The Tampa Bay, FL area jumped eleven spots to be ranked number 11 in the latest Orkin’s list of Top 50 Mosquito Cities.
The Tampa/St. Petersburg metro area was joined by four other Florida areas on the list–Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (5), Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne (12), Mobile-Pensacola (15) and West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce (16).
Atlanta took the dubious honor of topping the list for the fourth consecutive year. This was followed by Washington, DC, Chicago, New York and Miami rounding out the top 5.
The southeast accounted for 42 percent of the top 50 metro areas.
Orkin’s Top 50 Mosquito Cities list ranks metro areas by the number of mosquito customers served from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017. The list includes both residential and commercial treatments.
“Mosquitoes are a public health threat,” said Orkin entomologist, Mark Beavers, Ph.D. “Zika virus is currently one of the most notable illnesses that can be spread by mosquitoes, and it will likely be a problem again this year, especially in areas where the type of mosquito that can carry the virus thrives,” added Beavers, who recently participated in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2017 Aedes Vector Control Summit, a forum dedicated to improving mosquito control methods and reducing the risk of diseases such as Zika.
Orkin recommends the following tips to help residents protect against mosquitoes:
Eliminate Mosquito-Friendly Conditions in and Around Your Yard
- Remove standing water buckets, toys and other containers, as mosquitoes can breed in just an inch of standing water.
- Change water weekly in bird baths, fountains, potted plants and any containers that hold standing water.
- Keep pool water treated and circulating.
- Regularly clean gutters so water doesn’t pool.
- 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
- Repair and use window and door screens to help prevent entry.
- Close gaps around windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside.
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