We’ve all heard it: that annoying buzzing sound at dusk as your bringing horses to the barn. The heat and humidity of summer provides peak conditions for mosquitos to flourish and wreak havoc on horses and their owners.

These insects aren’t just annoying—they can also transmit several potentially deadly diseases that affect both you and your horses. In last week’s online poll, we asked our readers which equine mosquito-borne disease concerned them the most. More than 250 people responded, and we’ve tallied the results!

Of the 274 respondents, 201 (73%) said they are most concerned about West Nile virus (WNV), and another 49 individuals (18%) are most concerned about Eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE). Some 16 people (6%) said they’re most worried about Western equine encephalomyelitis (WEE), and the remaining eight respondents (3%) find Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis (VEE) the most concerning.   

Additionally, more than 45 people commented about their mosquito-borne disease concerns:

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Several people shared which mosquito-borne diseases are most concerning based on their locations:

  • “EEE is the most dangerous on the East Coast. We vaccinate twice yearly for EEE and also WNV.”
  • “Due to my location, WNV and EEE are most concerning.”
  • “Actually, West Nile and WEE, as well as EEE.”
  • “I’m concerned about all of them. My horse receives vaccinations for each one.”
  • “WNV is so common in Arizona, but all horses are vaccinated against all the above.”
  • “I live in Florida … all of them!”
  • “We have EEE here in Massachusetts, so we always vaccinate for all the core stuff.”
  • “West Nile is the concern and I vaccinate for it.”
  • “Arizona has a high incidence of West Nile every year, so I vaccinate religiously.”
  • “All but West Nile seems to be most prevalent currently where I am.”
  • “WNV because it spread fast in the United States. Not too many ‘skeeters’ in the desert, but still vaccinate for it.”
  • “WNV and EEE are of biggest concern, but vaccinate for all.”

[brightcove videoid="3151235477001" title="Health Alert: West Nile Virus"]

Others shared their prevention strategies:   

  • “They all concern me. However, I have my vet vaccinate for those needed. It’s too late when the horse is ill.”
  • “West Nile but I always vaccinate for Eastern/Western.”
  • “I eliminate standing water; empty, clean, and refill troughs every three days max.; and vaccinate.”
  • “Always vaccinate! Also, apply fly/mosquito spray.”
  • “My horses are vaccinated two times yearly.”
  • “I vaccinate as vet recommends."
  • “I keep my horse up-to-date on all his vaccinations: PHF, WN, E/W/V, rabies, etc.”
  • “To prevent WNV, I booster vaccines each year, keep no standing water, and make property very inviting to natural mosquito predators.”
  • “Very few mosquitos at high-desert altitude. Keep troughs clean and dump all standing water.”
  • “WNV and WEE, EEE. I vaccinate annually for all and use mosquito control and generous fly spray.”
  • “Timely vaccination is the first line of defense, but eradicating mosquito breeding is a close second.”
  • “All mosquito-borne diseases are concerning. We eliminate standing water near barns and use fly spray.”
  • “Stay diligent in housekeeping practices and vaccinations, also use mosquito magnets.”
  • “Vaccinate twice for all due to short vaccine efficacy and long mosquito season.”

[brightcove videoid="3127291880001" title="Health Alert: EEE, WEE, VEE"]

And a couple respondents left other comments:   

  • “One of the horses at the farm I used to board at got West Nile virus. Luckily he recovered.”
  • “Not concerned with something I can vaccinate for. I’m more concerned with Lyme and tick-borne here.”

You can find additional information about mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalomyelitis, Western equine encephalomyelitis, and Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis, get tips for training your horse to accept fly spray, learn about natural horse farm insect and pest control, and more at TheHorse.com!

This week, we want to know: Does your hoof care professional use radiographs (X rays) taken by your veterinarian to inform how he or she trims and/or shoes your horse? Vote now and share your comments at TheHorse.com/polls!  

The results of our  weekly polls  are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them.  Sign up for our e-newsletters  on our homepage and look for a new poll on  TheHorse.com.