Where are America’s ‘Mosquito Cities’?

HEALTH

Atlanta tops the list of Top Mosquito Cities for the second year in a row. Is your city at risk? (Orkin)

Learn more mosquitoes with our excellent animal profile of the pesky pest.

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key content, including today’s MapMaker Interactive map, in our Teachers’ Toolkit.

Mosquitoes are probably the best-known of the hematophages—animals that consume blood. Learn more about hematophages with our gruesome gallery of bloodsuckers. Photograph by James Gathany, courtesy the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Mosquitoes are probably the best-known of the hematophages—animals that consume blood. Learn more about hematophages with our gruesome gallery of bloodsuckers.
Photograph by James Gathany, courtesy the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Discussion Ideas

  • According to Orkin, “June, July and August are prime mosquito months in most areas.” Why do you think summertime is mosquito-time?
    • Temperatures rise in the summer and, according to AccuWeather, mosquitoes prefer warm, humid weather. (Although, the article points out, “You can actually get too hot and dry for mosquitoes to be active.”)

 

 

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Customize this map and experiment with layers to identify climate and precipitation patterns common to U.S. “mosquito cities.”

  • Take a look at today’s MapMaker Interactive map of the biggest “mosquito cities” in the U.S. What are some large wetland areas in some of the most mosquito-prone areas? Use the zoom feature for some help.
    • Atlanta: Chattahoochee River
    • Chicago: Chicago River and Lake Michigan
    • Washington, D.C.: Anacostia and Potomac Rivers
    • Detroit: Detroit River, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie
    • Houston: Buffalo Bayou, Lake Houston, Galveston Bay
    • Memphis: Mississippi River
    • Minneapolis: Mississippi River
    • Albany: Hudson River, Erie Canal
    • Knoxville: Tennessee River
    • Cleveland: Cuyahoga River, Lake Erie

 

  • How was the list of the most “mosquito-prone” cities made?
    • The rankings are based on data of where Orkin provided the most customers with mosquito treatments in 2014.

 

  • What are some limitations of the list and the map?
    • The list is based on data provided by a single company. It does not account for visits from local, independent pest-control businesses or other pest-control corporations.
    • The list is based on the raw number of mosquito-related house calls. It does not account for an area’s population. Bigger cities may have more mosquito incidents, but a lower mosquito-incident rate than smaller cities, suburbs, or rural areas.

 

  • How can you prevent or reduce mosquito bites this summer, wherever you are?
    • Let the good folks at the EPA tell you!
      • Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent. Here’s what to look for!
        Here’s what to look for!
      • Use a repellent safely and effectively.
      • Tuck shirts into pants and pants into socks to cover gaps in your clothing where mosquitoes can get to your skin.
      • Use head nets, long sleeves and long pants if you venture into areas with high mosquito populations, such as swamps and marshes.
      • Stay indoors at sunrise, sunset and early in the evening when mosquitoes are most active, especially if there is a mosquito-borne disease warning in effect.
      • Replace your outdoor lights with yellow “bug” lights, which tend to attract fewer mosquitoes than ordinary lights. The yellow lights are NOT repellents, however.
      • Cover all gaps in walls, doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering.
      • Make sure window and door screens are “bug tight.”
      • Completely cover baby carriers and beds with netting.
    • Orkin adds some more tips:
      • Empty any standing water from bird baths, flower planters as well as toys and playground equipment outside the home to help prevent water from collecting.
      • Clean gutters and downspouts regularly or cover them with mesh to help prevent leaves and debris from collecting and holding water.

 

This great graphic from Orkin offers a class in “Mosquitoes 101.” And Orkin would know—the pest professors saw an 8.6% increase in mosquito revenue from 2013 to 2014, and its parent company, Rollins, enjoyed $1.4 billion in revenue in 2014. Graphic courtesy Orkin

This great graphic from Orkin offers a class in “Mosquitoes 101.” And Orkin would know—the pest professors saw an 8.6% increase in mosquito revenue from 2013 to 2014, and its parent company, Rollins, enjoyed $1.4 billion in revenue in 2014.
Graphic courtesy Orkin

 

TEACHERS’ TOOLKIT

Orkin: The 20 Worst Mosquito Cities in the U.S.

Nat Geo: Mosquito animal profile

Nat Geo: Bugging Out! map

AccuWeather: Bite Me: Weather’s Impact on Mosquitoes

EPA: Mosquito Control

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