The Zombie Research Society’s resident Entomologist, Doug Pratt, has recently suggested a troubling scenario in the spread of the zombie infection.  Pratt notes that many blood-born illnesses are transferred by mosquitoes, and so too may zombieism.  Malaria, for example, is almost exclusively passed from one carrier to another in this manner.

One hurdle to overcome with this theory is that mosquitoes do not feed on dead animals or people, which suggests that zombies would not be part of their diet.  According to Discover Magazine, even the fact that the undead are up and moving about doesn’t seem to change their status in the eyes of the mosquito:

“Mosquitoes use various cues to find food, but above all they are olfactory creatures.  Breath and body vapors draw them to their animal hosts, as well as body temperature.”

Therefore, it stands to reason that a cold, rotting zombie would look nothing like a living, breathing human to a mosquito.

But Pratt’s real concern is the possibility that a newly infected person – still alive and kicking – may be able to spread the infection before (s)he even shows any signs of being sick.  If that were the case, and if the zombie incubation period is as long as days or weeks, then entire populations could be infected before anyone even knows there’s a problem.

For the sake of the human race, let’s hope Pratt is wrong.


  1. If it takes a set volume of the virus to overcome an immunity and a bite instantly transmits said volume it stands to reason that the bite has an enhanced for of the bacteria found in the human mouth naturally.
    This is know to cause particularly nasty infections, this alone could compromise your immune system and activate said virus.
    This being said it could go either way at this point. Say the mosquito has malaria AND the zombie virus in her abdomen and you get them both in one bite.
    Or as a true carrier she lays a clutch of 100 eggs those hatch and the larve are eaten by fish and birds.
    This generates a food chain cycle that ends with food stores being contaminated irreparably.
    If you look beyond a closed loop this thing could get out of hand way faster than anyone would care to admit.
    If say a parasite bites a carrier then becomes a carrier the larval stage especially in intestinal worms, transmitted by mosquito could compromise and immune system enough to activate the virus.
    The possibilities become endless and horrifying beyond comprehension.

  2. As a Mosquito Control Technician, I am fully prepared to believe the eventual Zombie Apocalypse will begin with the initial disease being spread by mosquitos. I am also fully prepared to be welcomed as a conquering hero when I arrive in my truck to adulticide. Please feel free to shower me with gifts.

  3. could the first infected person be caused by a rat bite infecting the blood..the mosquito sucking the blood .before the person dies….passing it to another and another.

  4. Mosquitoes would still be a threat. Sure, they may not feed on dead animals or zombies, but what if a survivor got bitten or infected with the zombie virus some how? To the mosquito they would still find the survivor appetizing because they’re still alive. My guess would be that mosquitoes would still feed on the infected survivor until the virus starts taking a hold of the person. Maybe then the insects wouldn’t find them appealing to feed on? But then again…the whole reason mosquitoes carry diseases and virus is because they usually become infected from feeding on infected birds. So that’s not going to stop them from feeding on infected humans and carrying the virus. You’re best bet is to just carry a bunch of bug spray and/or natural remedies/items to repel them.

  5. the plague is already among us you just dont realise it!!!

  6. if the mosquito pulled blood from an infected person, then wouldn’t it be infected also? therefore creating an zombie mosquito? Thinking only that humans can get infected by this is fools thought, so we must think on the abtributes of a zombie mosquito and would it really suck blood from other victums, or try something completely different, or so is my theory.

    • That’s good in theory however there are a lot of diseases that are simply carried by other species but don’t infect them.

  7. I’ve been thinking about whether or not zombies can actually be dead and still be able to walk, grab, bite and such. I think it would come down to whether or not dead muscles have the ability to contract. If they don’t, then I would assume that zombies would be alive. If muscles are able to contract even after death, then how would the virus obtain/generate the energy required to create those contractions? I agree that we always have more questions than answers. I suppose we’ll never know for sure until it happens. Perhaps there are different parts to the virus, kind of like how even though every part of our body contains our genetic information, a muscle cell cannot be a neuron. And as our cells are derived from precursor cells that have the ability to adapt into other types of cells, it might be a possibility for a precursor zombie virus to enter a human body, then multiply and specialize into a control center in the brain, a digestive center in the stomach/mouth, and maybe a nervous center to relay electrical impulses to the bodies’ muscles. That way, a zombie could still survive if you chopped its arm off, rather than bleeding to permanent death. I’m curious to see what you think of this idea, whether it is actually possible, or nothing more than wild speculation.

  8. What if the misqueto feeds of a carrier?? A person who carries the infection yet doesn’t show symptoms or signs from the virus??

  9. As stateed in the zombie survival guide that the blood in the zombie will be coagulated than I think that there is no chance that a misquito couldn’t transfer the virus

    • The article is speaking about mosquitoes transferring blood from an infected person who is not sick yet, and has not turned into a zombie. This is someone who is still alive.

  10. But bacterial born illnesses can usually be prevented with proper hygenic methods and treated with antibiotics, surely zombieism could only be a viral infection!

  11. Have there ever been reports of zombified animals, or is this a human only virus? What conditions does the zombie gene need in order to survive? Can that gene exist outside a human host? Does a mosquito even make a viable host?

    Why stop at mosquitoes? Flies lay eggs in carcasses… maggots eat rotting flesh; would they become zombified as well, growing up into zombie flies? There’s a whole lot of biting flies in the world.

    • As far as I know the zombie virus is only compatible with the human brain and will just kill less advanced creatures.

    • Zombified maggots would not grow up. they would remain zombie maggots, just as zombie children don’t grow. The only possibility would be that the Maggots merely carry/transfer the virus without becoming zombified.

