is not always fatal for humans, but those that contract it will likely become quite sick. Symptoms of EEE will start to appear within four to ten days of being bitten by an infected mosquito, and can include:

  • High fever
  • Intense headaches
  • Nausea, with or without vomiting
  • Chills
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Feelings of disorientation and confusion

Missouri is one of four states that has identified the disease. The other three include Massachusetts, New York, and Florida. Although there are only approximately seven infections found in humans throughout the entire country every year, research shows that number continues to increase, as well. There is also no current vaccine for humans, although one has been developed for horses.

Other Dangerous Diseases Mosquitoes Carry

Although EEE has been shown to have devastating effects in humans, it is not the only threat mosquitoes pose to Missouri residents. According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, West Nile virus is still a very large threat. Approximately 20 cases of West Nile virus have been reported every year in Missouri for the past five years, and approximately two people die from the virus every year in the state.

Other diseases mosquitoes may carry that also pose a threat to humans include malaria, the Zika virus, dengue, and the Chikungunya virus. The only way to eliminate the risk of contracting these diseases is to avoid being bitten by eliminating mosquitoes from the area.

Our Missouri Mosquito Control Specialists can Eliminate the Threat

Everyone in Missouri should be able to enjoy the beautiful weather without worrying about the threat mosquitoes pose. At Amco Ranger, our St. Charles mosquito control specialists can help. We know how to identify mosquito problems and remove them from your yard so you can take back control of it, and enjoy those barbecues again without worrying about your health. If you have a mosquito problem, call us today at (636) 223-8214 to schedule a free inspection.