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If you’re planning on visiting Las Vegas, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with more than the city’s attractions, hotels, and restaurants. You’ll also want to learn about Las Vegas weather and its effect on local mosquito populations. But are there a lot of mosquitoes in Las Vegas?
While generally, there are not many mosquitoes in Las Vegas, occasional rainy weather can cause a rise in humidity and form puddles of standing water, creating ideal conditions for mosquitoes to breed. These conditions, however, are short-lived and are most likely during the spring and early fall.
Before you visit Vegas, check out this informative guide to understand when mosquitoes are most prevalent and what you can do to limit your contact with them.
How the Las Vegas Climate Affects Mosquito Populations
Las Vegas is essentially an oasis, as it’s located north of the Mojave Desert, east of Death Valley, and just south of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge. In short, it’s surrounded by dry, sandy deserts.
Consequently, Las Vegas has a naturally hot and dry climate. This type of climate doesn’t generally lend itself well to mosquitoes.
After all, most mosquitoes need warm, humid environments to flourish. These flying, blood-sucking insects reproduce by laying eggs in still water, so dry locales tend to be relatively mosquito-free. But Las Vegas itself isn’t nearly as dry as its surrounding areas.
Las Vegas Has Some Standing Water
Even though it’s located in the desert, the city of Las Vegas does have areas of standing water.
The Fountains at Bellagio spray water 460 ft (140 m) into the air, and there are also the Venetian Resort’s dual canals. These canals hold more than 800,000 gallons (about 3,028,329 liters) of water!
Though the city has dedicated itself to reducing water use and waste, there’s still a decent amount of standing water throughout Las Vegas. The good news, however, is that the fountains and other bodies of water around The Strip are treated and filtered. Thus they are not typically a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Where you’re most likely to encounter mosquitoes in and around Las Vegas is when you are out in nature.
Las Vegas is situated less than 40 miles (about 64.4 km) northwest of the Colorado River, Lake Mead, and the Hoover Dam, all nearby water hotspots. The Las Vegas wash also runs through the city itself.
All of this water is an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes under the right conditions and are where you would be most likely to encounter these biting insects.
Temperature Also Affects Mosquito Populations
Temperatures throughout Las Vegas tend to be above 80°F (26.7°C) for most of the year, from April through October. At these temperatures, mosquito populations would normally flourish.
Fortunately, the air is so dry in Las Vegas that it is difficult for mosquitoes to survive and breed. Also, during the colder months of the year, temperatures can drop to 27°F (-2.7°C). Mosquitoes can’t survive these cool temperatures.
Dangers of Mosquitoes in Las Vegas
Itchiness is one of the most common side effects of dealing with mosquito bites. When a mosquito “bites” you to ingest your blood, it leaves behind a little of its saliva. This saliva contributes to the raised, itchy bumps covering your skin.
Applying topical treatments like calamine lotion can help reduce your urge to scratch. Additionally, taking an oral antihistamine can also help to lessen unpleasant itchiness. But unsightly red bumps and itchiness aren’t the only dangers mosquitoes pose.
Mosquitoes Can Spread West Nile Virus in Las Vegas
Las Vegas is part of Clark County, Nevada. Unfortunately, in 2021 some mosquitoes in this county tested positive for the West Nile virus.
West Nile virus is primarily transmitted via mosquito bites. There’s no vaccine or treatment for this virus. About 0.66% of all people (about 1 out of every 150) infected with it will develop serious signs of illness.
The last thing you want to do when enjoying a vacation or weekend getaway in Las Vegas is to develop a fever or require hospitalization.
As such, consider taking precautions against mosquitoes if heading out into some of the spectacular scenery that surrounds Las Vegas. Especially if you’re headed toward a destination with water or if there have been recent rains.
I’ve written an article with info about how often it rains in Las Vegas. Take a look!
How To Protect Yourself From Mosquitoes While in Las Vegas
There are several ways to protect yourself against mosquitoes while in Las Vegas. Some of the best options include:
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and thick socks while outdoors
- Applying a topical mosquito repellent before going outside
- Avoiding going outdoors during the dawn or dusk hours
- Only visit Las Vegas during the winter or late fall
Using a combination of techniques is the best way to raise the effectiveness of your protection. But not all these options could be right for you, especially when the weather is hot.
For example, donning a long-sleeved shirt, a thick pair of jeans, and a pair of woolly socks while exploring Las Vegas in the summertime is a recipe for uncomfortableness. It can leave you feeling overheated or contribute to heat stroke.
So, if you’re visiting during the summer months, a topical mosquito repellent might be the smarter option when heading out into nature.
It’s also a great idea to avoid areas of concern during the early morning hours and dusk. Many mosquito species are most active during these times.
Still, the best way to completely avoid mosquitoes in Las Vegas is to visit when the weather is cold. The only potential drawback of this decision is crowding, as many people tend to visit during the late fall and winter seasons.
Mosquitoes And The Average Tourist in Vegas
The majority of visitors to Las Vegas will likely never encounter a mosquito. If you’re planning to explore the Strip and downtown areas, mosquitoes should be of no major concern.
If, however, you’re in Vegas shortly after a rainfall, and you plan to spend time at Lake Mead, Wetland Park, or any other natural areas, it may be possible for you to encounter a mosquito or two. Even then, the likelihood of encountering swarms of mosquitoes is relatively low.
Mosquitoes in Las Vegas – Conclusion
Nevada is known for its dry weather and expansive deserts, but Las Vegas can support mosquito populations from late spring to early fall if conditions are right.
Mosquitoes are most prevalent after rainfall, though you can find them around the city when temperatures are above 50°F and water is present.
Wearing long-sleeved shirts and applying mosquito repellent before heading out to the wilds around Vegas is an excellent way to avoid mosquitoes and the diseases they may carry. You can also visit Las Vegas during the cooler months to limit your exposure to mosquitoes completely.