      • The difference in children remaining children and maggots remaining maggots is that the maggots do genetically change; just as a zombie virus alters the body’s make-up, so to does the differing larvae stages. I would think that a maggot would still become a fly if infected.

        But then again, this would also reflect on whether or not the host dies, or is just biologically altered. If the host dies, then yes, a maggot cannot become a fly.

        On a side note…

        If the host dies, a mosquito is not limited to its normal hunting abilities, but would exhibit the traits of a zombie; it won’t be reliant on its ability to smell the carbon being emitted by a living creature. With this, items such as Deep Woods Off would become useless, as they just mask the odor that attracts mosquitoes.

    • Yes, they made zombie rats

      Till death rips you apart
      – James Sample, Zombie Enthusiast

    • In Germany Zombie ants have been found. They are infected by fungus spores

  12. While, as Dan mentioned above, ZSG is only a series of theories, it does suggest that if an animal gets any of the zombie virus in it the animal will simply die and not reanimate, so there may be little or no threat here at all, depending on how quickly the virus kills the mosquito.

  13. As an Entomologist myself I have often wondered about this

  14. i personally find it hard to say that the amount of blood dropped by a mosquito would be enough to transmit the virus. i feel the strength of that virus that gets in your blood would most likely be killed if you took anti-biotics or something.

    • I really like the idea of this, just how powerful is this kind of virus or contagion? As soon as a drop of blood gets in your system you’re done for? That just seems unlikely to me. Just as how as soon as the incubation period being unlikely that it’s that fast, i feel like it’s pretty unlikely that that much of it would do that much damage. I would even be open to the idea that it would take more than one bite from a zombie depending on the circumstances.

  15. a zombie may be bitten before dead and then spread like joe said it may be until we die so another person would be a double threat when alive because if we kill them theyll become zombies and wed have to re-kill them so we would possibly not want to be in a group id take the risk for extra protection from the person while they were alive because they could help kill other zombies

  16. I’ve thought long and hard on this, but given your premise of an infected but still living victim I think a mosquito would indeed bite and therefore could indeed pass along the infection. Malaria and West Nile are transmitted through mosquitoes, it seems reasonable that other blood borne pathogens could also. Do we even have any hard evidence ruling out transmission of HIV via mosquitoes yet? If dental work can do it, I’d think a mosquito bite would have at least a small chance.

    • Oh, I agree. It is very possible, and very probable, that a mosquito would pass along the virus. In my theory, it wouldn’t matter because it would have already become a part of us.

      And I just remember something I read from the Zombie Survival Guide, animals won’t eat infected flesh. It specifically said dogs and cats, but if animals can sense the infection in the flesh and they are put off by it, it could stand to reason that mosquitoes might be the same way.

      And I’m only joking with this, but as a test, have a person walk through a room filled with mosquitoes. If they scatter or don’t even bite the seemingly healthy person, they are infected.

      • I mentioned the same possibility to Corey from the Midnight Podcast. Take a suspected infected person fishing or hunting in the outdoors. Anyone who doesn’t get bitten gets a headshot. 😉

        To be wholly scientific though, we’d need to experiment and verify for ourselves. The ZSG is an excellent resource but ultimately just a well-written series of theories.

      • The problem with the idea of mosquitoes as a test. . . I started a certain medication a few years ago. Since then I have not been bit more than three times.

  17. Here’s something I’ve heard elsewhere, I just can’t remember where. It is something that renders this whole discussion moot. We are all infected already. The parasite (whether virus or bacteria borne) either sits idle or is too weak to overcome our immune systems, but too strong for our body to get rid of.

    If it just sits idle, it somehow fools our body into thinking it belongs here, then when our death occurs, it’s biological programming kicks it into gear and reanimates us.

    In the other case, our immune systems continuously fight out the virus/bacteria, keeping us in a relatively healthy state; but the parasite is too strong to get rid of out right. At least at this point in time as such a cure/inoculation doesn’t exist.

    Now, when our body dies for whatever reason, the immune system is no longer there to fight off the parasite and it takes over.

    In this case, the virus/bacteria has already become prevalent in everyday life. It’s in the air, water, and land already. It’s in the animals and plants we eat by virtue of what they eat.

    If this is the case, then the only thing we can do is ask for a bullet to the brain orcremation when we die. That anybody who dies from now on, regardless of the circumstance will become a zombie.

  18. It would depend on the type of zombie. If you are talking about supernatural causes of zombification, then it is entirely possible that a zombie is a possessed corpse, and would therefore be dead, cold and rotting. However, a viral zombification would still require a beating heart to transmit the virus to the body to cause reanimation. While the realms of plausibility may or may not allow a virus to start a heart by itself, if it does, it will require heat to survive, and movement of blood around the body, and the use of muscles causes heat.

    A zombie virus is therefore entirely possible to be transmitted via insects.

    • Interesting insights, Whitehawk-

      One point of clarification: According to the Zombie Research Society, “A Zombie is a biologically definable, animated being occupying a human corpse.” The key phrase here is “biologically definable”. Because a corpse possessed by a supernatural entity is by definition no biologically definable, it is therefore not a Zombie, but rather a Demon, or some other mystical being.

      Your opinions about viruses open up a big can of worms that can’t be addressed in this reply. In short, a virus is defined as, “An intracellular parasite that does not have the molecular machinery to replicate without the host.” Plant viruses obviously don’t need a beating heart. Furthermore, bacterial born illnesses – not viruses, but no less deadly or infectious – often thrive in dead tissue.

      One thing is clear, trying to discover the true nature of Zombie physiology often leads to more questions than answers. So as always, more research is required.

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