Mosquitoes can be very annoying. Apart from the biting, buzzing, and bumps they also are infamous for spreading diseases, sometimes deadly! Not every mosquito carries diseases but there’s no way to tell which do and which don’t. So it’s better to be safe from all of them. Mosquitoes in Massachusetts are most active during the warmer months, typically from late spring to early fall. The two primary diseases that Massachusetts’s mosquitoes are known for are West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).

What is West Nile Virus (WNV)?

West Nile Virus is a virus that infects the birds first. Mosquitoes become the carriers of this disease and spread it to humans and other animals. 80% of people who are infected by the virus show no symptoms therefore it becomes difficult to diagnose it initially. About 20% of the infected people might show mild symptoms like fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and occasionally a skin rash, which can last for a few days to several weeks. Sometimes, WNV can lead to neurological conditions and can turn fatal in older individuals and individuals with compromised immune systems (the risk of severe illness and death is highest for people over 50 years old).

Mild Symptoms of West Nile Virus:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain

Severe Symptoms of West Nile Virus:

  • High fever
  • Stiff neck
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Tremors or muscle weakness
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis

In some severe cases, WNV can lead to neurological complications, including encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord).

What is Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)?

EEE is a rare mosquito-borne viral infection that mosquitoes spread in humans and horses through birds. Birds serve as a natural reservoir for the EEE virus. The mortality rate of EEE is very high almost 50%. The people who combat the virus are left with permanent neurological damage. Common symptoms may include fever, headache, stiff neck, chills, and muscle aches. As the disease progresses, individuals may experience more severe symptoms such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). Severe cases of EEE can also result in seizures and coma. People over the age of 50, kids, and people with weaker immune systems are at a higher risk of getting infected. 

Mild Symptoms of EEE:

  • Sudden onset of fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Fatigue

Severe Symptoms of EEE:

  • Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)
  • Severe headache
  • High fever
  • Stiff neck
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Tremors or muscle weakness
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Coma

How to prevent West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis?

There is no specific antiviral medication for West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. In addition to that, there are also no vaccines for these viruses. Both of these viruses require supportive care and sometimes the individual needs to be hospitalized. Well, the best way to go about it is to prevent these viruses rather than cure them.

Preventative measures you can take against mosquitoes to save yourself from West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis;

  • Use a mosquito repellent

It's crucial to use an EPA-approved mosquito repellent on exposed skin while going out during dusk or dawn. It's also important to wear the repellent at night when you sleep as mosquito activity is at its peak during that time.

  • Wear protective clothing

Wearing protective clothing like trousers, socks, and full sleeves is important when going out camping. You can also wear clothing treated with permethrin, a mosquito repellent. Ideally, you should limit your outdoor time during peak mosquito season/time. However, if you do go outside take care of the above things. 

  • Eliminate standing water

It is common knowledge that still water is an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. Make sure the standing water in your homes (flowerpots, birdbaths, etc) is well maintained. Make sure the gutters around your house are not clogged.

  • Install window screens

Consider installing window screens if you don’t already. They are very effective in preventing mosquitoes from entering your home.

These measures are not a foolproof guarantee to save you from mosquito bites. A mosquito can still bite you after all this. So what can be done more to safeguard you and your family against these tiny creatures? Well, a definitive way to get rid of mosquitoes from your home is to call a pest control service like RidAway. 

RidAway is an expert when it comes to pest control. This is how their comprehensive strategy works:

  1. Identify Intruder

Find out who is invading you to determine the best defense.


  1. Identify Cause

Find out what brought them here to stop them from returning


  1. Identify Solution

Find out the best method of treatment to get rid of the intruder


  1. Identify Preventions

Find out preventative measures to guard against another invasion

RidAway is state-licensed and industry certified, uses biologically friendly pesticides that leave your home safe to return to and provides quick solutions to urgent problems. It can periodically visit your home to ensure there are no invaders.

For a quick solution to an urgent intrusion, RidAway is ready to come to your rescue.