Detroit 11th worst city for mosquitoes, Orkin says

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News


This photo from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a feeding female Anopheles stephensi mosquito in the process of obtaining its blood meal through its sharp, needle-like labrum, which it had inserted into its human host. California researchers hatch malaria-resistant mosquitoes and use a groundbreaking technology to ensure the insects pass on the protective gene as they reproduce. It has implications far beyond fighting malaria.

This bites: Detroit is the 11th worst U.S. city for mosquitoes.

Orkin, the Atlanta-based pest control company, released its rankings of top 50 mosquito cities Monday and Detroit came in just outside of the list's top 10. It also lands three spots down from the previous year's ranking, according to the company.

“Mosquitoes continue to be a major health concern, especially in the summer months,” Chelle Hartzer, an Orkin entomologist, said in a statement. “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."

The rankings are based on the number of its new customers who called for mosquito treatments between April 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018, Orkin said.

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Atlanta remained at number one from last year. Dallas, which moved up four places in the survey, tied the Georgia capital for first place on the list. 

They were followed by New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago and St. Louis round out the top spots. New York is up one, Washington and Chicago are down two and St. Louis moved up 20 spots.

Springfield, Missouri, up 79 places to 37, saw the biggest jump in mosquito treatments for the year while West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, Florida, saw the biggest drop, falling 32 places to 47.

Mosquito season starts when spring temperatures arrive, and they usually breed from July through September, Orkin said.

It also said the blood-sucking pests are most active in temperatures above 80 degrees. They don't start to die off during the winter until temperatures fall to freezing.