Mosquitoes can be found just about anywhere in the US. Some areas, however, feel more of an impact than others.
Mosquitoes can also cause a variety of serious illnesses, including West Nile Virus, which is the most common mosquito-transmitted disease in the country. In 2013, there were over 2,300 cases of West Nile virus diagnosed in 48 states – the top five of which are Illinois, Georgia, New York, Texas and Tennessee. Mosquitoes can also transmit malaria, St. Louis encephalitis, dengue fever, and chikungunya.
The top 20 cities in America most affected by mosquitoes are:
As you can see, nearly half of these cities are in the Southeast, and six are in the Midwest.
Mosquito Life Cycle
In order to understand why certain locations have greater mosquito issues than others, it helps to understand the breeding and life cycles of this insect.
All mosquitoes require water to breed; some species can breed in puddles after a rainstorm. Other breeding grounds can be ponds, swamps, lakes, and even bird baths, roof gutters, and old tires. In the US, the prime months for mosquitoes to breed are generally June, July and August, during which the “perfect storm” of warm temperatures and water create an optimal environment. The breeding season, however, can extent into October in some regions.
Homeowners can contribute significantly to the reduction of mosquitoes in their yard. Some easy steps regularly emptying items that collect water, such as flowerpot saucers, buckets, pet dishes and toys; changing the water of bird baths, fountains and wading pools twice a week; storing or turning over items like canoes and garden carts when not in use, and tightening sagging tarps that cover grills, patio furniture and woodpiles.
Communities that are especially affected may spray areas at scheduled, posted times. At the homeowner level, though, it’s best to hire a licensed professional to treat for mosquitoes; someone who not only has the specialized equipment and products, but the knowledge and experience to properly and safely handle the applications.