by Brianna Crandall — September 9, 2019 — In recognition of World Mosquito Day, an international effort to raise awareness of the insect’s status as the “world’s deadliest animal,” Terminix, a US-based provider of termite and pest control services around the world and a ServiceMaster company, recently announced its 2019 ranking of the country’s Top 50 cities most infested with mosquitoes.
Los Angeles took the top spot, jumping from its #5 ranking in 2018. Dallas-Fort Worth fell to #2 after two years at the top of the list, followed by Houston, New York and Washington, DC, in the top five spots. Texas and Florida dominated the list, with six and five cities in the Top 50, respectively.
Mosquito-borne diseases kill millions each year across the globe. In the United States, mosquitoes can transmit serious diseases such as West Nile virus and encephalitis, and globally, mosquitoes are vectors for other deadly illnesses, including malaria and Zika.
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.
Property owners should be particularly cautious as the United States experienced the highest level of precipitation in recorded history over a 12-month period this summer, points out Terminix. Heavy rains may lead to increased standing water for mosquitoes to breed, unleashing higher than normal mosquito populations.
The company based its ranking on the number of mosquito-specific services rendered by more than 300 Terminix branches across the country in each city between June 16, 2018, and June 15, 2019.
The full list of the Top 50 Mosquito Cities (along with Terminix’s 2018 Top 25 rating, if different) is:
|1. Los Angeles (#5)||26. Fresno, CA|
|2. Dallas-Fort Worth (#1)||27. St. Louis|
|3. Houston (#4)||28. West Palm Beach, FL|
|4. New York (#2)||29. San Diego|
|5. Washington, DC (#3)||30. Sacramento, CA|
|6. Atlanta||31. Louisville, KY|
|7. Philadelphia||32. Jacksonville, FL (#23)|
|8. Memphis, TN||33. Columbus, OH|
|9. Baltimore (#10)||34. Tulsa, OK|
|10. Chicago (#9)||35. Shreveport, LA|
|11. Miami (#11)||36. Kansas City, MO|
|12. San Francisco||37. Jackson, MI|
|13. Boston||38. Cleveland|
|14. Orlando, FL (#13)||39. Tyler-Longview, TX|
|15. Nashville, TN (#14)||40. Birmingham, AL|
|16. Tampa, FL (#15)||41. Fort Smith, AR|
|17. San Antonio (#12)||42. Montgomery, AL|
|18. Phoenix (#25)||43. Baton Rouge, LA|
|19. Austin, TX (#20)||44. Chattanooga, TN|
|20. Oklahoma City (#21)||45. Honolulu|
|21. Little Rock, AR (#18)||46. Richmond, VA|
|22. Mobile, AL (#19)||47. Corpus Christi, TX|
|23. Indianapolis (#24)||48. Paducah, KY|
|24. Detroit (#22)||49. Milwaukee|
25. Cincinnati (rest not on Top 25
[EDITOR’S NOTE: It should be noted that this list does not measure total calls to all pest control providers, so different providers may list other cities as having a higher number of treatments. Also, some places known for their swarms of mosquitoes conduct widespread public spraying through mosquito-control programs, such as the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District around the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area in Minnesota, which may affect their ranking on the list.]
Terminix provides a variety of solutions to help significantly reduce the threat of mosquitoes around buildings and outdoor areas. In addition to obtaining professional mosquito control, owners and managers of corporate, healthcare or education campuses can help reduce mosquito populations and decrease the availability of potential breeding sites with the following tips:
- Keep grassy areas and landscaping 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, open containers, buckets, plastic sheeting or covers, can reduce opportunities for mosquito reproduction.
- Remove sources of standing water. Items often left outside, such as outdoor furniture, rain barrels or planters, can create harborage sites for mosquitoes. Declutter your property to reduce the number of places mosquitoes can breed.
- Keep gutters clear. Maintaining your gutter system is an important step in mosquito control, as blocked gutters can hold water that allows mosquitoes to reproduce. Ensure your gutters are cleared of fallen leaves and other natural debris seasonally.
- Use fans in outdoor seating areas. Because mosquitoes are naturally weak fliers, they tend to avoid flying in windy conditions. Providing fans where workers take breaks or students gather in the evenings can be a helpful deterrence against these pests.
- Replace outdoor lighting. Mosquitoes, like many insects, can be attracted to light. Special bulbs called “bug lights” emit a different type of light than typical light bulbs. Replacing outdoor lighting with these bug lights can help attract fewer mosquitoes.
To protect your building occupants, customers, clients, patients, or staff and students, Terminix provides a variety of solutions to significantly reduce the threat of mosquitoes and the potential spread of disease. As part of the company’s Commercial Services, Terminix says its hassle-free commercial Mosquito Control treatment has been proven to reduce mosquito populations in treated areas by more than 90% in two to three weeks, and to be effective on a wide range of mosquito types, including hard-to-control urban species. Terminix says its monthly treatments that deliver maximum effectiveness but are safe for people, animals and the environment can protect businesses all season long.
For more information about protecting your building occupants and visitors through Terminix’s Commercial Mosquito Control, visit the company’s website.