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Pest control company, Orkin, came out with its annual Top 50 Mosquito Cities list in the United States, which listed Atlanta as number one for the fifth year in a row.
The list ranks the metro areas where Orkin conducted the greatest number of new mosquito treatments over the past year.
Texas holds the most spots on this year’s list with seven cities, followed by Florida and Louisiana with four cities each. The number one spot, Atlanta, is followed by Dallas, which jumped four spots from last year alone.
Orkin’s Top 50 Mosquito Cities list ranks metro areas by the number of mosquito customers served from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018. The list includes both residential and commercial treatments.
Mosquito season starts when spring temperatures arrive, and the insects can be most active in temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to Orkin Entomologist Chelle Hartzer, mosquitoes continue to be a major health concern, especially in the summer months.
“Mosquitoes can transmit several diseases to humans including Zika virus, West Nile virus and several kinds of encephalitis. Each of these mosquito-borne diseases may have serious side effects,” Hartzer said.
While it may not be possible to shield your yard and home from mosquitoes completely, there are several techniques that help deter them.
Mosquitoes are able to breed in an inch of standing water, so it is best to remove any object that has the potential to hold water. For containers such as pet water bowls, vases and bird baths, you should replace the water every few days.
“After mating, females typically seek a blood meal to aid in egg production. She often lays them in standing pools of water. Egg numbers vary from species to species but can be as much as over 100 eggs in a single laying,” Hartzer said.
It is a good idea to clean gutters to avoid the buildup of rainwater. Be sure to check for puddles that form on the roof, as well as leaking pipes or condensation from air conditioners.
Change water often in bird baths, fountains, potted plants and any containers that hold standing water. It is also a good idea to keep pool water treated and circulating.
Adult mosquitoes like to rest in dark areas with high humidity, therefore trimming shrubbery and collecting any leaves can prevent lingering mosquitoes.
People can prevent mosquitoes from biting by wearing loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Mosquitoes can bite through tight, fitted clothing.
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Experts recommend inspecting doors and windows for drafts or openings around their perimeters and window air conditioning units to eliminate possible entry points. Install weather stripping around doors and re-caulk around window frames. Keep doors tightly closed as a propped-open door is a welcome mat for mosquitoes to enter your home.
It is also a good idea to make sure that all window screens are securely in place and free of holes or tears.
If possible, schedule your activities to avoid the times when mosquitoes are most active, which are usually around dawn and dusk.
For more safety and preparedness tips, visit AccuWeather.com/Ready.
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