New List Reveals the US Cities Most Plagued by Mosquitoes

Almost anywhere you could choose to live, mosquitoes are a problem. In fact, there are only two places on earth that are entirely mosquito-free: Antarctica and Iceland. You can find numerous species of mosquitoes in the United States. And the insects — along with the diseases they spread — are just getting worse.

Mosquito populations fluctuate, and Orkin just released its list of the 50 U.S. cities most plagued by mosquitoes. Discover the top 15, below, and find out if your hometown made the list.

15. Raleigh-Durham

Raleigh Skyline in North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina | iStock/Getty Images

Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, jumped two spots in this year’s ranking to land in fifteenth place among the U.S. cities with the biggest mosquito problem. (We’re sure the metro area’s residents are thrilled.) The Raleigh-Durham area is expansive and offers a variety of different attractions. But many people enjoy visiting the area for at least a few of its outdoor activities. If that includes you, you might want to make sure you add some extra insect repellant to your packing list.

  • Fun fact: North Carolina is one of 20 states where researchers have found the Aedes aegypti, or yellow fever mosquito, which bites both during the day and at night.

Next: This Florida metro area also has a big problem with mosquitoes. 

14. Tampa-St. Petersburg

An airplane arrives at its destination.
Tampa | mokee81/iStock/Getty Images

You probably knew that you’d encounter a few mosquitoes if you vacation in Florida (or retire there). But it’s never pleasant to see a city you love landing on the list of the U.S. cities with the biggest mosquito problem, as the Tampa-St. Petersburg area does. Orkin reports that the metro area’s standing improved this year, though. Tampa-St. Petersburg fell a total of three spots on this year’s list compared to last year’s, which means it’s possible that the mosquito situation has improved.

  • Fun fact: In Florida and every other state in the U.S., researchers have found Culex mosquitoes, which can carry and spread West Nile virus. They are most commonly spotted at dawn and dusk.

Next: Head to this Tennessee city for great music and tons of mosquitoes. 

13. Nashville

Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville | SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images

If you head to Nashville for the music, make sure that you pack plenty of bug repellant to ward off mosquitoes. Orkin puts Nashville at 13th place on this year’s list of U.S. cities most plagued by the bloodthirsty insects. However, if you live in the area or have visited in the past, you’ll be happy to hear that the problem might not be as bad this year as it was last year. Orkin reports that Nashville fell three spots in this year’s ranking — welcome news for anybody who wants to take in the city without getting eaten by bugs.

  • Fun fact: Tennessee, like every other state across the country, has a sizable population of Anopheles mosquitoes. They had been considered eradicated from the United States, but now transmit dog heartworm and other viruses.

Next: This Tennessee city also has a mosquito problem. 

12. Memphis

Memphis skyline
Memphis, Tennessee | iStock/Getty Images

Another Tennessee city, Memphis also makes Orkin’s list of U.S. cities with the biggest mosquito problem. Unlike Nashville, which saw its standing improve this year over last year, Memphis wasn’t quite so lucky. Orkin reports that the city moved up two spots on the list this year. That’s not the kind of move that you want your city to make, especially if you enjoy all of the outdoor activities that Memphis has to offer.

  • Fun fact: In Tennessee and other states, your best bets to protect yourself from mosquito bites are to reduce items that attract mosquitoes, to prevent them from reproducing, and to move inside your house, according to Orkin.

Next: Steer clear of the mosquitoes if you spend time in this Michigan city. 

11. Detroit

Detroit Skyline during the evening
Detroit | Steven_Kriemadis/iStock/Getty Images

Next on the list? Detroit, which lands in eleventh place on Orkin’s list of the American cities that have the worst mosquito problems this year. Detroit has dealt with some pretty big problems — and has done some pretty impressive problem-solving — so we’re rooting for this Midwestern city. Plus, the city fell three spots in this year’s ranking. We can’t say for sure, but that could mean that the situation is already better than it was last year.

  • Fun fact: After mating, female mosquitoes want to feed on blood to aid egg production. Then, they typically lay their eggs in standing pools of water. Many mosquitoes can produce more than 100 eggs at a time.

Next: This North Carolina city has a mosquito problem, too. 

10. Charlotte

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Charlotte | Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images

Charlotte, North Carolina, lands in the top 10 among the U.S. cities most plagued by mosquitoes this year. (What an honor!) As the mosquito problem worsens across the United States, things got better — by a little bit — in Charlotte. The city fell one spot in Orkin’s ranking, potentially not enough for residents to notice the difference, but we’re sure that most North Carolinians will take it.

  • Fun fact: If you have anything in your yard that can hold water, you should either remove it or clean it frequently. Orkin reports that mosquitoes can breed in as little as an inch of standing water.

Next: Tons of mosquitoes call this Missouri city home. 

9. Kansas City

The Indian Scout is known as a Kansas City landmark
Kansas City | tomofbluesprings/iStock/Getty Images

Mosquitoes are a problem across the United States — and that includes in the midwest, as Kansas City’s place on the list illustrates. You might not think of this Missouri city as a mosquito hotspot, even if you live there (or have in the past). That’s because Kansas City didn’t always rank this high among the U.S. cities with the biggest mosquito problem. In fact, it jumped a dismaying 15 spots on the list this year, landing a whole lot closer to the top than last year.

  • Fun fact: You should also clean your gutters to avoid rainwater buildup. It also helps to check for puddles that form on your roof thanks to leaking pipes or your air conditioner, in addition to rainwater.

