by Brianna Crandall — June 19, 2017 — The Atlanta area tops pest control provider Orkin’s list of Top 50 Mosquito Cities for the fourth year in a row. The list appears below, as well as a comparison with the Terminix list previously covered on FMLink. Atlanta is followed on the list by Washington, DC and Chicago. Twenty-one metro areas in the Southeast are included in the ranking, which is the most of any region in the United States.
Orkin entomologist Mark Beavers, Ph.D., who recently participated in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2017 Aedes Vector Control Summit, a forum dedicated to improving mosquito control methods and reducing the risk of diseases such as Zika, stated:
Mosquitoes are a public health threat. Zika virus is currently one of the most notable illnesses that can be spread by mosquitoes, and it will likely be a problem again this year, especially in areas where the type of mosquito that can carry the virus thrives.
Mosquitoes are an issue across the United States and become more active as temperatures rise, with mosquito season often ranging from April to October.
Orkin’s Top 50 Mosquito Cities list ranks metro areas by the number of mosquito customers served from April 1, 2016, to March 31, 2017. The list includes both residential and commercial treatments.
Orkin’s Top 50 Mosquito Cities
- Atlanta, GA
- Washington, DC (+1)
- Chicago, IL (-1)
- New York, NY (+1)
- Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL (+8)
- Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX
- Houston, TX (+5)
- Detroit, MI (-4)
- Charlotte, NC (-1)
- Nashville, TN (-3)
- Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL (+11)
- Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, FL (+11)
- Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, VA (+1)
- Memphis, TN (-3)
- Mobile-Pensacola, FL (+11)
- West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FL (+15)
- Raleigh-Durham, NC (-8)
- Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, MI (-3)
- Boston, MA (-9)
- Phoenix, AZ
- Philadelphia, PA (+9)
- Greenville-Spartanburg, SC, Asheville, NC (-6)
- Richmond-Petersburg, VA (-2)
- Kansas City, MO (+25)
- Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH (-7)
- Louis, MO
- New Orleans, LA (+16)
- Baltimore, MD (+9)
- Los Angeles, CA
- Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN (-11)
- Hartford-New Haven, CT (-8)
- Lafayette, LA (+12)
- Knoxville, TN (+1)
- Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY (-17)
- Indianapolis, IN (-8)
- Birmingham, AL (+11)
- Austin, TX (+11)
- Cincinnati, OH (+7)
- San Antonio, TX
- Baton Rouge, LA
- Charleston, SC (-16)
- Shreveport, LA
- Columbia, SC
- Columbus, OH (-12)
- Bangor, ME (-16)
- Flint-Saginaw-Bay City, MI (-18)
- Greensboro-High Pt.-Winston-Salem, NC (-9)
- Myrtle Beach-Florence, SC (-2)
- Tulsa, OK (-13)
- Little Rock-Pine Bluff, AR
In order to give a fuller picture of the mosquito situation in the USA, we have included a comparison of the Top 20 in Orkin’s list with Terminix’s Top 20 list from FMLink’s June 7 article: “One list you don’t want your city to be on — Terminix’s Top 20 cities for mosquitoes.” As you can see, there is a lot of overlap between the two lists. Possible explanations for the differences could include how the combined cities are measured, and whether Orkin or Terminix or another pest control provider is most often called for help in a certain city, since the lists do not measure total calls to all pest control providers. Suffice it to say that if a city is listed in both, one will find mosquitoes there.
It should be noted that some places known for their swarms of mosquitoes do not appear on this list, probably because they have their own mosquito control organizations, such as the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District around the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area in Minnesota.
|City||Orkin Results||Terminix Results|
|Boston, MA||#19||not in Top 20|
|Charlotte, NC||#9||not in Top 20|
|Chicago, IL||#3||not in Top 20|
|Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX||#6||#1|
|Detroit, MI||#8||not in Top 20|
|Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, MI||#18||not in Top 20|
|Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL||#5||#5|
|Mobile-Pensacola, FL||#15||not in Top 20|
|New York, NY||#4||not in Top 20|
|Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, VA||#13||not in Top 20|
|Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, FL||#12||not in Top 20|
|Phoenix, AZ||#20||not in Top 20|
|Raleigh-Durham, NC||#17||not in Top 20|
|Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL||#11||#13|
|West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, FL||#16||not in Top 20|
Despite the emergence of Zika virus in recent years, many Americans remain unconcerned, notes Orkin. A recent Gallup poll found that 90 percent of Americans believe they are unlikely to contract Zika virus, but the CDC has confirmed more than 5,000 cases in the United States since January 2015, with more than 220 transmitted in the USA.
One of the best strategies for eliminating Zika virus in the United States is to reduce populations of the Aedes aegypti mosquito that can carry and spread it, says Orkin. The Aedes aegypti (commonly called the yellow fever mosquito) mosquito has been found in more than 20 states from coast to coast. Unlike other mosquito species, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes bite during the day and night.
There is no treatment, cure or vaccine for Zika virus, so the primary protection is avoiding mosquito bites. Zika virus isn’t the only serious illness that mosquitoes can spread, as they are known transmitters of West Nile virus, chikungunya virus, dengue and malaria.
Reducing items that attract mosquitoes and actively working to prevent them from reproducing and moving inside the home are the best protection from mosquito bites.
Female mosquitoes are attracted to a multitude of things, but the three major ones are carbon dioxide and heat when they are trying to find a blood source and moisture, usually in the form of standing water so they can lay their eggs.
Orkin recommends the following tips to help residents protect against mosquitoes:
- Eliminate mosquito-friendly conditions outdoors
- Remove standing water buckets and other containers, as mosquitoes can breed in just an inch of standing water.
- Change water weekly in bird baths, fountains, potted plants and any containers that hold standing water.
- Keep pool water treated and circulating.
- Regularly clean gutters so water doesn’t pool.
- Trim shrubbery, as adult mosquitoes like to rest in dark areas with high humidity, such as under the leaves of lush vegetation.
- Prevent mosquitoes from biting
- Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Mosquitoes can bite through tight clothing.
- Apply an EPA-registered mosquito repellent containing products such as DEET, picaridin or IR3535.
- Eliminate entry points
- Repair and use window and door screens to help prevent entry.
- Close gaps around windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside.
Founded in 1901, Atlanta-based Orkin provides essential pest control services and protection against termite damage, rodents and insects. The company operates more than 400 locations with almost 8,000 employees. Using a proprietary, three-step approach, Orkin provides customized services to approximately 1.7 million homeowners and businesses in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, South America, Central America, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Asia, the Mediterranean and Africa. Orkin says it is committed to studying pest biology and applying scientifically proven methods. The company collaborates with the CDC and eight major universities to conduct research and help educate consumers and businesses on pest-related health threats.