Insect Bites

Insects like mosquitoes and ticks can spread diseases such as West Nile Virus or Lyme disease. Protect yourself by preventing insect bites.

  • Mosquito species that are known to spread Zika virus are not found in Washington State.
  • Mosquitoes in Washington may carry West Nile virus, western equine encephalitis, and St. Louis encephalitis.
  • Ticks in Washington State may carry Lyme disease, tick-borne relapsing fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other diseases.
  • Learn more about preventing tick bites.


Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are not only a nuisance, they also carry diseases that can threaten your health. Mosquitoes in Washington State may carry West Nile Virus, western equine encephalitis, and St. Louis encephalitis. The two types of mosquitoes that are known to carry and spread the Zika virus to humans are not found in Washington State.


Ticks

Ticks are small insect parasites that can spread diseases to people such as Lyme disease, tick-borne relapsing fever, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. People who spend time working, camping, walking, or hunting in wooded, brushy, or grassy places are more at risk of being bitten by ticks.

Learn more about how to safely remove a tick and help public health partners in Washington State identify it.


Other Insect Pests

Lice and bed bugs don't spread diseases, but they can be a nuisance and cause itching, sores, and discomfort. Learn more from the Washington State Department of Health.


Protect Yourself

You can reduce your risk of disease by avoiding insect bites. Take these steps to prevent bites:

  • Reduce areas where insects could breed by getting rid of places that can hold standing water, like buckets, plastic covers, old tires, or toys. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a cup of standing water.
  • Use insect repellent.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants when you are outside in areas where mosquitoes or ticks are common, such as woods or wetlands.

Integrated Pest Management IPM is a way to control pests in a way that keeps people, pets, and the environment healthy and safe by focusing on prevention and limiting the use of chemicals. Learn more about how to use IPM to control insects at home or work.

If you have an insect infestation that you can't control, you can contact a licensed pest control agency to help.