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9 Types of Mosquitoes in Tennessee

Female mosquito

If you live in a warm state like Tennessee, mosquitos are just a part of life. But did you know there are nine different types of mosquitoes in the state?

They can all spread diseases, so it’s a good idea to get familiar with what’s out there. Here are the nine different mosquito types that you can find in the Volunteer State, along with helpful tips to keep these pesky bugs away from you.

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The 9 Common Types of Mosquitoes in Tennessee

1. Asian Bush Mosquito

Asian Bush Mosquito
Image Credit: Astrid Gast, Shutterstock
Scientific Name Aedes japonicus
Common Diseases La Crosse encephalitis virus

While the Asian bush mosquito isn’t originally from the United States, this invasive bug seems like it’s here to stay. It has a presence in at least 30 states, and Tennessee is one of them. It has white markings on their legs and body that help you tell it apart from other mosquito species out there.

2. Asian Tiger (Forest) Mosquito

Asian Tiger (Forest) Mosquito
Image Credit: WikiImages, Pixabay
Scientific Name Aedes albopictus
Common Diseases La Crosse encephalitis virus, Zika, dengue, and chikungunya virus

The Asian tiger mosquito is another invasive mosquito species that you can find in Tennessee. This is a black mosquito with white stripes along the legs and body, and that’s how it gets the tiger name.

Compared to other mosquitos, the Asian tiger mosquito is an aggressive biter and will take just about any opportunity it gets to feed.

3. Eastern Tree Hole Mosquito

Scientific Name Aedes triseriatus
Common Diseases La Crosse encephalitis virus

While the first two entries on our list are invasive species to Tennessee, that’s not the case with the eastern tree hole mosquito. In fact, it’s native to Tennessee and an invasive species in Europe.

The most concerning fact about this mosquito is its tendency to spread La Crosse encephalitis virus. Fortunately, this virus is usually mild and doesn’t have long-term consequences.

4. Malaria Mosquito

Malaria Mosquito
Image Credit: nuzree, Pixabay
Scientific Name Anophelese quadrimaculatus
Common Diseases Malaria

The aptly named malaria mosquito lives in Tennessee, but fortunately, malaria is a rare occurrence in the United States.

The malaria mosquito has a small body and is one of the most prevalent mosquitoes in the state.

5. Northern House Mosquito

Northern House Mosquito
Image Credit: Anest, Shutterstock
Scientific Name Culex pipiens
Common Diseases West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis virus, and eastern equine encephalitis virus

If you’re looking for the most prevalent mosquito in Tennessee, it’s the northern house mosquito. It has a small body with long legs and thrives in and around standing water. While most of these mosquitoes are around 3 to 4 millimeters in length, they can reach sizes up to 7 millimeters.

They also can carry a wide range of diseases, so you need to be careful around these mosquitoes and do your best to keep them from biting you.

6. Southern House Mosquito

Southern House Mosquito
Image Credit: Vinicius R. Souza, Shutterstock
Scientific Name Culex quinquefasciatus
Common Diseases West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis virus, and eastern equine encephalitis virus

With Tennessee straddling the middle of the country, it’s no surprise that you can find both northern and southern house mosquitoes there. The southern house mosquito is extremely similar to the northern house mosquito, even down to the diseases that it can spread.

7. Western Encephalitis Mosquito

Western Encephalitis Mosquito (Culex tarsalis)
CulexTarsalis 4561 (Image Credit: Davefoc, Wikimedia Commons CC 4.0 International)
Scientific Name Culex tarsalis
Common Diseases West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis virus, and eastern equine encephalitis virus

While you can find the western encephalitis mosquito in Tennessee, they’re far more common just over the state’s western border. They love warmer weather, so you’re more likely to encounter these mosquitoes in Tennessee during the summer months.

They spread many different diseases, with the most common being the eastern equine encephalitis virus. This occurs when a mosquito bites a human after it bites an infected horse.

8. White-Dotted Mosquito

White-Dotted Mosquito
Image Credit: frank60, Shutterstock
Scientific Name Culex restuans
Common Diseases West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis virus, and eastern equine encephalitis virus

While some people have begun to refer to the Asian tiger mosquito as the white-dotted mosquito, that name already belongs to another species. This white-dotted mosquito is a native species in the United States and has a year-long presence from central Canada all the way down to central Mexico.

It spreads various diseases, and in Tennessee, one of the most concerning is the eastern equine encephalitis virus.

9. Yellow Fever Mosquito

Yellow Fever Mosquito
Image Credit: CreativesolutionisT, Pixabay
Scientific Name Aedes aegypti
Common Diseases Zika, dengue, chikungunya virus, and yellow fever

If you leave standing water out long enough, it’s only a matter of time until you attract yellow fever mosquitos. They have white dots along their legs and around their bodies, and they can spread far more diseases than just yellow fever, including Zika and dengue.

garden flower divider Tips for Preventing Mosquito Bites

Due to the sheer number of diseases that mosquitoes can spread, it’s best to avoid bites if at all possible. Another benefit of keeping mosquitoes away is that you won’t have to deal with the irritating bumps that they cause.

There are a few different things that you can do to help keep mosquitoes away. First, clean up any areas of standing water as quickly as possible. These are prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Second, cover up. Mosquitoes feed on exposed skin; otherwise, they have no reason to come near you.

Finally, use a top-notch bug repellent. There are plenty of options out there, and while none is completely foolproof, they do a great job of keeping most mosquitoes away.

Blue lamp mosquito trap
Image Credit: TunedIn by Westend61, Shutterstock

How to Treat Mosquito Bites

If a mosquito does bite you, there are a few things that you can do to treat it. According to the CDC, you should start by washing the area with soap and water. From there, you can apply an ice pack to reduce swelling and make the area less itchy.

Another homemade solution to help with the itchiness is to mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with enough water to make a paste. Apply it to the affected area, and then wash it off after 10 minutes. Do not scratch the affected area, as this can lead to an infection around the bite.

hiker applying mosquito reppelant
Image Credit: encierro, Shutterstock

When to Seek Further Treatment

While mosquito bites can be annoying, you don’t want to rush off to the doctor every time one bites you. Instead, you should only seek out further treatment from a medical professional if the bite causes fevers, headaches, or body aches or if the area becomes infected.

If you know what kind of mosquito bit you, tell the doctor. If you don’t know, that’s fine, as the doctor can run tests to figure out everything that they need to know.

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Now that you know about all the different types of mosquitoes in Tennessee, all that’s left is for you to invest in a great bug spray to help keep them away.

While the bites might seem like minor annoyances at first, the last thing that you want is for a mosquito to spread a disease to you when you could’ve kept them away with a few simple precautions.

Featured Image Credit: FotoshopTofs, Pixabay


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