The 15 Worst Cities for Mosquitoes in the U.S. from The 15 Worst Cities for Mosquitoes in the U.S.

The 15 Worst Cities for Mosquitoes in the U.S.

Make no mistake—mosquitoes are a public health threat. The insects are known to carry several diseases including the potentially dangerous Zika virus, dengue, Chikungunya virus, malaria and West Nile virus. The bloodsuckers become more active as temperatures rise, with the biting season often lasting from April to October in warmer places with a lot of water. The following list is based on research done by Orkin, a pest control company.

Atlanta, Georgia

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This year, again, Atlanta is the worst city in the U.S. when it comes to struggling with mosquitoes. It tops Orkin’s list of Top 50 Mosquito Cities for the fourth year in a row. The annoying bugs love the city so much because of its combination of geography and climate – it’s warm year-round and there is plenty of water, which is where they lay their eggs.

Washington, D.C.

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Living in the capital has gotten worse as far as dealing with mosquitoes goes. The city ranked third last year. The cold-intolerant blood sucking bugs are more prevalent in D.C. this year most likely because of warmer temperatures.

Chicago, Illinois

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Under normal summer temperatures, large numbers of biting mosquitoes will emerge about two weeks after heavy rains, according to the state’s Department of Public Health. The most common is the inland floodwater mosquito. A vicious biter, this mosquito will commonly fly 10 or more miles from where they hatch, particularly along prevailing winds, which are common in the Windy City.  

New York City, New York

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Mosquitoes, including those that carry the West Nile and Zika viruses, are active in the city from April through October, NYC Health says. The bugs seek to lay their eggs in slow-moving or standing water. You can discourage mosquito breeding in residential areas by removing standing water where it collects.

Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

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The area moved from 14th place last year to fifth. Miami is home to around 45 species of mosquitoes, one of which is the almost year-round population of Aedes aegypti – the mosquito capable of transmitting Zika. The wet weather and higher temperatures are the perfect conditions for mosquito populations.

Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas

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Some of the most common species of mosquitoes found in Texas are the Aedes aegypi, which lives in artificial containers, the Anopheles punctipennis, which lives in woodland pools, and the Ochlerotatus taeniorhynchus, which lives in salt marches, according to a study. Weather forecasts warn almost every day of “extreme mosquito activity.”

Houston, Texas

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Houston is another place where life has gotten much worse when it comes to dealing with mosquitoes – the city was ranked 13 last year. Officials are considering releasing genetically modified mosquitoes as part of the fight against the insects, according to news reports. There have been no documented cases of Zika being locally transmitted in the region.  

Detroit, Michigan

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Michigan has approximately 60 species of mosquitoes swarming throughout its borders. Health officials announced recently that mosquitoes tested positive for the West Nile virus in Oakland County. No human cases of the virus have been confirmed yet this year. In May, state authorities said the virus had been detected in three birds tested across the state.

Charlotte, North Carolina

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Every year the health department hires approximately 10 temporary employees to assist with mosquito control. Charlotte has been ranked in the Top 10 for several years in a row. No cases of the Zika virus have been reported but local official warn the risk of getting infected has increased.  

Nashville, Tennessee

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Nashville has gone down on Orkin’s list – it went from number 7 to 10 in a year. Considering the 56 cases of West Nile virus in 2002, residents are showing concern. The TN Department of Health advises everyone to limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, empty any water holding containers, turn over plastic wading pools when not in use and keep swimming pools properly chlorinated.

Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida

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The area was not even in the Top 15 on Orkin’s list last year. Mosquito season is usually a year-round event because of the weather. Zika virus cases have been reported. Mosquito control officials say there really are more insects out this year, and many of them are especially nasty, after an especially high tide hit the area.

Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Florida

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The area is ranked 12th – that's a jump of 11 spots from the previous ranking. Make an effort to wear loose-fitting clothes such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants to prevent mosquito bites. Also apply an EPA-approved bug repellant.

Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Virginia

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The City of Portsmouth says that “there are over 65 different species of mosquitoes found in VA/NC. Over 20 of these species are found regularly in the City of Portsmouth,” and 10-15 problem species are possible vectors for diseases including EEE, West Nile Virus and heartworm disease in dogs.

Memphis, Tennessee

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Mosquito pools in three Memphis areas tested positive for West Nile Virus, according to the Shelby County Health Department. Two human cases of West Nile have been identified. Spraying only kills adult mosquitoes flying at the time the insecticide is released, so the Health Department encourages people to take other measures as well to control mosquitoes.

Mobile-Pensacola, Florida

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Mobile-Pensacola was ranked 26 last year. Apply repellent whenever you have to go outside, regardless of what time it is. You may not notice the nasty bugs but the probability that they are around is very high. Choose insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535, according to Florida Department of Health.