ATLANTA, May 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- For the sixth year in a row, the Atlanta area tops pest control leader Orkin's Top 50 Mosquito Cities list, released today. Second on the list is the New York market, which moved up one spot from last year, followed by the Chicago and Houston-area markets. Boston and Baltimore rose 20 and 27 spots, respectively. Eleven new cities and metro areas were added to the list including Denver; Burlington, New York; Milwaukee; Cincinnati; Greensboro, N.C.; Savannah, Ga.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Baton Rouge; Amarillo, Texas; Madison, Wisc. and Charleston, S.C.
"Mosquitoes are more than annoying; they can be a major health threat," said Dr. Mark Beavers, Orkin entomologist. "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."
Mosquito season starts when spring temperatures arrive, and they are most active when temperatures rise above 80 degrees. Breeding season is usually July through September, while peak West Nile virus season is typically late August through September, and sometimes lasts through October. Mosquito activity usually drops when temperatures dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and stops when temperatures drop below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit).
Orkin's Top 50 Mosquito Cities list ranks metro areas by the number of mosquito customers served from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019. The list includes both residential and commercial treatments.
26. Tulsa, Okla. (+9)
2. New York (+1)
27. Minneapolis (+5)
3. Washington, D.C. (+1)
28. Albany, New York (-2)
4. Chicago (+1)
29. Grand Rapids, Mich. (-7)
5. Houston (+2)
30. Memphis (-18)
6. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas (-4)
31. Oklahoma City (+9)
7. Detroit (+4)
32. New Orleans (-3)
8. Philadelphia (+9)
33. Cleveland, Ohio (+14)
9. Charlotte, N.C. (+1)
34. Lafayette, La. (-7)
10. Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (+5)
35. Burlington, New York (new to list)
11. Phoenix (+14)
36. Mobile, Ala. (-15)
12. Los Angeles (+4)
37. Milwaukee (new to list)
13. Boston (+20)
38. Austin (-18)
14. Miami (-6)
39. Knoxville, Tenn. (+7)
15. Baltimore (+27)
40. Cincinnati (new to list)
16. Richmond, Va. (+14)
41. San Antonio (-5)
17. Nashville (-4)
42. West Palm Beach, Fla. (+6)
18. Tampa (-4)
43. Greensboro, N.C. (new to list)
19. Indianapolis (+5)
44. Hartford, Conn. (-8)
20. St. Louis (-14)
45. Savannah, Ga. (new to list)
21. Norfolk, Va. (+2)
46. Jacksonville, Fla. (new to list)
22. Orlando (-3)
47. Baton Rouge (new to list)
23. Greenville, S.C. (+8)
48. Amarillo, Texas (new to list)
24. Denver (new to list)
49. Madison, Wisc. (new to list)
25. Kansas City (-16)
50. Charleston, S.C. (new to list)
With the presence of West Nile virus in the U.S., 2,544 cases in 2018, it remains a concern as there is no treatment, cure or vaccine for the virus. One of the best strategies for eliminating mosquito-borne diseases is to reduce populations of the mosquitoes that spread them.
Below are the most common types of mosquitoes in the U.S.:
Culex Mosquitoes: These mosquitoes are seen throughout the United States and can transmit West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis and even bird malaria. They are mostly night biters but can also bite at dusk and dawn.
Aedes Mosquitoes: These are commonly known as floodwater mosquitoes, and they may live in a variety of habitats ranging from swamps to natural containers such as soda cans and pet water bowls. They can transmit several diseases including dengue, chikungunya, Zika and dog heartworm. Many of these are day-biters with the peak periods in the morning and afternoon.
Anopheles Mosquitoes: In addition to spreading malaria, which has been eradicated from the United States but is constantly reintroduced due to infected travelers from foreign countries, Anopheles mosquitoes can transmit dog heartworm as well as a few viruses. They have been found in most states and are most active at night.
"Male adult mosquitoes feed on plant nectar, while females need a blood meal to support reproduction," said Beavers. "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."
After mating, females typically seek a blood meal to aid in egg production. Those eggs are laid in water or just above the edge of the waterline (for example, floodwater mosquitoes). Those water sources may be standing pools or stagnant water but can also be manmade sources such as bird baths, buckets and even mud puddles. Egg numbers vary from species to species but there can be more than 100 eggs in a single laying. And in as a little as four days, a single mosquito can multiply into as many as 400.
Orkin recommends the following tips to help residents protect against mosquitoes: Eliminate Mosquito-Friendly Conditions in and Around Your Yard
Any object that has the potential to hold water should be removed or cleaned out frequently, as mosquitoes can breed in just an inch of standing water.
Clean gutters to avoid rainwater build up. Be sure to check for puddles that form on the roof from rain water, leaking pipes or even condensation from air conditioners.
Change the water (at minimum) weekly in bird baths, fountains, potted plants and any containers that hold standing water, including wading pools.
Keep swimming pool water treated and circulating.
Trim shrubbery, as adult mosquitoes like to rest in dark, protected 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
Inspect doors and windows for drafts or openings around their perimeters and window air conditioning units. Install weather stripping around doors and utilize caulk around window frames.
Ensure that window and door screens are securely in place and free of holes or tears.
Keep doors tightly closed. A propped-open door is a welcome mat for mosquitoes to enter your home.
For more mosquito information and prevention tips, visit Orkin.com.
About Orkin, LLC Founded in 1901, Atlanta-based Orkin is an industry leader in 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 is committed to studying pest biology and applying scientifically proven methods. The company collaborates with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and eight major universities to conduct research and help educate consumers and businesses on pest-related health threats. Learn more about Orkin at Orkin.com. Orkin is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rollins Inc. (NYSE: ROL). Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.