Yes, it’s World Mosquito Day! And no one is celebrating. Instead, the day marks an international effort to raise awareness of the insect’s status as the world’s deadliest animal. Here in the U.S., a ranking of the Top 50 Cities for Mosquitoes was released today by Terminix, a provider of termite and pest control services and a ServiceMaster company. This year, Los Angeles earns the dubious honor of being the top U.S. city most infested with mosquitoes.
Los Angeles jumped from its number five ranking last year, while Dallas-Fort Worth fell to number two after two years at the top of the list. The remaining spots were followed by Houston, New York and Washington, D.C. in the top five respectively. Not surprisingly, the states of Texas and Florida dominated the list, with six and five cities in the total list of the top 50, respectively.
The Top 50
The ranking was created by compiling mosquito-specific data of services rendered at more than 300 Terminix branches across the country. The rankings represent Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) with the highest number of actual services between June 16, 2018 and June 15, 2019. The full list of the top 50 cities is:
|1. Los Angeles||26. Fresno, Calif.|
|2. Dallas-Fort Worth||27. St. Louis|
|3. Houston||28. West Palm Beach, Fla.|
|4. New York||29. San Diego|
|5. Washington, D.C.||30. Sacramento, Calif.|
|6. Atlanta||31. Louisville, Ky.|
|7. Philadelphia||32. Jacksonville, Fla.|
|8. Memphis, Tenn.||33. Columbus, Ohio|
|9. Baltimore||34. Tulsa, Okla.|
|10. Chicago||35. Shreveport, La.|
|11. Miami||36. Kansas City, Mo.|
|12. San Francisco||37. Jackson, Miss.|
|13. Boston||38. Cleveland|
|14. Orlando, Fla.||39. Tyler-Longview, Texas|
|15. Nashville, Tenn.||40. Birmingham, Ala.|
|16. Tampa, Fla.||41. Fort Smith, Ark.|
|17. San Antonio||42. Montgomery, Ala.|
|18. Phoenix||43. Baton Rouge, La.|
|19. Austin, Texas||44. Chattanooga, Tenn.|
|20. Oklahoma City||45. Honolulu|
|21. Little Rock, Ark.||46. Richmond, Va.|
|22. Mobile, Ala.||47. Corpus Christi, Texas|
|23. Indianapolis||48. Paducah, Ky.|
|24. Detroit||49. Milwaukee|
|25. Cincinnati||50. Denver|
More Than A Nuisance
While mosquito-borne diseases, such as malaria and Zika, kill millions each year across the globe, in the U.S. mosquitoes can transmit serious diseases such as West Nile virus and encephalitis.
Property owners should be particularly cautious as the U.S. experienced its highest level of precipitation in recorded history over a 12-month period this summer. Such heavy rains can lead to increased standing water for mosquitoes to breed, unleashing higher than normal mosquito populations.
In addition to transmitting serious illnesses, mosquitoes are also a significant nuisance for Americans. According to a recent study by Terminix, most Americans find mosquitoes more annoying than alarm clocks, backseat drivers, and being interrupted.
Mosquito Control Tips
To help reduce mosquito populations and decrease the availability of potential breeding sites, landscapers should follow these tips from Terminix when servicing a customer’s property:
- Keep the lawn and landscape trimmed and free of debris. Mosquitoes look for shaded and undisturbed places, like overgrown landscapes, to rest. Be sure to keep trees and shrubs properly maintained.
- Change water sources weekly. Mosquitoes need only a small amount of water to lay their eggs and reproduce. Regularly emptying items that hold water, such as bird baths, tire swings and dog bowls, can reduce opportunities for mosquito reproduction.
- Remove sources of standing water. Items often left in the lawn or near the house, such as lawn furniture, wood piles or buckets, can create harborage sites for mosquitoes. Talk to the property owners about decluttering to reduce the number of places mosquitoes can breed.
- Keep gutters clear. Maintaining the gutter system is an important step in mosquito control, as blocked gutters can hold water that allows mosquitoes to reproduce. Talk to property owners about clearing gutters of fallen leaves and other natural debris seasonally.
- Place fans in outdoor seating areas. Because mosquitoes are naturally weak fliers, they tend to avoid flying in windy conditions. Incorporate a place for fan use near outdoor seating areas as a helpful deterrence.