Moist, warm climates are the mosquito breeding ideal.
Therefore, if you encountered an influx of mosquitoes this summer, the weather played a role. For instance, July 2022 was the second hottest and eighth warmest on record in Nashville. Mosquitoes were abuzz in the summer of 2022, but can there still be mosquitoes now that we have entered October? Are we at risk for mosquito-borne illnesses, like West Nile virus this time of year?
Unfortunately, in neighboring North Carolina, Cumberland County officials say there are two confirmed cases of West Nile virus in the county and are encouraging residents to take precautions to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses.
As Hurricane Ian hit the United States last Friday, on September 30, 2022, the first West Nile related death in North Carolina was reported. The state had nine confirmed cases of West Nile Virus and more reports that were being investigated. Since 2012, the number of cases reported per year ranged from zero to 10 in North Carolina, The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said.
If you’re wondering if mosquitoes are bad in Tennessee, too, the answer is yes. Nashville ranks as one of the worst cities for mosquitoes in the southeast area primarily due to extended periods of rain which creates favorable breeding conditions for the pests.
Are mosquitoes bad in Tennessee? Due to the saturation of mosquitoes in Music City, Nashville has also become a home for the West Nile virus, which first made its rounds in Tennessee in 2002 with 56 cases. A few months ago, a West Nile Virus case was detected in middle Tennessee. It was confirmed by a state veterinarian who made the diagnosis of a 22 year old horse in Smith County, a mere 55 miles away from Nashville.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say most infected people have either no symptoms or a mild illness similar to the flu, but about 1 in 5 will develop a fever with symptoms that include headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or a rash.
Mosquitoes in October are plausible in our region.
Due to the recent West Nile Virus death there, our eastern neighbors in North Carolina have been issued a warning regarding rainfall and mosquitoes, with one death from West Nile virus now in the books. Residents and visitors are encouraged to take precautions to prevent mosquito-borne illness, especially with heavy rainfall expected in the coming days with the toll of climate change increasing.
About 20% of people who are infected with West Nile Virus will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. In about 1% of cases, West Nile Virus can cause more serious conditions, including encephalitis, meningitis, meningoencephalitis and possibly death.
If it’s warm and rainy, be sure you are protected from mosquito bites.
With average temperatures ranging between 72º and 49º, mid-day outdoor activities are a great way to celebrate the joys and colors of autumn. When outside for extended periods of time – especially near damp and grassy areas – be sure to protect yourself as mosquitoes are bad in Tennessee, even this time of year.
Be sure to wear a personal mosquito repellent, especially in the morning and evening hours. Early autumn visits to Nashville pumpkin patches, hayrides, and horseback riding stables could become areas where mosquitoes are bad in Tennessee.