Culture

Dallas, Washington, D.C. Top List of American Cities Plagued the Most by Mosquitoes

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I’m old enough to remember mosquito trucks winding their way through my neighborhood, leaving behind thick plumes of poisonous smoke. That smoke, which I and the other neighborhood kids darted in and out of as we played, was intended to kill the mosquitoes. Frankly, I don’t remember if it did its job or not. That being said, the twenty-five cities on Terminix’s list of “cities buzzing with the most mosquitoes” may want to consider sending out a mosquito truck or three.

Mosquitoes are masters of breeding, ensuring that Terminix’s mosquito services will always be needed. The scary thing is that, according to the World Health Organization, “Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest animals in the world. Their ability to carry and spread disease to humans causes millions of deaths every year.”

That’s a frightening statement, especially for those who live in one of the twenty-five worst cities for mosquitoes. And I happen to live in the city ranked #3 — Washington, D.C. (which is called a swamp for a reason). Well, to be clear, I live right across the river in Arlington, which is the same place as D.C., for all intents and purposes. Regarding mosquitoes, Arlington and D.C. are definitely the same. The number of mosquitoes that swarm in my backyard from late spring through early fall is insane!

Dallas-Fort Worth has the unfortunate distinction of sitting at #1 on Terminix’s list, followed by New York City and then the aforementioned Washington, D.C. One thing the list bears out is that no part of the country is immune from the scourge of mosquitoes.

Here is the top-25 list:

 

Whether you live in one of the twenty-five cities on the list or not, Terminix provides some helpful tips for combatting the annual mosquito invasion of your yard.

Remove sources of standing water. Most mosquitoes need standing water in order to lay their eggs. Removing open containers, buckets, plastic sheeting or covers, and tires filled with water can help reduce the breeding sites in your yard.

Clean the gutters. It’s also important to maintain your gutter system. Leaves and other debris can build up in your gutters and downspouts, leading to water retention.

Change water sources weekly. Emptying or replacing the water in outdoor pet bowls, fountains, birdbaths, rain barrels and plant containers often will help break the mosquito breeding cycle.

Replace outdoor lighting. Mosquitoes, like many insects, can be attracted to light. Special bulbs called “bug lights” emit a different type of light than typical light bulbs. Replacing outdoor lighting with these “bug lights” can help attract fewer mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes are no joke, and even if you don’t hire Terminix, their suggestions for combatting the menace are practical and easy to follow.