Wondering if mosquitoes are bad in las vegas? Despite the dry desert climate, there are mosquitoes in Southern Nevada and in the Las Vegas Valley, and these mosquitoes have been known to spread West Nile Virus and St. Louis Encephalitis. Although, like most mosquitoes, they tend to stay away from well-populated cities, which means the tourist destinations are usually less affected.
So, you’ve packed your bags, gotten your plane tickets, and gotten copious amounts of your money changed into only ones – time to head to Vegas, the baby! But wait, have you packed your mosquito repellent? More importantly, do you need to?
So, West Nile virus and St Louis Encephalitis… When asking the question of how bad mosquitoes are in Las Vegas, we should probably start by exploring how bad the diseases such as West Nile virus and St Louis Encephalitis can be before we discuss how to keep those pesky bloodsuckers away in Las Vegas.
Related Reading: Mosquitoes, Are They Herbivores or Omnivores? [FIND OUT]
West Nile virus
Let’s start with the West Nile virus. Although it does seem that whilst there are fewer mosquitoes in the desert, a higher proportion of them carries this virus from feeding off infected birds.
It isn’t all terrible, though because it is not contagious from human to human – you can only get it from an infected mozzie bite – and if you do get it, the likelihood is that the infection will go away on its own without any need for medical intervention.
If you get the West Nile virus, the chances are that unless you are over 50 years old, or have another condition that weakens your immune system such as diabetes, cancer, or hypertension, all that will happen is that you’ll feel a bit sick, get a rash and develop some mild flu-like symptoms. However, it’s important to keep in mind anyway, because if you develop any of these symptoms:
- Disorientation or confusion
- Muscle weakness
Then you’re going to need some extra help.
St Louis Encephalitis
Moving on to St Louis Encephalitis; most people who get this one also won’t experience any symptoms at all and can only be spread by the bite of an infected mosquito, which is the good news.
The bad news is that if you do experience symptoms, then this one is even worse, with some of its milder symptoms being:
If you’re especially unlucky, you could potentially develop a neuroinvasive disease based on this one – which is when your nervous system gets inflamed – with some examples being encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and meningitis (inflammation of the membranes around the spinal cord and brain). There is also no known vaccine or cure, so… Yeah, be careful with this one.
Well, that was horrifying, wasn’t it? What can we do to prevent ourselves from getting such nasty diseases whilst out partying in Vegas? There are a few things:
Keep To Tourist Hotspots
There is hope for most of you who have become frightened reading the first half of this article – if you’re planning to go to Vegas and party, then there’s a good chance you’re not hanging in the same places the bugs are.
Mosquitoes are less frequent in cities because cities often create drafts that the mosquitoes can’t adapt to. For example, a car going past would create enough change in the air for a mosquito to be unable to adapt to it.
There are so few mosquitoes in the city of Las Vegas itself that many locals are convinced that they don’t have them at all, so if you’re heading to the city of sin, chances are the bugs won’t be following you in there.
This one is a no–brainer. If you’re still worried or plan to head out into other parts of Nevada where the bugs might be, then here’s a handy little list of our best-recommended insect repellents:
- Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
- Picaridin (AKA KBR 3023 or Icaridin if you’re not in America)
- Lavender Oil
- Citronella Oil
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This might not be the most desirable in a desert, but if you want to keep the mosquitoes from biting you, one of the best and simplest ways is to bring some long sleeve shirts and pants. Make sure that these garments are not only long, but loose and thick – a mosquito could still bite through your clothing if it’s skin-tight, and if what you’re wearing is very thin, then the same problem.
You could also wash them with the insecticide Permethrin for an extra level of protection – this repellent lasts several washes and lingers on your clothes to keep bloodsuckers away (please note that it’s only supposed to go on your clothing, not on your skin!)
Also, don’t just cover yourself, but cover your windows and doors with screens to keep them outside. Pack or buy a mosquito net to hang over your bed for another layer of protection whilst you sleep (but be sure to sleep with a little space between you and the net – they can still bite you through the net if you’re sleeping right next to it!). A mosquito net can also be treated with Permethrin as well, just to be extra safe!
When using a mosquito net, there are a few things to do to use it correctly:
- Tuck the net under your mattress
- Hook or tie it somewhere if it ever sags – it needs to be taut
- Make sure there are no holes anywhere in the net
- Don’t allow it anywhere close to open flames (candles, cigarettes, etc) or it will catch alight
- Remember to give yourself enough space so you don’t end up pressed against the net as you sleep; they can bite you through it if you’re close enough.
Related Reading: Are Mosquitoes Bad in Japan?
Las Vegas, despite being a desert, isn’t free from mosquitoes, and although they are incredibly rare in the city itself, they are present, and possibly a lot more dangerous than many think, being able to spread diseases like West Nile virus and St Louis Encephalitis.
However, you can easily keep yourself safe by staying in the cities where they’re not likely to appear, covering yourself in insect repellent or thick, loose clothing, and making sure you have screens or mosquito nets protecting you as you sleep.