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Chicago again ranks among worst U.S. cities for mosquitos

This is the second year in a row that Chicago has earned this spot, according to Orkin, the pest control company.

A Chicagoan reads a book by Alfred Caldwell Lilly Pool at Lincoln Park Zoo.
Al Podgorski/Chicago Sun-Times (file)

To the surprise of no one who lives in Chicago, the city has again been named one of the worst cities in America when it comes to a familiar summer pest: mosquitos.

Orkin, the pest control company, announced its Top 50 Mosquito Cities rankings early Monday morning, with Chicago sitting in the No. 5 spot for the second year in a row.

Los Angeles unseated Atlanta, where Orkin is based, for the top spot this year. Before now, Atlanta held onto the title of Worst Mosquito City for seven years straight. Orkin ranks the cities by number of mosquito treatments people buy from them annually.

Mosquitos’ breeding season can begin as early as May and last until September. The insects usually become active when the temperatures are above 68 degrees overnight, according to Orkin.

Mosquitos bite day and night, and look for warm places to flock to as temperatures fall in the evening hours, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control. A study funded by Drexel University found that cities like Chicago tend to be warmer than suburban and rural areas simply because there are more people, animals, and buildings.

To protect yourself against these insects, the CDC recommends using EPA-registered bug repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and using screens on windows or air conditioning to keep the bugs out. If keeping them out isn’t an option, sleeping under a mosquito net is a recommended alternative.

Orkin’s Top 10 Mosquito Cities are:

  1. Los Angeles, CA
  2. Atlanta, GA
  3. Washington, D.C.
  4. Dallas, TX
  5. Chicago, IL
  6. New York, NY
  7. Detroit, MI
  8. Miami, FL
  9. Charlotte, NC
  10. Raleigh-Durham, NC