Next: Prepare for a huge mosquito population if you visit this Florida metro area. 

8. Miami-Fort Lauderdale

Miami skyline
Miami | aphotostory/iStock/Getty Images

Florida cities like Miami have grown notorious for their crowds of tourists. But you could also fairly criticize them for their crowds of mosquitoes. Orkin put the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area at eighth place on the list of U.S. cities with the biggest mosquito problem. That sounds bad, but it’s better than last year! The metro area fell three spots on the list this year, which means that locals may feel like they’re enjoying a bit of a respite from the bloodthirsty bugs.

  • Fun fact: You can also reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard by changing the water in your birdbath weekly. The same goes for fountains, potted plants, and any other containers that hold standing water.

Next: You can’t escape the mosquitoes in this Texas city. 

7. Houston

Houston, Texas, USA
Houston, Texas | Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images

Houston is hot and humid in the summer. And you can add mosquito-infested to that list, too. Orkin put Houston at seventh place on this year’s list of the U.S. cities most plagued by mosquitoes. That sounds pretty bad. But at least Houston held steady at seventh place, where it ranked last year, instead of getting a worse rating this year than last. There’s always a silver lining — even in a cloud of mosquitoes.

  • Fun fact: Pools typically don’t worsen a mosquito problem — unless you aren’t keeping up with maintenance. Orkin recommends keeping your pool water treated and circulating.

Next: This Missouri city has a mosquito problem. 

6. St. Louis

St. Louis downtown
St. Louis | f11photo/Getty Images

St. Louis, Missouri, lands in sixth place among the U.S. cities with the biggest mosquito problem. Orkin reports that the midwestern metropolis jumped an eye-popping 20 spots up the ranking this year. Translation? It’s not in your head if you’re a St. Louis resident who thinks the mosquitoes weren’t nearly as bad last year.

  • Fun fact: The mosquito problem gives you another reason to keep up with your landscaping. Orkin recommends trimming your shrubbery to make sure that adult mosquitoes have fewer dark places to rest in high humidity.

Next: This Illinois city lands in the top five for U.S. cities with the biggest mosquito problem. 

5. Chicago

Chicago downtown skyline
Chicago | RudyBalasko/iStock/Getty Images

Chicago lands in the top five of the cities most plagued by mosquitoes in Orkin’s 2018 ranking. That sounds pretty bad. But it could be worse, as residents of the next four cities will remind you. In fact, it’s been worse even in Chicago, which dropped two places in Orkin’s ranking this year.

  • Fun fact: Mosquitoes can bite you through tight clothing. Orkin recommends wearing loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts and pants.

Next: This mid-Atlantic city has a large population of mosquitoes. 

4. Washington, D.C.

National Mall in Washington DC
The National Mall | AlbertPego/iStock/Getty Images

The nation’s capital is also one of the capitals for mosquitoes this year. (And no, that’s not a euphemism talking about the American political system.) But Orkin reports that D.C.’s mosquito problem isn’t as bad as it has been in the past. In fact, Washington, D.C., fell two spots in the company’s ranking of the cities most plagued by mosquitoes. That’s a step in the right direction.

  • Fun fact: The easiest way to prevent mosquitoes from biting is to apply an EPA-registered mosquito repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or IR3535.

Next: Not far from Washington, this city also has a huge mosquito problem.

3. New York

The Statue of Liberty and One World Trade Center in New York City
The Statue of Liberty and One World Trade Center in New York City | spyarm/iStock/Getty Images

Anyone who’s spent time in New York in the summer won’t be surprised to see the city land on Orkin’s list. But the company reports that New York climbed one spot on the list to land in third place this year. Of course, there are already plenty of reasons that critics tell you should never visit New York in the summer — the crowds of tourists, the heat that gets trapped between the buildings, and the distinctive odor of decomposing trash, to name a few. But if you love the city despite those things, you probably won’t let a few (or a lot) of mosquitoes stop you.

  • Fun fact: If you want fewer bites, you should eliminate ways for mosquitoes to get into your house, according to Orkin. Inspect doors, windows, and window air conditioning units for drafts and openings.

Next: You’ll find the city with the second-biggest mosquito problem in Texas. 

2. Dallas-Fort Worth

Dallas, Texas cityscape with blue sky
Dallas | f11photo/iStock/Getty Images

Orkin reports that the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area landed in second place among the U.S. cities most plagued by mosquitoes this year. There are lots of reasons to visit Dallas-Fort Worth — but a mosquito-free existence definitely isn’t one of them. And the problem seems to be getting worse. Orkin reports that Dallas-Fort Worth jumped a whopping four spots this year over last year.

  • Fun fact: One way you can keep mosquitoes out of your home — in Texas and elsewhere — is to ensure that your window screens are secure and free of tears.

Next: Look south for the city that’s most plagued by mosquitoes. 

1. Atlanta

Atlanta, Georgia, USA downtown skyline at dusk.
Atlanta | Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images

Atlanta tops Orkin’s list of the American cities with the biggest mosquito problem this year. And it’s not even the first time that Atlanta appeared at the top of the list. In fact, Atlanta has topped Orkin’s list for the fifth year in a row. If you want to visit or move to this southern city, you’ll definitely need to take some heavy-duty insect repellant with you.

  • Fun fact: Another effective way to keep mosquitoes out of your house? Remember to keep doors tightly closed. A propped-open door may be welcoming to your friends, but it’s also inviting to mosquitoes.

Read more: 15 Common Pests That Are Destroying Your Home

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