KEY POINTS

  • Pest control company Orkin has revealed its top mosquito cities for 2021
  • Los Angeles made the top of the list, followed by Atlanta
  • Most mosquitoes in the US are "nuissance mosquitoes" but some can spread germs

The list is out and Los Angeles has taken the lead as the top mosquito city in the U.S.

Pest control company Orkin has revealed its list of the "Top 50 Mosquito Cities List" for 2021, and Atlanta has been knocked off its top position, which it has held for seven consecutive years. With Los Angeles in the number one spot and Atlanta following close behind, Washington, D.C., takes the third spot followed by Dallas, Chicago, New York and Detroit. Miami takes the eight spot, followed by Charlotte in the ninth. Raleigh-Durham closes out the top 10.

Three new cities from the West Coast entered the list this year: Seattle in the 28th spot, San Diego in the 39th, and Fresno in the 47th. At the bottom end of the list are Shreveport; Ft. Wayne, IN; and Baton Rouge, which are at numbers 48, 49 and 50, respectively.

The list is based on the number of residential and commercial customers that the company served with mosquito treatments from April 1, 2020, until March 31 this year.

Mosquitoes aren't just a nuisance

Mosquitoes become more active when temperatures reach over 68 degrees Fahrenheit, the company said, noting that the creatures' breeding season can last from May to September. 

But these insects aren't just a nuisance during picnics as they can carry diseases such as Zika, Dengue, and chikungunya. In the continental U.S., West Nile virus is the most common mosquito-borne disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted.

"Like many insects, mosquitoes need a food source, favorable temperatures and a proper breeding site to survive," Frank Meek, the technical services manager for Orkin's parent company, Rollins, said in a news release. "They are attracted to areas where humans and other animals are present, due to our body heat and the carbon dioxide we exhale, two of their needs."

According to the CDC, there are about 200 types of mosquitoes in the U.S., 12 of which can carry the pathogens that can make people sick. The others are considered "nuisance mosquitoes" that don't spread germs.

"Because you can’t tell which mosquito could be spreading germs when it bites, it is important to protect yourself from mosquito bites," the CDC said.

Protective measures against mosquitoes include using insect repellent, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and controlling mosquitoes both indoors and outdoors. As Orkin said, it's important to know the things that can attract mosquitoes. These include standing water, debris in the gutter, and dark, humid areas.

Making sure that your home is free from the things that can attract mosquitoes may help limit the risks that come with having them around, whether it's as simple as an annoying mosquito bite or as serious as a mosquito-borne disease.

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen at the Laboratory of Entomology and Ecology of the Dengue Branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in San Juan, Puerto Rico, March 6, 2016. Photo: Reuters