With mosquito-borne diseases becoming more and more of a problem in the United States, pest control company Orkin releases its annual Top 50 Mosquito Cities list.
The industry leader ranked the metro areas based on the number of the mosquito clients served from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019.
Orkin's Top Mosquito Cities
For the sixth consecutive year, Atlanta is on top of the list, followed by New York and Washington D.C. Rounding out the top five mosquito cities are Chicago and Houston, which moved up one and two spots respectively.
Some of the cities that rose significantly on this year's list are Phoenix, which moved up 14 spots to number 11, Boston, which moved up 20 spots to number 13, and Baltimore, which moved up 27 spots to number 15.
Meanwhile, new cities that made the cut include Burlington in New York, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Greensboro, Savannah, Jacksonville, Baton Rouge, Amarillo, Madison, and Charleston.
According to CDC, vector-borne disease incidents in the United States tripled from 2004 to 2016.
"Mosquitoes are more than annoying; they can be a major health threat," said Orkin entomologist Dr. Mark Beavers in a news release from the company. "Mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus, encephalitides, dengue, chikungunya and for those who may remember, Zika, threaten the safety of humans and pets."
More than 17 percent of all infectious diseases worldwide are vector-borne, which are illnesses that are transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, or fleas, according to WHO. More than 700,000 deaths occur annually from these types of diseases, especially from mosquitoes, which is the best known disease vector.
Tips To Protect Yourself Against Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes typically breed in water, so residents who live in mosquito-heavy places need to remove objects in their property that can hold at least an inch of standing water. Shrubbery should also be trimmed, since mosquitoes tend to the shaded, high-humidity spots under the leaves.
It's also important to keep them from entering the house by sealing openings in doors, windows, and even air-conditioning units. Doors should be kept shut at all times, since leaving them open attracts mosquitoes in the living space.
Mosquito repellent and protective clothing can also prevent bites.
"Reducing items that attract mosquitoes, actively working to prevent them from breeding in their required water habitats, wearing insect repellent, or moving inside the home during peak biting times are ways to protect one's self from mosquito bites," Beavers said.