Detroit, Grand Rapids among worst US cities for mosquitoes

This will come as no surprise to Michiganders.

Orkin released their annual list of the "Top 50 Mosquito Cities" and Detroit and Grand Rapids made the list, although both of them are lower on the list than they were last year.

Detroit ranked No. 11, down three spots from last year. Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek ranked No. 22, down four spots from last year.

“Mosquitoes continue to be a major health concern, especially in the summer months,” said Orkin entomologist, Chelle Hartzer. “According to the CDC, vector-borne diseases like Zika virus and West Nile virus have tripled since 2004. These mosquito-borne diseases may have serious side effects.”

Mosquito season starts when Spring temperatures arrive, and they are most active in temperatures above 80 degrees. Breeding season is usually July through September, while peak West Nile virus season is usually not until late August through September or even October in some areas. Temperatures need to be around freezing before mosquitoes will start to die off for the winter.

Atlanta ranked as the worst city for mosquitoes for the fifth year in a row. Atlanta is followed on the list by Dallas, which jumped four spots from last year, New York and Washington, D.C. Texas holds the most spots on this year’s list with seven cities, followed by Florida and Louisiana with four cities each.

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 water weekly in bird baths, fountains, potted plants and any containers that hold standing water.
  • Keep pool water treated and circulating.
  • Trim shrubbery, as adult mosquitoes like to rest in dark 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 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 our Mosquitoes page.

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