As Mosquitoes Return, Metro Detroit Ranks High For Bites

We fared a little better than Chicago...

May 07, 2018 - 12:25 pm

(WWJ) As mosquito season arrives, new statistics show the Detroit area has narrowly avoided a top 10 spot when it comes to bites.

Among the top 50 cities in the U.S. for mosquitoes, metro Detroit ranks 11th, according to the Orkin pest control company, which compiles the list based on the number of new mosquito treatments the past year.

While 11th out of 50 isn't great, it is an improvement over the previous year when Detroit came in eighth on the Orkin list. 

The latest stats show Atlanta is still the most skeeter-friendly metro area in the country, with Dallas-Forth Worth, New York, Washington and Chicago rounding out the top five. 

Here's the Top 50 rundown, showing the change since last year: 

1.      Atlanta

2.      Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas (+4)         

3.      New York (+1)

4.      Washington, D.C. (-2)

5.      Chicago (-2)

6.      St. Louis, Mo. (+20)

7.      Houston

8.      Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (-3) 

9.      Kansas City, Mo. (+15)

10.  Charlotte, N.C. (-1)          

11.  Detroit (-3)

12.  Memphis, Tenn. (+2)

13.  Nashville, Tenn. (-3)

14.  Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla. (-3)

15.  Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (+2) 

16.  Los Angeles (+13)

17.  Philadelphia (+4)

18.  Birmingham, Ala. (+18)

19.  Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Fla. (-7)

20.  Austin, Texas (+17)

21.  Mobile-Pensacola, Fla. (-6)

22.  Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Mich. (-4)

23.  Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Va. (-10)

24.  Indianapolis, Ind. (+11)

25.  Phoenix, Ariz. (-5)

26.  Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y. (+8)

27.  Lafayette, La. (+5)

28.  Baton Rouge, La. (+12)

29.  New Orleans, La. (-2)

30.  Richmond-Petersburg, Va. (-7)

31.  Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C., Asheville, N.C (-9)

32.  Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. (-2)

33.  Boston (-14)

34.  Wichita-Hutchinson, Ka. (+40)

35.  Tulsa, Okla. (+14)

36.  Hartford-New Haven, Conn. (-5)

37.  San Antonio, Texas (+2)

38.  Springfield, Mo. (+79)

39.  Abilene-Sweetwater, Texas (+18)

40.  Oklahoma City (+48)

41.  Waco-Temple-Bryan, Texas (+15)

42.  Baltimore, Md. (-14)

43.  Huntsville-Decatur, Ala. (+10)

44.  Shreveport, La. (-2)

45.  Portland-Auburn, Maine (+17)

46.  Knoxville, Tenn. (-13)

47.  Cleveland-Akron-Canton, Ohio (-22)

48.  West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, Fla. (-32)

49.  Bangor, Maine (-4)

50.  Harlingen-Brownsville-McAllen-Weslaco, Texas (+21)

Mosquito season starts with milder spring temperatures, and the bugs are most active above 80 degrees, expert say. Breeding season is usually July through September, while peak West Nile virus season is usually not until late August through September or even October in some areas.

Temperatures need to be around freezing before mosquitoes will start to die off for the winter.

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

To prevent bites, resident are advised to use mosquito repellent products containing EPA-approved active ingredients, such as DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Also, wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors whenever possible.

As far as your home: Inspect doors and windows for drafts or openings around their perimeters and window air conditioning units. Install weather stripping around doors and utilize caulk around window frames.  Ensure that window screens are securely in place and free of holes or tears. Keep doors tightly closed. A propped-open door is a welcome mat for mosquitoes to enter your home.or more mosquito information and prevention tips, visit Orkin's Mosquitoes page.

As hot, dry summers are ideal for the mosquito that transmits West Nile -- how the weather pans out will determine how bad it gets in metro Detroit. Keep it tuned to WWJ for the latest forecast during traffic and weather, every 10 minutes on the 8s, 24 hours a day.