Health & Science

NYC Is One of the Worst U.S. Cities for Mosquitoes — See the List

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There's a lot of buzz around New York City as the summer approaches, but that buzz you're hearing may not be what you think it is. It may be mosquitoes flying around you.

That's because NYC was rated as one of the worst cities in the U.S. when it comes to the flying pests. According to data from Orkin, the five boroughs had the third-most mosquito control services performed from April 2022 through March 2023.

That list, which includes residential and commercial treatments, sheds light on where mosquitoes may be bad again this year.

So what city has to deal with mosquitoes the most, according to Orkin? To paraphrase a famous song, "I Love L.A." — and so do the blood-sucking bugs. Los Angeles was found to have the most mosquito service treatments.

That rating seems to make sense, as residents were warned in April about what officials said could be the worst mosquito season in years for Los Angeles County, due to the heavy rains the state has seen. Combine those rains with the typically warm weather, and it is a recipe for the insects to thrive.

Chicago was rated as No. 2, with Atlanta and Dallas-Fort Worth rounding out the top five. No other city in the tri-state area made the top 50.

Here's the list of the top 10 cities for mosquitoes, according to Orkin:

  1. Los Angeles
  2. Chicago
  3. New York City
  4. Atlanta
  5. Dallas-Fort Worth
  6. Washington, D.C.
  7. Philadelphia
  8. Detroit
  9. Houston
  10. Charlotte
If you aren’t a fan of mosquitoes– or cockroaches, rodents or rattlesnakes– things are about to get a whole lot less pleasant. Here’s why climate change is keeping pest management professionals busy across the U.S.

So how can you prevent mosquitoes from coming around? First, Orkin says to get rid of standing water in bird feeders, water bowls for pets, potted plants, wading pools and other children’s toys, as those small pools are where they like like to lay their eggs.

And while things like looser, long sleeved clothing — as well as bug repellant with DEET — can help avoid the bugs from becoming a bother, there is another option that is a bit more natural and may smell a bit better: coconut.

A recent study in the journal iScience looked at whether different scented soaps made people more or less attractive to mosquitoes. And while it's not as simple as "use this soap, not that one," there was some data regarding what scents attracted or repelled mosquitoes.

“It’s a simple question with a very complex answer,” said the lead study author, Clement Vinauger, an assistant professor of biochemistry at Virginia Tech University who studies the molecular genetics of how mosquitoes choose their prey. “What really matters is how the chemicals in the soap combine with the chemicals of the individual person.”

That could explain why a scent like coconut seemed to repel the insects, while other citrusy scents — which have been known to be effective against other insects — only seemed to attract more mosquitoes.

A 2022 study showed that people who are known to be "mosquito magnets" may have something in how they smell that attracts the pests. Researchers found that people who are most attractive to mosquitoes produce a lot of certain chemicals on their skin that are tied to smell.

Bad news for mosquito magnets: The bloodsuckers stay loyal to their favorites over time.

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