The new “Top 50 Mosquito Cities” list released on Monday by Orkin, a leading pest control company based out of Atlanta, Georgia, ranks Baltimore at No. 28, which is up nine slots from 2016.
Orkin’s new list may be a sign that Baltimoreans need to stock up on insect repellants to avoid diseases passed through the mosquito bite. Leading the pesky list is Atlanta, Georgia, followed by Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; New York; and ranked No. 5 on the list is the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area.
As the temperature increases, mosquitos become more active and even more so during mosquito season from April to October. The list consists of mostly cities in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states. However, New York and Chicago is listed among the top five cities.
Mosquitos not only make the outdoor environment unbearable, but they also classified as one of the most harmful insects, impacting the lives of animals and humans. In the United States, mosquitos are well known for transmitting West Nile virus, but internationally the pesky insect can transmit a variety of diseases, including yellow fever, dengue fever and malaria.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging everyone to take the necessary steps to protect themselves against the spread of the Zika virus, which is primarily transmitted via the mosquito bite. Mark Beavers, Ph.D., Orkin’s entomologist, said, “Mosquitos are a public health threat.”
“Zika virus is currently one of the most notable illnesses that can be spread by mosquitos and it will likely be a problem again this year, especially in areas where the type of mosquito that can carry the virus thrives.”
The company ranked the U.S. cities by the number of commercial and residential mosquito treatments it performed beginning on April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017.