Harmful Effects of Mosquitoes

by Foxlogo

How are mosquitoes dangerous? Mosquitoes surprisingly cause more deaths in a day than sharks do in a century. They spread very harmful and even deadly diseases to animals, such as Heartworm and West Nile virus. Both of these can kill animals.  


ZikaWest Nile
The Zika virus is spread by different types of mosquitoes. in most cases if you come into contact with the Zika virus you may just get a fever, rash, joint pains, and red eyes.
but women that are pregnant and their babies get the bad side of the disease. It’s linked to a birth defect called microcephaly, which causes small heads and brain damage.

Areas where disease is spread: Brazil and other countries in South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia.
West Nile is also spread by a different type of mosquito .If you get a bite from a mosquito that's carrying this virus, you probably won't have any symptoms. Some people, though, get fever, joint pain, diarrhea, vomiting, or a rash.
Rare complications, like the brain infections called encephalitis or meningitis have been known to occur.

Areas where disease is spread: Every state except Alaska and Hawaii.

Diseases Spread by Mosquitoes by WebMD, Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on June 28, 2019 (https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/ss/slideshow-mosquito-borne-diseases)

What is malaria?  https://www.yourgenome.org/facts/what-is-malaria
Malaria is one of the most common infectious diseases and a worldwide health challenge.  

  • is a life-threatening disease caused by a  parasite
  • parasite is transmitted through the bite of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes
  • parasite is a microscopic, single-celled organism called Plasmodium.
  • most accurate way to diagnose malaria is by:
    • taking a drop of blood
    • smearing it on a slide 
    • examine it under a microscope to look for malaria parasites inside the red blood cells

Here is a link that shows a simplified Life Cycle of Malaria Parasites

Source: Trends in Parasitology: Plasmodium falciparum., Volume 35, Issue 6, June 2019, Pages 481-482  (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1471492218302484)

Here is an excellent video on  how Malaria is transmitted..
Malaria: an introduction 

Latest Trends
For some of the latest information on malaria read the World Malaria Report 2019 (World Health Organization)

Heartworm Disease

Heartworm Life Cycle


  • transmitted by mosquitoes 
  • carrier mosquitoes bite a dog
  • inject tiny heartworm larvae into the dog’s bloodstream
  • microscopic larvae eventually settle in the dog’s heart
  • where they can grow to be 30 cm (12 inches) long
  • When the adult heartworms produce baby heartworms called microfilaria
  • the microfilaria circulate in the dog’s blood and are picked up by biting mosquitoes
  • The carrier mosquito bites a new victim and the cycle begins again

Even though heartworm is found in warmer areas, it is in Canada.

  • Heartworm occurs in warmer regions
  •  Temperatures have to be high enough for the microfilaria to survive inside the carrier mosquitoes
  •  High-risk areas in Canada are southern Ontario, southern Quebec Manitoba, and the Okanagan in British Columbia
  • Heartworm is also found in most US states
  • Believed that heartworms are unable to survive the severe temperatures in Alberta and Saskatchewan
  • Only a  few cases are diagnosed in these provinces every year
  • To date they have all been dogs that have visited or lived in heartworm risk areas